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June 16, 2015

Wi-Fi Networks to Carry 115,000 PB of Data Traffic by 2019

Wi-Fi networks are expected to carry 115,000 petabytes of data traffic by 2019, according to new findings from Juniper Research. They will handle nearly 60 percent of all smartphone and tablet data traffic, four times as much as Wi-Fi networks are handling presently, at just under 30,000 PB.

This migration trend from mobile networks to Wi-Fi networks enables a variety of benefits for users, according to Juniper, including addressing patchy coverage and enabling rollout of new services like VoWi-Fi calling. Offload to Wi-Fi can also ultimately increase use of existing 3G/4G services as it provides better overall call quality and user experience.

There has also been a trend among mobile operators of converting residential customers to community hotspot providers as well, according to Nitin Bhas, author of the “Wi-Fi Calling Operators” whitepaper and head of research at Juniper. Wi-Fi service provider iPass has also observed that trend, noting nearly 40 million community hotspots next year, which is expected to reach nearly 90 million this year. Bhas also noted that Wi-Fi offload comes with some challenges for mobile operators, particularly in the areas of deployment and ROI.

“Operators need to deploy own Wi-Fi zones in problematic areas or partner with Wi-Fi hotspot operators and aggregators such as iPass and Boingo,” he added.

Juniper found that mobile data traffic certainly shows no signs of slowing down, with smartphones, tablets and featurephones expected to generate more than 197,000 in global mobile data traffic by 2019. Smartphone data consumption is in the lead, expected to reach almost twice as much as tablet traffic this year alone.

Globally, traffic in growing areas like the Indian subcontinent is expected to increase exponentially, with Indian mobile operators already observing nearly 100 percent year-to-year growth in data consumption. North America and Western Europe are in the lead when it comes to global mobile data being offloaded to Wi-Fi networks. The two regions combined are expected to comprise more than 50 percent of mobile data being offloaded by 2019.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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