The Impact of MMS on Carriers’ Networks
AT&T’s making MMS available on the iPhone is big news – something for which its users have clamored. Of course, AT&T isn’t the only carrier that is concerned about how to make sure its network is prepared for an increase in multimedia traffic. To better understand why carriers are justifiably nervous, let’s take a look at the following data which represents traffic over a 24-hour period in a cross-section of some of our larger customers’ 3G networks.
Note that 90% of the users are browsing the web, which accounts for 40-50% of the total traffic.
Streaming video accounts for 30-40%, but that is generated by less than 1% of the users. It’s not difficult to do the math and envision the magnitude of the impact as more users consume video and other multimedia applications.
P2P file sharing is also a bandwidth hog, with less than 1/10 of 1% of users accounting for 5-10% of the total traffic.
It is clear that intelligent traffic control is necessary, enabling carriers to enforce fair use policies adaptively without damaging customer relationships. By increasing network efficiency and capacity, operators can manage the effects of continued traffic growth within the footprint of their existing installation and scale their networks ahead of rising data usage trends. This will also help to ensure a compelling user experience.