Weaving a broadband strategy amid explosive uptake

Allan Chan
30 Jul 2012

With mobile data consumption set to grow tenfold over the next five years (according to Informa) as a result of rich, high-bandwidth application innovations, the demands on mobile broadband solutions are greater than they have ever been.

According to IDC, shipment of connected devices is set to double to 1.84 billion units by 2016 from 916 million in 2011 alone.

All of these devices will require mobile broadband access, placing huge demands on an already strained network. Are companies ready to take on the mobile broadband challenge? It’s imperative that mobile network operators develop strategies to manage such a huge increase in data, and enable smart applications to deliver what users require and get a slice of the growing mobile broadband pie.

To gain ground, operators need to examine their strategies across all aspects of business – network, service infrastructure, operations and business arrangements – to optimize on three key success levers: efficiency, quality user experience, and innovation. In short, mobile operators need to solve, in parallel, how to deliver existing services better with greater efficiency and build capabilities to quickly enable future services.

In addition to tackling these challenges within their home networks, mobile operators also need to recognize the importance of interconnection with other operators or content providers to deliver quality services to users outside of their networks. Effective interconnection and interworking between service providers, or breaking down the “walled garden”, is crucial to accelerating adoption of new broadband-enabled applications, such as video streaming, conferencing or multi-user gaming. However, the complexity of interworking multiplies exponentially with an increase in the number of operators and the number of real-time services.

IPX (internetwork packet exchange) was developed to facilitate effective inter-provider network interconnection, but mobile operators need solutions beyond IPX to tackle the full range of challenges. As users demand “more, anywhere, now”, and more over-the-top players enter the marketplace, mobile operators are under even greater pressure to deliver services more efficiently, while being agile enough to respond to changing requirements.

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