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Juniper Research warns of pressure on mobile broadband networks

Tuesday, April 24th 2012
Mobile broadband networks will come under increasing stress from mobile devices between now and 2011, Juniper Research has warned.
Juniper Research warns of pressure on mobile broadband networks
Notebooks, ereaders and similar devices will put increasing pressure on mobile broadband networks over the coming years, according to Juniper Research.

By 2016, almost one-quarter of all traffic generated by laptops, games consoles and other mobile gadgets will pass across mobile networks, the analyst firm claimed.

The annual volume of data loaded on to mobile infrastructure from these devices is expected to hit 7,500 petabytes in four years' time.

Commenting on the migration of traffic from fixed to mobile broadband networks, Juniper Research said the trend is largely down to the increasingly strong performance of cellular services, coupled with the low penetration of fixed lines in emerging markets.

In order to keep up with growing demand for mobile data, operators were urged by Juniper to invest in wireless backhaul and small cell technology.

Report author Nitin Bhas said another network capacity issue will come from smartphone tethering.

"Consumers are also tethering their mobile devices with laptops and netbooks for data connectivity, using unlimited-bundled data plans providing them with the advantage of requiring no modem, new configurations or any other gadgets," he explained.

"With the introduction of 4G speeds, users are expected to increasingly take advantage of tethering in the future."

Although 4G will deliver a substantial boost to network capacity, Juniper warned that the service is still comparatively expensive and has constrained resources, meaning it will need to be augmented with other systems.

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update 2011-16, global mobile data traffic increased 2.3-fold last year, representing the fourth successive year it has doubled.

In 2011, the mobile data growth rate was higher than expected, with the previous year's Cisco forecast predicting that the increase would stand at around 131 per cent.

At 597 petabytes, global mobile data consumption in 2011 was more than eight times greater than the total amount of internet traffic generated in 2000.

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