It’s amazing to think that between the advent of the digital era and 2003, we in the UK generated “only” 5 exabytes of information. Contrast this with the 800 exabytes produced in just one year (2010) and one can easily appreciate the scale of exponential growth in data traffic currently weighing on our mobile networks. This has, of course, been greatly exacerbated in the last few years by booming sales of smartphones and tablets and by the soaring popularity of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
According to a leading industry blog, it is not just the new habits of consumers that are so data hungry. The majority of individuals are also using their devices for business purposes and therefore “always on “for virtually the whole waking day. Smartphone owners, for example, are known to spend an average of 11 hours per month just using various apps.
This phenomenal growth in traffic begs the question as to how the UK’s mobile networks are going to cope. Clearly they need to maintain or even improve their mobile data services and must think in terms of quantum jumps in bandwidth rather than piecemeal, short term upgrades.
It’s probably stating the obvious to say that backhaul networks need to be able to handle immediate demands as well as being scalable enough to deal with the continuing explosion in data. For as far as the eye can see, there is going to be no let up in the extraordinary demands of the digital revolution as everything from TV and newspapers to banking and movies transfer to the internet.
The challenge for designers of telecoms equipment and software is to provide mobile operators with the innovation in backhaul networks to deal with a problem that is clearly not going to go away anytime soon. Quite apart from anything else, the pace of future economic growth may well depend on a satisfactory outcome.
By creades from Pixabay