Apple (News - Alert) does a great job at generating hype for its product releases. Its latest, the iPhone 5 and update to iOS 6 software, created buzz everywhere, and already 60 percent of iPhone (News - Alert) users have installed the newest software. In its first weekend, sales topped five million and the company sold out completely of its initial shipment. Analysts have been critical of the company for numerous reasons since the announcement, but like it or not, the iPhone 5 is going to continue generating buzz, especially in terms of network data traffic.
XS International, an IT services company that specializes in cross-platform original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and alternative IT maintenance, data center consolidation, data center relocation, IT asset disposition and IT hardware and software sales, recently explored if and how the networks can prepare for the influx of smartphone data traffic.
“Network investments over the past couple of years have totaled tens of billions of dollars,” says Carl Howe, a vice president at Yankee Group (News - Alert), a Boston-based research firm.
“Given that there are only 12.7 million LTE users in the United States right now, a sudden rush of millions of iPhone 5s and other devices could create network problems,” says Bill Moore, CEO of Rootmetrics, a company that analyzes carrier data performance. He went on to say, "the massive shift to LTE on the iPhone5 could lead to slower speeds for current non-iPhone 5 LTE users because of increased network congestion."
One of the more exciting parts of the iPhone 5 is that it now runs on LTE. Impressive features on the iPhone 5 such as 1080p video support could cause the LTE networks to get congested rapidly.
The difference in bit rate between 720p video and 1080p video could be as high as 50 percent. This will significantly increase the throughput required to support these devices both on the download and the upload front. Operators could be forced into spending more and more to build up infrastructure just to support this device.
Image via XS International
While the average smartphone generates only 35 times the amount of traffic as a traditional cell phone, other devices are not so gentle. Currently at four billion, the number of connected devices is quickly nearing the world's population. By 2015, it will hit 16 billion -- double the world's population. Imagine the amount of data that will be sent when 16 billion smart devices come online. Clearly, these new mobile devices are putting an immense strain on the wireless network.
IT engineers are working hard to expand the wireless network, creating the bandwidth necessary for the future demand. However, they will need help. As engineers figure out ways to make the network bigger, companies like F5 Networks and Cisco are making it run faster.
The challenge becomes how to get the data traffic from the cell tower and/or Wi-Fi hotspot back to the core of the network. For this application Cisco (News - Alert) designed the Cisco ASR 901 router. It’s an environmentally hardened very low-power platform optimized for mobile backhaul requirements, including those found in emerging markets. Service providers can use these routers to minimize operating costs while increasing coverage of their Radio and Ethernet access networks.
XS International sells software and hardware as an alternative solution to these OEM products, as well as alternative IT maintenance solutions. Its alternative to Cisco’s SMARTnet offers contract flexibilities, simple contract management and hardware and software support beyond Cisco End-of-Life or End-of-Service that isn’t offered with Cisco SMARTnet.
To learn more about XSi and its alternative IT maintenance solutions, visit its website.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo