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LTE causes data use surge

  • Posted by Michael Carroll
  • August 3, 2012 3:19 PM BST

That might seem an odd title for an article on TelcoProfessionals - of course LTE spurs data use -, but bear with me.

Fresh research conducted by Mobidata and Informa Telecoms and Media suggests LTE may drive mobile data usage up by 50% in some markets where the technology is commercially available. Driling down into the report, the point being made is that LTE is so good, many people are using cellular connections instead of Wi-Fi.

Again, this all sounds great. After all, that's the whole point of the latest evolution of mobile technology.

But in practice, it could create a nightmare.

If everyone who currently mostly accesses the web via Wi-Fi starts shifting to cellular, 4G networks could end up as congested as the 3G variants they're designed to surpass. Such congestion has obvious ramifications - first on quality of service, and next on customer's perceptions of your network/service.

I'm not suggesting 4G be dumbed down, but rather that operators manage expectations so consumers see the new technology as part of an overall fixed/mobile internet experience and don't all rush to connect at once.