Olga Yashkova's Blog


MWC 2016 and Test & Equipment Industry: 5G is closer than you think

17 Feb 2016

I expect 5G to steal the show at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). 5G has been a topic of discussion for a while already and it is becoming more prominant with carriers such as SKTelecom and Verizon Communications, just to name a few. Meanwhile, AT&T recently announced its trial plans for 5G in 2016. The carrier is planning to conduct field trials of 5G technologies to provide wireless connectivity in fixed locations within Austin by the end of this year. Specific frequencies have not been disclosed at this point, however, they will test cmWave and mmWave spectrums, as well as 5G air interface technologies to provide enhanced mobile broadband service with throughputs above 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and very low latency. It is also becoming clear that 5G will reveal new frequency bands in the microwave and millimeter wave ranges for commercial wireless communications.

The test & measurement industry is to play the most crucial role in 5G deployments because quality of service and, most importantly, quality of user experience have to be ensured and verified. Test Equipment vendors such as Anritsu, Rohde & Schwarz, Keysight Technologies and National Instruments (NI) among others, have made significant developments in 5G testing and are set to showcase their solutions at the MWC 2016.

NI, who is leading 5G prototype efforts, will demonstrate their latest 5G developments and will host a panel at the MWC 2016 with speakers from Nokia, Intel, Vodafone with James Kimery, Director of RF Research on February 23. In addition, there will be a number of NI partner demonstrations and prototypes on the tradeshow floor with companies such as Cobham Wireless, Intel, Nokia, Alcatel Lucent and ZTE related to 5G.

Attendees should also be aware that:

  • Anritsu is predicted to showcase its developments for test and measurement of the new 5G air interface R&D, with concrete examples including LTE-A Pro scaled-up to 1GB/s
  • Anritsu will also, reveal testing the new waveforms, mmW measurements, OTA and massive MIMO at the air interface, both the new 5G air interface, and evolution of LTE-A to the LTE-A Pro standards of 3GPP Release 14&15
  • Rohde & Schwarz announced that it will showcase its 5G developments with three different test setups
  • Keysight Technologies is expected to showcase the latest communications design and test solutions, along with its 5G wireless simulation and test solutions at the show

There is a lot going on in the 5G testing arena and this is just a small glance at the test equipment industry. Expect more announcements during the conference. As I said earlier: 5G will steal the show this year!

 

 

MWC 2016 and Test & Equipment Industry: 5G is closer than you think

17 Feb 2016

I expect 5G to steal the show at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). 5G has been a topic of discussion for a while already and it is becoming more prominant with carriers such as SKTelecom and Verizon Communications, just to name a few. Meanwhile, AT&T recently announced its trial plans for 5G in 2016. The carrier is planning to conduct field trials of 5G technologies to provide wireless connectivity in fixed locations within Austin by the end of this year. Specific frequencies have not been disclosed at this point, however, they will test cmWave and mmWave spectrums, as well as 5G air interface technologies to provide enhanced mobile broadband service with throughputs above 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and very low latency. It is also becoming clear that 5G will reveal new frequency bands in the microwave and millimeter wave ranges for commercial wireless communications.

The test & measurement industry is to play the most crucial role in 5G deployments because quality of service and, most importantly, quality of user experience have to be ensured and verified. Test Equipment vendors such as Anritsu, Rohde & Schwarz, Keysight Technologies and National Instruments (NI) among others, have made significant developments in 5G testing and are set to showcase their solutions at the MWC 2016.

NI, who is leading 5G prototype efforts, will demonstrate their latest 5G developments and will host a panel at the MWC 2016 with speakers from Nokia, Intel, Vodafone with James Kimery, Director of RF Research on February 23. In addition, there will be a number of NI partner demonstrations and prototypes on the tradeshow floor with companies such as Cobham Wireless, Intel, Nokia, Alcatel Lucent and ZTE related to 5G.

Attendees should also be aware that:

  • Anritsu is predicted to showcase its developments for test and measurement of the new 5G air interface R&D, with concrete examples including LTE-A Pro scaled-up to 1GB/s
  • Anritsu will also, reveal testing the new waveforms, mmW measurements, OTA and massive MIMO at the air interface, both the new 5G air interface, and evolution of LTE-A to the LTE-A Pro standards of 3GPP Release 14&15
  • Rohde & Schwarz announced that it will showcase its 5G developments with three different test setups
  • Keysight Technologies is expected to showcase the latest communications design and test solutions, along with its 5G wireless simulation and test solutions at the show

There is a lot going on in the 5G testing arena and this is just a small glance at the test equipment industry. Expect more announcements during the conference. As I said earlier: 5G will steal the show this year!

 

 

LTE for Public Safety, VoLTE and VoWiFi Offer Opportunities for Communications Test Equipment Market

14 Jan 2016

LTE and LTE-A technologies success have become the wireless communication standard by delivering mobile broadband data and high-definition voice. This success has lead to the commitment of government authorities to select LTE as the fundamental technology for their next-generation public safety networks. With the United States playing a leading role, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saved 20 MHz of paired spectrum during the 700 MHz auction in 2008. This spectrum is intended to be used for a nation-wide broadband public safety network, deployed, operated, and maintained by the First Responder Network Authority.

Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) is a new trend that offers opportunity to communications test equipment vendors. VoWiFi technology is really transformative as it brings new types of service providers to the table. There is overlap between the VoWfiFi and VoLTE technologies, but there are many different categories of VoWiFi where a carrier can have VoLTE with WiFi, WiFi with or without VoLTE.

There is a need for service providers to test the ability to offload services to WiFi both functionally and also checking the performance after to make sure the quality of service and customer experience is acceptable.

Video is offering another area of opportunity for a number of test equipment vendors especially in regards to video calling services. Being able to verify how the service works in a live network after deployment and test quality of subscriber experience is a critical demand that needs addressing.

The final significant trend is the shift towards increased integration of multiple bands into a single mobile device. Once LTE- A, 3G radio and GSM radio are added on the same device for more bands, it becomes more difficult to test.

For more information regarding research in this area feel free to contact Corporate Communications Associate Jaylon Brinkley at jaylon.brinkley@frost.com

LTE for Public Safety, VoLTE and VoWiFi Offer Opportunities for Communications Test Equipment Market

14 Jan 2016

LTE and LTE-A technologies success have become the wireless communication standard by delivering mobile broadband data and high-definition voice. This success has lead to the commitment of government authorities to select LTE as the fundamental technology for their next-generation public safety networks. With the United States playing a leading role, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saved 20 MHz of paired spectrum during the 700 MHz auction in 2008. This spectrum is intended to be used for a nation-wide broadband public safety network, deployed, operated, and maintained by the First Responder Network Authority.

Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) is a new trend that offers opportunity to communications test equipment vendors. VoWiFi technology is really transformative as it brings new types of service providers to the table. There is overlap between the VoWfiFi and VoLTE technologies, but there are many different categories of VoWiFi where a carrier can have VoLTE with WiFi, WiFi with or without VoLTE.

There is a need for service providers to test the ability to offload services to WiFi both functionally and also checking the performance after to make sure the quality of service and customer experience is acceptable.

Video is offering another area of opportunity for a number of test equipment vendors especially in regards to video calling services. Being able to verify how the service works in a live network after deployment and test quality of subscriber experience is a critical demand that needs addressing.

The final significant trend is the shift towards increased integration of multiple bands into a single mobile device. Once LTE- A, 3G radio and GSM radio are added on the same device for more bands, it becomes more difficult to test.

For more information regarding research in this area feel free to contact Corporate Communications Associate Jaylon Brinkley at jaylon.brinkley@frost.com

VoLTE and HetNets will Continue Driving Test Equipment Needs in 2016

11 Jan 2016

VoLTE is expected to enhance profitability of network operators by offering them various other revenue streams through Rich Communication Services such as video sharing and file transfers.

Up till December 2015, there were 40 operators who had launched VoLTE services in 27 countries.

While incorporating this technology in their networks is a huge opportunity, there are also a lot of challenges related to quality that need to be addressed. For the communication testing community, these challenges provide revenue opportunities to capitalize upon.

The obstacles associated with developing VoLTE compliant mobile devices include handover related issues when switching between circuit switch networks to a complete IP based network. End-users could face latency problems when transitioning between area covered by VoLTE to another area in which the network deployment is different. 

This is becoming even more complex when you factor in roaming, where the caller moves from a region covered by certain telecommunications policy to a region that is governed by a different set of policies. 

In addition, the battery life of the VoLTE enabled mobile device is still a big concern. And as the demand for VoLTE continues to grow, the need for testing equipment that can test the performance of these devices against the heterogeneous network will also increase. 

As most of the components which constitute the infrastructure are multi- vendor sourced, interoperability becomes an issue when these components need to come together in order to provide exceptional customer service. 

The carrier community needs innovative testing and monitoring solutions which can pin point anomalies in an infrastructure built up of different proprietary components in very short time frame and at low OPEX. 

They also require effective end-to-end solutions which can test and monitor legacy based network infrastructure and ensure efficient handovers and adequate coverage. 

Engineering the phone around the VoLTE concept of seamlessly moving from licensed spectrum to unlicensed LTE spectrums is a significant challenge for mobile device manufacturers. 

In 2015, Frost & Sullivan estimated that the revenues generated by the VoLTE testing and monitoring equipment stood right above $600 million. This number is expected to increase to exceed $1.74 billion by 2022.

In 2016 Frost & Sullivan expects this market to reach $699 million and grow at 15.7% from 2015 mainly due to continual VoLTE deployments globally.

In 2016 Frost & Sullivan expects the deployment of more VoLTE services globally and it will continue as a significant trend offering many opportunities to communications service providers and, of course, test equipment vendors as more test and monitoring solutions will be required to make sure that the customer experience is positive.

The deployment of VoLTE will without any doubts increase the heterogeneous nature of the network infrastructure. 

Prior to 2014, the HetNet market was mostly in trial phase. There was a number of HetNets and small cell deployments taking place in 2014 and 2015 and it will continue into 2016 as well.

According to our latest research, the Global HetNet Test Equipment market exceeded a $1.8 billion mark in revenue in 2014. In 2016, this market is expected to generate $2.4 billion and grow at 14.8% from 2015.

This market is forecasted to reach $4.2 billion in revenue in 2021, growing at CAGR of 12.4% from 2014 to 2021 due to continued small cell deployments.

Factors, such as the need for continual network coverage and capacity, OPEX and CAPEX savings as well as new technologies such as LTE, LTE-A, and 5G, drive the demand for HetNet deployments that, in turn, drive the need for HetNet testing solutions.

The deployment of small cells specific to LTE is expected to be a significant driver for the VoLTE testing and monitoring market as they enhance spectral efficiency significantly. 

Challenges such as interference and latency issues need to be addressed during handovers between small cells or between a small cell and a macro cell for that matter. In addition, these small cells are deployed over a greater area, and it would not be feasible to send testing engineers to each base station in order to ensure the uptime of the base station. Carriers would instead require testing and monitoring solutions which are deployable across such small cells and proactively monitor them from a remote location. 

I also wanted to point out that 4G small cells were the fastest growing small cell type in the market for 2015 mainly driven by venue and dense deployments in cities. Tier 1 communications service providers such as Verizon, Sprint, China Mobile and Vodafone, among others, are investing in network densification heavily. 

T&M is to play a critical part in 2016 as Network Operators need to provide a superb quality of end user experience to their customers. With so many emerging technologies in the market it becomes more difficult and complex. Thus, the demand for effective and integrated test and monitoring solutions will be high in 2016.

Big Data and Increasing Smartphone Penetration Drive the Demand for Mobile Data Monitoring Solutions

10 Jan 2014

Moving from 2G to 3G to LTE, mobile communication technology has achieved rapid progress in the past few years, paving the way for innovation and developments in the wireless communication industry. With a rapid growth in the number of mobile subscribers and a proliferation of mobile devices and tablets, human-to machine and machine-to-machine communication platforms, service providers are facing challenges in terms of keeping up with the amount of data, demands from end-users, as well as technology developments.

            According to Cisco's global mobile data traffic report, the global mobile data traffic reached 885 petabytes per month by December 2012. This number is expected to reach 11.2 Exabyte per month in 2017 by growing at a CAGR of 66.0 percent. To give context on this growth, 1 Exabyte is 1024 petabytes , which is equivalent to 1 billion Gigabytes! Furthermore, as a result of increase in network connection speeds due to 3G and LTE services, the consumption of high-definition video is expected to become more prevalent. During 2012, video based applications represented 45 percent of the total mobile data consumption. Operators continue to invest in the construction of new networks through large-scale deployments in order to support the demand for bandwidth. Deployment of next-generation mobile networks requires visibility across the network in order to test and measure performance, interoperability and security. Operators are forced to address the challenge of effectively monitoring the mobile data traffic in order to address the demand from consumers for the highest quality and speeds anytime, anywhere.

            As the global mobile data traffic continues to increase, there will be an increased emphasis for adopting mobile data management strategy and policy control. This in turn will enable operators to optimize network policy, reduce burden on the network and enforce fair usage across all users.

            Big Data is one of the key drivers for mobile data monitoring solutions because of the tremendous strain it is putting on networks. Big Data is characterized by:

  • Data sets that are large and complex, and which current database tools and applications have difficulty managing and processing.
  • Large volume and growth of data that communications service providers (CSPs) are facing due to growth of video traffic, sensor traffic, and other sources of data traffic.
  • High velocity of data due to increased connectedness, mobile applications, and unrelenting time-sensitive traffic created in the social media environment.
  • Large variety of data due to social networking traffic, the rise of user-generated content, and machine-generated data, leading a variety of structured and unstructured data formats that CSPs have to manage.

            CSPs, network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and enterprises have realized that they need monitoring solutions to ensure that the customer experience is not compromised.

            Increasing smartphone penetration is another key driver for mobile data monitoring solutions market. Also, the penetration of smartphones and tablets across the world is increasing rapidly; almost 49.0 percent and 55.0 percent of the mobile subscribers in the U.S and Europe are now using smartphones. According to Cisco, mobile video traffic contributed 51 percent for the first time in 2012. Additionally, average smartphone usage increased over 80 percent in 2012, and while they represented only 18 percent of total mobile devices in use in 2012, these devices represented over 90 percent of total global mobile device traffic. Mobile operators are struggling to keep up with the demand for data services as subscribers opt to access the internet and video on demand through their phones. The rapid growth of mobile video market fueled by the aggressive penetration rates of smartphones and mobile applications has created traffic management challenges for carriers.

The number of smartphones is also expected to continue to increase significantly, according to Frost & Sullivans research.

 

In 2012, 559 million smartphones were shipped globally and brought in $235.3 million in revenue. It was expected that 761 million smartphones will be shipped by the end of 2013, which would be a 16.7% increase from 2012. Also, globally, smartphones market share is expected to reach 83.5% of total mobile phones by 2020.  

 

In the United States, smartphones contributed 57 percent of the total mobile phone market in 2012, and this share is expected to grow to 91.5% in 2020. This anticipated growth clearly demonstrates a shift in consumer preference from feature phones to smartphones that, in turn, will increase the demand for mobile data monitoring solutions.

 

For more information on Frost & Sullivans Test and Measurement research, contact Jeannette Garcia, Corporate Communications, at jeannette.garcia@frost.com or 210.477.8427.

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