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Research explores impact of connected cars and M2M on mobile networks

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A study commissioned by network assurance outfit Teoco into the impact of M2M on mobile networks has predicted a doubling of data traffic on some cells as a result of M2M in the next decade.

The study was carried out by Machina Research, which forecast that around half of all this new data traffic is, appropriately enough, will come from connected cars, and that this will require a different way of thinking from operators.

Connected cars, as with other M2M devices, don’t behave like smartphones,” said Matt Hatton, CEO of Machina Research. “They represent a very diverse set of challenges to operators through highly varying network traffic patterns at different times of the day.

“In terms of overall data volumes, connected cars don’t present much of a problem. But network resource management is not based on total traffic volume, it’s based on particular cell sites during peak times of network use. If connected cars regularly cause network traffic spikes in a particular location that can’t be met, there are implications for operators in meeting SLAs and delivering a positive quality of experience.”

“The connected car is just one of many M2M use cases that will put new and unusual demands on network usage that mobile operators will need to resolve,” said Steve Bowker, VP Technology and Strategy at Teoco. “In all cases, operators will need to identify where and when the network traffic is generated, measure the volume, and analyze the type of traffic as well. They’ll need to more seriously consider how to cope with these demands for reduced latency, higher bandwidth, more signalling and higher QoS.”

As you can see from the Machina table below, cars already account for around half of global cellular M2M traffic and they’re forecasting the proportions to remain roughly the same as M2M ramps. The special significance of connected cars, however, comes from their mobility and thus the difficulty in predicting which parts of the network are going to be busy at a given time.

Machina table

 

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