The latest forecasts from Cisco call for an eight-fold increase in mobile data traffic by 2020. Global mobile data traffic will grow twice as fast as fixed traffic, reaching 30.6 exabytes per month in 2020 versus 3.7 exabytes in 2015.
The forecast attributes this growth to increases in the number of mobile users, smart devices, M2M connections and video. Cisco expects over 75 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2020 due to faster 4G networks, more bandwidth, bigger devices, higher processing speeds, and sharper video resolution. According to the report, 4G data use will surpass 2G by 2018 and 3G by 2020. It is expected that 4G will grow from 47 percent of all mobile traffic today, to more than 70 percent by the end of the forecast period.
This means employees are going to be upgrading their devices and consuming a lot more bandwidth. In addition, the share of mobile data traffic offloaded to fixed networks will increase, from 51 percent of total traffic in 2015 to 55 percent in 2020. Without offloading, global mobile data traffic would grow at a compound annual rate of 62 percent instead of 57 percent.
Enterprises need to think about how they will manage offloading as the usage increases. The real challenge, however, will come from offloading that takes place at employees’ homes and in public hotspots. Employees that rely on unsecured networks will be subject to hacks, and organizations will experience breaches with leaks of corporate data. Does your organization have a policy to address this issue? In addition, organizations need to look at the policies that they have in place for employees’ expenses. With increased offloading to home networks, many employees may expect that they will be able to charge a portion of that expense back to their employer.
Organizations that thought they settled questions about reimbursement for telecom services 5 or 10 years ago need to think twice. Now an entirely new generation will be looking for answers to the question of who should pay for these charges. As the lines between work and personal life blur, and the use of telecom services also blur, this question becomes more difficult to answer. Ignoring it will simply lead employees to slip the unmanaged charges into expense reports. Some carriers and Telecom Expense Management (TEM) providers are developing efficient ways to split personal and corporate mobile expenses. As consumption of mobile data traffic skyrockets, the solutions to these challenges are not easy, but they must be addressed in order to avoid letting unmanaged expenses get out of control.Tags: increased data usage