Posts Tagged ‘small cell’

Carrier Offload of Mobile Traffic About 40 Mb Per Device, At the Moment

Thursday, July 25th, 2013
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Mobile service provider use of Wi-Fi for data offload will grow at a 215 percent compound annual growth rate from 2012 to 2017.

User-driven Wi-Fi offload, using at-home, at-work or other connections, will also grow at a significant growth rate of 49 percent.

Perhaps significantly, iGR predicts Wi-Fi-only connections from devices such as tablets, laptops, ereaders, and handheld gaming consoles will decline. That represents a predicted shift to more mobile carrier connections, something that already is seen as users shift to shared access data plans that allow a single account to use a shared bucket of data usage, across all devices on the account.

mostly driven by user preference for at-home, at-work or other Wi-Fi connections not directly provided by a service provider.

But the amount of Wi-Fi offload provided directly by a service provider, in high traffic locations, will grow as well, according to researchers at iGR.

Analysts at iGR estimate that in 2012, Wi-Fi-only devices consumed a total of about 0.38 gigabytes (380 Mb) each month, per active device. The analysts say this form of access is the smallest of the Wi-Fi offload usage scenarios.

User-driven Wi-Fi offload, where a subscriber or end user chooses to use a Wi-Fi connection outside the home or office in place of a mobile broadband connection, represented in 2012 about 0.41 GB (410 Mb) per month per active device of usage. This is the predominant form of Wi-Fi offload at the moment.

But carriers also are shifting to use of their own Wi-Fi offload services, directly shifting user access off a mobile network and onto a local Wi-Fi connection, either outdoors or indoors.

Analysts at iGR estimate that in 2012, a total of about 0.04 GB (40 Mb) per month per active device was offloaded to carrier Wi-Fi.

Some service providers, notably NTT, are less sanguine about such offload potential. In part, that is because high density in many Japanese urban areas also means high signal interference, which limits the effectiveness of Wi-Fi hotspots for traffic offload.

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Small Cells, Carrier Wi-Fi Could be a “Game Changer”

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
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The use of Wi-Fi functionality in small-cell base stations will be a game changer for mobile service providers, easing heavily congested data pipes while linking together billions of devices into a single network architecture, according to the IHS iSuppli.

Small cells–low-power base stations each supporting approximately 100 to 200 simultaneous users–will augment wireless coverage and capacity in dense urban areas.

The small cells likely will be installed in public facilities such as malls, railway and subway stations, the sides of public buildings, and on street or traffic lights. IHS expects large-scale deployment of small cells to start in 2014. The integration of Wi-Fi, in addition to 3G and 4G mobile capabilities, will complement residential Wi-Fi.

By 2015, some 725 million households globally will have Wi-Fi access. That will create usage habits that make Wi-Fi access a normal and accepted way of getting access to the Internet.

Shipments in 2013 of Wi-Fi chipsets will reach a projected 2.14 billion units, up a robust 20 percent from 1.78 billion in 2012. This year’s anticipated increase continues the impressive run of double-digit growth that started at least five years ago and will persist for three more years until 2016, after which expansion dips to a still-strong 9 percent. By 2017, Wi-Fi chipset shipments will amount to 3.71 billion units, as shown in the attached figure.

Overall, approximately 18.7 billion Wi-Fi chipset units will be shipped from 2011 to 2017—nearly all of which will belong to the high-performance 802.11n version. To put that number in context, the entire planet has seven billion people—which means that Wi-Fi chipset shipments will outnumber the earth’s population by more than two-and-a-half times.

The devices containing embedded Wi-Fi chipsets are many, but mobile handsets stand out in particular.

By 2015, nearly 1.2 billion handsets out of a total of 1.9 billion cellphones produced that year will include Wi-Fi functionality. Approximately 70 percent of handsets sold worldwide by then—and well over that figure in North America and Western Europe—will be smartphones with embedded Wi-Fi.

Some might also argue that increasingly ubiquitous Wi-Fi might create new opportunities in the device and application space. There might be whole categories of Internet devices designed to work only in the presence of a Wi-Fi signal.

Already, in most developed nations, 80 percent to 95 percent of the time, smart phone users are in zones where Wi-Fi can be the primary Internet connection, when they use the Internet.

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Small Cell Networks Create New Testing Requirements

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
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Small cell networks introduce many new additional endpoints into a macrocell mobile network, often changing backhaul networks, especially when the small cells are added in a “hub and spoke” architecture from existing macrocell sites.

That obviously creates new performance monitoring requirements, including visibility. Where a new set of small cell spokes is hubbed off an existing macrocell, blind spots are created, since traffic from the new small cell sites is aggregated at the macrocell.

That means performance measures reflect only the aggregated traffic at the hub.

Blind spots therefore affect the ability to segment, monitor, and test services between the aggregation point (at the core) and the hub, and between the hub and the spokes, said Olaf Herr, Product Marketing Director,JDSU.

“While backhaul activation and performance testing can be initiated from the core (or mobile switching center) to the spoke,because traffic is tunneled through the hub device (for instance in a MPLS/VPLS tunnel), often visibility into spoke backhaul performance is lost when traffic is aggregated trough hub cell site routers,” said Herr.

Long Term Evolution, the global fourth generation network protocol, introduces additional challenges, namely increased signaling traffic some of which is never backhauled to the network core, and hence not visible to centralized monitoring probes.

JDSU argues that makes a switch away from external probes necessary, and proposes use of “microprobes” that plug into existing gear such as routers.

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