What’s clogging the pipes?

The usage of apps on mobile devices is rising across the world. People are increasingly connecting to the internet through them. That only means one thing—clogged bandwidth pipes.

A study by mobile analytics firm Flurry came up with this interesting statistic about the US market: In June 2011, the average US mobile user spent 81 minutes a day using apps—compare that with 43 minutes in June 2010! Also compare that with 74 minutes spent by desktop and mobile web usage!

A lot of these apps, given their popularity, are also becoming vehicles for ads. These ads take up further bandwidth. Take the great Angry Birds, for instance. According to one report by Nokia Siemens Networks ‘ Smart Labs (NSN), on an Android-based Samsung Galaxy smartphone, with mobile advertising, Angry Birds generated 2,422 signals in one hour of play, which is huge! They have said they are fixing the issue, but this just illustrates the future and some challenges networks will face.

The question we need to ask is, who is making money from this huge amount of bandwidth usage? The app? To some extent. The telecom operator? Who knows! And there lies the big problem. Operators need to figure out some way to earn out of this. Otherwise, all they will be left with are clogged pipes and consequently a label of poor bandwidth availability on their service record.

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