7 Communications Technologies to Watch in 2015

VoLTE and HetNets

SOURCE: www.eetimes.com

--2/11/2015 00:07 AM EST

--Olga Shapiro, Program Manager, Frost & Sullivan Test & Measurement Practice.

LTE & LTE-A, VoLTE & HetNets, 802.11ac, NFV, IoT, and 5G will all make significant forward strides in 2015, from development to deployment.

As SPs focus investments on LTE, sophisticated services like VoLTE (voice over LTE) will likely gain importance. VoLTE will lead to a recovery in mobile voice services and enable a new conversation experience—one much better than Skype. Because consumers still value voice services, VoLTE will remain significant for SPs.

HD voice will be available within the same network and SPs will offer additional services for VoLTE calls. Moreover, services such as web real-time communications are expected to be deployed, and enterprises will embed RCSs (rich communications services) into web applications to improve customer experience. At present, there is a shortage of VoLTE-compliant mobile devices. In addition, the industry must address handover when switching from circuit switch networks to complete IP-based networks. Mobile manufacturers must address issues with battery life to capacitate VoLTE. Because of these issues, demand for VoLTE continues to grow as there is a need to conduct performance testing on VoLTE-enabled devices, especially against heterogeneous networks.

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 optimization 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 QoS (Quality of Service) and QoE (Quality of Experience) leave much to be desired as handoff issues between cellular and small cell Wi-Fi networks still exist. Roaming, traffic prioritization, 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.

 

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