Mobile Data Matters

9:50 AM -- It's obvious to everyone that mobile data traffic is growing, but by how much? And what's driving this growth?

Nokia Networks (NSN) and Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT) have some answers.

NSN expects mobile data to take up more network capacity than voice traffic by 2011. In the footnotes accompanying a press release plugging its mobile packet core technology, the vendor states:

    While Nokia Siemens Networks estimates that the number of bytes of mobile voice traffic will continue to grow steadily, the growing popularity of mobile broadband services and even machine-to-machine applications will create an exponential rise in the number of bytes of data traffic carried by mobile packet core networks worldwide. This will result in a yearly doubling of data traffic from almost 400 petabytes (400 million gigabytes) a year in 2009 to almost 2,000 petabytes (2 billion gigabytes) a year by 2011, bypassing the estimated volume of voice traffic (1,200 petabytes). (See NSN Predicts Data Dominance.)

Allot, meanwhile, has just unveiled its inaugural Global Mobile Broadband Traffic Report, which shows that mobile networks are carrying increasing volumes of Web traffic, with HTTP browsing (Web page access), streaming (video from YouTube and other video-centric sites), and downloads all showing significant quarter-on-quarter increases. (See Allot Issues Traffic Report.)

Peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic is, of course, still significant and growing, though not at the same rate as the HTTP traffic, according to the Deep Packet Inspection vendor's analysis, which is based on traffic statistics from a number of mobile networks with "a combined user base of more than 150 million subscribers."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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