During the past few years, the mobile industry has been reporting a significant increase in the usage of mobile data services after a slow initial uptake. In fact, there is a growing risk that data traffic will strain the capacity of wireless networks, and that networks will not be able to remain profitable while supporting services that generate low revenue per megabyte.

In a recent interview with the BBC1, Matthew Key, Chief Executive of O2, claimed that the data traffic in their network has been doubling every three and a half months for the last year. A recent report2 from Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) suggests over 150 Terabytes of mobile data traffic is currently generated per week and it has been growing at the rate of 2TB/week. Such fast growth is driven by a combination of factors, which are described in more detail on the following pages:

  • Impact of High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
  • Fixed price bundles
  • Increasing penetration of USB modems
  • Growing popularity of smartphones
  • Popularity of App Stores
  • UMTS900
  • Digital dividend.

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