Operator networks are already experiencing tremendous challenges with the amount of data of being accessed and shared with smartphones. The introduction of tablets such as the iPad and Samsung GalaxyTab, pose new threats for network data traffic. Consider the amount of data being consumed today-smartphone users eat-up nearly 300 MB of data per month, and if you take into account the quality of video being viewed versus what the experience will be like on the sleek, streamlined, large screen tablets-carrier networks may be facing some of its greatest challenges yet.
“New research from Bytemobile demonstrates that the majority of mobile video consumed on carrier networks continues to be low-quality, low-resolution clips. According to the firm, 57 percent of video consumed on mobile devices is 240p video resolution, compared to 22 percent of videos that are in 360p resolution and 21 percent that are in 480p resolution.”
Although mobile users view lower resolution videos about three times as much as the higher, 480p mobile videos, the higher-quality videos use up nearly the same amount of data. The point is that although the higher-res videos aren’t being viewed as much, they consume an enormous amount of data, making number of times viewed irrelevant and exposing operators to increased data traffic on their networks. This is bad news for mobile operators, as the content rich, user-friendly mobile devices such as the iPad and Android tablets increase the demand for high-quality mobile video. To add to the problem, Bytemobile compared the amount of data traffic across multiple mobile carriers and found that those with faster networks actually delivered a larger percentage of video across their networks.
Take the amount of increased data traffic and factor in the Samsung GalaxyTab’s ability to support voice calls, texting, and data access and you basically have yourself one super-smartphone on steroids. Operators are already offering data plans for the GalaxyTab in both the US and Europe. 3UK, for example, is positioning the GalaxyTab as a quasi-smartphone-tablet, enabling consumers to select either a smartphone-style or traditional MBB plan. If other major operators worldwide follow suit and give consumers the choice to utilize their tablet devices in a way that smartphones are being used, data traffic and congestion are sure to put significant constraints on operator networks, adding to the existing pressures from the proliferation of data.