Cisco sees 26-fold wireless data increase in 5 years

Mobile operators will increase mobile data traffic 26 times between 2010 and 2015 according to the latest forecast from “Cisco Visual Networking Index. Will wireless carriers be ready for it?

That’s the big question. The prediction of strong increases in traffic load is not totally unexpected. Wireless carriers have been preparing for the traffic increases, adding more capacity not only of their radio networks, but also on the new route networks that carry traffic from Internet radio towers.

By 2015, Cisco says that mobile data traffic will increase to 6.3 exabytes of data or about 1 billion gigabytes of data per month. The report indicates that two thirds of the data traffic in mobile networks in 2015 will come from video services. This trend follows a similar trend in the growth of traditional broadband traffic. And it suggests that as networks get faster wireless devices, more processing power with larger screens and better, people are increasingly more video on the fly.

“What we’re seeing here is a true convergence,” said Doug Webster, senior director of marketing for “Cisco worldwide service provider. “We talked about this for a long time, but reality is starting to happen, where people are doing all the things they used to do in broadband connections at home when you are driving.”

But according to the results of Cisco, the mobile data traffic is growing faster than the traditional fixed broadband based. In 2010, the data traffic grew by 159 percent, which is about 3.3 times faster than traditional fixed broadband. And it was higher than the growth rate of 149 percent of Cisco had predicted in previous reports Visual Networking Index. However, over the next five years, growth should decrease, the Cisco report says. For example, annual growth rates are expected to range from 131 percent in 2011 to 64 percent in 2015.

So what is driving the growth? The main driver of the first is the proliferation of mobile devices, said Suraj Shetty, vice president of marketing for Cisco. Last year, the rate of Cisco’s installed base expected to increase smartphone 22 percent in 2010, but data from Informa Telecoms and Media says the number of smartphones in use grew 32 percent during the year, Cisco said .

Besides the increased adoption of smartphones, there was a sharp rise of smartphones that have the highest usage profile: iPhones and Android phones. The number of iPhones and Android in use grew 72 percent in 2010, bringing the combined share of IOS and Android smartphones 23 percent versus 11 percent in 2009.

And the trend is only expected to continue, especially as other smartphones devices that are added to the mix. By 2015, it is expected that 5.6 million mobile and 1.5 billion from machine to machine devices in the world. These devices include mobile phones and cameras connected to the Internet, grid-connected cars, tablets, laptops and devices.

In addition to simply have more devices connected to wireless networks, most of these devices also have better computing capabilities, he said Shetty. We’re starting to do with smartphones running dual-core processors. The screens of mobile devices are also becoming bigger and clearer. Not only are the tablets came to the scene, but smart phones are getting larger and more capable of computing devices available today.

Network speeds are also increasing, as mobile operators move to new generations of technology. In the U.S. wireless operators are talking about their wireless networks “4G”, which can provide download speeds of anywhere between 5 Mbps and 20 Mbps, depending on the technology used. T-Mobile USA and AT & T have their HSPA +. And Verizon Wireless has its LTE network. (AT & T also plans to launch an LTE network this year.) And Sprint Nextel offers a WiMax network.

Report Cisco says the network doubled in 2010 and speeds will only increase over the next five years with average download speeds of 10-fold increase expected in 2015.

Networks faster, higher capacity devices with better displays, and the simple fact that no more devices in five years means that wireless consumers to use more resources.

“There will be more devices with larger screens and better processors that allow multiple applications running simultaneously, and the predominant type of network traffic will be video,” said Shetty. “These trends are all united and have a significant impact on the network.”

What it means for mobile operators is that they need to find a way to keep up with increasing demands on their networks. In the wireless world, the need to keep up with growing demand means a need for more wireless spectrum. Companies like T-Mobile says it has enough spectrum today to meet current growth projections. But they say more is needed on the road.

This is why the Federal Communications Commission is working to obtain an additional 500 MHz of wireless technology on the market in the next decade with a plan for 300 MHz spectrum to be released in the next five years.

However, the addition of more spectrum takes time and will not be enough to solve the capacity crunch that wireless carriers will likely face in the coming years. Shetty said that wireless operators have to be more efficient in how to use their network resources. Shetty said Cisco has technology that can help mobile operators to improve network efficiency.

“There are many demands and challenges that companies face to meet demand,” he said. “Cisco can help to better engineer the network. And we can scale the network.”

But companies also need to invest in other network technologies to help meet demand. This will likely include download traffic on femto cell and Wi-Fi.

It can also mean a change in business models to encourage consumers to use mobile data more efficiently. Last June, AT & T removed the unlimited data plan and began offering a range of service levels, data usage caps. Other mobile operators in the U.S. have not followed yet. But Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless serviceHas indicated that it will move to differential pricing. If you get rid of an unlimited number of all remains unknown. But the company is likely to increase the price of unlimited if he keeps everything.

The other wild card in this whole scenario are the tablets and other devices. The more people in the world today have cell phones that have electricity, Tablet PC devices such as the ability to eat more because they can not do much more than many mobile phones.

Do not take the tablets for nearly the same amount in the world that has a significant effect on network load. For example, a smart phone generates about 24 times more data in a wireless phone for basic functions. However, a pill generates consumption of about 122 times more data than a basic feature phone, according to Cisco.

Webster said that a year ago, the tablets were not on the radar screen when it comes to predicting the future growth of mobile data. But with the introduction of the Apple iPad last year and now a growing number of Tablet PC, the category is expected to have a significant effect on patterns of data usage over the next five years.

“Last year was zero data traffic in the network of Tablet PC,” said Webster. “And it was basically out of nowhere to become a major contributor to traffic of the mobile network by 2015. This is indicative of how dynamic this market is a ramp type of device so quickly. It has huge implications architectural. “