Telcos urged to get smart as mobile usage explodes

World moving from a society of Windows PCs to a society of smartphones. Photo: Marina Neil

Australians are consuming so much video and internet on their smartphones that mobile data usage is forecast to grow 32-fold from 2010 to 2015, according to the world’s largest provider of network equipment, Cisco Systems.

But as people look to use their smartphones for everything they could do on a PC, it remains to be seen whether the telcos’ networks will hold up. Two-thirds of the increase in usage is expected to come from mobile video.

The surge in mobile data usage – which has almost tripled every year for the last three years – caught many carriers off guard, with Optus’s network buckling under the weight of all of its iPhone users when the device first launched and more recently Vodafone’s network struggling with the surge in smartphone and mobile broadband users.

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