“We must stop the confusion about which technology is going to win; it achieves nothing positive and risks damage to the entire industry.”
Anyone among the curious band of people who track articles about the status of mobile broadband (and the chances are that you are one of them) will have noticed an interesting trend over the past 18 months: the temperature of the debate about the technology most likely to succeed is rising rapidly. Increasingly polarised articles are printed each day, every arguing that long term Evolution (LTE) is the 4G generation of choice, or that WiMAX is racing beforehand, or that it’s best possible to stay with excellent old 3GPP as a result of HSPA+ goes to overcome either one of them. It remains surprising that their articles invite us, their readers, to focus slavishly on the question “WiMAX vs. LTE vs. HSPA+: which one will win?”
The question that we should ask of the authors is “Who cares who wins?” The torrent of propaganda washes over the essence of mobile broadband and puts sustained growth in the mobile industry at risk. By producing fear, uncertainty and doubt, the cell broadband “combat” diverts consideration away from the essential issues in order to determine the good fortune or failure of those evolving technologies. The traditional weapon of the partisan author is the mighty “Mbps”; each wields their peak data rates to savage their opponents.
In the HSPA+ camp, authors fire out theoretical peak data rates of 42Mbps DL and 23 Mbps UL. The WiMAX forces respond with theoretical peak data charges of 75Mbps DL and 30Mbps UL. LTE joins the fray through unleashing its theoretical top information charges of 300Mbps DL and 75 Mbps UL. All hell breaks free, or so it will appear.Were it not for the inclusion of the word “theoretical”, we could all go home to sleep soundly and wake refreshed, safe in the knowledge that might is right. The reality is very different.
Sprint has stated that it intends to deliver services at between 2 and 4 Mbps to its customers with Mobile WiMAX. In the real global, HSPA+ and LTE are most probably to give their customers single digit Mbps obtain speeds. clear of the theoretical peak data rates, the trueity is that the technologies will be related with each different, no less than in the enjoy of the person. those information rates, from a person’s viewpoint, are a great development on what you will see while sitting at home on your WiFi or surfing the web at the same time as on a teach. the issue is that the message being placed out to the wider inhabitants has the same tense ringtone as the ones wild claims that have been made approximately 3G and the new international order that it might bring in.Can you remember the allure of video calls? Can you remember the last time you actually saw someone making a video call?
3G has transformed the way that people think about and use their mobile phones, but not in the way that they were told to expect. In the case of 3G, mismanagement of customer expectations put our industry back years. We cannot afford to repeat this mistake with mobile broadband. disappointed customers spend less cash because they don’t price their enjoy as highly as they’d been led to expect by advertisers. dissatisfied consumers proportion their enjoy with friends and family, who extend shopping for into the cellular broadband international.What we all want are ecstatic customers who can’t help but show off their device. We need to produce a ‘Wow’ factor that generates momentum in the market.
Every pundit has a pet theory about the likely deployment of mobile broadband technologies. One will declare that HSPA+ might extend the deployment of LTE. some other will posit that WiMAX might be adopted, predominantly, within the laptop or netbook market. A third will insist that LTE could replace large swathes of legacy technologies. These scenarios might happen, but they might not, too.
More likely, but less stirring, is the prediction that they are all coming, they’ll be rolled out to hundreds of millions of subscribers and, within five years, will be widespread. We must stop the confusion about which technology is going to win; it achieves nothing positive and risks damage to the entire industry.
Confusion unsettles investors, who move to other markets and starve us of the R&D funds needed to deliver mobile broadband. At street level, confusion leads early adopters to hold off making commitments to the new wave of technology while they “wait it out” to ensure they don’t buy a Betamax instead of a VHS. Where we should focus, urgently, is on the two topics that demand open discussion and debate. First, are we taking the supply of a successful person enjoy seriously? Secondly, are we making plans to deal with the data tidal wave to be able to follow a successful launch?
The first topic concerns delivery to the end user of a seamless application experience that successfully converts the improved data rates to improvements on their device. This can imply anything else from getting LAN-like speeds for faster e mail downloads via to slick, content material-wealthy and site-conscious packages. As we release mobile broadband applied sciences, we will have to make certain that new applications and functions are powerful and strong. More effort must be spent developing and testing applications so that the end user is blown away by their performance.
The second topic, the tidal wave of data, should force us to be realistic about the strain placed on core networks by an exponential increase in data traffic. We have observed 10x increases in visitors because smartphones began to increase. mobile instrument makers, network equipment manufacturers and application developers will have to accept that there will be capability shortages in the brief time period and, in reaction, must layout, build and take a look at programs conscientiously.We need applications with realistic data throughput requirements and the ability to catch data greedy applications before they reach the network.
In Anite, we see the demands placed on test equipment by mobile broadband technologies at first hand. More than testing the technical integrity of the protocol stack and its conformance to the core specifications, we produce new tools that test applications and simulate the effects of anticipated capacity bottlenecks. Responding to the increased demand for mobile applications, we’re developing test coverage that measures applications at the end-user level. Unfortunately, not everyone is thinking that far ahead. Applications that should be “Wow”, in theory, may end up producing little more than a murmur of disappointment in the real world.
So, for the sake of our long-term prospects, let’s stop this nonsense about how one technology trounces another. Important people, the end users, simply do not care. WiMAX, LTE and HSPA+ will all be widely deployed. As an industry, our energy needs to be focused on delivering services and applications that exceed the customer expectations. Rather than fighting, we should be learning from each other’s experiences. If we do that, our customers will reward us with growing demand. If we all get sustained growth, then don’t we all win..?