An interesting market research published by Akamai and Ericsson shows the state of fixed and mobile broadband market worldwide. It was interesting to see in report that while it is hard to compare mobile and fixed broadband (different penetration level, different user mix), the bandwidth differences are interesting.
In the second quarter of 2011 average connection speeds on known mobile providers ranged from 5.3 Mbps down to 209 kbps. Average peak connection speeds ranged from 23.4 Mbps down to 1.2 Mbps. On fixed line broadband the global average connection speed was 2.6 Mbps, and the global average peak connection speed was 11.4 Mbps.
So while in many places mobile broadband is still very slow in many others worldwide it is high and exceeds the fixed data link. This is evidence to the growing need for higher bandwidth from mobile providers (no real surprise there). We see different providers approaching it with a variety of solutions, or combination of solutions including: increased deployments of LTE based solutions, offloading (when possible) traffic to local WiFi links, and creation of smaller cell sites (pico cells) for condensed areas to offload the macro cell. On top of that providers are looking on future solutions and architectures like C-RAN (should be link) that will allow them to combine these solutions in a more economical way.
What other methods do you see operators use?