CommScope: Morgan Kurk's 2015 Trends

Wireless network operators are under increasing pressure to provide more capacity, coverage and quality without increasing end user price.

The key to success in 2015 is efficiency. I expect operators will continue to modernize their networks and upgrade to LTE while discussing more efficient future architectures. They will further increase capacity in their networks through cell splitting, the creation of a metro layer and continued focus on deploying the indoor coverage layer. Where there is quality, there is capacity.

1) Network Modernization Continues to Be Critical

To service customers with more data for the same price, each and every portion of the infrastructure will be evaluated, negotiated, calculated and optimized—from the core network to the remote towers at the end of the radio access network (RAN), from power consumption to the amount of space used at a cell site and the time it takes to acquire a site.

2) Cloud Architectures Will be Debated and Discussed

Depending on how far virtualization is pushed into the network, some if not all of the call processing can be moved away from today’s special purpose-made hardware. This change in equipment as it gets further in the RAN will drive fewer products at the bottom of the tower and more integration at the top of the tower.

3) Spectral Reuse Still Matters

Efficiently improving your spectrum usage is key to a long term, successful network. Capacity on a cellular network comes from the reuse of spectrum, not just its efficient use. Spectrum is reused through sector splitting or adding more cell sites.  

4) The Metro Layer Matters More

For efficiency’s sake, it is critical to make mounting cellular infrastructure easier and more cost effective. Utilizing existing street poles and furniture is of significant help in addressing metro layer deployment challenges.

5) Indoor Is Increasingly Important

New distributed antenna systems (DAS) automate much of what was done by skilled technicians in the past, new interfaces conserve energy and cost, and new methodologies enable maintenance and operations by a much larger group of people.

6) Quality Is the Key to Capacity

Simplification helps create network quality. From the use of multi-band, multi-technology antennas and remote radio units to innovations in connectivity, the RAN is being improved and optimized for capacity. Simplifying the RAN extends to improving deployment, where innovations in equipment have led to easier and higher quality installations that in turn lead to increases in capacity.

As the middle of the decade, 2015 marks the general acceptance milestone for 4G LTE, meaning the point in the technology evolution when LTE handsets and networks have become stable, generally available and cost effective. Although not all network operators have implemented LTE, most have plans in place or are under construction. Like previous years, 2015 will be marked by continued and accelerating increases in data usage. Unlike the past, it will likely occur without rising end user prices, promising increased scrutiny on network efficiency.

Morgan Kurk is the Senior Vice President and Wireless Segment Leader at CommScope.

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.