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January 22, 2013

Wireless traffic to increase 50-fold by 2016: report

Smartphone owners consumed 35 times more data traffic than a typical cellphone user, the report said

By CBR Staff Writer

According to a new report from Deloitte, wireless traffic is expected to increase 50-fold by 2016.

Smartphone data consumption is also expected to rise.

According to the report, wireless traffic has more than doubled each year since 2009 and the increasing numbers of smartphones and tablets in use will only increase the demand.

"In the worst situations, download speeds may be under 1Mbps for lengthy periods of time, making video streaming impossible and even web browsing difficult," the report said.

"Demand for wireless bandwidth will likely attempt to outstrip these improvements in supply for at least several years."

Deloitte predicts that with the rise in data consumpution, governments will provide additional spectrum, which will cause the spectrum exhauston to accelerate, especially in urban areas.

As the wireless bandwidth continues to grow, the US alone will have a deficit of 275 MHz of spectrum by 2014.

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Wireless users are expected to see two to three times as many failed attempts to connect, three to four times as many dropped calls or frozen web browsing, and both 3G and 4G speeds 50-90% lower than anticipated.

"Major metropolitan areas in some geographies should expect to see continued deterioration in end-user experience," said the report.

"The other alternative is that carriers may want to increase what they charge for data and speeds: if spectrum truly is a scarce resource, then using price to signal its value is likely to reduce demand to the point where service standards do not fall," concludes the report.

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