Is Mobile Data Going to Clog The Tubes?

Maybe we should call a plumber.

There’s an interesting post on Mobile Opportunity about how the continued move to mobile data might run into infrastructure problems, simply because there’s more data moving than the existing frameworks can handle, or soon will be.

This comes on the heels of both YouTube and Facebook squaring off recently by adding HD video to their respective services, as well as what appears to be an ever increasing desire from consumers to suck in as much content as they possibly can on their mobile devices. Increased usage apparently is creating an overload on some networks. We’ve certainly seen seen carriers moving to cap usage and I’m sure those efforts will only continue. But in an age where old media bastions are feeling the pinch from Internet outlets, and mobile device operators are apparently being successful in creating demand for even more, could it be trouble ahead?

It all begs the question, why, if the carriers and providers hoped to create this kind of business model were they not ready for the apparently explosive growth?   Check out this quote:

This increased activity is creating an uncomfortable problem for some mobile operators: it’s apparently overloading their networks. There have been predictions for years that this could happen — a report from 2005 pointed out that the typical 3G network would be overloaded if 40% of subscribers used video just eight minutes a day (link). It predicted potential traffic overload by 2007.

The article goes on to say that the real stresses and difficulties are tough to determine because those who control the pipes don’t like to talk about it openly, and says transparency is the best option. I wouldn’t count on that.