Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cisco: Mobile Data Traffic Growth Forecast at 61% CAGR

From 2013 to 2018, global mobile traffic growth will outpace global fixed traffic growth by a factor of three, according to Cisco's newly released Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Forecast, 2013-2018, reaching a worldwide load of 15.9 exabytes per month or 190 exabytes annually in 2018.

The study combines independent analyst forecasts, real-world mobile data usage, and Cisco’s own estimates for mobile application adoption, minutes of use, and transmission speeds.

Some highlights:

Growth Factors

  • By 2018, there will be 4.9 billion mobile users, up from 4.1 billion in 2013.
  • By 2018, there will be more than 10 billion mobile-ready devices/connections—including eight billion personal mobile devices and two billion M2M connections, up from seven billion total mobile-ready devices and M2M connections in 2013.
  • Average global mobile network speeds will nearly double from 1.4 Mbps in 2013 to 2.5 Mbps by 2018.
  • By 2018, mobile video will represent 69 percent of global mobile data traffic, up from 53 percent in 2013.

Global Shift to Smarter Devices

  • Globally, 54 percent of mobile connections will be “smart” connections by 2018, up from 21 percent in 2013. Smart devices and connections have advanced computing/multi-media capabilities and a minimum of 3G connectivity.
  • Smartphones, laptops, and tablets will drive about 94 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2018. M2M traffic will represent five percent of 2018 global mobile data traffic while basic handsets will account for 1 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2018. Other portables will account for 0.1 percent.
  • Mobile cloud traffic will grow 12-fold from 2013 to 2018, a 64 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Impact of Machine-to-Machine Connections (and Wearable Devices)

  • In 2013, M2M connections represented nearly five percent of mobile-connected devices in use and generated more than one percent of total mobile data traffic
  • By 2018, M2M connections will represent nearly 20 percent of mobile-connected devices in use and generate almost six percent of total mobile data traffic.
  • In 2013, there were 21.7 million global wearable devices. By 2018, there will be 176.9 million global wearable devices or a 52 percent CAGR.

4G Mobile Adoption and Traffic Growth

  • By 2018, 4G connections will support 15 percent of all connections, up from 2.9 percent in 2013.
  • By 2018, 4G connections will support 51 percent, or 8 exabytes per month, of total mobile data traffic, up from 30 percent, or 448 petabytes per month, in 2013.
  • 4G traffic will grow 18-fold from 2013 to 2018, a 78 percent CAGR.

Wi-Fi Offload Traffic Surpasses Cellular Traffic

  • More mobile data traffic will be offloaded onto Wi-Fi from mobile-connected devices (17.3 exabytes per month) than will remain on mobile networks by 2018 (15.9 exabytes per month).
  • By 2018, 52 percent of global mobile traffic will be offloaded onto Wi-Fi/small cell networks, up from 45 percent in 2013.

Global Mobile Application Analysis: Video Remains on Top

  • Mobile video traffic will increase 14-fold from 2013 to 2018 and will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application category.
  • By 2018, mobile video will be 69 percent of global mobile traffic, up from 53 percent in 2013.
  • By 2018, web and other data applications will be 17 percent of global mobile traffic, down from 28 percent in 2013.
  • By 2018, streaming audio will be 11 percent of global mobile traffic, down from 14 percent in 2013.
  • By 2018, file sharing will be three percent of global mobile traffic, down from four percent in 2013.

Regional Growth Projections

  • The Middle East and Africa will have a 70 percent CAGR and 14-fold growth;
  • Central and Eastern Europe will have a 68 percent CAGR and 13-fold growth;
  • Asia-Pacific will have a 67 percent CAGR and 13-fold growth;
  • Latin America will have a 66 percent CAGR and 13-fold growth;
  • North America will have a 50 percent CAGR and eight-fold growth; and
  • Western Europe will have a 50 percent CAGR and seven-fold growth.

NSN and Sprint Hit 2.6 Gbps with TD-LTE

Sprint demonstrated 2.6 Gbps TD-LTE throughput over a single sector using NSN's commercially available Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. The previous record was 1.6 Gbps.

The tests, which were conducted at NSN’s Mountain View facility in California, aggregated 120 MHz of Sprint’s TDD spectrum to achieve an unprecedented speed of 2.6 Gbps.

NSN said its plans include a high-capacity Flexi Multiradio System Module for TD-LTE that can deliver up to 5 Gbps of peak throughput from a single site. The company said this enhanced Flexi Multiradio System Module is the industry’s highest capacity TD-LTE baseband, enabling operators to roll out TD-LTE networks with fewer base stations and fewer sites, saving up to 50 percent in capital expenses and operational costs. The module features integrated transport technology, removing the need for additional hardware for connecting to transport networks. IPsec security is also built in, providing a secure tunnel between the base station and core network to protect traffic from eavesdropping, unauthorized access or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

"Sprint is excited to partner with NSN to enable Sprint Spark and lead the way globally in enabling future mobile broadband innovation,” said Stephen Bye, chief technology officer at Sprint. “Combining our unique spectrum assets with TD-LTE-Advanced features and NSN’s next generation TD-LTE base station has allowed us to achieve the world’s first 2.6 Gbps throughput over TD-LTE.”

"With demand for high-speed mobile broadband services growing rapidly around the world, NSN and Sprint are showing how operators can unlock the highest capacity from their TDD spectrum,” said Zhang Qi, vice president for TD-LTE at NSN. “At Mobile World Congress, we will demonstrate how the record speed was achieved, proving that TD-LTE technology and the ecosystem are ready for global roll out by any operator with TDD spectrum. With our help, the operators can meet and exceed the expectations of mobile broadband customers.”

NSN Extends LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation to 3 Carriers

Nokia Solutions and Networks is enhancing its Carrier Aggregation software to be able to support 3 carriers. This should allow for individual users’ downlink data rates of up to 450 Mbps for operators having a total bandwidth of up to 60 MHz in up to 3 bands.

NSN is also implementing dynamic, load-balancing enhanced Inter Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) to enable highly efficient, capacity-focused LTE small cell deployments. eICIC solution manages interference while balancing the subscriber load across the small cell and macro layers. NSN said its solution works with upcoming LTE-Advanced devices as well as with the LTE devices available today.

Both enhancements are software upgrades to NSN’s Flexi Multiradio 10 and Flexi Zone Micro/Pico base stations. NSN will present these innovations at Mobile World Congress 2014.

“As the development of LTE and TD-LTE smartphones progresses towards higher aggregated bandwidth, operators continue to evolve their LTE network capacity adding further frequency allocations. With our software-based evolution of LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation, we combine the advantages of both these trends,” said Tero Peltola, vice president of FDD LTE at NSN.

“The small cell deployment focus is definitely moving beyond simply filling coverage gaps to improving subscriber experience with added capacity. Even though it is possible to deploy LTE small cells without interference management, NSN’s dynamic, load-balancing eICIC solution boosts capacity by up to 30 percent with coordinated macro and small cell interference management techniques,” continued Peltola. “For effective capacity growth with HetNets, resource management must be optimized for all users, regardless of their LTE device’s capabilities or whether they are connected on the small cell or macro layer. With our solution, operators can ensure every user enjoys a performance boost following the small cell deployments.”

NSN: Big Gains from Coordinated Multi-cell Scheduling

Using coordinated multi-cell scheduling to reduce interference between adjacent base stations can deliver up to 30 percent faster downlink speeds at the cell edge, according to Nokia Solutions and Networks.

Coordinated scheduling is implemented as software within the base stations, avoiding the need for any additional hardware.

NSN is introducing a software upgrade that adds coordinated scheduling to its Smart Scheduler for Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations.

"Mobile broadband users will experience superior performance everywhere, not just when they’re at the center of a cell,” said Zhang Qi, vice president for TD-LTE at NSN. “Furthermore, NSN’s solution eliminates the need for any additional hardware. Our coordinated scheduling is a simple software upgrade in the base station because we want to keep the LTE network architecture lean and reduce unnecessary complexity.”

Cisco and Samsung Sign Patent Cross-License

Cisco and Samsung Electronics Co. signed a patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of products and technologies.

The mutually beneficial agreement covers the two companies' existing patents as well as those filed over the next 10 years.

"Innovation is stifled all too often in today's overly-litigious environment," said Dan Lang, Cisco's Vice President of Intellectual Property.  "By cross-licensing our patent portfolios, Cisco and Samsung are taking important steps to reverse the trend and advance innovation and freedom of operation."

Syringa Upgrades to 100G with ADVA's FSP 3000

Syringa Networks, which serves areas within Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Utah, has deployed ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 to scale the capacity of its network.  The ADVA FSP 3000 is pre-configured for 100G.  ADVA has been a long-term supplier to Syringa.

Dell'Oro: Service Provider Edge Router Market Forecast

The demand for routers in mobile backhaul networks is expected to propel the worldwide Service Provider Router market to almost $9 billion by 2018, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

“As LTE networks are being deployed in China and across Europe, router demand in mobile backhaul networks is taking off, with service providers expanding capacity to handle data traffic generated by LTE users,” said Alam Tamboli, Business Analyst at Dell’Oro Group.  “In North America, we witnessed a rapid deployment cycle, whereas in the case of Europe, we expect the cycle to be longer due to differences in the competitive landscape and a larger population size,” added Tamboli.

Sierra Wireless Launches LTE modules based on Intel

Sierra Wireless introduced two new AirPrime embedded LTE modules based on Intel chipsets and designed for integration into notebook computers and tablets. The AirPrime EM7340 supporting LTE in Japan and the AirPrime EM7345 supporting LTE networks in the rest of the world.

“Intel’s LTE platform is a very good fit for the requirements of the PC OEM by offering the largest number of bands supported in the new M.2 form factor,” said Horst Pratsch, head of the Product Line Modems & Modules at Intel Mobile Communication. “Collaborating with Sierra Wireless to provide connectivity to our joint customers was a logical next step for us and we are excited to see these products launch.”

Samples of the AirPrime EM7340 and EM7345 are available now for testing and certification purposes. Commercial shipments are expected to begin within this quarter.

Saudi Telecom Renews Managed Services Deal with NSN

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has renewed its managed services contract with Nokia Solutions and Networks to further improve operational efficiency, network performance and the quality of services.

Through the renewed contract, NSN continues to provide its comprehensive managed services including network planning and optimization, network and service operations as well as care services including hardware and software services for STC’s Al Jawal Network. The contract covers GSM, 3G and LTE network of STC within NSN’s footprint.  Financial terms were not disclosed.