3/25/2010 11:19:00 AM
Mobile data traffic overtakes voice traffic for first time
Mobile data traffic overtook voice traffic on mobile networks in December 2009 according to network infrastructure company, Ericsson.
Ericsson found that data traffic has grown globally by 280% over the last two years and is predicted to double year on year for the next five years.
The figures emerge at a time when operators and manufacturers continue to look towards social networking and connected devices as an area of growing revenue.
Over 200 mobile operators in 60 countries are deploying and promoting Facebook mobile products, with over 100 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
Ericsson president and CEO, Hans Vestberg said: ‘This is a significant milestone with some 400 million mobile broadband subscriptions now generating more data traffic than the voice traffic from the total 4.6 billion mobile subscriptions around the world.
‘Our view that the appeal of anywhere, anytime connectivity would drive mobile broadband growth is confirmed by the real world measurements under taken by Ericsson.’
The news will not surprise the UK network operators, but it will add to the pressure on them to ensure their network infrastructure is capable of coping with the growing demand for data. Consumers and businesses want easy access to the internet and fast download speeds via their mobile devices or broadband dongles. Those networks able to provide a good and reliable user experience are likely to attract the most customers.
However, the current 3G network will eventually have to be replaced by a 4G network capable of much faster download speeds. The UK is lagging behind some other countries, such as the USA, hindered by the need to reallocate spectrum and the networks’ desire to maximize the return on the huge cost of bidding for 3G licenses and building the 3G infrastructure.