Mobile broadband networks face congestion, study warns

Dylan Bushell-Embling
29 Jul 2009

Mobile broadband subscribers use their internet connections in much the same way as fixed-line users, according to research from Allot Communications.

Subscribers also expect the same quality of experience regardless of their access method.

"Mobile broadband networks [thus] face the same challenges as fixed networks - increasing bandwidth demands and subsequent congestion, bandwidth-hungry applications"&brkbar; and the ability of a few subscribers to monopolize bandwidth resources," the report states.

"In the mobile network, these problems are exacerbated by the network infrastructure where the cells themselves can become bandwidth bottlenecks. "

HTTP browsing is the most popular application globally, with usage increasing by 21% over the quarter. As with fixed-line access, the fastest growing category is HTTP streaming, with usage increasing 58%.

HTTP downloads are now nearly as popular as P2P, and are growing at 34% - a growth rate of more than double that of P2P. But the most congested cell sites consistently have the heaviest P2P users, with only a few required to cause heavy congestion.

Mobile data bandwidth increased around 30% globally in Q2 2009, Allot said. Asia-Pacific, the fastest growing region, experienced 36% growth.

In APAC, HTTP browsing contributed 30% of all data usage, followed by HTTP streaming at 24%, P2P at 20%, HTTP downloads at 19% and other apps at 7%.

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