47% of Mobile data traffic staying on Mobile Networks

Products Team

4/26/2011 1:20 PM

Industry Mobile Internet Analysis

Mark Bridge at thefonecast.com writes the following concerning recent analysis of mobile data trends from Juniper Research.

"New figures from Juniper Research suggest that 63% of data traffic generated by smartphones, tablets and feature phones will be carried by fixed networks - via WiFi and Femtocells - by 2015. This annual amount of mobile data traffic ‘offloaded' from mobile networks is expected to reach nearly 9000 petabytes by 2015, the equivalent of 11 billion movie downloads.

However, the introduction of LTE technology means that Juniper Research expects the percentage of traffic offloaded in developed markets to diminish towards the end of the forecast period - although the total volume of data traffic offloaded from mobile networks will continue to grow strongly as the amount of data traffic delivered to mobile devices accelerates. Total mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets is forecast to exceed 14,000PB by 2015.

Nitin Bhas, author of the report, said “As a high percentage of mobile data consumption occurs while indoors or in motion, operators have an opportunity to offload data traffic onto complementary fixed networks via WiFi and Femtocells. Offloading also has the potential for creating new services and applications and enhancing the usage of existing services.”

WiFi currently accounts for over 98% of offloaded traffic, with femtocells expected to account for an increasing proportion over the forecast period."

This still leaves 47% of mobile data travelling over a mobile network where high contention and latency will have a significant impact on mobile web application performance. It's better to start now with an optimized design than wait for the technology to catch up.