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Mobile data traffic costs to hit $370billion by 2016

04 августа 2011

The cost of delivering mobile data could rise sevenfold to $370 billion by 2016, according to a report this week by Juniper Research, which urged operators to tackle the issue by offloading more traffic from their macro networks.

"Offloading the data traffic not only saves the operator money but also improves the quality of the user experience for both indoor and outdoor users," said Nitin Bhas, research analyst for Juniper Research, in an email to Total Telecom. This potential saving is generated due to offloading being more cost effective than building infrastructure, he said.

Bhas said operators are seeing increasing data traffic driven by the growth of smartphones and other connected devices that offer ubiquitous Internet access.

"The proliferation of these mobile broadband devices, along with unlimited data bundles from the operators, has led to network congestion and deteriorating network quality," he said.

Bhas noted that it is not just the increase in devices with embedded 3G modules that are causing problems, but 'onloading' caused by devices such as desktop computers and laptops, which are increasingly connected via USB dongles and mobile WiFi hotspots.

"Migration of data traffic from fixed to mobile will exacerbate the strains on the cellular network," Bhas warned.

However, despite the sevenfold increase in data delivery costs, Bhas said the growth doesn't amount to the 'data explosion' that some observers fear.

"According to our figures, the amount of mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets will exceed 14,000 Petabytes by 2015, equivalent to almost 18 billion movie downloads or 3 trillion music tracks," he said. "While data growth over the cellular network will be substantial, it will not be the 'data explosion' that some have anticipated."

In addition, Juniper Networks said it expects traffic offloading in emerging markets will be driven by a shortage of available spectrum.

"We believe, as the volume of 3G spectrum made available in most developing markets is low, and as data services increase, operators in these regions will eventually look at offloading," said Bhas.


Источник: Total Telecom

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