The sharp rise in 3G penetration, lower-cost smartphones and USB laptop dongles, the popularity of mobile applications and flat-rate data plans have all contributed to a spectacular rise in the amount of data traversing operators’ networks.
After two years of such growth, mobile operators are now realizing they need to optimize their 3G networks and transform to 4G to manage mobile data growth.
The LTE opportunity
LTE technology has emerged as the next-generation technology that will lead the growth of mobile broadband services in the next decade. It is expected to generate unprecedented economies of scale as it becomes the universal 4G mobile platform used by both HSPA and EV-DO operators.
It is critical to delivering the lower cost per bit, higher bandwidth and subscriber experience needed to address the challenges of mobile broadband.
It offers significant speed and performance improvements for multimedia applications at a lower cost; enhanced applications such as video blogging, interactive TV, advanced gaming and social networking; and a wider variety of devices such as smartphones, tablets and video devices as well as machine-to-machine devices for healthcare, transportation and other industries.
To be a significant contributor to end-to-end service creation and enrich the subscriber experience, the LTE network must support an agile, scalable and open approach. This will depend on:
- The network’s capacity to support peak user data rates, high average data throughputs, and low latency;
- The ability to leverage existing 3G infrastructure investments with a network migration path to LTE;
- Ensuring service continuity for existing revenue-critical 3G services while supporting the rollout of new 4G services;
- Balancing insatiable demand for mobile data services with LTE dependencies on spectrum, and a supporting devices and applications ecosystem;
- Innovative and personalized service plans that encourage mass market adoption.