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2 - An Operator's Point of View

from Part I - Motivation and Basics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2012

Ralf Irmer
Affiliation:
Vodafone Group R&D, Newbury, UK
Patrick Marsch
Affiliation:
Nokia Siemens Networks, Wroclaw, Poland
Gerhard P. Fettweis
Affiliation:
Technische Universität, Dresden
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Summary

The Mobile Internet - A Success Story so far

When 3G was launched initially with WCDMA technology (Release 99), it was rather a disappointment with not many services being successful. Some years later, the mobile Internet took off when a number of factors came together:

  • HSPA as a technological evolution of 3G with low latency and higher data rate

  • Attractive flat-rate price plans by mobile operators

  • Availability of mobile broadband hardware in terms of dongles and built-in 3G modules in notebooks

  • Smart phones with attractive user interfaces, e.g., iPhone, Android

  • Complete country-coverage with HSPA and HSPA+ by mobile operators.

This take-up of the mobile Internet generated substantial additional revenues for mobile operators, at a time when voice and text message revenues started to decline in saturated markets such as Europe. For example, Vodafone had a data revenue growth of 19% in financial year 2009/2010, with more than €4 Billion generated by non-SMS data. Today, only 11% of phones are smartphones, but by 2013 it is expected that more than a third of all active phones within the Vodafone network will be smartphones.

This data revenue growth comes along with a cost for mobile operators - namely data traffic growth. Fig. 2.1 shows the actual and projected traffic growth for Vodafone's European networks in Petabytes/year [Vod10]. It can be seen that data traffic has substantially surpassed voice traffic.

Type
Chapter
Information
Coordinated Multi-Point in Mobile Communications
From Theory to Practice
, pp. 7 - 10
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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