Study by Wireless 20|20 Indicates Wi-Fi Offloading Critical for Wireless 3G/4G Network Traffic Mitigation
New Windsor, NY – January 30, 2012 – Wireless 20/20, LLC (www.wireless2020.com), a leading broadband wireless advisory group and the developer of the industry-leading WiROI™ Business Case Analysis Tool, today announced the newest version of their award-winning WiROI™ Tool which now provides Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) a way to analyze the economic impact of offloading 3G/4G Data to Wi-Fi. Wireless 20/20 developed the new WiROI™ 4G Wi-Fi Offloading Business Case Analysis Tool as part of their latest study and business case analysis, which concluded that deploying Wi-Fi offload networks could substantially mitigate 3G/4G traffic congestion in high-traffic areas. The results of the analysis are published in Wireless 20/20’s presentation titled "ROI Analysis of Wi-Fi Offloading".
By adding the capability to analyze the tradeoffs of deploying a Wi-Fi offload network compared to deploying primary network hardware, the new WiROI™ Tool enables MNOs to analyze the conditions where Wi-Fi deployment can help the most, determine the investment required, and optimize the configuration of the Wi-Fi offload network to maximize ROI.
The WiROI™ Tool can model all of the technical, financial and commercial parameters for an operator’s 3G and 4G network deployment. By modeling all CapEx, OpEx, and revenues for a 3G/4G network, the tool outputs a complete 10 year income statement. The addition of the Wi-Fi offload module enables the analysis of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) tradeoff between deploying a Wi-Fi offload network and adding additional capacity into the 3G and 4G network. Further, the new version of the WiROI™ Tool allows operators to pinpoint the optimal Wi-Fi coverage and access point density that will maximize the return for an operator.
Heavy Reading market research and analysis has demonstrated that public hotspots, home and office-based Wi-Fi networks already carry a substantial portion of a subscriber’s daily smartphone traffic. These estimates suggest that from 20%, up to 80%, of smartphone-user traffic is already being offloaded using these Wi-Fi connections. The goal of Wireless 20/20’s study was to analyze a business case for an operator to deploy their own Wi-Fi network in order to offload the traffic that is carried over the 3G/4G network, excluding the traffic already offloaded.
"There has been much talk in the industry about the need for Wi-Fi offloading to help deal with the exponential growth in demand for mobile broadband data", said Berge Ayvazian, senior analyst at Heavy Reading. "Up until now, there has not been an effective way of truly understanding when Wi-Fi makes sense and what the economic return could be. Wireless 20/20 has created another very unique business case analysis tool that can be customized for any Mobile Network Operator to help them answer these questions."
Wireless 20/20’s latest study analyzed the impact of deploying Wi-Fi offloading from a 4G LTE network in New York City. To provide 4G LTE service in NYC, an operator needs 216 cell sites for adequate coverage. To keep up with the expected increase in demand for data over the next 10 years, the LTE coverage in NYC would have to be supplemented with an additional 1,879 cell sites. The study concluded that deploying a Wi-Fi offload network in NYC will significantly reduce the burden of data traffic carried by the 4G LTE network and results in 7.2% reduction in the TCO over the 10 year period.
The following are highlights of the study findings:
- Optimum ROI is achieved with 33,138 access points place in high traffic areas.
- The 33,138 access points would be spread over a 789 square km area of NYC
- The average density of access points would be 42 per square km
- The total CapEx for deploying the Wi-Fi access network would be $41M
- The 10 year cumulative OpEx would be $59M
- The number of capacity cells would be reduced to 432, a saving of 1,447 LTE sites
- The Total Cost of Ownership would be reduced by $253M
- Cumulative Free Cash Flow would improve by $287M
According to the study, the business case for Wi-Fi offload is highly dependent on Wi-Fi site rental and backhaul costs. When these costs exceed $100-$150 per month, the business case becomes challenging. When these costs are less than $40 per month, Wi-Fi offload becomes a highly attractive solution. Mobile Network Operators who are considering deploying Wi-Fi offload networks are encouraged to use Wireless 20/20’s new, easy-to-use, WiROI™ 4G Wi-Fi Offloading Business Case Analysis Tool.
Wireless 20/20's Data Traffic Calculator, a demonstration version of the WiROI™ 4G Wi-Fi Offloading Tool and a summary presentation of the study “ROI Analysis of Wi-Fi Offloading” can be accessed at: www.wireless2020.com/Wi-Fioffloading.
About Wireless 20/20, LLC
Wireless 20/20 is an independent market research and consulting company focused solely on the broadband wireless market. Wireless 20/20 has helped over 50 broadband wireless operators around the world build business case, analyze market opportunities, complete technology and vendor selection, and develop network roll out strategies. Our principals have been engaged in the broadband wireless industry since its inception and have a thorough understanding of the technical, business and product issues surrounding the development of wireless devices, equipment, networks and services. For more information visit: www.wireless2020.com.
WiROI™ is a trademark of Wireless 20/20, LLC.