Why government must wake up and hand out spectrum

Akamai recently released its Q2 2014 State of the Internet Report, which showed that mobile data traffic continues to grow while mobile voice traffic remains flat.

The Akamai State of the Internet report uses insight from mobile vendor Ericsson, which has a presence in more than 180 countries and a customer base which is made up of more than 1,000 networks.

The result is a representative base for calculating total world mobile traffic on 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.

The following graph shows total global monthly data and voice traffic. It depicts a strong increase in data traffic growth, and flat voice traffic development.

“The number of mobile data subscriptions is increasing rapidly and driving growth in data traffic, along with a continuous increase in the average data volume per subscription,” the report states.

Mobile voice and data traffic
Mobile voice and data traffic

The growing need for more spectrum

The Akamai report highlights that in mobile networks the access medium (spectrum) is shared by different users in the same cell.

“It is important to understand traffic volumes and usage patterns in order to enable a good customer experience,” states the report.

With the massive growth in data, mobile providers need more spectrum to ensure a good customer experience.

Vodacom and MTN are also ready to launch LTE Advanced. However, this is challenging to achieve without additional spectrum.

It is therefore high time that the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, and the regulator Icasa, fast-track the process of providing mobile operators with additional spectrum to help them to serve South Africans’ mobile data needs.

More on the need for spectrum

Why you can’t have 4G in South Africa

Crucial broadband spectrum in SA: wait some more

Will LTE spectrum be wasted?

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Why government must wake up and hand out spectrum