Will 90% of Mobile Traffic Be Terminated on Wi-Fi?

Public Wi-Fi hotspots will represent about 22 percent of tier-one mobile operator mobile Internet facilities in 2013, according to a survey of 200 executives in the Wi-Fi ecosystem. The survey respondents also believe that 78 percent of new small cell capacity will feature public Wi-Fi capabilities as well.

Public Wi-Fi capacity added by mobile service providers will grow at a 13 percent compound annual growth rate between 2012 and 2018, representing an additional  10.5 million sites in 2018.

The Asia-Pacific region will account for 55 percent of the deployments by 2018.

The total installed base of public Wi-Fi hotspots will reach over 55 million, globally, in 2018.

Residential access points where some capacity is left open for public access, is likely to top 100 million nodes by the end of 2018, the survey finds.

Outdoor hotspots were expected to drive most of the deployments, 46 percent of the respondents said.

As you might expect, the business model was a key issue for executives considering wider use of public Wi-Fi as part of the mobile network infrastructure, according to the Wireless Broadband Alliance.

If those forecasts are correct, one wonders how much traffic actually will be terminated using the mobile networks, since some mobile service providers already find that up to 80 percent of total traffic is terminated on a Wi-Fi network, mostly at-home or at-work fixed networks.

If just 10 percent of mobile network traffic is shifted to public Wi-Fi, it conceivable that 90 percent of total mobile handset traffic will be terminated on Wi-Fi networks, public and private.

The  survey of about 200 Wi-Fi ecosystem players was conducted by Maravedis-Rethink.

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