Recently, our CEO, Ross Bott, spoke at the Broadband Traffic Management event in London and heard a new perspective on how network traffic is growing and causing a problem in Europe. This is timely, as it seems that several European networks are having issues. First can news of predictions that London could face a mobile network capacity crisis during the 2012 Olympics. Now, 02 in Germany has blamed smartphones for a recent network outage.
Ross joined other senior executives on a panel that examined how handsets can participate in data management and policy management. He discussed how traffic optimization is not just in the network but also in the handsets so that they can be part of the solution. He also presented some of the findings from our internal and field trials with our Open Channel traffic optimization solution.
The bandwidth problem facing European carriers is coming both from usage and from signaling; and the industry is still very much-focused on video optimization and using policy management/tiered pricing to curb the data usage of top users.
Kris Szaniawski, a principal analyst at Informa, presented his research with operators which showed that 30% of executives at operators see high levels of mobile traffic demand as an existing problem. And, a further 38% see demand for mobile traffic as a major headache that will hit in the next 12- 24 months. Only 8% don’t see it as an issue. The leading challenge according to Szaniawski’s research is video, with 42% of carrier executives saying they now have a problem with video traffic.
The issue of signaling data increasing on the network also got its due beyond Ross’s panel. Martin Prosec, from Telefonica, painted the picture that the signaling challenge has a very different cause than user consumption of bandwidth, and that it is a problem that needs a different type of fix. The problem will get worse as more people switch to smartphones, he said, stating that smartphones on the Telefonica network account for 77% of signaling while only accounting for 15% of the data volume used.
European network operators are in a race to fix these problems as it affects their profitability and could be a very big problem once the Olympics arrives.