How LTE-U and Wi-Fi can ensure Growth for Operators

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When it comes to accessing data on smart devices, Wi-Fi is one of the most preferred technologies that is making it possible for large quantities of data to be accessed at minimum cost for the user community. As a result, Wi-Fi is strategic technology where operators invest in order to ensure delivery of high speed data connectivity. According to various studies, globally, about 50% of Internet traffic relies on Wi-Fi and about 3% relies on mobile networks. Especially with more and more consumer products coming equipped with intelligent Wi-Fi it’s expected that Wi-Fi will continue to increase the percentage of network traffic it carries. However, on the other hand, amalgamation of LTE with the unlicensed spectrum can potentially enable operator’s faster data speeds, while maintaining superb quality of service. LTE Unlicensed or (LTE-U for short) may well be that new technology which can augment operator’s effort to handle an ever growing data needs at the end user level. Globally in advance as well as developing regions, there are many mobile network operators who have been deploying 4G networks as fast as they can in order to cope with the already exponential growth of data traffic on their networks, but they very well understand that they cannot handle all the data users want with their own networks. This is why data gets offloaded to Wi-Fi at the user level wherein Wi-Fi works in tandem with 3G or 4G technologies while ensuring high speed data connectivity. On the other hand, utilizing LTE in the unlicensed frequency bands used by Wi-Fi could herald a new data offloading revolution that can drive better manageability and network integrity for mobile network operators. LTE already supports carrier aggregation and hence this can allow mobile operators to combine various licensed spectrum bands they own into a single data connection between the user and the network. So in a nutshell, when operator has good quantity of LTE spectrum, it might make more sense to augment their data offload strategy towards LTE-U. This could surely simplify Wi-Fi and LTE integration to a whole new level and cement the growth path for operators. LTE to Compete With Wi-Fi? Most of the telecoms experts strongly feel that it is highly unlikely that LTE-U would actually be deployed by a mobile network operator to replace their Wi-Fi infrastructure. In future, both these technologies can help operators gain more out of their network infrastructure and investments and enable a fairness-mechanism by which both the technologies enable better data driven connectivity at the end user level. As of today, LTE-U is still very early in its development and on the other hand, Wi-Fi is a far more efficient technology with a large scale deployment already in place, globally. And most importantly, almost all the next generation devices such as smartphones, tablets etc come equipped with Wi-Fi and hence it is ubiquitous in consumer electronics and the home and office. Additionally, more data with a growing percentage is being transmitted over Wi-Fi networks than on mobile networks, using less spectrum than is licensed to mobile operators – this is one of the biggest advantages of Wi-Fi today. So moving forward LTE-U may be adopted by operators but it can never replace the existing Wi-Fi ecosystem. On the other hand, working hand in glove, LTE when combined with Wi-Fi holds great potential to deliver unique data driven experience at the end user level. To know more on Elitecore’s LTE Solution Click Here

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