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Mobile broadband driving data traffic through the roof

20 июня 2008

Service providers can expect more headaches ahead as improved PC technology is making mobile broadband usage all the more accessible and easy to use – driving data traffic through the roof.

According to Berg Insight, "the number of notebook PC's with HSPA/LTE mobile broadband connectivity in Europe will grow from 8.4 million in 2007 at a compound annual growth rate of 34.2% to 49 million in 2013".

Over the next three to five years embedded HSPA/LTE chipsets will become a standard feature in notebook PCs designed for the European market, and end-users will be able to get online just about anywhere just by inserting a SIM-card into their computers, Berg Insight said.

But that is likely to lead to an "explosion in network utilisation".

"Mobile data traffic, primarily generated by USB-sticks and PC-cards, already exceeds mobile voice traffic in terms of volumes on advanced markets," according to Berg Insight.

Tobias Ryberg, a senior analyst at Berg Insight, said based on data from the Swedish Post and Telecoms Agency (PTS) it is estimated that during 2007 half a million mobile broadband terminals in Sweden have generated twice as much network load as all 10 million handsets in the country.

"On the one hand they (service providers) have a highly attractive proposition – a novel mobile service with high ARPU. On the other hand, the very popularity of the service stretches the mobile network infrastructure to its utmost limit, threatening to degrade the level of service for all subscribers," said Ryberg.

Until now, Ryberg said operators have been dealing with the problem by imposing restrictions on data traffic.
But he said they will have to consider significant investment into increasing network capacity.

"The limitations of HSPA offerings today will become increasingly restrictive for super-users as the data packs will not be sufficient for the most demanding applications," Ryberg told Total Telecom.

For example, he said that within a few years Internet users will expect to be able to view full-HD streaming IPTV via their Internet connection. He said with actual data speed normally much lower than advertised due to lack of network capacity, it will no longer do to "offer 14.4 Mbps which is actually 1 Mbps, or unlimited data traffic which is in reality limited to a few gigabytes per month".

Источник: Total Telecom

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