Recently, I read an article in the International Business Times which stated that Ofcom, the UK telecom regulator, projects that Internet use in the country will increase by between 80 and 300 times within the next five years, boosting the demand for faster and wider-ranging coverage.
In order to comply with such substantial data volumes, broadcast spectrums and Internet infrastructure would need a major overhaul, the regulator’s chief technical officer Steve Unger said.
In 2012, data downloads over fixed-line broadband jumped 35% and data downloads on mobile devices surged more than 100%. Given this rapid growth, fixed and mobile access networks require improvement to address this challenge, according to Unger.
The current state of the country’s broadband infrastructure is at a critical point, as consumer demand is stronger than its capacity to deliver. The main driver behind this growth is the unprecedented use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Currently, 79% of Britons own at least one device that provides them with access to the Internet, while 16% of them use three or more devices to go online.
Fixed broadband use per single household surged to 23GB from 17GB on a monthly basis last year. Mobile Internet expanded at an even quicker pace rising to 42% as of the end of 2012, from 10% in 2007, with average use staging a 119% growth to 0.24GB in June 2012 from 0.11GB in March 2011.
Households use their devices to perform high-bandwith tasks such as video streaming, with its use going up to 35% last year from 16% in 2007. Catch-up TV is also gaining steam, rising to 28% of households from nearly zero five years before.