LTE to make the capacity crunch issue worse – Wi-Fi is the answer
4G is not the answer to solving the problem of increasing strain on mobile broadband networks, stated the head of network intelligence specialist Ipoque.
Hendrick Schulze, Ipoque president and CTO, told Smart Chimps that 4G networks will in fact make the capacity crunch issue worse by encouraging even more use of mobile broadband by data-hungry consumers.
Schulze explained: '4G will not solve the bandwidth problem; it will make it worse. 4G will operate like a new highway; soon it will be clogged with traffic.
'Users are using more communications devices and need and want higher bandwidth. People can exceed their LTE data quota in seconds! The only thing mobile operators can do is for 3G operators to improve the quality of their networks, and 4G operators to control the flow of traffic,' continued Schulze.
Schulze said Ipoque's role is to help mobile operators manage the flow of traffic over their networks: 'Mobile operators can protect people from exceeding their quotas using rules to block or change apps that are eating up data, or by telling the user they have nearly used up their quota and should buy more. We help them protect the backbone of the network against overload by using deep packet inspection to prioritise different applications in different ways to keep the service moving.'
However, Keith Cornell, global wireless industry expert, warned: 'Deep packet inspection is about how important is what I'm delivering? But at the same time, to inspect anything takes time and that causes latency.'
Instead, Cornell claimed mobile operators should move as much traffic as possible to Wi-Fi to save their networks from further strain. 'W-Fi offload is a huge advantage for operators. Any time you move traffic off the network and onto Wi-Fi, the better, as it means the operator doesn't need to build more kit.'
He pointed to Vodafone which bought Cable & Wireless last summer for approximately £1 billion, commenting that Vodafone did this as it required the backhaul that Cable & Wireless has provided it with.
Cornell added that with around 80% of mobile phone calls made indoors, which pressures networks further due to poor indoor coverage, Wi-Fi is the answer. 'The best thing to do is offload people straight away. Get them off the network.'