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No Slowdown in Mobile Broadband Traffic Highlights Continuing Backhaul Opportunityin Telecom
New research from iGR outlines and validates the continuing opportunity for wireless backhaul for Finley clients. Mobile data traffic – excluding Wi-Fi offload – will grow 11-fold over the current five-year period according to a Austin, Texas-based iGR.
Including 3G and 4G LTE networks, mobile data traffic will increase from 2012′s 889,000 terabytes per month to 10.3 million in 2017, according to iGR’s “Global Mobile Data Forecast, 2012-2017: The Rise Continues.”
“In more mature markets the growth is driven by network upgrades to LTE, multiple devices per user, increasing mobile device and data usage, and a trend toward consuming content stored in the cloud via mobile devices.”
Drawing on the extensive end-user data it has collected, iGR has developed forecasting models for every major world mobile market region that estimate the amount of mobile data traffic generated per application per use.
That’s combined with forecasts of how many times in a given period an end user engages in a particular activity that generates mobile data traffic – checking email, listening to streaming music or watching streaming video, social networking, etc.
Also factoring into the traffic forecast models are usage profiles based on iGR’s primary and secondary consumer and enterprise research data. The basic unit is a connection, which corresponds to a mobile device, such that the number of connections may exceed the number of subscribers, as might be the case for a consumer in North America who might have three mobile devices, a smartphone, laptop, and tablet, iGR explains.
Though usage of larger mobile devices, e.g. laptops, is likely to generate more in the way of mobile data traffic than smaller ones, smartphones are rapidly generating a lot more in the way of mobile data traffic, iGR notes, driven by fast-growing consumption of streaming mobile video and audio from mobile app service providers such as Pandora, Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Cloud Player, YouTube and others.
“The key difference, of course, is that the laptop user could be multitasking among several different high-traffic applications whereas the smartphone user is typically only engaged in one, maybe two,” iGR says. Laptop users also tend to access the Internet via Wi-Fi, more so than smartphone users.
This dramatic increase in mobile broadband traffic over the next five years indicates a continuing opportunity for fiber and Ethernet to the tower applications. Many clients are already taking advantage of this growth trend as a source of new revenue. This research suggests that trend will only accelerate and clients should plan accordingly.