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Mobile data surpasses voice

Operators need to get better at billing for data

Global mobile data traffic surpassed voice during December of 2009, after growing 280 per cent during each of the last two years. According to Swedish vendor Ericsson, which published the figures, global mobile data traffic is forecast to double annually over the next five years.

Ericsson said that the crossover occurred at approximately 140,000 Terabytes per month in both voice and data traffic, while traffic on 3G networks also surpassed that of 2G networks.

As discussed in our recent feature on the network capacity crunch, this stellar growth in mobile data is causing a major headache for operators both financially and technically. And from a technology angle, femtocell proponents are pushing their technology and the most effective solution.

This week the Femto Forum announced research into the use of femtocells in LTE and WiMAX networks, which found that “femtocells provide the best possible LTE user experience and improve the operator business case for the new networks while also offering alternative rollout models and supporting new services.”

The group claims that the addition of femtocells to the network allows users to consistently receive much closer to the headline LTE/WiMAX data rates than those connected to macrocells even when using the same channel as the macro network when suitable mitigation techniques are adopted.

The study also found that the MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) technology built into LTE and WiMAX performs well in an indoor environment with femtocells, improving the user experience yet further. By giving away free femtocells to early LTE/WiMAX subscribers, operators could provide the best possible experience indoors, which could be funded by implementing a delay in macrocell buildout by deferring 4 per cent to 10 per cent of the planned macrocell sites, depending upon the scenario.

“The vast majority of usage is going to be in homes and offices. Trying to service this need with the outdoor network is the equivalent of trying to improve the experience of reading in bed by making lampposts outside brighter instead of installing a bedside lamp,” said Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum.

In related news, the 3GPP2, CDG, and the Femto Forum also announced the formal publication of specifications for femtocell devices that incorporate CDMA2000R 1X and HRPD (EVDO) radio access technologies.


2 comments

  1. Terry Stein 25/03/2010 @ 8:52 pm

    careful what u wish4. mobi univers about connecting peopl. data about connecting computers. life gonna sort out iphoneys…

  2. Sang-Yong, Kang 29/03/2010 @ 4:05 am

    Thank you for your forecasting and argument. If we consider the WIFI traffic, the wireless data traffic was already overcome the voice traffic. In the future, mobile data traffic is doubled in a year is truth. Because all of the voice traffic will be changed as a data traffic.

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