Clogged Mobile Networks May Be No More

Clogged Mobile Networks May Be No MoreLike the opposite of a cloud with a silver lining, the iPhone drew numerous new signups for AT&T but also caused network clogs that has infamously turned off Big Blue customers in major cities. Other cellular companies are in danger of similar woes, especially with the explosion of high-end Android smartphones this year. But according to a new report from ABI Research, mobile service providers are on top of the problem, with various solutions promising a huge rise in the amount of mobile data that will be offloaded within the next five years. This promises faster, more pleasant mobile Internet usage for consumers, ensuring that mobile will remain the most desired way for marketers to reach them.

Think of it as a choice between Liquid-Plumr, Drano, a DIY vinegar-and-baking-soda solution, or an array of drain snakes for plumbing blockages. “Each of these offload and optimization technologies is aimed at solving a particular problem and they will all coexist,” said ABI Research practice director Aditya Kaul.

He explained: “Wi-Fi is effective in covering limited areas containing many users, such as transport stations and sports venues. A femtocell, in contrast, is a good solution for targeting small numbers of heavy data users. Mobile CDNs (content delivery networks)¬†attack the problem of frequently-used content, for example a video that has ‘gone viral,’ by caching the file locally rather than loading it onto the network for each download request.”

At present, 16 percent of data is diverted from mobile networks, but by 2015 48 percent of mobile data will be offloaded, according to ABI Research. In addition, data traffic itself will have grown by a factor of 30, meaning that the amount of offloaded data will expand 100-fold. Media optimization, or data compression, is currently the most widely-used method of data traffic reduction, and will continue to be a main solution.

Marketers who use mobile video, or whose campaigns require consumers to stream or download large packets of data, should rest a little easier.