Long-term drivers of broadband traffic in next-generation networks

P. Loskot*, M.A.M. Hassanien, F. Farjady, M. Ruffini, D. Payne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is concerned with long-term (20+ years) forecasting of broadband traffic in next-generation networks. Such long-term approach requires going beyond extrapolations of past traffic data while facing high uncertainty in predicting the future developments and facing the fact that, in 20 years, the current network technologies and architectures will be obsolete. Thus, "order of magnitude" upper bounds of upstream and downstream traffic are deemed to be good enough to facilitate such long-term forecasting. These bounds can be obtained by evaluating the limits of human sighting and assuming that these limits will be achieved by future services or, alternatively, by considering the contents transferred by bandwidth-demanding applications such as those using embedded interactive 3D video streaming. The traffic upper bounds are a good indication of the peak values and, subsequently, also of the future network capacity demands. Furthermore, the main drivers of traffic growth including multimedia as well as non-multimedia applications are identified. New disruptive applications and services are explored that can make good use of the large bandwidth provided by next-generation networks. The results can be used to identify monetization opportunities of future services and to map potential revenues for network operators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAnnales des Télécommunications
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

Funding: Welsh Government and British Telecom plc as the Digital Wales Research Hub (DWRH)


  • broadband services
  • network operator
  • next-generation networks
  • traffic forecasting
  • traffic growth drivers
  • video streaming


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