SOURCE: 4G Americas

4G Americas

April 26, 2011 11:45 ET

4G Americas White Paper Offers Strategies to Manage Traffic Growth

4G Americas Contends More Spectrum Still Needed

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwire - Apr 26, 2011) - Wireless communication has seen tremendous growth over the last couple of years and the rapid uptake of smartphones, connected devices and innovative mobile applications has caused a dramatic increase in mobile data traffic. 4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, today announced that it has published a white paper, titled, Optimizing the Mobile Application Ecosystem, that explores methods for addressing the critical challenge of mobile data demand outpacing mobile broadband capacity.

"Today's mobile phones are multifunctional devices capable of hosting a range of applications for both business and personal use," said Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "With more than 5 billion mobile connections today, and some predictions reaching as high as 50 billion by 2020, data applications are already constraining mobile networks and the limits are visible."

As network demands are changing, operators, application developers and vendors are working hard to optimize all aspects of the network to meet the extreme demands on the network. The white paper outlines the mobile industry's challenges in handling the increasing demand of data traffic and identifies some potential solutions to enable ways to support and manage this traffic growth. It is organized to provide the reader with the technical description of the critical components of the mobile Internet ecosystem.

"Initial networks were configured for voice, which has a predictable usage and resource consumption profile, but unlike voice, data applications are generally unpredictable and unbounded in their usage," said Peter Koo, Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Ericsson. "These diverse applications also have unique characteristics in their utilization of signaling and user plane resources, which has put enormous demand on the mobile networks and this demand is growing at a much faster rate than the network capacity."

The solutions to the challenge faced by network operators will need to be shared by other members of the wireless ecosystem including application developers and regulators that direct wireless spectrum and telecommunications policy. Following are some of the potential solutions reviewed in the paper:

  • Optimization and expansion of existing networks
    • Upgrading mobile network infrastructures to their latest generation of standards
    • Expanding network infrastructure to eliminate network bottlenecks
    • Traffic offloading options (e.g. femtocells, Wi-Fi AP)
    • Deploying service layer optimization elements to improve utilization of network capacity
  • Optimizing applications to maximize utilization of spectrum and network capacity
    • Optimizing network parameter for signaling traffic usage
    • Scheduling large capacity, time-insensitive applications to run in non-peak usage hours
    • Motivating application developers to maximize network capacity utilization
  • Planning for newer technology deployment and access to additional spectrum
    • Defining the most appropriate frequency range for new spectrum coupled with technology

Optimizing the Mobile Application Ecosystem emphasizes that the key is to facilitate technological improvements to enable mobile networks to handle the evolving traffic characteristics more efficiently. The 3GPP family of technologies continues to make progress in optimization of the networks and in standards development. 3GPP technological improvements are enabling mobile networks to handle the evolving traffic characteristics more efficiently. Although there are alternatives to utilize the existing spectrum efficiently in the near future, there is a long term need to secure additional licensed spectrum to support the increasing demand of mobile traffic.

"The white paper summarizes a few ways to bridge the gap between the insatiable demand for mobile data and an operator's capacity to continually meet this demand," Pearson added. "As we get closer to inadequate physical capacity, operators' efforts to improve network efficiencies will be limited and the most practical solution will be to deploy new spectrum for sustaining the tremendous growth of mobile data."

Optimizing the Mobile Application Ecosystem was written collaboratively by members of 4G Americas and is available for free download at:

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to promote, facilitate and advocate for the deployment and adoption of the 3GPP family of technologies throughout the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the successful commercial rollout of 3GPP mobile broadband technologies across the Americas and their place as the No. 1 technology family in the region. The organization aims to develop the expansive wireless ecosystem of networks, devices, and applications enabled by GSM and its evolution to LTE. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas. More information is available at

4G Americas' Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, CommScope, Ericsson, Gemalto, HP, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, Openwave, Powerwave, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Rogers, Shaw Communications, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Vicki Livingston
    4G Americas
    +1 262 242 3458
    Email Contact