Home Asia-Pacific I 2013 The demand for information and the evolution of wireless

The demand for information and the evolution of wireless

by david.nunes
Yijing Brentano Issue:Asia-Pacific I 2013
Article no.:8
Topic:The demand for information and the evolution of wireless
Author:Yijing Brentano
Title:President of International Wholesale and Business Development
Organisation:Sprint
PDF size:399KB

About author

Yijing Brentano is the Vice President of International Wholesale and Business Development at Sprint. Prior to this position, Ms Brentano served in a number of roles of increasing responsibility at Sprint including as: Vice President Investor Relations; Finance Director for the Customer Equipment Business Unit; and Director of Staff Operations for the CFO. Prior to joining Sprint, Ms Brentano spent several years with Ernst & Young. Ms Brentano is a certified treasury professional and a member of the Association for Financial Professionals.
Ms. Brentano was named among Ingram’s 40 Under Forty. Kansas City Business magazine named her one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Kansas City and she won the Women of Color Technology Award, Ms Brentano serves on the boards of the Central Exchange, Blue Valley Educational Foundation and the Kansas City Asian Chamber of Commerce among others.

Yijing Brentano holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with highest distinction from the University of Kansas and a Master of Business Administration with high honors from the University of Chicago.

Article abstract

The insatiable appetite for information and content is forcing the rapid evolution of network and device technology. By 2016, 10 billion mobile devices will generate 10.8 exabytes of mobile data per month. Although desktop computers sparked broadband’s initial growth, laptops – which need wirelessly connections to become truly portable – created the need for 3G and 4G networks. Today, it is the advent of smartphones with Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android mobile operating systems that is the main driver of 4G.

 

Full Article

There is a data explosion taking place across the globe and one thing is abundantly clear – the insatiable appetite for information and content will continue to force the rapid evolution of network and device technology.

Cisco Systems estimates data usage for 2012 will be around 1.3 exabytes per month and by 2016 mobile data should exceed 10.8 exabytes per month. An Exabyte is one thousand petabytes or one million terabytes. In its annual Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, Cisco reported data consumption in 2016 will be eight times higher than predicted for 2012.

The number of mobile devices will also increase to more than ten billion worldwide – more than one unit for every person on the planet. These are staggering statistics.

In the Asia Pacific region, India’s once-a-decade census (released March 2012) has turned up some mind-boggling numbers: population grew this past decade by 181 million – that’s almost the total population of Brazil! India now has more than 1.2 billion people and is on track to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation by 2030.

According to Cisco’s VNI (Visual Networking Index) Study from February of this year – China will account for over ten per cent of global mobile data traffic in 2016, up from less than five percent in 2011. It makes perfect sense that Analysis Mason, in their study, The emerging Asia-Pacific telecoms market: trends and forecasts 2011-2016, suggests that “mobile data on smartphones, USB modems and tablets will be the key driver of telecoms retail revenue in emerging Asia-Pacific markets during 2011-2016”.

As we have seen with the introduction of 4G in the United States, high-bandwidth connectivity that was once available only via fixed wireline has developed into a wireless tidal wave to enable mobile workforces and many more assets. Broadband has become a force of efficiency-expanding speed. In fact, compared to the early days of broadband, wireless has achieved the sort of far-reaching results initially expected of fixed broadband, enabling capabilities that can have a transformative effect on operations, cost structure and market-making strategy itself.

But the questions remains; how did we get here?

Initial demand projections for data were way too high,
In the late 1990s we were talking about video and data demand as one of the main drivers for huge global capacity build-out. TAT-14, CHINA-US, Southern Cross, Japan-US, Maya I and Maya II to name a few were in the early stages of laying fiber across the globe.

At the time, the Internet was just taking off and in most cases the only broadband access available was through tethered desktop and laptop computers. Service providers could see that meeting capacity was going to be a challenge, but they did not foresee that demand would be slower than predicted. By 2000, total global Internet traffic had only grown to one eighth the volume of mobile data traffic alone in 2011. When demand did not come close to the projections, service providers were left with a huge amounts of excess capacity. There were capacity fire sales, cable consortium members lost millions, and companies went out of business.

Desktop computers kick start broadband demand

The advent of the Mosaic point-and-click interface for computers in the early 1990s brought the Internet to the masses. Coupled with browser creation and Microsoft’s support for Internet applications, the Internet began growing at a rate of 100 percent per year.

By the late 1990s there were approximately 10,000 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) around the world, but most only provided local service and relied on access to regional and national ISPs for wider connectivity.

America Online, Inc. was became a global dial-up ISP with branches in Australia, Asia, Europe, and South America. Many new state-owned ISPs entered the business in large national markets, such as China, India, and Indonesia, and the ISPs quickly surpassed the subscriber base of any traditional commercial ISP.

Mobile computing built a need for 3G/4G as spectrum becomes rare

The laptop liberated the mobile workforce, but a laptop does little good if it must be tethered to a data jack.

Demand for wirelessly connected laptops was the next step in the organic evolution of data demand and a large reason why companies built out 3G networks.

The availability 3G networks also brought more power to handsets so we saw a rise in more complex and robust applications on handsets. The undeniable advantages of mobility drove rapid broadband deployment and soaring adoption rates for broadband-based mobile applications.

By arming sales forces and others with smart devices, we extended database access and corporate applications beyond the office to virtually any customer mobile device. The coupling of broadband with GPS created a mini-revolution in the way companies track assets and people.
Companies further exploit broadband by using cloud services for software applications, video conferencing and real-time traffic alerts, weather, driving directions and location specific information. These features empower the mobile workforce to do more from anywhere.

Business managers take performance to another level by use these systems as strategic tools. The more broadband applications diffuse into the business environment, the more impressive the return in terms of savings, operational efficiency, positive customer interactions and, most significantly, innovative products and services.

Mobile operating systems

The advent of smartphones with such sophisticated operating systems as Apple’s iOS and Google Android has created an insatiable desire for mobile broadband data for work and infotainment services.

The new user interface for these operating systems was so powerful that it bled over into other devices. The introduction of tablet computing devices has put a further strain on the pipe. In 2011, the number of mobile-connected tablets tripled to 34 million, and each tablet generated 3.4 times more traffic than the average smartphone. While smartphones represent only 12 percent of total global handsets today, they drive over 82 per cent of global total handset data traffic.

The tablet concept had been tried in the mid and late 1990s but failed due to size, weight and primitive touch screen interfaces. New user interfaces reignited and propelled the tablet industry forward.

For the past several years, we have seen a surge towards the next stage of broadband – fully integrated, dispersed broadband. Although dispersed broadband involves many factors, its leading edge is arguably machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.

M2M is inherently complex, but it’s based on a straightforward premise: a variety of ingenious – sometimes transformative – uses can be created by using broadband to connect a vast array of devices as diverse as smart meters, signboards, high-definition cameras, remote sensors, laptops and appliances. While the M2M revolution continues, broadband pipes become increasingly constrained. Using wireless 3G networks for so many purposes, with such a wide variety of devices and applications has lead to spectrum challenges, which clamp down the pipe and limit throughput.

Today, the smartphone is king, as applications drive demand and device evolution leads end users to say ‘look what I can do on my device’ instead of ‘look what my device can do’.

People are cutting the cord in greater numbers, transferring demand from the wireline infrastructure onto the wireless network, further tightening the clamp on the pipe.

This increased consumption requires a bigger pipe. Enter 4G, the wireless service that offers the speed and capacity you need, when you need it most. In 2011, a 4G connection generated an average of 28 times more traffic than slower connections. Service providers now use 4G to generate more revenue by selling premium mobile value-added services such as music, videos, e-books and gaming.

The initial promise of demand

The demand trajectories for broadband have finally caught up with the projections that were made in the late 1990s, driven by the unforeseen, but now rapidly mounting, desire for applications and wireless content. This demand further drives an equally rapid evolution in the application and device ecosystem.

4G networks are being built all over the world to support innumerable devices, everywhere, with almost any application you can think of.

The uses for M2M continue to grow as utilities are implementing SmartGrid solutions for remote meter reading. Public safety agencies are protecting citizens by more closely monitoring hazardous conditions and potentially dangerous offenders. Insurance companies are using connected in-vehicle devices that monitor driving behavior and can adjust rates accordingly. And auto manufacturers, like Chrysler in the U.S., are ‘humanizing’ in-vehicle technologies by making dashboard technology as simple, intuitive and appealing as the smartphone experience is for people on the move.

This is only a brief sampling of broadband’s role in satisfying the enterprise thirst for productivity, innovation and an accelerated return on investment. It is imperative that service providers deliver a robust, efficient, fast, global, wireline infrastructure to support all of this traffic. Wireline expands as wireless demands.

Maybe the time is now to begin building pipes within pipes that will deliver the capacity needed to support the broadband demands of tomorrow.

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