The mobile market will be vastly different 10 years from today. We will see two and a half billion more people connected to the internet, but also 50 billion more devices. Those devices are going to have a totally different consumption profile compared with the smartphone or dongle user that we have today. We will have a mobile market with mobile internet which has got to have flexibility in terms of how it supports the massive number of devices, signaling events, and bandwidth that will occur in the future.
To manage this exponential growth in mobile data, effective small cell networks need to take advantage of both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Small cells help operators increase coverage, capacity, and services, effectively and have already proven to be vital element in mobile networks. To better integrate licensed and unlicensed small cells, we have identified 5 fundamentals that are important to remember: Read More »
Tags: analytics, architecture, big thinkers in small cells, device, Enterprise, HetNet, mobile data, mobility, Service Provider, small cells, SON
Today’s world is characterized by what I call the “mobile explosion”—an environment defined by mobile cloud becoming a platform for delivering everything. It is a world of heterogeneous networks, licensed macro small cell networks, and unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi for example), all seamlessly combined. In this world, however, I believe we are facing a mobile paradox: on the one hand, there is a staggering demand for data from our smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices; on the other hand, the telecommunications industry is grappling with business and monetization challenges around profitability, how to build up these networks fast enough, and competition from over-the-top (OTT) operators. But, operators are struggling with building the business case and understanding how to make Wi-Fi pay.
The much quoted Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month. In parallel, the use of unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi) for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi-enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Until recently, most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed Wi-Fi as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications. And they most certainly never saw any role for Wi-Fi in mobile networks or their business. The explosion of mobile data traffic has changed all of that. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers.
In the “Business Models and Monetization Video” in Big Thinkers in Small Cells, my colleagues and I discuss revenue opportunities and challenges mobile operators face today with small cells, both licensed and unlicensed. Mobile operators Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cloud, data offload, IBSG, macro small cell networks, mobile, mobile cloud, mobile operators, mobile providers, mobility, Networks, offload, operators, service providers, small cell, small cell networks, small cells, wi-fi, Wi-Fi business models, Wi-Fi providers
Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire Ubiquisys, a privately-held company headquartered in Swindon, UK for $310 million in cash and employee retention incentives. Ubiquisys is a leading provider of intelligent 3G and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) small-cell technologies that provides seamless connectivity across mobile heterogeneous networks for service providers.
The acquisition of Ubiquisys exemplifies Cisco’s innovation framework based on a build, buy and partner approach. The Ubiquisys acquisition also complements Cisco’s mobility strategy along with the recent acquisitions of BroadHop and Intucell, reinforcing in-house research and development, such as service provider Wi-Fi and licensed radio. These technologies will tie together the mobility architecture that leverages the intelligence of the network from the wireless edge of the network into the wired core.
As carriers around the world increase cellular data capacity to serve the rapidly growing population of smartphone and tablet users, adding small cells is one of the most cost-effective ways to multiply data capacity and make better use of scarce spectrum assets. Ubiquisys’ indoor small cells expertise and its focus on intelligent software for licensed 3G and LTE spectrum, coupled with Cisco’s mobility portfolio and its Wi-Fi expertise, will enable a comprehensive small cell solution to service providers that supports the transition to next generation radio access networks.
The acquisition of Ubiquisys further reinforces Cisco’s commitment to service providers and strengthens Cisco’s mobility capabilities to continue to extend the intelligent mobile network.
Ubiquisys’ product portfolio and team will be integrated into our Small Cell Technology Group led by Partho Mishra.
Tags: acquisition, Hilton Romanski, M&A, mobility, small cells, Ubiquisys
For the fifth year, Cisco has released its updated Mobile Visual Networking Index Forecast. This year, we’ve seen dramatic changes in consumer behavior as well as continued explosive growth in mobile data.
Global mobile traffic grew 70% in 2012 and traffic is forecast to rise 13 times between 2012 and 2017, a CAGR of 66%. And in 2012, for the first time, video exceeded 50% of global mobile data.
The key take away from this year’s report, however, is the dramatic shift of mobile traffic offloaded to small cells, primarily Wi-Fi. The chart below (Figure 8 from the mobile VNI report) illustrates how mobile offload increases from 33 percent of total mobile traffic (cellular plus small cell/ Wi-Fi) in 2012, to 46 percent in 2017. This is significantly larger than we forecasted just a year ago when we estimated mobile offload would comprise 11% of total traffic in 2011, growing to 22% in 2016.
Offloading is even more pronounced in the US where it will account for 66% of total mobile traffic in 2017.
While the underlying aggregate global mobile data traffic, cellular plus Wi-Fi, has been revised slightly from last year (2012 total traffic revised to 1.3 exabytes from 1.5 exabytes/month; 2016 traffic revised to 13.8 exabytes from 13.9 exabytes), the shift from cellular to Wi-Fi is occurring faster than we had anticipated. The table below compares the 2012 and 2013 forecasts.
So what’s happening in the mobile landscape that is driving these changes?
First, the mobile VNI report highlights an acceleration of smartphone uptake, and even faster adoption relative to the use of mobile connected laptops. While mobile connected laptops, mostly using dongles, helped drive early consumption of mobile data traffic, consumers are adopting smart phones and tablets faster than earlier forecasted. The shift from mobile connected laptops to smart phones and tablets lowers data consumption as the latter use less data per application (because of smaller screens size and lower processing speeds). Forecasting to 2017, smart phones and tablets are expected to overwhelm laptops and account for about 80% of connected devices in 2017 vs. only 14% for laptops (see graph below).
The second trend is a dramatic uptake of offloading data traffic to small cells, primarily Wi-Fi. Offload is being driven by service providers (both mobile as well as fixed, such as cable) deploying and using Wi-Fi hot spots, as well as a by consumers using WiFi for bandwidth hungry applications such as high-resolution video. Operators are offloading data connections to cope with limited and increasingly congested spectrum for macro cell networks while, at the same time, consumers are using WiFi offload for better indoor performance and to avoid exceeding their mobile data plans.
Working together, these two trends are driving dramatic change in the composition of total wireless data traffic (cellular plus Wi-Fi).
The full Mobile VNI 2013 report highlights this shift as well as other key trends driving growth in mobile IP traffic.
Tags: mobile data traffic, mobile vni, small cells, Smartphones, Tablets, wi-fi
Over the last few months, a growing consensus has emerged pointing to a dramatic change in the way people access the Internet.
In 2011, for the first time ever, worldwide annual demand for smart phones surpassed that of PCs, laptops and tablets combined. Then last month our Mobile Visual Networking Index (VNI) Update reported that global mobile data traffic is growing even faster than previously forecasted and will increase 18-fold over the next five years.
So by this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, the ‘top of mind’ for network operators, government officials and device manufacturers was the dramatic accelerating impact that mobile data consumption will have on Internet access, networks and users.
When we launched the mobile VNI report on February 14, a panel of industry, academia and government experts glimpsed into the future of mobile broadband and related policy issues, with three key takeaways:
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Tags: barcelona, cloud, fiber, global cloud index, heterogenous networks, mobile, mobile world congress, off-loading, policy, regulations, small cells, vni, wireless, wireline