Wireless Briefs

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  June 01, 2016

WLAN Space Sees Slow Growth

The worldwide wireless local area network market, including both consumer and enterprise, increased 1.4 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2015 but declined -0.3 percent for all of 2015, according to IDC. Enterprise WLAN grew 5.9 percent year over year in the last three months of 2015, marking its best quarter that year. However, the year was marked by what IDC described as “tepid” 3.7 percent growth, and that was less than half the growth the WLAN space saw in 2014. "While weaker compared to what was seen prior to 2015, the growth experienced in the fourth quarter of 2015 was higher than that of the previous three quarters," said Nolan Greene, research analyst of network infrastructure at IDC. "Expected fourth quarter refresh cycles were certainly at play here across the world, with organizations preparing for greater digital transformation initiatives in 2016."

How the WLAN Leaders Are Faring

Cisco's fourth quarter 2015 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue declined -0.7 percent year over year, according to IDC.  Meanwhile, Aruba-HP Enterprise’s WLAN business grew 5.5 percent year over year and 8.6 percent for the full year 2015; these results reflect the performance of HP Enterprise and Aruba, excluding OEM business. Ruckus again had a strong showing, growing 16 percent year over year, but only up 0.5 percent quarter over quarter. Aerohive grew 26.7 percent year over year the fourth quarter of last year and 11 percent quarter over quarter.

Solving the Case of the Supercookies

The Federal Communications Commission in March announced a settlement regarding the Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless cookie case that began in December of 2014. This effort targeted the service provider’s practice of inserting unique identifier headers, or supercookies, on its customers’ mobile internet traffic without their knowledge or consent. Verizon Wireless (News - Alert) as part of the settlement was ordered to pay a $1,350,000 fine and adopt a three-year compliance plan.

IDC: Smartphone Shipments Slowing

Last year may well be the last time smartphone growth is in the double digits, according to new information from IDC. 2015 saw the shipment of 1.44 billion smartphones, up by 10.4 percent over the previous year, the firm said. IDC expects 2016 shipments of 1.5 billion, or 5.7 percent growth over 2015.

Company Claims First LAA Small Cell

Baicells has launched a licensed assisted access small cell using Intel’s (News - Alert) Transcede SoC processing chip. The solution, which the company says is the world’s first LAA small cell, uses a Listen-Before-Talk mechanism to ensure coexistence of LTE and Wi-Fi over unlicensed spectrum. “Aggregation of licensed spectrum and unlicensed spectrum helps the mobile operator reduce their expense on spectrum while still being able to improve the user experience. LBT eliminates any effects on the existing Wi-Fi and makes LAA coexist with Wi-Fi,” said Wei Bai, vice president of marketing at Baicells.

Cruising Into a Virtual Reality

AT&T, the cruise line Carnival, and Samsung recently came together to encourage people to experience virtual reality. Visitors to 133 AT&T stores between Feb. 19 and March 11 could test out the Samsung Gear VR and be entered in a contest to win a cruise in the process. The in-store virtual reality display employed the Samsung Gear VR headset to enable visitors to enjoy Carnival-developed VR content highlighting its ships’ decks, staterooms, entertainment venues, and other features.

Digital Payments on the Incline 

The annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will reach $3.6 trillion this year, up from $3 trillion on 2015, according to new data from Juniper Research. Cards will account for 90 percent of contactless payments over the next 5 years, according to Juniper; however, deployment of near field communications  payments by industry leaders linke Apple and Samsung will increase consumer awareness and usage of smartphones for this purpose.

Social Media Players Are So Money

Social media giants Facebook (News - Alert), Instagram, and Pinterest have introduced buy buttons, allowing users to make purchases directly from their mobile apps in a few clicks, Juniper Research said. “Facebook has already rolled out a P2P service linked to its Messenger service in the U.S., and we would expect additional deployments in other core markets over the next year or so,” said Juniper’s Windsor Holden.

SIs Support Anite’s MIMO OTA Testing

Major systems integrators, including ETS-Lindgren, will support the FAST-OTA capability in Anite’s Propsim channel emulators to speed up mobile device MIMO OTA testing performed in anechoic chambers, the company has announced. Cellular organization CTIA recently recommended that MIMO OTA testing be performed using a multi-probe (Multiple Cluster) methodology (AC-MC) in an anechoic chamber, together with a channel emulator.

Partners Open NB-IoT Lab

Huawei and Vodafone (News - Alert) Group have opened the Open IoT Lab at which they and their partners plan to development products and applications relating to Narrowband Internet of Things technology. The lab will provide a pre-integration testing environment for application developers and device, module, and chip manufacturers. It is the first of seven that Huawei plans to open.

Ericsson Announces IoT Accelerator

Wireless equipment and services giant Ericsson has announced the IoT Accelerator, which becomes available globally at the end of the third quarter. This service combines horizontal, feature-rich platforms with services and a marketplace for collaboration and monetization. Its initial focus areas include public safety, utilities, transport, and smart cities.

Radisys Adds EVS

Radisys now supports the Ultra HD Enhanced Voice Services audio codec in its MediaEngine Media Resource Function. That will enable mobile operators to use less spectrum to deliver HD Audio, or to deliver Ultra HD Audio using the same spectrum required for HD Audio. Ed Gubbins, senior analyst for wireless infrastructure at Current Analysis commented: “As the number of VoLTE subscribers grows, it becomes imperative for mobile operators to maximize the efficient use of their already scarce spectrum, and the EVS codec is designed to help them do that.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle