Forecast: Wi-Fi offload traffic from mobile devices to exceed 4G by 2018

ABI Research anticipates in-building mobile data traffic to grow by more than 600% by 2020.

Forecast: Wi-Fi offload traffic from mobile devices to exceed 4G by 2018
Forecast: Wi-Fi offload traffic from mobile devices to exceed 4G by 2018

In a recent market study, ABI Research forecasts that rapidly increasing adoption of 4G and Wi-Fi will drive monthly in-building traffic to 53 exabytes per month by 2020. With the majority of mobile traffic either originating or terminating indoors today, the analyst confirms that Wi-Fi is now a robust access technology for mobile data offload. In fact, ABI states that in 2015, Wi-Fi offload traffic from mobile devices continued to exceed 4G mobile traffic, and forecasts that, by 2018, Wi-Fi traffic is set to exceed all 2G, 3G and 4G cellular traffic combined.

“Mobile network operators, neutral host providers, building, enterprise and venue owners can all leverage this growth in 4G and Wi-Fi traffic,” says Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research. “Video traffic volume outstrips all other traffic types and will grow tenfold between 2015 and 2020. The enterprise and commercial segments, sports venues, transportation and healthcare verticals continue to transport the most traffic, with shopping malls and hospitality coming in at a close second place.”

According to ABI, in-building wireless data traffic will grow at a double-digit rate to reach 53 exabytes per month worldwide in 2020. Report findings show that the Asia-Pacific region will continue to consume almost half of the worldwide in-building wireless traffic throughout the forecast period. This is due to the region’s large population and extensive Wi-Fi and 4G deployments. “With more than 80% of all traffic originating or terminating indoors, distributed antenna systems (DAS) have now become a must-have for handling mobile and Wi-Fi traffic,” adds Marshall. “As such, DAS and mobile equipment vendors remain poised to benefit from this traffic explosion.”

In terms of global uptake of the technology, the report also states that North America continues to show the most DAS spend, followed by the Asia-Pacific region and then Europe. Leading companies in the DAS market include Alcatel-Lucent, Cobham, Cisco, CommScope, Corning, Dali Wireless, Ericsson, JMA Wireless, Nokia Networks, Wireless Telecom Group and Zinwave. ABI says that these companies and others will benefit from increased DAS spending as mobile broadband operators densify networks to meet this mobile traffic surge.

Learn more about ABI Research’s most recent In-Building Mobile Data Traffic Forecast report.

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