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7 communications tech trends for 2015

12 Feb 2015  | Olga Shapiro

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Small cells are gaining momentum and will continue to evolve in coming years. This technology can be used to handle local coverage and capacity issues resulting from increased mobile data consumption. Small cells provide customers with faster, more reliable services in crowded areas such as malls and stadiums. Demand for small-cell infrastructure test equipment and network optimisation solutions is expected to increase.

HetNets are one of the most effective technologies for increasing the capacity of mobile networks. A typical HetNet is comprised of several radio access technologies, architectures, transmission technologies and base stations of various transmission powers.

Deployment of VoLTE will likely increase the heterogeneous nature of network infrastructure. As a result, VoLTE can be used to solve latency problems when transitioning between areas covered by VoLTE and those covered by different network architecture. HetNets Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) leave much to be desired as handoff issues between cellular and small cell Wi-Fi networks still exist. Roaming, traffic prioritisation, and user authentication are among other HetNet challenges that must be addressed. Thus, operators need effective products and systems to test and monitor legacy-based network infrastructure and next-generation mobile wireless networks for proper coverage.

Small-cell infrastructure

Source: NEC

802.11ac

Another trending technology is 802.11ac, which helps SPs with mobile traffic offloading to Wi-Fi. In fact, 802.11ac technology is critical in ensuring Wi-Fi networks reach carrier-grade quality. In 2017, it is estimated that over 55 per cent of all mobile data will be offloaded to Wi-Fi networks. To quell customer churn, SPs must ensure that the quality of Wi-Fi services is acceptable. As carrier-grade Wi-Fi becomes a reality, demand for test and monitoring solutions is expected to rise.

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