4/10/2008 10:34:00 AM
Surge in dongles raises capacity concerns
The rapid increase in the take-up of mobile broadband has raised concerns about the networks’ capacity for handling the new traffic.
With dongles flying off the shelves, networks are looking ahead and preparing for what this surge in mobile data usage might require.
3’s CEO, Kevin Russell (pictured), said that since the introduction of mobile broadband there are seven times more people using mobile data.
Too many people using broadband services at the same time could affect download and browsing speeds.
3 has used smaller European markets to test USB data dongles, launching the product in Sweden and Austria, ahead of the UK.
Based on experiences in Sweden and Austria, 3 set itself up to be able to cope with problems that could arise in the UK in terms of capacity. However, unforeseen problems have still come to light.
Russell said: ‘With mobile broadband, we have seen blockages in areas we didn’t expect, but these have been easy to fix in the short term.’
Meanwhile, more problems have occurred in other European markets. Russell added: ‘We had capacity issues in Sweden and Austria and they were harder to identify.
‘Backhaul and capacity are relevant, and we need to have solutions in place. We are working on it already.’
All the networks are increasing their speeds and capacity. 3’s high-speed HSDPA network already covers around 85% of the population, which will be increased further thanks to the network share agreement it has with T-Mobile.
Russell said the network share will create a ‘monster network’.
Currently, 3 offers speeds of 1Mbps to 2Mbps, but these should more than double with HSDPA.