posted on October 12, 2011 14:00
A new report I wrote is now available at GigaOM Pro (membership required to download it).
Mobile operators face an unprecedented growth in data traffic, stemming from multiple dimensions — subscribers, devices and applications among them. But simply adding more macro base stations or upgrading to new technologies such as LTE will not suffice to meet the data growth challenge.
Rather, operators must adopt a new approach to expand network capacity and utilization. Such a move requires new topologies, technologies and hardware form factors, as well as new traffic management tools.
One solution is to take advantage of heterogeneous networks, which are the result of increasing capacity in congested areas that leverage the existing macro infrastructure across the network. The result is that networks provide operators with a more flexible set of tools that will allow them to implement deep changes in how they think about and deploy their networks. They will also allow operators to move from what still is a voice-centric cellular network to a truly Internet protocol–based data network.
This report explores the opportunities and challenges in deploying such networks and includes a look at what’s to come in the future as wireless data traffic continues to grow.