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Complexity of Managing Higher Data Rates Compel Wireless Operators to Test their Networks

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 6:22am
The growth of the wireless communication market has a ripple effect on the wireless test equipment market, as increased mobility and Internet access through mobile phones are expected to raise the demand for wireless test equipment solutions. Long-term evolution (LTE), the next step in the evolution of mobile networks, delivers high data rates of up to 100Mbps. Such heavy data loads will challenge wireless operators to manage their networks effectively and ensure customer satisfaction, while still staying profitable.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, World Wireless Test Equipment Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.79 billion in 2010 and estimates this number to exceed $ 5.81 billion in 2017. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following markets: mobile station testers, base station testers, drive testers, mobile backhaul test equipment, and wireless core test equipment.

Higher mobile data usage creates more traffic on the network, leading to increased demand to test for quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE). Educating service providers (SPs) about the importance of testing and monitoring and its impact on QoE and customer churn is crucial to improve the uptake of test equipment.

"Enhanced data usage also triggers transmission pipeline-related technology changes, such as conversion from copper to optical technologies," says Frost & Sullivan Program Manager Olga Yashkova. "Such transition creates new opportunities for testing one gigabit (GB) per second, 10GB, 40GB, and 100GB pipelines."

However, the surfeit of new technologies has thrown up numerous interoperability issues for SPs. As the number of devices supplied by different vendors' increases, protocol management will become more complicated.

In the absence of a separate signaling or session framework, interoperability testing (IOT) has to be performed at every existing node when a new element or software load is placed in service. These activities are time and resource intensive, with costs increasing in proportion to the number of tests that have to be performed. To avoid these hurdles, SPs prefer to work with fewer vendors.

One of the possible solutions to service providers testing concerns is multiple input and multiple output (MIMO) technology, which is a significant component of air interface test equipment. As the industry shifts from 2X2 MIMO to 4X4 MIMO or 8X8 MIMO, testing will become increasingly tough.

Even though MIMO has several unique testing challenges due to its complexity, it presents numerous opportunities for wireless test equipment vendors.

"It will be a while before the market experiences optimal performance from MIMO implementation," notes Yashkova. "Nevertheless, the demand for higher data and bandwidth will force the industry to find more spectrums, and that, in turn, will prompt the higher adoption of MIMO."

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email to Sarah Saatzer, Corporate Communications, at sarah.saatzer@frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country. 

For more information, please visit http://www.frost.com.


Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Associate Editor

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