Mobile data traffic jam?

19th November 2012

Fairly soon, it might not be just the roads to work in the morning that are full of traffic jams. Telecoms regulator Ofcom has in the past week warned that mobile networks in the UK are heading for a “capacity crunch” as consumption and demand of data from Britons continues to soar.  Latest figures show that yearly data consumption in the UK has now hit 20 million gigabytes.

The explosion in consumption of mobile video, television and films has spearheaded this 21st century surge.  With the recent launch of 4G in Britain by Everything Everywhere (soon to be followed by most other major UK networks in June 2013), this surge is expected to continue, growing by 80 times by 2030, based on current trends.  4G should allow for mobile data consumption to stretch to HD and 3D television, and video conferencing, amongst others.

To combat the problem, Ofcom is planning to release more radio spectrum for auction, as has just been completed in Ireland by their opposite number ComReg, awarding the rights to the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands in Ireland from 2013 until 2030.

Meanwhile, Ofcom plans to open the 700MHz band, currently used by digital terrestrial television, to mobile services in 2018, in line with a more globalised format. Digital television would then be moved to the 600MHz band.

There is speculation as to whether these improvements will come soon enough, or whether the UK mobile networks will experience data jam problems in the event that data demand does exceed data capacity.

Something that isn’t up for speculation is that here at Planet Numbers, data jams won’t be even close to affecting us or stopping us from providing our excellent service.  In fact, we’ve just announced numerous reductions on a lot of our rates across the world to make it even cheaper for you to call abroad without ever experiencing a “capacity crunch”.

Robin James

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