As Android Goes, So Goes the Network

The market growth in smartphones that has brought us the wireless data tsunami is showing no signs of slowing, according to Q2 2012 handset shipment numbers from IDC.  Android’s growing lead in the market, though, has some implications for wireless network capacity, whether it’s bandwidth or signaling.

In IDC’s latest report, the analyst firm estimated that 154 million smartphones shipped during Q2 of 2012.  Of that, about 68% ran Android and 17% ran iOS.  BlackBerry came in a distant third at 4.8% market share and the rest of the market was a combination of Windows Phone/Windows Mobile, Symbian, Bada and others.

In terms of market share growth, Android posted a 106% growth from the prior year – an amazing feat.

The key takeaways for the network are: 1) more phones equal more app usage and an increased risk of congestion; 2) and the new dominance of Android might also impact the network.  In terms of signaling and data efficiency BlackBerry and iOS are somewhat better than Android.

So with Android ascending, there will be more traffic per handset just from the OS.  Of course, the bulk of the traffic is from apps and no handset maker yet has standards of efficiency on that front.

More traffic management and traffic optimization with a special focus on Android OS is the way to neutralize the network impact of the growth of these handsets.

About SEVEN Networks

SEVEN Networks software solutions deliver device-centric mobile traffic management and analytics for wireless carriers. Extending control from the network to the mobile client gives operators the power to manage and optimize data traffic before it impacts the network. Device-based analytics offer deeper and timelier insight than solutions that are solely network based. SEVEN’s Open Channel products reduce operator costs, increase efficiency in the use of wireless infrastructure, and enhance end-user experience. They bring immediate capacity relief to overloaded networks, simplify the creation of innovative new service plans, and provide actionable intelligence for mobile carriers.
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