How much more growth can the network take? That question posed in London during the recently completed 2012 summer games which brought millions of smartphone toting users to the city. But it will also be answered in the coming years as analysts expect hundreds of millions of new devices – many of them tablet computers – to be added to mobile networks. Here’s a round up of recent news stories about these developments:
“No Non-Urgent Texts or Tweets”: London 2012 was touted as the first “social media games,” which has raised the question: How will mobile networks cope with the traffic? The International Olympic Commission predicted that peak traffic would reach as much as 1.7 gigabits per second, which has spurred the carriers serving London to invest in nearly 30 new basestations around the main Olympic stadium. But it seems that this wasn’t enough during the men’s cycling event. The constant use of smart devices to update social media sites crashed the network, which impacted television coverage. Officials reacted by asking fans to not send any non-urgent messages.
More tablets on the network: While the Olympics exposed a major problem, it’s only the start as analysts are now predicting dramatic growth in the number of mobile broadband subscriptions. Today, there are currently about 22 million data plan users, but according to Strategy Analytics, that number will boom by 150 million new users by 2017 for a total of 172 million users worldwide. Much of the growth will come from tablets that are added to the network, which will also drive 2.7 million terabytes of video data mostly over LTE. The increased screen size and hard drive capacity of tablets will mean a dramatic increase in network signaling.
As a pioneer in mobile traffic optimization, SEVEN Networks is working with carriers today to help solve signaling congestion and reduce unnecessary traffic and bandwidth usage on wireless networks to make room for all of these new devices.