In a recent report, iSuppli reckons global smartphone shipments will double by 2015 and account for more than half of all mobile phones sold. At the same time, mobile broadband traffic volumes will see a 2600% increase in the next five years, say Nokia Siemens Networks’ own figures. So, more people will have smart devices and will use broadband more, adding up to huge growth in network traffic.
But there’s more to this than meets the eye, and that’s in the unpredictability of where and when data traffic comes from.
To see why, let’s think back to the UK’s Royal Wedding in April 2011. This was not just a marriage ceremony – it was a huge event, with many thousands of people lining the processional route. And what did most of them have in common? Yes, a camera. As the royal coach went by, there was a wave of flashes as cameras and smartphones did their stuff. Many of these devices were used to send images to people who could not be there on the day or to upload to Facebook and other social networking sites.
Watching the wedding on TV, it made me think about the variability of traffic demand. A huge volume of traffic was being created for a short time in central London. At the same time, network cells in the suburbs were probably running well below capacity. What if that unused capacity could be sent to the city center to help out?
While a network overall may have enough capacity, it might not be available in the right place at the right time. It’s rather like people getting water from a tank. If too many people open their taps, the tank cannot supply enough and people get only a trickle. Meanwhile, another tank nearby may be nearly full because the people connected to it want less water.
With today’s networks, capacity is isolated in tanks rather like this. What’s needed is a way to join up all these tanks into one big reservoir that can flow capacity to where it’s most needed. And that’s exactly what our Liquid Net does. Liquid Net is a new approach that unleashes the capacity frozen in a network. In effect, the network adapts itself in an instant to changing customer demand.
Costs are cut, capacity is used more efficiently and subscribers get the service they want.
Best of all, the Liquid Net architecture starts with the products and roadmaps we have in our portfolio and shows how they work together. Combined with our professional services strengths and extensive customer experience management solutions, we really do have a unique and compelling set of answers to our customers’ challenges.
This post is by Phil Twist, our head of marketing and communications for Network Systems.