Mobile operators will be adding a lot of broadband capacity to their networks in the coming year, but not all of its coming from their new 4G networks. More than a fifth (22 percent) of new data capacity will come from Wi-Fi networks, according to a Wireless Broadband Alliance survey of its global carrier and vendor members.
Anyone who owns a smartphone or cellular-connected tablet likely already is shunting a good deal of their mobile traffic onto home, work and other publicly accessible Wi-Fi networks. But what the WBA is talking about are carrier-owned and carrier-managed hotspot networks stuck in places where consumers would normally resort to their 3G and 4G connections.
By moving those connections off their cellular networks, carriers can save on network and spectrum costs and ease congestion in high-demand locations. They also gain some breathing room in the constant race to add more capacity. As Wi-Fi…
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