Three Ways to Stop the Mobile Data Deluge – Only One is Simple and Cost Effective

Author: Andrew Lochart, VP Marketing & Products at Mobolize

Kelly-Drye_BlogAddressing the mobile data deluge won’t be done exclusively in the network core. Instead, doing it at the endpoint device will become standard practice. The mobile device is the only place where network capacity can be increased and cellular connection time decreased, through the optimization of web, app and video content.


MNOs are facing a tenfold increase in data and video demand over the next five years, but have plans and budgets to add just double the current capacity, leading to a large capacity gap. Existing approaches to adding network capacity and optimizing existing capacity just won’t be able to keep up with demand. MNOs have three alternatives to adding capacity. Let’s take a look to see which one works best.


Add Cell Sites


To add a site, with as many as three towers per site, costs approximately $250k per tower and requires two to three years to get regulatory approvals and build. A new site provides about 20Mbps per carrier on LTE, which can support about 200 concurrent app or browsing sessions, or about 50 concurrent standard definition video streams. With LTE at maximum spectral efficiency, expanding the network this way requires more frequency – an expensive and regulated solution.


Use Traditional Network-Based Optimization


For an MNO to add traditional network-based optimization, costs are about $50k per chassis, which can support roughly 10k users of mixed traffic. This provides compression of about 30% of all app and web traffic, as well as throttling and transcoding/transrating of video. This certainly helps with the OpEx of running the core network. However these network-based approaches don’t help cell site congestion because they keep the cellular connection open the same amount of time, and in many cases the throttling actually increases connection times.


Use Mobile Endpoint Optimization


By using mobile endpoint optimization, things are much simpler and less expensive. Mobile endpoint optimization is deployed as a mobile app, with no changes to the network infrastructure at all. The mobile app costs substantially less than a dollar per device, and provides infinite scaling by massively distributing optimization across each mobile device on the network. Every new subscriber added to the network brings the compute capacity needed to run the solution.


With mobile endpoint optimization, the operator gets the same benefits as with network based optimization, but with more capacity because many requests can now be handled at the endpoint without ever going over the air. Cell site congestion is also reduced because over-the-air requests are minimized, allowing the phone to disconnect from the site sooner.


With video optimization, the operator can deliver a smaller video without having to throttle the network speed, allowing connections to close up to 80% sooner. And endpoint optimization can also be smarter – more “surgical” – about when it is applied because it can see congestion from the perspective of the device.


Mobile endpoint optimization is the only solution that will reduce both bandwidth and cellular connection times, and it fundamentally changes the economic model of expanding mobile capacity. Check it out:


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