Operators are making a critical shift away from voice-centric networking to Internet protocol (IP) data-centric networking just to capture new revenue and improve user experience. IP-based networking provides the foundation to enable interoperability between 3GPP networks with non-3GPP networks, such as Wi-Fi, through utilization of standard protocols. ANDSF standards aim to make network transitions seamless for end users while making network traffic manageable for service providers.
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Are mobile network operators ready for the inevitable data storm coming from the 10 billion devices expected to run bandwidth-hungry premium services? Can operators keep subscribers happy with today’s growing network congestion problems?
There is a way operators can attempt to achieve network congestion relief without spending tens of millions on new infrastructure.
Last weekend, I went to the grand opening of a restaurant. On the menu, I noticed a bottle of wine that had previously been recommended by a friend, who happens to work at a winery. Having enjoyed her suggestions before, I was eager to try this one, too. As they often do when you buy a bottle, the waiter opened it and poured a sampling into my glass. I swirled it around in my glass and eagerly took a sip. It was ... terrible. The wine tasted like vinegar, probably because of a bad cork.
The latest smartphones have completely changed how people handle day-to-day life. I admit I’m an addict: from the morning alarm, which I’ve synchronized with my kids’ schedules, to my daily task list, which includes work and weekend activities, I use my phone from sun-up to bedtime. Appointments get plugged into my smartphone calendar, which also sync up to my laptop calendar.
At any moment, I pull out my smartphone and get answers to nearly any question. When I have a little down time, my phone is a comprehensive entertainment source, complete with mindbenders, social media, streaming movies, and music. I’m on the extreme end, but the masses are catching up, as noted in this recent article in The New York Times:
The message is everywhere: a “data tsunami” is upon us and Wi-Fi offload is the answer. But is it a tsunami that operators should fear? There is no doubt that the mobile data traffic level continues to rise, but research shows that data traffic behaves more like a series of geysers that erupt intermittently—in multiple locations—and at several times during the day.
The good news for operators? Unlike a tsunami, geysers are narrowly focused and can be managed.