WiFi and femtocells to help mobile data offloading

As mobile data growth continues to exceed expectation, operators will need to quickly review their plans for data offloading. A new study from ABI Research claims that about 16 per cent of mobile data is diverted from mobile networks today, and that is expected to increase to 48 per cent by 2015.

However, ABI analysts believe that data traffic itself will have grown by a factor of 30 by 2015, meaning offloaded data will expand 100-fold.

The research firm maintains that expanding the macro network is not the answer and suggests that operators must consider WiFi, femtocells, mobile content delivery networks, media optimisation, and other options to stop the melt-down of their cellular networks.

According to Aditya Kaul, ABI Research practice director, data offloading saves money as well as relieving network traffic. "WiFi and femtocells in particular do that [save money] at a tiny fraction of the per-Gigabyte cost of a 3G network." Article