Data demand putting strain on mobile networks

The amount of data being transferred over mobile networks will double annually over the next four years, according to Cisco, putting existing networking infrastructure under pressure.

The networking equipment vendor’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) showed that global mobile data traffic will increase by a compound annual growth rate of 108% between now and 2014. This could provide an issue for mobile network providers, who will be tasked with ensuring their infrastructure can accommodate sharp upturns in data flow.

Cisco also forecasts that mobile video will account for almost two-thirds of this traffic, as more mobile device owners engage with services such as videoconferencing over IP and video-sharing platforms.

On top of the popularity of smartphones, such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, the introduction of other devices such as netbooks and tablet PCs to the consumer market is expected to push demand for mobile data services up yet further.

“The rapid consumer adoption of smartphones, netbooks, e-readers and web-ready video cameras, as well as machine-to-machine applications like e-health monitoring and asset tracking systems, is continuing to place unprecedented demands on mobile networks,” explained Doug Webster, senior director for service provider marketing at Cisco. Despite the unfavourable economic climate, he added, demand for mobile devices “remained high”.

The results of a separate investigation published by Gartner late last year showed that Nokia had the greatest global share in the smartphone market at 39.3%, although this was down from the 42.3% it recorded a year previous. BlackBerry manufacturer Research-in-Motion came in second at 20.8%, while iPhone vendor Apple had the third greatest share with 17.1%.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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Mobile Networks