The carrier networks continue to be a step behind our ever growing data habits. LTE enthusiasts were hopeful that with the introduction and expansion of LTE, WiFi usage and need would decrease due to the increased capacity and performance of LTE vs. 3G. This simply has not been proven to be the case. Mobidia, which specialises in mobile usage data, has just released insights showing that WiFi offload has not lessened and has not plateaued. WiFi usage is growing “just as fast, or even faster,” that LTE mobile broadband use. In Hong Kong, for example, LTE users consumed 100% more mobile broadband than 3G users and, “their WiFi usage tended to stay in proportion and in fact remains the primary means of connectivity for LTE subscribers, still representing between 75-90% of all mobile data consumed”.
So why is this? How does it make sense that the LTE network that carriers have spent billions on is still not cutting it for subscribers? It’s simple – cell data consumption increases trigger a proportional increase in WiFi consumption (as proven by the Mobidia data). Data usage grows exponentially, month by month. Subscribers get in the habit of using data gobbling applications – and the amount of data used by applications is also increasing exponentially.
With carrier’s charging an arm and a leg for data it makes sense that subscribers want to offload to WiFi as much as possible… especially their most data-sucking applications. In fact, when it comes to WiFi offload and WiFi voice usage for smartphone users, some MVNOs, like Scratch Wireless are creating their business model on the WiFiFirst™ theory which states that estimates 80% of smartphone usage time occurs in areas that are WiFi accessible (home, office, etc) and only 20% is only accessible via the cellular networks. Click here to read more about the Mobidia data. Does your property need managed WiFi? Contact us first!
“LTE and WiFi – and the twain shall meet” Part I: A quick lesson on LTE.
Check out this information infographic from Root Metrics. http://www.rootmetrics.com
What’s all the buzz about LTE (Long Term Evolution)? We saw this cute infographic from Root Metrics that does a great job of explaining LTE – check it out! Here are some quick have-to-know bullet points about LTE and mobile spectrum:
- Spectrum is limited. Prior to the smartphone revolution it may have appeared to the everyday mobile phone user that spectrum is unlimited and always available. Now that people are using their smartphones for everything from phone calls to watching movies it is quickly becoming evident that there simply is not enough licensed spectrum to go around.
- Spectrum is allocated by the government and only 15% is reserved for mobile.
- Efficiency makes the difference. LTE uses spectrum more efficiency than LTE allowing for more bandwidth capacity.
- LTE networks are not created equal! LTE is flexible and carriers can deploy in different frequency bandwidths. Depending on how a particular carrier deploys LTE, networks can experience better or worse propagation and more or less noise.
- LTE does present some problems: The LTE network flexibility means that even though bandwidth is being used more efficiently noisy cellular coverage and poor indoor coverage can be big issues.
- LTE MIMO (my-moh or me-moh) “Multiple input, Multiple output”: improves communication performance by including multiple antennas in both the device and the transmitter (cellular tower). MIMO uses bandwidth more efficiently by transmitting more data using the same amount of bandwidth and power. MIMO is also big news for WiFi because it will allow for better data throughput and link range.
Case in point, LTE is offering much a more efficient use of bandwidth for mobile users resulting in faster data speeds, however there are issues of poor indoor LTE coverage and noise from signal overlap. There are solutions that can mitigate these problems for large multitenant properties who often feel poor coverage pain the worst, but more on that in Part II…
- Check out this cool LTE Infographic from Root Metrics! http://www.rootmetrics.com