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Big Data and Increasing Smartphone Penetration Drive the Demand for Mobile Data Monitoring Solutions

10 Jan 2014 | by Olga Yashkova
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Moving from 2G to 3G to LTE, mobile communication technology has achieved rapid progress in the past few years, paving the way for innovation and developments in the wireless communication industry. With a rapid growth in the number of mobile subscribers and a proliferation of mobile devices and tablets, human-to machine and machine-to-machine communication platforms, service providers are facing challenges in terms of keeping up with the amount of data, demands from end-users, as well as technology developments.

            According to Cisco's global mobile data traffic report, the global mobile data traffic reached 885 petabytes per month by December 2012. This number is expected to reach 11.2 Exabyte per month in 2017 by growing at a CAGR of 66.0 percent. To give context on this growth, 1 Exabyte is 1024 petabytes , which is equivalent to 1 billion Gigabytes! Furthermore, as a result of increase in network connection speeds due to 3G and LTE services, the consumption of high-definition video is expected to become more prevalent. During 2012, video based applications represented 45 percent of the total mobile data consumption. Operators continue to invest in the construction of new networks through large-scale deployments in order to support the demand for bandwidth. Deployment of next-generation mobile networks requires visibility across the network in order to test and measure performance, interoperability and security. Operators are forced to address the challenge of effectively monitoring the mobile data traffic in order to address the demand from consumers for the highest quality and speeds anytime, anywhere.

            As the global mobile data traffic continues to increase, there will be an increased emphasis for adopting mobile data management strategy and policy control. This in turn will enable operators to optimize network policy, reduce burden on the network and enforce fair usage across all users.

            Big Data is one of the key drivers for mobile data monitoring solutions because of the tremendous strain it is putting on networks. Big Data is characterized by:

  • Data sets that are large and complex, and which current database tools and applications have difficulty managing and processing.
  • Large volume and growth of data that communications service providers (CSPs) are facing due to growth of video traffic, sensor traffic, and other sources of data traffic.
  • High velocity of data due to increased connectedness, mobile applications, and unrelenting time-sensitive traffic created in the social media environment.
  • Large variety of data due to social networking traffic, the rise of user-generated content, and machine-generated data, leading a variety of structured and unstructured data formats that CSPs have to manage.

            CSPs, network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and enterprises have realized that they need monitoring solutions to ensure that the customer experience is not compromised.

            Increasing smartphone penetration is another key driver for mobile data monitoring solutions market. Also, the penetration of smartphones and tablets across the world is increasing rapidly; almost 49.0 percent and 55.0 percent of the mobile subscribers in the U.S and Europe are now using smartphones. According to Cisco, mobile video traffic contributed 51 percent for the first time in 2012. Additionally, average smartphone usage increased over 80 percent in 2012, and while they represented only 18 percent of total mobile devices in use in 2012, these devices represented over 90 percent of total global mobile device traffic. Mobile operators are struggling to keep up with the demand for data services as subscribers opt to access the internet and video on demand through their phones. The rapid growth of mobile video market fueled by the aggressive penetration rates of smartphones and mobile applications has created traffic management challenges for carriers.

The number of smartphones is also expected to continue to increase significantly, according to Frost & Sullivans research.

 

In 2012, 559 million smartphones were shipped globally and brought in $235.3 million in revenue. It was expected that 761 million smartphones will be shipped by the end of 2013, which would be a 16.7% increase from 2012. Also, globally, smartphones market share is expected to reach 83.5% of total mobile phones by 2020.  

 

In the United States, smartphones contributed 57 percent of the total mobile phone market in 2012, and this share is expected to grow to 91.5% in 2020. This anticipated growth clearly demonstrates a shift in consumer preference from feature phones to smartphones that, in turn, will increase the demand for mobile data monitoring solutions.

 

For more information on Frost & Sullivans Test and Measurement research, contact Jeannette Garcia, Corporate Communications, at jeannette.garcia@frost.com or 210.477.8427.

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