Hazard: Mobile Traffic Jam Ahead

February 16, 2012 - 1 Comment

Over a billion mobile devices are online today. Just last quarter, Apple sold 52.4 million iPhones and iPads. The airwaves are humming, and there’s already traffic congestion along the mobile services highway.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) report released on February 14, 2012 predicts that the volume of mobile data traffic will grow 18 times over by 2016. That totals 10.8 exabytes per month by 2016, nearly 11 quintillion (1018) bytes: a staggering number, five times the volume of the entire global Internet in 2005.

Will your mobile infrastructures be ready for all that traffic?

More importantly, what technologies are you planning to use to meet this demand? Macrocellular networks are filling up, so providers are evaluating Wi-Fi as an alternative.

Don’t misunderstand me. Cellular networks will continue to serve the mobile services market for many years. But here’s the story on Wi-Fi: it’s a viable complement to cellular for meeting crushing demand for service, capacity, and coverage. Wi-Fi is less expensive to deploy and manage than cellular. It’s designed to handle high-bandwidth, high-QoS applications such as HD video and online games.

Cisco Wi-Fi is solving these critical problems:

  • Problem: Fragmented User Experience. Millions of users today have to manually sign in to individual Wi-Fi hotspots as they go about their day. They need automatic, seamless roaming among Wi-Fi and cellular services.
  • Problem: Running out of Room. Capacity in the cellular infrastructure is a looming issue. AT&T predicts it’s going to run out of spectrum next year. Wi-Fi data offload slows capacity growth, but the limit of the 4G road is near. Providers are crashing into the limits of physics, and soon there will be no more spectrum to buy.
  • Problem: Raising the Bars. Cellular towers are outside, but we’re using our mobile devices inside. Coverage is critical. Research by Cisco IBSG found that 80 percent of the time, people connect to the mobile Internet from somewhere indoors: home, schools, offices, libraries, malls. Carriers already sell local and metropolitan Wi-Fi services. It’s time to scale that coverage to provide truly global reach.

Solution: Cisco Next-Generation Mobile Internet

Cisco continues to deliver the carrier-grade and scale mobile Internet solutions, expertise, best practices, and business models that help our mobile service provider customers deliver profitable services. Independent analyst Gabriel Brown reports, “Cisco is by far the leading vendor of service provider Wi-Fi technology, with the broadest product portfolio and the greatest breadth of integration experience with Tier-1 operators.” (Heavy Reading, November 2011)

Cisco Next-Generation Mobile Internet enables seamless roaming among Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G networks, so that users don’t fuss about the underlying infrastructure. It just works.

We’ll be talking about all of this at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in a couple weeks – hope to see you there.

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  1. Good stuff Murali, companies like ours rely on Cisco to keep innovating and raising the bar (no pun intended) when it comes to data limits. I really hate even thinking of scaling down any of our sites to meet the needs of end-users; obviously businesses like ours are much happier when the network scales up to meet our demands. It’s amazing that we can already offer full online experiences on mobile devices without changing our platform.

    We look forward to hearing your reports from Mobile World Congress.