It seems that every month brings a new forecast for the growth of mobile data – this month, it was the turn of Ericsson to provide their estimates based on their experience in hundreds of networks around the world. Perhaps not surprisingly, the largest contributor to mobile data traffic was online video, which has been identified as a key factor in a number of reports.
A natural question that arises from the ongoing increase in the consumption of mobile data is, what does it all mean? The GSMA has provided insight with some research in conjunction with Deloitte. Their report (available here , suggests that when data consumption doubles, GDP per capita can increase by 0.5%.
That suggests there are significant economic upside benefits that benefit a country at large from increased data consumption – and not just individual users. It also suggests that there is scope for increasing growth by measures and programmes to increase data consumption. On this basis, an operator that invested in solutions that increased data consumption would not only be deriving benefits directly, it would also be benefiting the national economy.
The question is, how can operators increase data consumption to meet these goals? Of course, they need to do it profitably. Well, consider the initial observation, that online video is a key engine for consumption. If operators can deliver a richer experience and ensure optimised performance, then they may stimulate further service uptake, two goals that are often cited as being inimical.
In fact, ensuring an optimised user experience is fundamental to all efforts to increase consumption. Because of the cost of capacity, operators can’t simply deploy more infrastructure to support increased consumption, so they try to balance consumption against resources. But by delivering better optimisation, they may be able to drive uptake while better managing resource deployment.
This is what we have seen in commercial deployment of the GoS 360° solution. By deploying GoS, our customer has been able to save millions of dollars of CAPEX while still delivering capacity and performance for their users. A better experience will lead to more consumption overall, but in a way that can be managed.
It’s a difficult balancing act, but there are ways to address this. And, it’s good to know that they benefit all the stakeholders – individual users, the operators and society as a whole.