Wi-Fi Will Carry Most of the Data Traffic for Telcos
As data traffic continues to grow, telecommunications operators must begin considering Wi-Fi as an integrated technology. This growth will be driven by a growing number of smartphone users and the apps, video and IoT they engage with on their devices.
According to a report published by UK-based Juniper Research, “Mobile Data Offload & Onload,” this year will see almost 60% of all mobile data traffic be offloaded to Wi-Fi and other local networks. Carrier-grade hotspots will soon outnumber “best-effort” access points installed. This will be one of the main drivers of growth in the industry over the next few years, so managed Wi-Fi is going to be a necessity.
Nitin Bhas, the report’s author, says that video streaming, including on-demand services, is one of the things driving data offloading to Wi-Fi networks. While a 4G connection need not necessarily mean more data usage, consumers are in fact adapting to faster speeds and more data services, which could lead to more data usage,” he says.
The need to integrate Wi-Fi into the telco’s plans can lead to significant cost savings. More importantly, Wi-Fi also improves the connectivity experience for end users through increased coverage. This in turn increases user demand for the telco services which translates into realized revenue opportunities for service providers.