The 4G Data Explosion Continues

Asked what Ghana, Zambia, Peru and Cambodia have in common, you might start Googling ‘qualifiers for the next FIFA World Cup’, or ‘rising holiday destinations’. But the answer lies with the global proliferation of mobile services.

The mobile data explosion continues apace, witnessed in the rapid rollout of LTE/4G networks. The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), which always provides an ecosystem update ahead of MWC, announced a milestone in February with the news that 100 countries have now launched commercial LTE services (Ghana, Zambia, Peru and Cambodia being the latest). The current 268 commercially launched networks represent 56% growth since 2012, says the GSA.

For Telcos, that is adding up to a whole lot of data generated by bandwidth-hungry users. Cisco, in its latest Visual Networking Index, says global mobile data traffic grew 81% in 2013, making it nearly 18 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. 4G connections generated 14.5 times more traffic on average than other services, accounting for 30% of mobile data traffic but just 2.9% of connections.

But it’s no good having all that Big Data in your networks and systems if it’s not working hard for you. More than ever before, Telcos now have the opportunity to use analytics to improve customer retention and drive customer acquisition, delivering segmentation and analysis across demographics and geographies to develop new revenue streams. With a huge potential in Smart Cities arena where computing Big Data analytics thanks to real time large bandwidth should drive a true benefit for each citizen.

Many operators are consolidating their networks by deploying standards such as Software Defined Networks (SDNs) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). Now is the time to ally network development with real-time business analytics that provide a 360-degree view of the customer. Harnessed in the right way, it could provide the answer to more of those tricky questions and lead to better-informed business decisions and better-living comfort situation.

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