Virgin Media calls for mobile broadband network improvements

Friday, August 26th 2011
Virgin Media has underlined the need for an improved mobile broadband network to cope with rising traffic levels.
Virgin Media calls for mobile broadband network improvements
Virgin Media has highlighted the need for greater investment in improving the UK's mobile broadband infrastructure in order to meet skyrocketing demand for the services.

Lee Hull, public sector director for the internet service provider (ISP), noted that "huge strain" is being placed on the UK's mobile networks at present, due to the setup being unable to cope with the amount of data users are currently consuming.

He highlighted figures collated by Ofcom earlier this month showing that mobile data traffic has increased 40 times during the last three years, as people grow increasingly used to sending emails, streaming videos or accessing cloud-based applications on the go.

As such, consumers and businesses alike have become reliant on mobile broadband connections, a trend that is only set to continue in the coming years.

However, Mr Hull said this could create problems down the line as networks slow down during busy periods, creating "digital traffic jams" that form an impediment to smooth internet usage.

"Just like on the roads, there are two ways that you can prevent traffic jams from forming. You can either encourage people to drive less ... or you can add an extra lane, creating more room for traffic to flow," he explained.

As such, the Virgin Media representative called for operators to increase their investment in high-capacity fibre optic backhaul services to handle these growing mobile data demands.

The need for improved mobile broadband services in the UK was also highlighted this week by the results of a new survey of 3G notspots in Britain, conducted by Epitiro on behalf of BBC News.

According to the study, testers around the country were able to receive 3G signals only 75 per cent of the time, despite claims by operators that coverage extends to 90 per cent of the UK or more.

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