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Wireless data traffic: a decade of change

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3 Author(s)

This article presents an overview of the most significant changes in wireless data traffic and its main driving forces throughout the past decade (1998-2008). The main axes of change are discussed: wireless technology, user population, and applications. Evolution of wireless technology realized a 200-fold increase in data rate, and facilitated a continuous enrichment of the traffic mix traversing legacy and modern wireless networks. New applications emerged, such as peer-to-peer file sharing, online gaming, and multimedia, establishing a trend of significant increase in traffic volume. User population has also increased and even saturated some markets. However, not all benefits of wireless technologies are equally exploited, with only a few users exercising high mobility or regularly enjoying multimedia services. Future indications include a requirement for either integration or interoperability of two mainstream wireless technologies, WiFi and cellular, as well as continuous user demand for more bandwidth, broader coverage, and better mobility support.

Published in:

IEEE Network  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 2 )