Dropped calls and data sessions up 121 per cent says Amdocs

The proportion of data traffic passing over cellular networks has grown to 98 per cent, leaving mobile operators struggling to cope soaring dropped call and data session rates, according to a study published today.

Research conducted by software vendor Amdocs analysed over four million voice and data sessions over the past 12 months, conducted from more than 100,000 mobile devices globally. It found that the share of data traffic on networks grew to 98 per cent from 90 per cent year on year. The stress that data demands place on networks has caused dropped data and voice calls to grow in number by 121 per cent, added Amdocs.

The findings also revealed that the top complaints made by operators’ customers over the past 12 months also focused on issues caused by data traffic; lack of data coverage accounted for 47 per cent of complaints, followed by monthly data limits (30 per cent) and download costs (16 per cent).

While the number of voice sessions has reduced in comparison to data sessions year on year, the quantity of voice calls made by subscribers actually increased by 16 per cent year on year. This revealed a trend of more subscribers making calls indoors as 33 per cent more calls were made within buildings, year on year. However, this has potential to cause further problems for operators in the future as Amdocs suggested that indoor data users currently experience 50 per cent drop in data throughput.

The increased strain of data traffic on networks has contributed to mobile operators making substantial changes to their business model in order to adapt. Enrique Blanco, global CTO at European operator group Telefónica recently explained to that traffic across its global footprint is growing at a rate of 25 to 30 per cent annually. In response, the firm has undertaken its Unica project aiming to virtualize 30 per cent of all new infrastructure by 2016.

“Think about Telefónica in terms of how many countries we are operating in and how many different infrastructures we are operating,” he said, “and then think about what virtualization means. For us it means that we can change how we operate, change our governance model, exploit our capabilities in the datacentre, reduce the total cost of operation by up to 30 per cent and at the same time upgrade our platforms.”

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