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Tuesday, 19 May 2015 19:48

Dramatic rise in mobile data traffic ahead

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Mobile data traffic equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies will be generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets over the next four years, but the majority of the traffic won’t be carried over cellular networks.

According to a new report from Juniper Research, between this year and 2019 mobile traffic generated will be almost 197,000 petabytes, but 41% of that traffic will bypass cellular networks and be offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.

At that rate of annual traffic generation, Juniper estimates that the average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users will double over the next four years – and, daily media consumption by mobile users will continue to rise, bolstered by the rise in 4G adoption and factors such as HD video usage.

“Certainly, video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic. For example, Juniper Research anticipates that video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014 and 2019”, says research author Nitin Bhas.

“Video currently accounts for around 60% of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70% in 2-3 years.”

The Juniper global report also reveals that in 2014, data traffic generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets in the Far East & China exceeded that of North America for the first time.

The study also observes that Wi-Fi has now become an integral part of operators’ network strategy.

“Wi-Fi is not just being used for data offload, but also to maintain call connection quality in challenging network topologies. For example, EE UK launched its Wi-Fi calling feature on a selected number of handsets in April 2015,” Bhas says.

Other key findings include:

•    Onloaded M2M traffic will significantly increase over the forecast period, primarily driven by telematics and connected car infotainment systems

•    North America and Western Europe will have the highest offload factor throughout the forecast period.

The Wi-fi Calling Operators whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the research.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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