Mobile providers prepare Wi-Fi and Femtocell data offload

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices, coupled with the unlimited data bundles from network operators, has led to network congestion and deteriorating network quality according to a new report.

According to Juniper Research, providers are considering offloading some of this to Wi-Fi and Femtocell technology, so there is a huge growth in the area.

As a result, the annual mobile data traffic offloaded from operators’ networks via Wi-Fi and Femtocells is predicted reach around 9000 petabytes (PB) by 2015,  this equates to the equivalent of around 11 billion film downloads.

The high number is because around 63 percent of traffic generated by smartphones and tablets will transfer onto the network by 2015, as more and more people begin to download data from indoors.

The company also finds that the percentage of traffic offloaded in developed markets will fall towards the end of 2015, and will begin to plateau in several other regions due to the accelerating take-up of LTE.  

That said, the volume of data traffic offloaded from mobile networks will continue to grow strongly throughout the next five years as the total volume of data traffic delivered to mobile devices accelerates.

Wi-Fi currently accounts for over 98 percent of the traffic offloaded, however, Femtocells will account for a “steadily increasing proportion over the forecast period”.

The highest penetration of femtocells for data offload will occur in North America.

Mobile data is growing at a high rate due to 3G and 4G like LTE, and the doomed WiMAX. These have helped mobile data traffic grow “at an unprecedented pace” and increasingly outstrip network capacity.

Network operators are also increasingly introducing data services.The result is a network so congested there have been reports of full network crashes, the worst being in London and New York, according to Juniper.

As the market for mobile commerce, plus portable video technology, all begin to demand more and more data the load will get heavier. All these factors mean that operators will be looking at the likes of Wi-Fi and Femtocells to decrease their traffic loads.