The perfect storm is just a gentle breeze
Date: Fri, 02/04/2011 - 15:01 Source: Cambridge Broadband Networks PR department
In its recently released Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Cisco revealed that mobile data traffic newly tripled last year and is forecast to grow 32-fold from 2010 to 2015. At Mobile World Congress we are all going to be faced with a plethora of new smartphones and tablets, and at lower price points than we have seen to date. Those factors all suggest that the ‘perfect storm’ of mobile data growth we’ve already experienced is really just a gentle breeze
Unfortunately, like AT&T in the US, some operators are failing to keep pace and without fundamental network upgrades, we can confidently predict that some operators will be on their knees by the end of the year.
According to Graham Peel, CEO of mobile network backhaul specialist Cambridge Broadband Networks, “If past years are anything to go by, the operator with the greatest network capacity will have a distinct advantage and consumers will flock to them. That’s good news for operator data revenues but unfortunately it also means that next year, without doing something fundamental to the network, they could well have the worst capacity and coverage. Some operators are expecting that whilst others clearly have their heads in the sand. In 2011 we’ll find out which is which.”
Peel’s predictions for 2011 follow:
• The operators with the best network quality in 2010 will fall down the list in 2011 – their leadership will attract new data hungry customers but the additional data load will compromise the very network quality that attracted new subscribers in the first place.
• There will be further adoption of data offload strategies – via femtocells and wifi – but the compromises inherent in using third party networks will become obvious to operators and their customers.
• LTE adoption in the radio access network will accelerate – it has to!
• Fibre won’t provide the answer for backhaul – speak to any mobile operator privately and they will tell you that fibre is either impractical or too expensive to comprehensively implement.
• Microwave, and particularly next generation microwave designed to handle the dynamic loads typical of mobile data use, will see even greater adoption throughout the world.
• There will be an ‘AT&T experience’ in the European market. At least one operator will be crippled by the data load and suffer massive churn as a result.