Drivers may be used to the early-morning traffic jams but telecommunication providers will need to prepare for the influx of network users thanks to increased car connectivity.

Certain cells could experience a 97 percent increase in data traffic over the next ten years, a study by TEOCO found. While the traffic won't come entirely from the cars, they will play a large part in spikes during certain times of the day.

Traffic jams for network providers on the horizon Credit: iStock/SteveColeImages
Traffic jams for network providers on the horizon Credit: iStock/SteveColeImages

Mark Hatton, founder and CEO of Machina Research said: "Connected cars, as with other machine-to-machine devices, don't behave like smartphones.

"They represent a very diverse set of challenges to operators through highly varying network traffic patterns at different times of the day."

General machine-to-machine connections will increased from 250 million last year, to over 2.3 billion worldwide.

Yet M2M devices only account for 4 percent of overall network traffic.

While connected cars consume data differently to smartphones and tablets they have different demands that providers need to prepare for.

Hatton explained: "In terms of overall data volumes, connected cars don’t present much of a problem. But network resource management is not based on total traffic volume, it’s based on particular cell sites during peak times of network use. If connected cars regularly cause network traffic spikes in a particular location that can’t be met, there are implications for operators in meeting SLAs and delivering a positive quality of experience.”

Operators will need to identify where and when the network traffic is generated and measure the volume to cope with the demand for reduced latency, higher badnwidth, higher QoS and more signaling.

Analytics vendor TEOCO's vice president of technology and strategy said: "The connected car is just one of many M2M use cases that will put new and unusual demands on network usage that mobile operators will need to resolve...This requires a more sophisticated and comprehensive approach to mobile network planning."

With the reality of driverless cars on the horizon, providing secure and highly available bandwidth will be crucial for public roads in the future. 

Now read Machina Research Pricipal Analyst Jeremy Green's blog in Techworld each week.