The amount of mobile data being diverted from networks to ease congestion will triple to 48 per cent over the next five years, according to a new report from ABI Research.
Data traffic is expected to grow by a factor of 30 over the period, and recent figures from Ericsson suggest that mobile data is reaching monthly levels of 225,000 terabytes.
Ericsson is tackling this by building new base stations, and recently announced its millionth, but ABI said that increasing capacity is not always an option.
Traffic overload is starting to choke the mobile networks, and ABI recommended in its Mobile Network Offloading report that firms use new technologies to alleviate congestion.
These should include Wi-Fi, femtocells, mobile content delivery networks and media optimisation.
ABI Research practice director Aditya Kaul explained that by using these technologies firms could save themselves from traffic overload.
"Each of these offload and optimisation technologies is aimed at solving a particular problem and they will all coexist. Wi-Fi is effective in covering limited areas containing many users, such as transport stations and sports venues," he said.
By contrast, a femtocell would be a good option for targeting small numbers of heavy data users, while a mobile content distribution network could be used to cache files locally, lessening load, for example, should a video go viral.
Compression, meanwhile, is the most popular method now and will continue to be so.
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