Data offload vital for cellcos

Michael Carroll
03 Aug 2011
Daily News

Global mobile operators must ramp up their use of offload technologies to offset a predicted seven-fold rise in data delivery costs, Juniper Research warns.

The research firm predicts data delivery costs will grow from $53 billion in 2010 to at least $370 billion in 2016 as data traffic surges, and states carriers cannot rely on LTE networks alone to maintain their balance sheets.

While Juniper says the surging costs make utilizing offload technologies including Wi-Fi and femtocells crucial, it also notes that changes are required to infrastructure at the base station level – particularly in emerging markets, where many operators currently rely on diesel-powered generators in remote sites.

Principal analyst Windsor Holden points out that switching from diesel to renewable energy holds economic benefits in addition to the obvious environmental boon. “[N]ot only will MNOs markedly cut their operating costs, but they will follow sustainable business practices which reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Other options including network sharing will also help cut costs, while energy consumption can be reduced through use of feederless sites and remote radio heads.

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