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  • Mark Middleton

European Commission Study: Up to €200 billion in network cost reductions by 2016 due mainly to Wi-Fi



The European Commission’s, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology has just published a “Study on Impact of traffic off-loading and related technological trends on the demand for wireless broadband spectrum”. The EU funded study was undertaken by WIK Consult and Aegis Systems.

78% of all mobile data traffic will be on Wi-FI

A key finding of the report is that already, 71% (in 2012) of all wireless data traffic delivered to smartphones and tablets in the EU was delivered via Wi-Fi. The study forecasts this percentage figure to rise to 78% of all mobile data traffic by 2016.

Another gem from the study is the prediction that by 2016, up to €200 billion in network cost reductions can be expected from data traffic offloading chiefly to Wi-Fi. This shows how smart use of Wi-Fi offload can be directly translated into significant savings for mobile network operators.

A copy of the final report (168 pages, 3.1MB) can be downloaded here.

Growth in mobile data


Remember that Cisco, in its Feb 2013 update to its Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast 2012-2017, is forecasting global mobile data traffic to increase 13x over a similar period.

This shows how significant the study’s forecast in relation to the increase in Wi-Fi as a percentage of total traffic is in terms of absolute volume of mobile data.


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