Two studies, one by vendor Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and another by the GSMA Association, solidify what most of the industry already knew: Mobile data traffic is surging and more and more wireless operators are committing to HSPA+ deployments.
The GSMA study, completed by the GSMA's Wireless Intelligence service, reported that more than 100 operators globally have committed to HSPA+, and that HSPA+ now accounts for 15 to 20 percent of the 300 commercial HSPA deployments worldwide. Approximately 58 networks have been upgraded to HSPA+ in the past 18 months, the study said.
Meanwhile, Ericsson reported that global mobile data traffic tripled last year, growing more than 10 times faster than voice. Ericsson CTO Hakan Eriksson predicted that if mobile data traffic continues to double annually for the next 10 years, there could be 1,000 times the data traffic in 2020. Nevertheless, Eriksson said carriers are reticent to invest in mobile broadband infrastructure because they still generate higher margins with voice traffic than data traffic.
He argued that it is possible to provide mobile broadband profitably through a combination of additional spectrum, new base stations and enhanced technologies.
GSMA predicts 15% spike in mobile broadband investment
Ericsson CEO: future revenue growth from mobile broadband
T-Mobile expands HSPA+ to 25 markets, will call it '4G'
AT&T's Stankey defends carrier's pace on HSPA+, LTE moves
AT&T chides T-Mobile for 'misleading' 4G marketing on HSPA+
AT&T now planning widespread deployment of HSPA+; LTE timeframe stays the same