Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Survey: Mobile Networks are Near Full Capacity

Traditional network management practice says that network element usage level should not exceed 70% of its capacity. If it does - it is time to do something - buy more or manage it better. So, according to a recent Credit Suisse report - it is time to do something for wireless networks, globally. For North America, where current utilization at peak time reaches 80% it is even urgent.

 (pictured) reports to FierceWireless that - "Wireless networks in the United States are operating at 80 percent of total capacity, the highest of any region in the world, according to a report prepared by investment bank Credit Suisse. The firm argued that wireless carriers likely will need to increase their spending on infrastructure to meet users' growing demands for mobile data .. globally, average peak network utilization rates are at 65 percent, and that peak network utilization levels will reach 70 percent within the next year. .. 23 percent of base stations globally have capacity constraints, or utilization rates of more than 80 to 85 percent in busy hours, up from 20 percent last year .. In the United States, the percentage of base stations with capacity constraints is 38 percent, up from 26 percent in 2010"
Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin (pictured) wrote "Wireless capex expectations may need to increase longer-term.. investors seem to expect capital intensity to start to decline in 2012 once LTE spending is largely complete. Investors may be underestimating the level of equipment spending that is required on an ongoing basis to support rapid growth in wireless data".



  1. A mobile ad hoc network is a self-configuring infra structureless network of mobile devices connected by wireless links. Such networks may operate by themselves or may be connected to the larger Internet.


  2. What is used to calculate this 80%?
    Is it the number of subscribers during busy hour as ratio of subscribers that the element with the least capacity can support?

    Or is it the traffic volume at busy hour as a ratio of maximum traffic volume that can be supported by your bottleneck element in the network?