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Research and Markets: Coping Strategies for the Mobile Data Explosion - The Incredible Shrinking Cell, HetNets, and LTE Advanced
[February 09, 2012]

Research and Markets: Coping Strategies for the Mobile Data Explosion - The Incredible Shrinking Cell, HetNets, and LTE Advanced

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dublin - Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Coping Strategies for the Mobile Data Explosion - The Incredible Shrinking Cell, HetNets, and LTE Advanced" report to their offering.

A survey of 90 cellular operators to understand their strategy for coping with massive data requirements in their networks Mobile operators are frequently told they are now facing the perfect storm'. They need massive extra capacity in order to support the data services and web experience users demand as a default, yet they are making dwindling returns on that investment. Some figures underpinning the nightmare: - Mobile data traffic will increase at 70% a year in developed markets between 2011 and 2015, but mobile data revenues will increase by only 17%.

- Data is already accounting for well over 90% of a carrier's traffic in developed markets, but only one-third or less of its ARPU.

- ARPU from data is increasing, but it is not doing so sufficiently quickly to compensate for plummeting voice revenues.

- In order to retain the same level of customers and revenues, carriers will need to invest about $14bn in new networks worldwide between 2011 and 2015. The major investment will be upgrading the air interface to HSPA+ and, especially, LTE (Advanced), but these upgrades alone will address only 20% of the estimated additional capacity that will be needed by 2016.

The only way to sustain a profit model against this backdrop will be to reduce dramatically the cost of delivering mobile data. At the same time, new networks must not just slash the cost per Gigabyte and per Mbps, but must support massive increases in capacity, so that operators can satisfy current customers and have room for new revenue streams. Since an air interface upgrade is only 20% of the solution, new ways will have to be found to make the wireless technologies far more efficient, getting far greater mileage out of each piece of spectrum and each mobile cell.

This will mean designing networks in an entirely different way. Hallmarks of the new RAN will include: - increasing deconstruction of the base station to distribute processing effort efficiently and reduce cost - smaller and smaller cells, to maximize capacity by moving it closer to the user - multiple layers of base stations within each macrocell, often using different frequencies and air interfaces within one cell to deliver more capacity - extensive offload of macro network data to various other technologies - flexible backhaul techniques - new, sometimes unconventional spectrum bands and carrier aggregation - advanced traffic management policies and tools These add up to two key and related trends which will be the focus of this report - the distributed network and the small cell.

The logical extension of these trends will be two radical network designs which will be fully enabled by LTE-Advanced - the heterogeneous network (HetNet) and the Cloud RAN. Both of these will be firmly on the cellcos' roadmaps from 2013 with the beginnings of LTE-Advanced upgrades.

This report examines the steps along that road, the key RAN technologies which will enable the new-look network, and the impact they will have on operators' capex investments, operating efficiencies and ability to support massive data explosion while remaining profitable. It includes full forecasts of operators' projected capex spend on 3G+ and 4G networks by base station form factor; air interface; and region. Rethink Technology Research has conducted the most comprehensive study yet of what mobile operators intend to do about the 4G dilemma. It conducted an in-depth survey of over 90 operators with plans to deploy LTE and/or HSPA+ in developed or major urban markets between now and 2015.

All of them also plan at least to trial LTE-Advanced by that date. They were questioned about how their infrastructure budgets will be allocated during the period of the study; how quickly they aim to move to the new standards; and which network topologies and base station technologies they plan to adopt. In addition, the vendors and ecosystems supporting those technologies were identified and analyzed. The resulting report harnesses those carrier and OEM strategies to forecast the rise of these new technologies, and plot the shape of the future networks in LTE and LTE-Advanced. The research found that carriers believe they have six key weapons to make their data businesses profitable despite slow ARPU growth and massive increases in data traffic: - Planning and deploying networks in new ways in order to boost capacity at lower cost and support new services - in particular, by using small cells and HetNets - New spectrum - A host of new charging structures, looking well beyond simple tiered pricing - An end to device subsidies - New ways of generating revenue from new devices such as tablets Entirely new revenue streams harnessing the new networks Their strategies for tariffs and subsidies have been examined in the previous Rethink report, 4G data networks - carriers' savior or a black hole? This report, the second in the series, looks in-depth at how operators aim to enhance capacity and quality of service with new approaches to network planning, even while radically reducing the cost of ownership and the vital dollar per Gigabyte' figure.

Key Topics Covered: Executive Summary Introduction: the mobile data deluge 1. Operators' new network goals in 4G 2. LTE will not be enough 3. Key trend 1: The deconstructed RAN 4. Forecasts for the new networks 5. Key trend 2: Small cells and the road to HetNet Companies Mentioned: - Sprint Nextel - Ericsson - Clearwire - Light-Squared - ZTE - NTT DoCoMo - China Mobile - AT&T - AceAxis - Commscope - Kathrein - Ubidyne - Alcatel-Lucent - Nokia Siemens - Orange - Verizon Wireless - Etisalat - Freescale - Hewlett-Packard - Huawei - Texas Instruments - Cisco - IBM - Intel - South Korea Telecom - KDDI - Verizon Wireless - Rogers Wireless - Picochip - Ubiquisys - Qualcomm - Broadcom - BelAir - ARM - MindSpeed - Cavium - DesignArt - Cognovo - Xilinx - ADI - Altera - Ruckus - Chunghwa Telecom - Apple - UQ Communications - T-Mobile - Wireless Broadband Alliance - iPass - Deutsche Telekom - Femto Forum - InterDigital - Cablevision - Motorola - Cambridge Broadband Networks - Bluwan - Cambridge Communication Systems - Dragonwave - Siklu Communications - Bridgewave - Taqua - fSona - LightPointe Communications For more information visit CONTACT: Research and Markets Laura Wood, Senior Manager, [email protected] U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907 Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716 ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at on the world wide web. Inquiries to [email protected])).


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