Mobile Carriers Must Keep Evolving Their Networks: 10 Reasons Why
Exploding Amounts of Data
Mobile devices and high-bandwidth demands have pushed networks to the brink and carriers face higher pressures to deliver a smooth, latency-free customer experience. Frustrations and customer service issues can arise much quicker in the mobile realm as users rely more on cloud-based applications. Proper network strategies to ensure resilience and uninterrupted service are becoming absolutely critical as data rages.
More Applications Causing Data Chaos
Cell phones used to involve two signals: one to answer the call and one to hang up. The average smartphone now runs approximately 40 applications simultaneously, all sending out their own signals to check email, weather, stocks, social media, etc., and clogging networks. With more and more apps coming online (approximately 45 billion app downloads to date), carriers must continue to ensure the customer experience is flawless while managing the data chaos at the edge.
As more mobile devices enter the world, this creates more complexity in managing the network. Software-defined networking, which shifts the brains of networking to software from hardware, will become more prominent for carriers as they work to reduce complexity.
Because end users expect a flawless experience each time, new cloud-based testing solutions are needed to look at every part of the network—from the core all the way to the edge. Innovative solutions that provide unprecedented visibility and access into network problems can reduce network downtime as well as expenditures on the carrier side to achieve predictable reliability.
Years of putting off network-infrastructure spending have resulted in network performance issues leading to much-needed upgrades to cope with surging waves of data ingestion. Infonetics Research predicts that infrastructure spending will increase 4 percent in 2013. AT&T's announced $14 billion investment over the next three years proves it.
Overwhelmed Cell Towers
In high-density cities, some studies indicate that 20 percent of the cell towers handle 80 percent of the mobile traffic, decelerating network performance for the end user.
Breaking the Traffic Logjam
Beyond finding new efficiencies to run the network, service providers must develop new strategies to offload 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE). These new approaches include more robust use of WiFi hotspots and small-cell technology, which are essentially smaller base stations that can be easily deployed to provide coverage to specific areas. Carriers will need smart strategies to quickly alleviate high-congestion areas.
Unpredictability in Network Traffic
Whether it's sharing and streaming a Gangnam Style video or rampant Angry Birds and SnapChat downloads, viral trends can cause unexpected spikes in network use. Carriers will need network strategies that are flexible enough to overcome peaks from valleys.
Diversity of Network Traffic
Devices are getting smarter. Connected homes, wearable technology and intelligent TVs, for example, will all add new types of data into the networks. The Internet of Things will be driven by mobile device apps that can control everything, from lamps to thermostats, in the home. This new onslaught of data hasn't been accounted for in the past.
Why Stop at 4G LTE?
Carriers must continue to collaborate with industry partners to find smarter solutions that are efficient, easy to deploy and cost-effective. With a projected 18 times as many smart phones in use by 2015 featuring faster processors and more advanced apps rivaling current popular desktop applications, mobile network traffic will rise to unprecedented levels.