63% of mobile traffic to be offloaded to Wi-Fi and Femtocells by 2015


63% of traffic generated by Smartphones, Tablets and Feature Phones will transfer onto the fixed network via Wi-Fi and Femtocells by 2015 says a new Juniper Research paper.

According to the Mobile Data Offload & Onload report, 9000 petabytes (PB) will be offloaded from operators’ networks via WiFi and Femtocells, equating to a whopping 11 billion movie downloads.

By 2015, total mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets is expected to exceed 14,000 PB.

As we draw closer to 2015 the traffic being offloaded will begin to peter off as developed markets accelerate their uptake of LTE, says the report, however, despite this, the volume of data traffic offloaded from mobile networks will remain significant over the next five years.

“As a high percentage of mobile data consumption occurs while indoors or in motion, operators have an opportunity to offload data traffic onto complementary fixed networks via WiFi and Femtocells,” said report author Nitin Bhas. “Offloading also has the potential for creating new services and applications and enhancing the usage of existing services,” he added.

Interestingly enough, while Juniper’s report notes that WiFi currently accounts for over 98% of the traffic offloaded, Femtocells are set to steadily increase in proportion over the forecast period, with the highest penetration of femtocells for Data Offload predicted for North America. On the whole, however, mobile data offloaded via WiFi from operators’ networks is expected to reach almost 90% of total data offloaded.

The report advises operators to see offloading solutions as complementary to their 3G/4G network investments, which could eventually offer the opportunity to seize market share and revenues from fixed line operators, pushing them beyond the confines of mobile and making their 3G/4G business case profitable.

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Sylvie Barak