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April 1, 2011

Mobile data traffic to exceed 14,000 Petabytes by 2015: Juniper Research

Migration of data traffic from fixed to mobile will exacerbate the strains on the cellular network

By CBR Staff Writer

The mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets is expected to exceed 14,000 Petabytes by 2015, equivalent to 18 billion movie downloads or three trillion music tracks, according to a new report by Juniper Research.

However, the "Mobile Data Offload & Onload" report revealed that pressure on mobile networks will begin to ease as 63% of traffic, nearly 9,000 Petabytes, moves across to Wi-Fi and Femtocell networks.

The research firm said that while data growth over the cellular network will be substantial, it will not be the "data explosion" that some have anticipated.

The report notes that despite the implementation of offloading measures, migration of data traffic from fixed to mobile will exacerbate the strains on the cellular network.

Juniper Research report author Nitin Bhas said it is important for network operators to be cognizant of the net impact that both offload and onload have on the total data traffic through the network.

"So even though data offload alleviates some of the operator’s network congestion, a significant proportion of the offload could itself be offset by fixed to mobile migration of data," Bhas said.

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Currently, Wi-Fi accounts for over 90% of the traffic offloaded, Femtocells will account for a steadily increasing proportion over the forecast period and both will contribute to be a flexible offering that will co-exist and provide a ‘big-win’ opportunity for the operators.

The report predicted that North America and Western Europe will account for over 60% of global mobile data offloaded; and developing markets will witness highest growth percentage of data offloaded with growth strongest in the Indian sub-continent region.

The report suggests that operators need to view offloading offerings as complementary to their 3G/4G network providing opportunities to seize market share and revenues from fixed line operators, extending their reach beyond mobile and making their 3G/4G business case profitable.

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