& cplSiteName &

Mobile Games to Place Strain on 3G Networks

Sarah Thomas
6/8/2011
50%
50%

Multi-player, video-centric social games, and the smartphones developed to enable them, are shaping up to be a hot new trend in mobility, promising to test the limits of wireless operators' 3G networks.

Mobile gaming has been struggling to gain traction since Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) introduced the NGage gaming smartphone in 2003. The phone was a niche product at best, but the proliferation of mobile broadband, the popularity of casual game apps such as Angry Birds and the introduction of tablets has changed the landscape. (See Angry Birds Like Carrier Billing.)

"Gaming, little by little, has become an integral part of the mobile experience," says Patrick Lopez, founder and CEO of Core Analysis.

Now Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) is ushering in a new wave of gaming with smartphones built around the experience. Last week, its mobile division, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications , showed off the Xperia Play at Uplinq , and on Monday Sony unveiled its new PlayStation Vita, a powerful mobile extension of its console that is exclusive to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). (See Sony Taps AT&T for Playstation Vita, Qualcomm Brings Games to Snapdragon and Verizon Unleashes the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.)

Sony unveiled the phone at its E3 conference and was met with groans and boos when its partner was announced. The obvious reason for the displeasure is AT&T's less-than-stellar network performance reputation owing to iPhone overload.

The Vita, and its two-way cameras, six-axis motion sensors and three-axis electronic compass, won't help that equation. Even if games are played on Wi-Fi, the smartphone will leverage AT&T's 3G network to bring social media features to the experience, letting players interact with friends in the PlayStation network, use location to find other nearby players and share game information across devices.

And we're not talking about games like Snake, either. The latest and greatest include multi-player features, high-definition content, intensive streaming video and extra interactive features that will strain both the uplink and downlink of a 3G connection.

Eventually, augmented reality and 3D will become more common as well, adding extra weight to the network.

Bytemobile Inc. , which tracks apps' effect on the network, has seen an uptick in the use of both mobile gaming and social networking apps. The two categories have a similar effect on the 3G network, according to Bytemobile Director of Product Management Mikko Disini. A game such as "Words With Friends" (similar to Scrabble) may not be as popular as a social app like Facebook , but because of the interactive nature of the game it can have just as much impact on networks, says Disini.

Granted, neither games nor social networking apps are as data-hungry as mobile video yet, but the more capable the games get, the more attractive carrier-grade Wi-Fi or Long Term Evolution (LTE) will become.

"What's going to drive and push traffic is [the launch of] new games that will take into account, and really exploit, the fact they are run on a mobile device," Lopez says. "It's a market that's at a tipping point and will become more prevalent in the next few years."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Top Priorities for B/OSS Transformation
James Crawshaw, Senior Analyst – OSS/BSS Transformation, Heavy Reading, 3/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.