Mark Heath of Unwired Insight discusses how 3G offloading will be needed to protect 3G capacity as 3G traffic levels continue to rise.
With widespread deployment of LTE networks many years away, and with wireless traffic volumes continuing to increase, 3G offloading is becoming a necessity for mobile operators, to protect 3G capacity. Dedicated broadcasting networks, indoor systems and sideloading can each reduce the volume of traffic carried on a 3G macrocell network. According to Unwired Insight, these complementary distribution channels will account for up to 42.7% of total service traffic by 2014.
For users with fixed broadband connections, multimedia services can be better delivered using either WiFi offloading or femtocells. These can provide more reliable and better-quality services than those delivered by 3G macrocells. While WiFi accounts for virtually all offloaded traffic to indoor systems currently, femtocells will account for an increasing proportion, with analysts forecasting about one million femtocells being shipped in 2010.