Rush Hour for Mobile Broadband Predicted
With fourth-generation technologies like LTE opening up new features and more efficient, faster access from your mobile to the internet many more people have switched from the big clunky computers to the slim and sleek mobile to keep in touch with their social media. The speeds we are enjoying are around 62 Mbps in some areas and even a theoretical 162 Mbps with LTE-A. But with the natural limitations will the speeds we are coming to expect continue or will it all be limited at certain times of the day? The situation appears grim when taken in to account the nearly billion smartphone shipments estimated for this year. And with the popularity the smartphones have, it is estimated that we will continue to spike in the production and need for more broadband.
Deloitte has recently completed a study and published their findings to the public. They believe by 2016 an estimated 50-fold that may be more than companies can expand to keep up with. The report suggests “In the worst situations, download speeds may be under 1Mbps for lengthy periods of time, making video streaming impossible and even web browsing difficult.” This worst case scenario suggests might make some people think of the days prior to broad band when it was phone or internet. These speeds we are looking at might make us need to retry to get a page to come up or not being able get a call to go through on the first or second try.
Hearing these possible issues Governments are trying to pass regulations to grant new spectrum allocations to mobile carriers for their growing broadband demands and requirements. Often times these regulations are designed to open up rural areas but mainly to decongest the demand in heavily populated areas. However the study also suggests, “demand for wireless bandwidth will likely attempt to outstrip these improvements in supply for at least several years.” Even so it is suggested that 4G with its efficient usage of what broadband is available will help but not completely solve the upcoming problem.
The report says that smartphones — mainly the Android, iOS and Windows Phone brands — take up 35% more broadband usage than most of the ‘normal’ simple phones. Given the amount of usage and the amount of data that that is estimated to be available the situation we are looking at is like taking an eight lane highway during rush hour and forcing all that traffic into a two lane highway. This is not likely to be a 24/7 situation even in the worst case scenarios but when everyone is getting home from work and at times cell usage isn’t likely to cause an issue with bosses, the amount of available broadband will suffer as more these people sign in and start browsing.
So what does this mean for the consumer exactly? With this possibility of hours where mobile net and phone are slow and unreliable it becomes clear that this is yet another resource we need to care of and treat well.