By: Dan O’Donnell
I will take credit here for coining a new word, “mobulation.” I hope mobulation will someday be added to Webster’s Dictionary and make me famous. In the mean time, I will write some thoughts about the pending mobulation explosion.
Let’s start with a clear definition. Mobulation is the population of mobile network connected devices including cell phones, smart phones, tablets and laptops. The mobulation explosion is my term for the incredible growth in mobile devices and the network traffic they create. Cisco predicts that by the end of 2012 there will be more mobile devices than people on this earth we all share. This prediction will have a near term critical impact on the networking industry. The report is the Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011 – 2016.
As more phones are put into service, more data will be generated. However, in addition to phone traffic, smart mobile devices are generating data and video traffic at a much greater rate. Here are some interesting numbers:
• Smartphones represent only 12 percent of global handsets in use today but they use over 82 percent of total handset traffic.
• The number of mobile-connected tablets tripled in 2011 to 34 million. Each tablet generates 3.4 times the network traffic than the average smartphone.
• Mobile connected laptops generate 22 times more traffic than smartphones. Mobile data traffic per laptop was 2.1GB per month, up 46 percent from 2010.
• Global mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold between 2011 and 2016 reaching 10.8 exabytes per month. (1 exabyte = 1 quintillion bytes or 1018 bytes)
These numbers remind me of when I was taking Astronomy in college. It is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the numbers. Imagine, though, what will happen to network traffic when smartphones represent 40% of the global handset market. Imagine the mobile data traffic loads when the tablet market, which is still very young, matures to ubiquity.
These events will have enormous impact on today’s networks and not just for service providers. As smart mobile devices blur the line between corporate and private data traffic, the increased throughput will impact enterprise as well as carrier networks. New strategies will be needed for network monitoring, management and security. More specialized and faster appliances will be required to protect corporate assets and keep confidential information secured.
The glue holding all these appliances together is the network access device. A well-planned monitoring strategy built around permanent network access equipment will help keep appliance port costs down and maintain high network availability. The AFS by Network Critical is one example of this foundational piece for network monitoring and security. The AFS provides access, aggregation, filtering and load-balanced distribution in a small 1U package.
The experts at Network Critical are working with enterprise and carrier clients every day designing intelligent, next generation access strategies. The Mobulation Explosion is happening now. Do not wait until your network is overwhelmed by an onslaught of mobile data traffic. Plan your high speed/high availability network access strategy now.