Communications service providers are looking to standards bodies to help deal with an explosion of users on wireless networks, seeking some way to forestall a bandwidth bottleneck, according to a Sprint representative.
Speaking at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) annual conference, held in Ottawa mid-June, Warren Cope, senior manager, technology development and strategy at Sprint, explained that certain Web 2.0 sites such as Facebook and YouTube are driving up traffic traversing wireless networks.
“We’re looking at a data explosion… of 225% compounding annually,” he said.
A large portion of the traffic is for signalling, Cope said – information that helps connect smartphones and the services that people access via handheld devices. Some mobile apps reach into the network as frequently as every second or two to get updates, even if the user hasn’t asked them to do so.
If each user has four or five apps doing that at the same time, it won’t be long before the network is bogged down, Cope said.
One potential solution would see apps sharing information so each program doesn’t need to go to the network quite so often.
Groups like the IEEE are developing solutions. “We’ve been working quite hard with the standards bodies to consolidate that,” Cope said.