Rating: Interoute warns of the impact delay will have on mobile operators
According to a recent report in the Financial Times (FT) here, for the first time in China – home to the world’s largest population of internet users- more people now access the web on mobile phones than via desktop computers. North America and Europe are not far behind in making this digital switchover, as are fast-growing internet markets such as Turkey and Indonesia, the FT says. The billion dollar question is, “What impact will this have on mobile network operators if the trend continues globally? As GoMobile News has long appreciated, the backhaul networks which the majority of mobile network operators have in place just won’t take the strain.Which is why a network such as 3 UK built by Hutchison will have an advantage of its rivals because its backhaul was built from the word go with 3G in mind. You can trace the roots of Vodafone’s backhaul back to X25, by comparison.
This hack remembers well visiting the Isle of Man in 2005 to see the world’s first 3G base station in action (see here).
The base station was actually connected via an E1 (2 Mbit/s) fixed link even though speeds of 10 Mbit/s were theoretically possible.
However, as Lee Myall, director with Interoute argues, “We can expect to see this shift from fixed to mobile in Europe and North America as well as a younger mobile internet centric user base comes of age.”
Interoute just so happens to be the owner operator of Europe’s largest cloud services platform, of course.
Myall added, “We’re on the brink of a fundamental shift in the way we access the internet. The question is whether or not the industry is ready to address this change and what can only be seen as an opportunity?”
He warns, “A lick of paint won’t fix crumbling foundations. Developers are rushing to grab a piece of the mobile pie but the focus has landed disproportionately on the user experience.
Myall continues, “Unless there’s massive increase in 3/4G coverage, mobile carriers are going to have to readdress their mobile backhaul strategy.”
Data needs to be offloaded onto the fixed infrastructure sooner rather than later. Without adequate mobile backhaul in place, we’re just painting over the cracks.”
There are, of course, two major problems. Firstly, where are the revenues going to come from to pay for increased backhaul capacity?
Secondly, how can you get inexpensive backhaul connexions to remote base stations? Microwave? Satellite?
Answers on a postcard, please.
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