Data slowdown looms for smartphone users

Turtle road sign Web browsing speeds look set to slow on mobile networks, warns a report

Related Stories

Operators will be unable to keep up with smartphone users' growing demand for data on the move, a report warns.

On average, iPhone, Android or Windows Phone handset owners consumed 35 times more data traffic than a typical phone user, said the annual Deloitte report.

And this would contribute to a 50-fold growth in wireless traffic by 2016.

The bandwidth crunch would not mean users failing to connect at all, the report added, but mobile networks would suffer "rush hours" just like roads do.

During these times, it might take two or three attempts to connect, there would be three or four times as many dropped calls, web pages may freeze and browsing speeds would be much reduced, the report said.

"In the worst situations, download speeds may be under 1Mbps for lengthy periods of time, making video streaming impossible and even web browsing difficult," it said.

Many governments had seen the crunch coming, said the report, and had freed radio spectrum they were now auctioning off to help operators cope.

But these auctions were relatively rare and governments often asked that the spectrum be put to a specific use, such as serving rural areas, rather than just to lighten the load on the busiest parts of a network.

Fourth generation (4G) networks would also speed the passage of data, as they were much more efficient at using available bandwidth, said the report.

But it added: "Demand for wireless bandwidth will likely attempt to outstrip these improvements in supply for at least several years.

"Major metropolitan areas in some geographies should expect to see continued deterioration in end-user experience."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Technology stories



  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima

  • Northern League supporters at the party's annual meeting in 2011Padania?

    Eight places in Europe that also want independence

  • Elephant Diaries - BBCGoing wild

    Wildlife film-makers reveal the tricks of the trade

  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet

  • The outermost coffin of Tutankhamun 'Tut-mania'

    How discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb changed popular culture in 1920s

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.