Will FaceTime on coming iPhone 5 crash LTE networks?

Are the nation’s LTE wireless carriers ready for the video chat information crunch expected to return with the next-generation iPhone and alternative devices that area unit expected to launch this fall? The answer: It depends on whom you raise. Both AT&T and Verizon Wireless decline to mention whether or not they area unit prepared for the information crunch. Over the summer, each carriers introduced information sharing plans that analysts believe were regular to assist limit a surge in serious information use expected particularly with the utilization of Apple’s FaceTime period video chat software system on the iPhone. “If I were a carrier, i might be rather frightened by FaceTime,” same Jack Gold, associate degree analyst at J. GoldAssociates. “If everyone used FaceTime, information measure would go up dramatically, and therefore the user expertise would go down.” Imposing information sharing plans with set fees for specific numbers of gigabytes a month — and penalties for extraordinary the set amounts — may facilitate prime carriers AT&T and Verizon avoid information capability overload issues on their 4G LTE, and even 3G, networks, Gold said. “Requiring the information sharing plans is de facto simply differently for carriers to mention they’re limiting your access,” he added. AT&T has return vulnerable in recent days for saying set ups to want users to check in for a Mobile Share information plan so as to conduct FaceTime video chats over its current 3G and future cellular networks. FaceTime are going to be on the market for cellular network use, rather than simply over Wi-Fi, in mobile devices running the forthcoming iOS half-dozen, that Apple declared earlier this year. Sprint, the nation’s range 3 carrier, has stood solidly behinds its unlimited information plans, and is simply commencing to roll out 4G LTE technology. At a happening to mark the activation of its sixteenth LTE location in city earlier on, Sprint 4G engineering manager Viet Chu told reporters that “if some abuse the system [with serious information use] we might address it.” He did not specify what steps the carrier could take. Concerns regarding FaceTime’s impact on cellular networks area unit notably acute, partially as a result of the iPhone is that the prime marketing smartphone model worldwide and since consequent model can reportedly support LTE, which might facilitate build the device even additional well-liked. The future iPhone is additionally expected to own a bigger screen — quite 4-inches compared to this modle’s three.5-in. screen — which might build video chats easier. That creates issues for carriers as a result of like most two-way chat apps, FaceTime is a huge information measure hog. Video chat typically uses regarding three megabytes of information per minute, tho’ the precise rate depends on encoded software system, noted Wendy Cartee, vp of product and technical selling for JuniperNetworks. Juniper develops software system that carriers will use to boost information measure at cell tower locations. It conjointly sells a Universal Access router which will be put in at individual cellular tower locations to assist contour the information traffic at the purpose wherever it joins the backhaul link. Backhaul is that the wired (or fiber optic) section of a network between the wireless portion received at a cell tower and therefore the network core. Such merchandise from Juniper and alternative vendors like Cisco and Alcatel bright ought to facilitate U.S. carriers handle FaceTime, or alternative wealthy video applications on their LTE networks, Cartee same. “Carriers do set up for these styles of changes in apps,” she noted. “I’m trying forward to exploitation FaceTime over cellular.” LTE is additionally inherently quicker than 3G (generally LTE networks offer up to eight Mbps on downlinks and up to three Mbps on uplinks) and might typically handle additional capability than earlier-generation networks, analysts noted. Verizon offers LTE service in most of the geographic U.S. AT&T trails Verizon in coverage however has touted its GSM 3G HSPA speeds wherever its LTE networks are not prepared. Gold same information sharing valuation plans can facilitate AT&T and Verizon handle the information crunch the maximum amount because the new routers and alternative technology. “Before these information sharing limits, there was no reason for finish users to try and do any reasonably self-regulation,” he explained. “Now if they use lots of information, it’ll price them.” As a result, Gold same AT&T will not get the heated criticism it got for not having the ability to support the initial iPhone 5 years past over GSM. “Data capability are going to be abundant less of a problem with iPhone five than the primary time around, that kicked AT&T’s butt,” Gold same. Still, AT&T has expressed considerations regarding FaceTime information usage, noting its worries in a very web log post on that defended forcing FaceTime users onto its Mobile Share information plans rather than exploitation individual plans. “We area unit broadening our customers’ ability to use the preloaded version of FaceTime, however limiting it during this manner to our fresh developer AT&T Mobile Share information plans out of associate degree predominate concern for the impact this growth could wear our network and therefore the overall client expertise,” same Bob Quinn, senior vp for federal regulative matters, United Nations agency confined the web log post. He added: “We are going to be observance the impact the upgrade to the current well-liked preloaded app has on our mobile broadband network, and customers, too, are going to be in a very learning mode on precisely what quantity information FaceTime shoppers on those usage primarily based plans.” Nav Chander, associate degree analyst at IDC, same that AT&T’s web log post shows that the carrier is “being terribly, terribly careful” with FaceTime. “The web log tries to lower expectations, anticipating the worst case,” Chander same. Chander has conjointly caterpillar-tracked what he referred to as a colossal improvement in backhaul capabilities by U.S. carriers within the past 2 years. Generally, he same carriers have swollen by fifty times the backhaul capability in their networks since the primary iPhone was introduced. In several cases in dense urban areas, a twin copper T1 affiliation from a cell tower to the broader network (with a three Mbps capability) has been replaced by a fiber optic reference to one Gbps capability, he said. Chander conjointly noted a “huge increase” within the range of cell towers nationwide within the past 3 years. Often, one carrier can own a tower and lease it to many alternative carriers to permit them to connect antennas. Michael Howard, associate degree analyst at Infonetics, same carriers area unit ready for FaceTime on LTE — “for the foremost half. there’s atiny low probability that some areas in some town may get hit with some slowdowns, however I doubt the traffic upsurge owing to FaceTime can add any major issue just like the sudden surges of the initial iPhone rollouts.”