Tag: data usage

How Operators Can Manage the Mobile Data Explosion?

The insatiable thirst customers have for higher amount of mobile data is growing tremendously.

The stats from suggest that usage of mobile data has increased from 7 exabytes to 17 in a span of two years and will be almost 49 exabytes in 2021. The compound annual growth rate of the increase is about 47 percent. The everyday mobile activities like video calls, voice calls, social media usage and e-commerce are the key drivers behind this increased mobile traffic.

mobile data

Telecom operators now face a massive increase in their network costs due to this data explosion. Stats also suggest that the cost for accessing and backhauling network will almost double in the next five years.

So, the big question now is how operators can manage this data explosion?

The answer lies in the effective implementation of ‘Network Optimization and Data Monetization.’

Focusing on these two parameters will enable operators to provide bandwidth in a more cost-efficient way and benefit from the expected rise in data. Here are some ways can intelligently expand their network capacity and monetize data:

  • Optimizing Video Delivery

An explosion of mobile video consumption is likely to drive the anticipated mobile data growth over the next few years. According to , mobile video will make up 78 per cent of all global mobile data traffic by 2021.

However, it is found that more than half of all video sessions are abandoned before the subscriber reaches midpoint. Accordingly, telco operators can reduce wasted bandwidth by closely matching the download to the playback speed (pacing) as opposed to downloading the full video.

  • Intensifying Traffic Shaping

Traffic shaping can be used to prevent network congestion, alter user behaviour, and optimise monetization of data usage. Most operators are already using basic tools for steering user behaviour and limiting peak usage, either by rate-limiting after a certain download volume, implementing tariffs with usage caps, or time-based tariffs.

  • Density Geographies

Congestion in network and scarcity of spectrum problems are different in diverse geographic locations.  They apply to a small portion of the operator carriers’ coverage area. Carriers can set prices based on the regional realities of the data usage. Adopting the yield-management practices and driving requirement-based usage in underutilized areas improve profits.

  • Quality and Traffic Prioritization

Customers who need a higher quality of service are willing to pay more for it. These segments can be targeted by MNOs to capture incremental value. This can be done by offering quality-of-service guarantees; thus, ‘prioritising’ premium traffic during times of potential network congestion.

  • Time-of-Day Pricing

One of the greatest challenges for MNOs is ‘peak hours’. Just as some voice plans are known to have different charges for peak and off-peak periods (often lower rates at night), we can expect operators charge varying rates depending on the time of day by ‘de-averaging’ data pricing. A study by shows that mobile data usage on social apps is at their peak for four hours a day. So, the telco operators can adjust speed and charges according to the usage time.

time of day spending social media

Pricing by Data Type

Though differences in types of video usage give operators some flexibility, rising demand for data-heavy video will still be the biggest strain on most networks. This can be countered by plans that are priced by data type. For instance, offering unlimited internet and e-mail usage but pricing video traffic based on quantity consumed.

Stats from suggest that for an hour of HD video streaming more than 1 GB of data is used. As mobile video streaming has the largest growth rate of all mobile content categories, charges can be defined accordingly.


With the enormous surge in mobile data, MNOs should have the capacity to monetize this traffic, yet to do so; they require unique visibility into the makeup and usage of the data itself. To gain such visibility, can help them handle the data explosion more intelligently.

Managing data explosion is a big challenge but implementing the right broadband solutions will enable MNOs to close the revenue gap and increase profitability.

T-Mobile is now mobile hotspot throttling during heavy usage times

During times of congestion, the phone data is given priority even for consumers paying for 4G tethering.

T-Mobile USA has revealed that it has started a practice of mobile hotspot throttling. This will occur at times when the network is heavily congested. The purpose is to give priority to smartphones and other mobile devices with data through the cellular network.

The company has been sending messages to advice customers about this recent change.

The website explained the mobile hotspot throttling by saying that “We just made your network better again. T-Mobile device data comes first. We’ve primed the network for on-device use.” The website went on to say “So now when there’s congestion, you may notice higher speeds for data on your T-Mobile devices versus Smartphone Mobile Hotspot (tethering).”

Mobile hotspot throttling - T-MobileWhen the network becomes heavily congested, the service will automatically give priority to on-device data. This, the company admits, will bring about slower tethering speeds. Those slower speeds will occur even for people who have paid for them.

The mobile hotspot throttling should keep smartphones moving fast but laptops will have a more sluggish connection.

The change has been made at the same time that T-Mobile has been working to encourage customers to switch to somewhat unlimited plans. They want people to use plans labeled as unlimited but that actually do have certain limitations applied to them. They are hoping the switch will occur to send people away from the data buckets.

The newly launched T-Mobile One plan does not have any coverage fees or data caps. However, it does have a throttle that reduces video to 1.5 Mbps. This makes it possible to enjoy about 480p resolution but not more. Moreover, when customers consume over 26 GB in a month, their data usage is throttled, as well when connecting to cell towers.

The standard plan through T-Mobile One has a monthly fee of $70. While those customers can connect to hotspots, it is throttled to 512 kbps no matter the time of day or congestion. This is considerably slower than the un-throttled 4G LTE mobile tethering download speeds from the company. Those typically run between 3 and 25 Mbps, but can run as high as 90 Mbps. T-Mobile One customers can pay an additional monthly $25 for faster hotspot use and high-def video, but even in that package is subject to the mobile hotspot throttling at congested times.