Trying to keep up with mobile data costs will be a mighty challenge for network operators, who are looking at delivery costs going up by sevenfold to $370 billion by 2016, according to Juniper Research.
The company said even with the rollout of LTE networks, the costs are expected to rise dramatically from spending levels of $53 billion in 2010. The hit for carriers, however, could be softened by offload solutions such as Wi-Fi networks and femtocells, something many are looking at as a way to get around this data tsunami. Japan’s KDDI, for example, is building out a Wi-Fi network for 100,000 hotspots to help move traffic off its cellular network.
Juniper said there’s also savings to be had at the base-station level by leveraging active and passive network sharing as a means of reducing site lease costs and reducing energy loss. The research firm also urged network operators in developing countries to accelerate plans to transition to renewable energy for off-grid networks.
We’ve been talking about the data storm and the mounting challenge for network operators. Data usage is outpacing revenues, and the carriers are scrambling to keep up. The rising cost here will only underscore the need for carriers to adopt tools like usage-based pricing plans and offload solutions. We’ll be talking about the ways network operators will manage this data usage at our GigaOM Mobilize Conference on Sept. 26 and 27 in San Francisco.