Tuesday, 16 June 2015 23:54

Wi-Fi networks to carry bulk of future mobile data traffic Featured

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I I Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

Wi-Fi networks will carry almost 60% of smartphone and tablet data traffic by 2019, reaching 115,000 petabytes – a projected four-fold increase compared to under 30,000 PB this year.

And, according to research by Juniper, mobile data offload – or data migration from a mobile to Wi-Fi network – offers a number of key benefits to industry stakeholders.

Juniper says that offload not only addresses the issue of patchy coverage, but also has the potential for the creation of new services such as VoWi-Fi (Wi-Fi Calling) and to increase the usage of existing 3G/4G services.

But despite the potential benefits, Juniper author of the research, Nitin Bhas, cautions that Wi-Fi offload brings challenges to operators of effective deployment and return on investment (ROI).

“Operators need to deploy own Wi-Fi zones in problematic areas or partner with Wi-Fi hotspot operators and aggregators such as iPass and Boingo,” Bhas says.

Bhas also says that additionally, operators are also converting residential customers to community hotspot providers, especially in the US, and according to Wi-Fi service provider iPass, there were nearly 40 million community hotspots in 2014 and the company expects this to more than double this year to nearly 90 million.

Other global mobile data traffic highlights from the Juniper report include:

•    Global mobile data traffic generated from devices including smartphones, featurephones and tablets forecast to exceed 197,000PB in 2019

•    Estimates global smartphone data consumption to be nearly twice the amount of tablet traffic in 2015

•    Developing markets such as the Indian Subcontinent are forecast to witness higher growth rates and increased market share of the total mobile data traffic over the next 5 years; with operators in India already witnessing close to 100% y-o-y growth in data usage

•    North America and West Europe will together account for over 50% of the global mobile data being offloaded in 2019.

The whitepaper, 'Wi-Fi Calling operators' is available to download from the Juniper Research website together with further details of the new research.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year 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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