To think that the number of connected devices will grow to possibly 10 billion by 2018 with some forecasts as high as 40 billion connected devices by 2020, that is mindboggling. That means that there will be about 10 connected devices for every man, woman and child on the planet.
While most of the connected devices will only send a few characters and then go silent, people like you and I who own the mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, wearable devices) the need for speed is still very much a requirement.
So recently Telecom New Zealand performed a series of networking tests with Cisco leveraging LTE-A or LTE-Advanced. As a key LTE-A technology, carrier aggregation allows for full utilization of operators’ spectrum resources, empowering them to provide faster mobile broadband experiences including video conferencing, high-definition content transmission, high-speed video downloads, social networking and more.
The testing was performed using a Telecom New Zealand’s radio eRAN vendor using the new category 6 terminals along with the Cisco EPC. Although there may be always some challenges to have a stable radio environment in the Lab to achieve this magnitude of speeds, the Cisco EPC easily achieved and maintained speeds on the EPC of 300 Mbps.
If you search across the Internet you can see test results for LTE-A testing anywhere from 200Mbps to a recent test of 300+Mbps. Cisco was able to demonstrate to Telecom New Zealand that our EPC solution is always up to date to the latest evolution of standards and to the high pace of transformation of Mobile Internet.
On The Horizon
So number of ((devices + increased speed) – lower ARPU) means that something will need to give in this cycle in order for the Mobile Operator to actually make money. Optimization of the network resources has been a key area but most networks are optimized. Scalability of your network capacity to handle all of the devices and servicing these high speeds will definitely help but will it be enough? Creating business cases that leverage this speed profitably will be key, stay tuned to this space.