Mobile Network Trends 2013
Contributions by Jon Pelson & Assaji Aluwihare, JDSU Mobility Solutions
For wireless providers, smart devices have changed everything. More people are using smart devices in almost every aspect of their lives and mobile subscriptions currently outnumber fixed subscriptions by 2:1. Data use continues to climb as people use them to watch movies, get constant news and weather updates, pay bills and keep up with friends via social media.
What is further complicating things is the signaling explosion. The average smartphone today has 40+ active applications running, flooding the network with signaling chatter. This increased signaling activity creates scalability problems when large groups of smartphone users come together in one place.
To combat this problem, wireless providers are building out their networks and upgrading to faster technologies like 4G LTE. These networks are in early phases with the US, Korea and Japan showing the most significant amount of early users, but it is clear that the rollout of 4G LTE is growing faster than any other network technology. As 4G replaces 3G technology, this will better equip people to use applications like video conferencing via mobile devices.
Another solution that wireless providers are implementing to help alleviate networks is the use of small cell nodes that are deployed locally wherever needed in cities and neighborhoods. The smaller towers serve individual buildings or areas of high congestion and can carry more data without adding more spectrum.
Wi-Fi offloading can also help alleviate wireless congestion. Many smart phones today have the ability to switch from a wireless network to a Wi-Fi hotspot whenever one becomes available. Providers have seized on this opportunity by adding hotspots throughout major cities. This not only alleviates bandwidth demands on wireless networks but creates revenue potential for providers of Wi-Fi hotspots.
New network monitoring and optimization solutions will also gain more traction over the next year. One new model for network monitoring and management is a cloud-based dashboard that is fed data via inexpensive and tiny probes embedded throughout a network. Without leaving a desk, an operator can pull specific data to quickly pinpoint the exact problem a customer is having all the way down to the smallest issue, like a jittery video display, and then quickly resolve it.
Having dynamic monitoring solutions allows for more responsive network management and opens up a whole new world of premium services that wireless providers can offer to customers. Some of these new services could include providing guaranteed HD-quality video transmission with no down time or service level agreements for customers that use mobile devices for mission critical applications.
In 2013, wireless providers must continue investing in these types of agile approaches to avoid being overwhelmed by the mobile data explosion.
Optical Communications ·
The Future ·