Landline. What Landline?

58% of mobile traffic will be generated from the home environment by 2013. Thats the conclusion of the latest report from Informa Telecoms & Media: Mobile Broadband Access at Home: The Business Case for Femtocells, UMA and IMS/VCC Dual Mode Solutions. Informa adds that 40% of mobile traffic was generated in the home environment last year.
Informa says it expects the deployment of femtocells (indoor base stations) to help operators offload up to 8% of total mobile traffic to fixed networks via end-user broadband lines. The report also predicts that mobile voice minutes of use (MoU) in the home environment will approach 42% of total mobile voice traffic by the end of 2008. And as the price gap between fixed and mobile calls narrows, mobile voice usage at home will gradually increase to reach 49% by 2013. The office environment will come in second position with a 30% market share, while only 9% of calls will be initiated on the move – when walking, driving, or on the train or bus – with the remaining 21% of calls generated from other public environments.
Mobile data usage is also expected to increase over the coming years, says Informa, thanks to the aggressive flat-rate data-plans pushed by mobile operators, the rollout of mobile broadband networks, and most importantly, the advances in mobile terminal software. In particular, advanced user interfaces are leading to the proliferation of new type of Smartphones and mobile Internet devices, including Apples iPhone and Googles G1.
Informa says that 2007 was a watershed year for operators in terms of their strategy regarding the development of new non-voice services for their customers.
While mobile operators continue to develop their own services and strategies around applications such as music, games, TV and video, there was a realisation during 2007 that a far greater opportunity exists in providing unrestricted broadband access to the Internet, says Malik Saadi, Principal Analyst at Informa and Lead Author of the report. In the same way that voice traffic has moved from old fixed line telephony service PSTN to mobile, there is reason to believe that a significant percentage of Internet traffic generation will move away from fixed personal computers to mobile devices, including mobile handsets, mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and connected notebooks.”
These strategies are starting to pay off, Informa believes, with the leading mobile operators seeing data revenues surpassing 40% growth in the first half of 2008, compared to the same period last year. Australias Telstra, for example, recently announced that its non-SMS data revenues had jumped 84% to Aus $360 million (163 million) in the first half of 2008, from Aus $196 million recorded for the same period last year. Verizon Wireless recorded 49% year-on-year data revenue growth in Q1 2008, while AT&T posted a 57% increase. At the same time, mobile data traffic is surging, with operators now recording growth ranging from 120% to 250% over their networks. However, Informa Telecoms & Media has estimated that annual revenues generated by 1 PetaByte of data traffic will decrease by a factor of 4.9 by 2012 to reach US$125 million – down from US$612 million in 2008.
In 2008, the home environment will already be responsible for more than 43% of total mobile data traffic but this traffic is expected to predominate, with an overwhelming 60% by 2013. The growth will be driven by users increasingly initiating longer and richer data sessions in the relaxed environment of their home, through browsing the Internet, watching longer and richer video clips, downloading music and video content, exchanging pictures, or using VoIP and on-line chatting.
This does not mean that mobile broadband services will fully substitute fixed broadband, but users will prefer to keep some applications on their mobile or portable devices since these offer greater privacy, says Saadi.
Informa notes that in order to cope with explosive mobile data traffic growth, operators have invested heavily in offering better 3.5G+ coverage in busy urban areas. However, these areas are also data-hungry hotzones, where the majority of Smartphone and connected notebook users reside, so this will eventually result in overloaded networks and low bandwidth per user. In addition, as the 3G/3.5G+ signal travels away from the base-station or penetrates thick concrete walls in residential or business environments, the received signal strength deteriorates considerably, resulting in a significant drop of bandwidth in in-building environments, which could in turn affect the overall user experience.
Mobile operators have a vested interest in ensuring that call connection, call quality, and mobile broadband capabilities are as high as possible in the home environment, says Informa, and the report shows that, if implemented properly, mobile access at home (MAH) solutions including femtocells, UMA/dual-mode, VCC/dual-mode, and alternative technologies, have the potential to help mobile operators offload a substantial part of mobile traffic to the subscriber fixed line. This could potentially lead to significant savings by relaxing network capacity upgrade requirements, while enabling considerable improvement in both coverage and capacity of mobile broadband access in the home environment.
The report costs 2,495 for a paper copy, 3,745 for a single-user PDF version, or 4,999 for a paper copy and single-user PDF. Theres more information here.