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Apple iPhone 5 launch could have a negative effect on businesses

Software downloads could see networks overloaded by traffic

The launch of the Apple iPhone 5, the next iteration of Apple's smartphone is highly-anticipated by consumers around the globe. However, while the iPhone 5, which looks set to be unveiled tomorrow (October 4), has Brits gripped with anticipation, businesses should be more concerned about the device, says Blue Coat Systems.

According to Nigel Hawthorn, vice president of marketing, at Blue Coat Systems - the web security firm -  businesses should be aware that their internet gateway and network links to branch and remote offices could be at huge risk of becoming flooded by Apple-related activity.

See also Apple iPhone 5 launch: as it happens

"If this happens, everything else will grind to a halt, including business critical applications and communication. Just in terms of software downloads, new iTunes and iOS updates will likely cost the corporate network about 800MB per user, with about 70 percent of those likely to happen within a 48 hour period," he said.

Furthermore, Hawthorn predicts employees are likely to tune into live Apple coverage around the launch as well as accessing shorter on-demand videos of iPhone news.

"Live coverage of an Apple keynote or press conference could cost the corporate network anywhere from an average of 360MB to 1.1GB per viewer, depending on the quality of the selected video," he said.

"The bigger impact is what those live streams could do to the real-time capacity of the company's internet gateway or branch office links; as in real terms, one to three viewers could completely exhaust the average capacity of a branch office link."

Hawthorn said as a result some businesses will opt to block live video and Apple software downloads but he says this is likely to prove unpopular with employees.

"Others might cap the bandwidth used by such applications; however this would require a very intelligent network," he said.

"Best practices in the consumer driven workplace are to optimise first – mitigate the impact, then contain via policy when the recreational traffic is in danger of pushing out key corporate applications".

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