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6 Oct

Keep Customers Happy - Give Them Unlimited Data!

Unlimited Data Cloud Image

Consumers are growing more and more dependent on their mobile devices for everyday life. And the “transition” is increasing the competition between carriers. Using their availability as a go-to-market strategy, now most carriers’ prime time commercials boast “unlimited data.” The reason carriers are emphasizing this concept is the more consumers rely on their mobile devices, the more data they consume. As a result, data growth is increasing by the month. Carriers need to find a way to quench this thirst for data – while profiting as a business.

As these ads become more frequent and apparent while I watch TV, I thought it would be interesting to see how much data I use on a monthly basis on my mobile. For me, it was important to see if I could break down usage between WiFi and mobile data. You may wonder why, but at the same time as these ads were becoming more prevalent, Cisco published research stating that by 2018 there will be more data offloaded onto WiFi than on mobile networks, a huge shift from where we are today.

Cellular Data Traffic Bar Graph Example Image

The graph above shows I actually used more WiFi data than mobile over the past month. I may be in the minority, but this seems to be the way carriers are pushing us as consumers. In most instances consumers do not even realize this is happening. As we roam to densely populated places -- think airports, train stations, large stadiums -- carriers are putting in WiFi hotspots and configuring our phones to attach to them by default when we are "in-range", This seamless transition from mobile to WiFi happens in order to free up the wireless spectrum for carriers and also allow consumers in most cases faster, cheaper data rates.

Wireless (WiFi) offloading is just one of the ways carriers are looking to free up more spectrum already in use for other initiatives. WiFi offloading is also how carriers can guarantee us as consumers unlimited data plans, even as our data usage increases. By moving our data off their mobile networks and onto WiFi, carriers are able to do two things - continue to promote unlimited use of their networks and keep us – the consumers – happy.

Matt Goldberg is Senior Director of Service Provider Solutions for SevOne.

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