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Carriers’ network data traffic projected to plunge as Wi-Fi services expand

Updated Jun 13th, 2013 4:54PM EDT
3G 4G Network Data Traffic Projection

Carriers have long complained about data-hungry smartphone users clogging up their networks, but a new study from Juniper Research suggests that their plans to limit their customers’ data consumption might be working a bit too well. Juniper’s latest report “forecasts that almost 50% of data traffic generated by mobile phones, tablets and other 3G/4G connected devices, will be offloaded to Wi-Fi and Small Cell networks this year.” While this is on the surface good for carriers because it relieves congestion on their networks, Juniper points out that it could also lead to more consumers choosing cheaper data plans with low bandwidth caps if they become accustomed to hooking onto Wi-Fi for most of their mobile data needs. Juniper notes that “in response, operators are actively partnering with existing Wi-Fi networks and launching their own carrier grade Wi-Fi solutions” so they don’t get completely left out in the cold.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.