Mark this this date down in your
calendar – November 11, 2017. This is Singles’
Day, better known in China as “Double 11 Shopping Day,” and is the biggest e-commerce
event in China, or rather for the world. Singles’ Day started as an obscure
"anti-Valentine’s Day" celebration for singles in China back in the
1990s; however, it spawned into the world's biggest online shopping day as
Alibaba spotted a commercial opportunity on Singles’ Day in 2009.
Last year, Alibaba smashed its Singles' Day shopping
record by clocking growth of more than 32 percent.
Taobao, the biggest online shopping marketplace in China, operated by Alibaba,
recorded 1 billion RMB gross merchandise
volume in a mere 52 seconds.
bandwidth is growing exponentially
Mobile e-commerce transactions have
been a major driver of China's online sales boom. At least 90
percent of online shoppers in China had used their smartphone at least once to
make a transaction.
Throughout the 24-hour
of insane shopping on Singles’ Day, the smartphones were working relentlessly;
people used WeChat to share information about their purchases, booked taxis via
Didi app, and performed searches on Baidu. These mobile activities require a
lot of data, and is another example of how people in China are devouring
information every minute of the day. The amount of data being consumed at home,
in business and ‘on the go’ is growing rapidly, and users expect fast and
reliable connectivity anytime, anywhere, and on their choice of device.
As we examine the exponential
growth of bandwidth demands, several growing trends in China in fact have dictated
a need for higher bandwidth to support faster connectivity and reduced latency.
1 – China’s demand for bandwidth is rising quickly
The internet in China is becoming a
busy place and a lot happens in just one internet minute.
Whether it’s catching a taxi using Didi
at 20,000 bookings per minute, or making online
payments using Alipay at 122,000
transactions per minute, or even searching the internet using Baidu at 4.2 million queries per minute; so much happens every
2 – Increasing population growth
Cities across China have
experienced an explosion in population growth in the last 30 years. Cities such as Shenzhen and Yiwu
have experienced over 1000 percent growth as governments develop ‘mega
This rapid expansion requires
increased fiber coverage and speed for both wired and wireless networks, to
enable users to benefit from today’s internet. China is truly embracing the
advantages of a connected society with over 373 million rural Chinese having
used mobile banking applications to pay their bills in 2016.
3 – Millennials are driving the change in tomorrow’s networks
With close to 1.3 billion mobile
users and 700 million internet users, China is a market of huge and
fast growing data consumption.
According to CommScope research, 91 percent of Shanghai
millennials who own a smartphone admit they could not go a day without it,
while 21 percent are spending more than two hours a day streaming content like
online videos. Whether it’s shopping with Alibaba, talking with friends on
WeChat or watching the latest television program, it’s all about instant access
4 – The rise of applications requiring low latency
In today’s information age, the
expectation is that data will be close to instantaneous. Networks must be engineered to minimize delay
(latency) and they must be capable of migrating to higher speeds quickly and
Artificial intelligence is one
rapidly growing area that requires minimized latency and higher speeds to
enable ‘mission critical’ applications. Internet giant Baidu is one of the
first major tech companies in China to embrace artificial intelligence and
machine learning as it tested autonomous vehicles in Beijing.
higher bandwidths and speeds of the future
These trends are not just happening
in China. The global demand for data is growing exponentially as users embrace
the convenience and on demand connectivity that the internet delivers. As a
result, data centre traffic is expected to
triple over the next five years, requiring faster, more agile, and
higher density capabilities.
This exponential increase in
worldwide demand raises a key question; will we have the capacity and
capability to deliver the required bandwidth and speeds of the future?
Anticipating this year’s Singles’ Day,
there will be no tolerance for a slow network performance (low bandwidth) to
prevent Taobao from setting yet another 60 seconds’ sales volume record.