With large screen, high performance connected devices emerging in 2010, this trend is likely to increase. 2010 has been the year of the tablet – the iPad tablet – and this is only one of many high performance connected devices we will see in 2011, with a multitude of Android, Linux, Microsoft and Blackberry devices already announced.
With the dramatic growth in mobile data, the divergence of traffic and revenue in mobile networks is well known, but let’s quantify the problem.
Looking at the problem in terms of ‘revenue per MByte’ demonstrates the true scale as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Revenue per MByte for various services
The other significant factor in this equation is the capacity of each service. Whilst SMS and voice only require low capacities, mobile data (particularly mobile broadband for laptop and tablet computers) require data rates that approach fixed broadband. Expectations are in the region of at least 1Mbps per user.
Measured in terms of revenue per bit delivered, SMS is hugely profitable; voice is moderately profitable; mobile data is an expensive drain on resources.
Even with variations in usage, profile and traffic, the trend is clear. The revenue generated per Mb of network capacity has declined with the widespread adoption of mobile data usage, yet the total network cost is increasing rapidly to cope with the demand (Figure 1).
However this problem can