What happens in Wi-Fi after 2015?

searchtelescopefuture71058789This post by Kevin Sandlin is reprinted with permission from CWNP.com .

Three studies: Informa Telecoms & Media / Wireless Broadband Alliance, Cisco, and IDC. One conclusion: between now and 2015, Wi-Fi is going to explode.

Wait, I thought Wi-Fi had already exploded, or was already exploding, and these three organizations are now saying “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet”? Thanks, BTO, for the catch phrase, and the answer to that question is a resounding “yes”.

OK, I admit, I had to look it up: 1 exabyte = 1 billion gigabytes = 1 million terabytes. Cool. Looking forward to that 1XB flash drive for Christmas in 2014.

So back in June of this year, Cisco released a study that forecast that Wi-Fi internet traffic would overtake wired internet traffic by 2015, leaving “mobile” (cell, 3g/4g) traffic in the dust. Cisco predicts that Wi-Fi traffic will consume 37.2 EXABYTES of data per month, as compared to wired traffic at 37.0 exabytes and ‘mobile’ at around 6 exabytes.

What does this mean? To me, it clearly says that “mobility” really means “Wi-Fi.” Cisco is predicting that Wi-Fi will generate more than 6x the traffic that “mobile” will generate. You can read that full report here: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010-2015

Then IDC comes along with a similar forecast, estimating that more people in the U.S. will access the Internet via mobile devices than through desktop computers or other wired devices by 2015. I live in the Wi-Fi world, so this one seemed more like a foregone conclusion to me, but IDC’s prediction brings to light both my bias and the fact that most people still access the internet through a wired device today. Odd, I know, but telling.

And then today, I get a report today from the Informa Telecoms & Media and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), forecasting that WiFi deployments will shoot up 350% worldwide by 2015, making WiFi access all the more ubiquitous. You can read the full WBA report here.

All three of these reports reflect a growing trend that we are seeing and that the Wi-Fi Alliance and telecom operators are working hard to develop, and that is that mobile operators are pushing as much traffic as possible from their mobile (3g/4g/LTE) networks onto Wi-Fi networks. All three of these reports also reflect the fact that it’s a great time to be in the Wi-Fi world.

Can’t wait to see what will happen after 2015. The next few years are going to be fun… if you’re in the Wi-Fi world.

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