Report says mobile data delivery could cost operators $370B by 2016

The cost of delivering mobile data could jump seven times to $370 billion by 2016, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The firm is urging operators to offload more data traffic onto Wi-Fi networks as an effective cost-control method.

"Offloading the data traffic not only saves the operator money but also improves the quality of the user experience for both indoor and outdoor users," Nitin Bhas, research analyst for Juniper Research, told Total Telecom. This potential saving is generated due to offloading being more cost effective than building infrastructure."

Bhas said that not only are smartphones and connected devices driving up traffic, but also devices such as desktop computers and laptops that are increasingly connecting to mobile broadband networks via USB dongles and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.

But despite the sevenfold increase in data delivery costs forecasted, Bhas said the growth won't become the "data explosion" that many have postulated.

"According to our figures, the amount of mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets will exceed 14,000 Petabytes by 2015, equivalent to almost 18 billion movie downloads or 3 trillion music tracks," he said. "While data growth over the cellular network will be substantial, it will not be the 'data explosion' that some have anticipated."

For more:
- see this Total Telecom article

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