The more than 20-fold expected surge in demand for data predicted to hit mobile phone networks by 2017 will present major challenges to logistics and planning teams, a new report has highlighted.
According to research conducted for Amdocs, network providers are planning to boost their capacity by installing millions of small cells in response to 3G data demand and to meet the pledges made over 4G provision.
The majority of service providers (59 percent) plan to use a minimum of 1,000 percent more small cells in five years' time than they employed last year, the study found.
Despite this huge increase in planned capacity, just short of half (47 percent) of those surveyed by Rethink Technology Research are most worried about not having enough resources to deliver the planned network capacity expansions.
The overwhelming majority (94 percent) of those surveyed said their company is planning for a 20-fold hike in demand or more in the next five years.
Half of respondents anticipate a 10 to 20 percent leap in capital expenditure in that time, while 23 percent predict even more significant rises than that.
An expected increase in Wi-Fi offloading to offset growing data demand looks set to accompany other developments, with more than a fifth (22 percent) predicting Wi-Fi integration in more than half of cell sites by the start of 2018.