Wi-Fi and femtocells will save mobile networks

The mobile phone networks look as though they are heading for a crash, thanks to rapid increases in mobile data network traffic that they have no way to handle. But Juniper Research reckons that's not what will happen.

The mobile phone networks look as though they are heading for a crash, thanks to rapid increases in mobile data network traffic that they have no way to handle. But Juniper Research reckons that's not what will happen. In a new report, it reckons that almost two thirds -- 63 percent -- of the traffic generated by smartphones, tablets and feature phones will run over Wi-Fi and femtocells by 2015. Of course, it also means that the fixed-line network will have to handle an extra 9000 petabytes of traffic per year by 2015, which could include billions of movie downloads.

The report predicts that the total mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets will surpass 14,000PB by 2015.

Juniper's press release, Relief Ahead for Mobile Data Networks as 63% of Traffic to Move Onto Fixed Networks via Wi-Fi and Femtocells by 2015, Finds Juniper Research, says that: "Although currently Wi-Fi accounts for over 98 percent of the traffic offloaded, femtocells will account for a steadily increasing proportion over the forecast period. The highest penetration of femtocells for Data Offload will occur in North America."

A femtocell is a cellular base station that's small enough to be used in a home or small business. It connects to the mobile network operator via fixed-line broadband.

It does look as though mobile phone suppliers are expecting more people to watch movies, and the recently launched HTC Sensation smartphone comes with a movie service. The company says that HTC Watch "puts an entire library of the latest, premium movies and TV shows right at your fingertips, letting people discover the latest video content in an easy and visually engaging way." But if you're actually streaming the movie via your home Wi-Fi connection, it's hard to see why you'd choose to watch it on such a small screen -- unless copy protection prevents you from watching it on anything else.

A single-user PDF version of the research paper, Mobile Data Offload & Onload: Wi-Fi & Femtocell Integration Strategies 2011-2015, costs £1,750 from Juniper Research.

@jackschofield

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxP8VWdvlJg Juniper Research's promotional video featuring Nitin Bhas, author of Mobile Data Offload & Onload Video Whitepaper

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