Telecom Dilemma- Smartphones Or Laptops?

2 11 2009

In a recent study published by Airvana, the Mobile Broadband Service provider says that Smartphones suck 8 times more traffic than laptops and telcos need to gear up their network to contain the data deluge by using next generation technologies like Smart Antennas & Femtocells.

The earlier assumption was opposite to what has been said above. It was assumed that laptop usage leads to more traffic load than smartphones usage. But now after the study, it has become obvious that Smartphones leads to more traffic load only because the way they function.

Since smartphones are always on and continuously sends signals in order to location update or performing other non-essential tasks, they tend to produce more signaling load. This signaling load is much more than laptops, using data cards. While a smartphone user downloads a fraction (typically 1/25th) of the data consumed by a laptop user, the signaling load produced by the smartphone user is much higher and in fact one third of the laptop user on average,” wrote Airvana. “In other words, while it takes 25 smart phones to equal the data throughput from one laptop, it only takes three smart phones to equal the signaling network impact of one laptop (25/3 ≈ 8x).”

So should we worry about the results? Earlier, when during the course of writing, Telecomblogs uploaded  then latest POI (Point of Interconnectivity) Congestion report for all mobile operators in India (See widget ). If you go through the report it becomes obvious that due to heavy subscribers additions telcos are facing network congestion issues at PoI levels, though the numbers vary for different operators. And now after growing data usage since last couple of quarters, we may see straining of existing capacity. Though many of them are adding NGN technologies to enhance backend capacity, still we may see higher levels of congestions with growing smartphones usage in Indian urban segment.

The next level of data deluge may open doors of NGN to be deployed in India yet, like 3G and 3G enabled Femtocells to offload Macro sites traffic load. Though, India is yet to experience the smartphones wars and mass pervasiveness; till then it’s better to prepare of next level of data activity.