The wireless boom isn't LTE
Deployment of Wi-Fi by CSPs has blanketed the city of London with carrier-branded connectivity to support the Olympics.
While the wireless data world is already increasingly moving to Wi-Fi, this news is just foreshadowing for what's to come; between now and 2015, the market is really going to explode. The latest
Cisco Visual Networking Index
predicts that Wi-Fi internet will outpace wired internet traffic by 2015, delivering 37.2 exabytes per month. By that time, traditional mobile data networks--including LTE--will deliver just 6
exabytes monthly. Keeping pace, Informa Telecoms and Media expects Wi-Fi hotspots to increase 350 percent over the next four years. Even today, mobile data consumption on smartphones isn't
scaling with faster mobile data networks the way some might have predicted, as you can see in Figure 2.
In the U.K., the vast majority of mobile data is over Wi-Fi (with the exception of Android users on 3's network), as you can see in Figure 3 below. This is how mobile data usage plays out across
most of Europe and Asia.
Communication service providers are taking note. The Wireless Broadband Alliance recently reported that nearly 60 percent of wireless service providers, â€śbelieve Wi-Fi hotspots are either 'very
important' or 'crucial' to their customersâ€™ experience, in order to offload busy mobile broadband networks and to provide value-added services.â€ť