There is a serious problem in the cellular industry arising from customer’s insatiable demand for mobile data services. It is that operators must reduce their costs, as traffic exponentially grows.

But existing models for mobile service delivery are seen as inadequate to satisfy demand. And, it takes many years and billions of dollars for mobile operators to acquire and build out new licensed spectrum. Unless mobile operators deploy more cost-effective technologies to complement their networks, the viability of mobile Internet services is at risk.

The solution is found in offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi and femtocells. Analysts estimate that 30% to 60% of total data traffic will be offloaded from 3G and 4G mobile networks by 2015. At this rate, by 2015 commercial Wi-Fi networks will carry as much mobile data traffic as was carried by all mobile networks in 2010.

The devices using the most mobile data – smartphones, laptops and tablets – all support Wi-Fi. Currently, laptops and tablets ubiquitously support Wi-Fi and support of Wi-Fi by smartphones will increase from 50% to 95% by 2014.

Offloading to Wi-Fi is the fastest way to achieve this dramatic reduction in backhaul costs (compared to fixed broadband) and RAN costs, without the need to purchase additional spectrum.

It offers an immediate solution to operators worldwide looking to increase capacity and coverage. Its availability is widespread and growing, with over one million commercial hotspots today.

We have released a new Whitepaper that aims to help mobile operators to manage the exponential demand for mobile data services, by focusing on the benefits and challenges of using Wi-Fi technology to offload data traffic and optimize their RANs. The Whitepaper, discusses the Challenges, State of the Market, Lessons learned by leading Operators and Next Generation Hotspot.

The Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) Whitepaper: Maintaining the Profitability of Mobile Data Services is available for download: www.wballiance.com/resource-center/white-papers/