December 10, 2012

Mitigating Carrier Mobile Traffic Jams

The rapid uptake and now mainstream use of wireless smart phones and tablets have led to an explosion in mobile data consumption. These massive consumption levels have created requirements for substantially more wireless network capacity to transport mobile traffic. Users already expect high-speed wireless access anywhere and anytime, and their usage is only expected to multiply as smart phones, tablet computers and other mobile devices continue to proliferate.

For example, while the United Kingdom's Portio Research reports that smart phone shipments reached 485 million in 2011, it expects that number to top 655 million in 2012 and leap to 1 billion in 2016. And International Data Corporation has upwardly revised its tablet-shipment forecasts for 2012 to 107.4 million and for 2013 to 142.8 million. By 2016, IDC expects worldwide tablet shipments to reach 222.1 million.

It goes without saying that these and other usage trends are stressing mobile operators' networks nearly to exhaustion. And the potential for network traffic jams will continue even as carriers upgrade their infrastructures to support faster 3G and 4G speeds. The main contributors include the rapid increase of new subscribers running bandwidth-intensive data and video applications combined with limited spectrum availability. And if history is any indicator, application development and consumer usage volumes will naturally rise to meet - and then exceed - the capacity of the network.

Mobile service providers need a strategy to successfully handle mobile traffic demands so they can continue to deliver high-quality mobile experiences to subscribers, attract new customers, and retain happy ones.

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