We read a lot about the predicted growth in mobile data traffic and there has been at least 2 years of significant growth to allow operators to get a sense of continued growth into the future. The uptake of smartphones and dongles to drive this growth appears to be unquenchable – a recent prediction suggests that data per smartphone will grow by 7x by 2015 . Whilst the ability of an individual operator to accurately predict or anticipate traffic over a wide area is challenging given the uncertainties of customer demand, why does it appear to be so difficult for operators to agree on demand and therefore capacity requirements in a “closed” environment such as an airport, stadium or shopping centre. In a stadium environment the maximum number of people is known and whilst the profile of the users may change depending on what is taking place (football, rugby, concert etc.) should there really be a 2 or 3 fold difference between what the capacity requirements for different operators is, given roughly equal market shares?
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