Signaling traffic, not video, creates data gridlock over 3G network according to Fierce Wireless article

Image Courtesy static.guim.co.uk

As fiercewireless.com staff writer, Lynnette Luna indicates in her article, “We have been bombarded with news during the past year that a tsunami of data traffic threatens to overwhelm 3G networks–and even 4G networks down the line.”  This is absolutely true.  It seems as though a major publication mentions  data gridlock over the 3G and (soon) 4G networks and possible solutions (such as Wi-Fi) at least once a week and cellular companies seem to be scrambling to come up with a solution (not to mention the masses of bloggers that address this issue everyday).  Many articles in the past have indicated that the largest contributor to the 3G problem comes from people streaming video on their Smartphones.  For example, a MacDailyNews article from December quotes AT&T Executive, Peter Svensson, as saying, “that the most high-bandwidth activity is video and audio streaming” and refers to “Wireless data hogs who jam the airwaves by watching video on their iPhones”.

According to Luna’s article, video mobile data traffic being responsible for 3 and 4G data gridlock, may not necessarily be the case.  Luna points to “Signaling Traffic” as the big contributor.  Basically signaling traffic is when your smartphone has to set up a “signaling path” when a request is made.  For example, if you are constantly checking Facebook, IMing, Tweeting, etc. your smartphone sets up a signaling path and then goes into standby to preserve battery – as soon as you go to send another message (which for many of us, may only be minutes or seconds later) a new signaling path needs to be set up by your smartphone.  Put even more simply: you are asking your smartphone to repeatedly coming out of idle to perform a task.  These constant requests made over 3G (signaling traffic) is, “outpacing actual mobile data traffic by 30 to 50 percent, if not higher”, Luna quotes Michael Thelander, CEO and founder of Signals Research, as saying.

The article also touts Wi-Fi as being the solution to offloading data gridlock that cellular companies, such as AT&T, are beginning to have no choice but to utilize.  Finally, Luna’s article also mentions the femtocell that cellular companies are beginning to offer to solve their poor indoor coverage issues, she mentions femtocells as part of the solution to the 3G data gridlock issue, however, I think that she was incorrect in bringing femtocells into the data gridlock issue, because, as one of the responders to her post, “Amit Shaked” stated, “it looks like Femtocells will more likely be used for voice-offloading solution (e.g. solving 3G coverage indoors) while Wi-Fi will most likely be used to offload large volumes of data traffic, like video and photo sharing.”  A following responder, “KK” went on to express many consumers dissatisfaction with the femtocell and referred to it as being, “the dumbest invention I have ever heard of…Femtocells serve zero purpose and they solve zero problems.”  As we have mentioned before, we have created the solution: Cell-Fi™.  Cell-Fi™, using your smartphone over the Spot On Wi-Fi network, does a few things.  First of all, you are able to offload data off 3G onto our Wi-Fi network.  In return, you are experience faster data transfer.  You are also about to use voice over Wi-Fi, eliminating dropped calls, poor signal and the need for a [pointless] femtocell.  Learn more about Cell-Fi™.  View Spot On Networks coverage area.

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7 Responses to “Signaling traffic, not video, creates data gridlock over 3G network according to Fierce Wireless article”

  1. iPad is a Top 5 device and a data hog! « Wi-Fi News and Technology Says:

    […] users consume 5X as many videos as iPhone users (up from […]

  2. SmartPhone News Says:

    wow thanks for your reviews

  3. Smartphone signaling takes a back seat to data traffic in Wall Street Journal « Wi-Fi News and Technology Says:

    […] takes a back seat to data traffic in Wall Street Journal By spotonnetworks Last week Lynette Luna kicked around the idea that some are considering signaling traffic, not video, to be the real data […]

  4. WiFi News Blog » Blog Archive » iPad is a Top 5 device and a data hog! Says:

    […] users consume 5X as many videos as iPhone users (up from […]

  5. WiFi News Blog » Blog Archive » Smartphone signaling takes a back seat to data traffic in Wall Street Journal Says:

    […] week Lynette Luna kicked around the idea that some are considering signaling traffic, not video, to be the real data […]

  6. George Says:

    Yes traffic is quit important it is kind of the lifeblood of every business and i think you have to find out how to get it.

  7. ‘Signalling Traffic,’ not Data, the Bane of Wireless Networks — TheTelecomBlog.com Says:

    […] put, whereas data consumption is a contributor to network instability, the larger culprit is ‘signalling traffic.’ Every time you request your smartphone to perform an operation, say checking Facebook, sending an […]

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