Projects of the future such as the Internet of Things, enhanced mobile broadband and self driving cars require extreme mobile network
performance. 5G, the next generation of mobile
communications, is expected to deliver the necessary
performance. But thanks to continual technological
enhancements, in particular LTE / LTE-Advanced
networks provide an excellent evolution path.
If we take the 1990 specifications freeze for the
900 MHz GSM standard as zero hour, digital wireless
communications has just celebrated its 25th birthday. There
is, however, no sign of slowing down – far from it in fact.
The hunger for data in cellular communications remains
insatiable and the demand for further technological progress
persists. A tenfold increase in mobile data traffic is expected
over the next six years, and experts predict an exponential
increase in the number of “things” that communicate with
each other via mobile networks. The Ericsson Mobility
Report details that the total number of mobile subscriptions
at the end of 2015 was around 7. 3 billion (including
1 billion LTE subscriptions), an increase of 68 million
subscriptions during Q4/2015 (e.g. 21 million in India, 6
million in China, 5 million in the US, 5 million in Myanmar
and 3 million in Nigeria). Mobile subscriptions are forecast
to reach 9.1 billion by late 2021. In 2015, the average
smartphone user consumed 1.4 Gbyte of data monthly.
This is expected to rise to 8. 5 Gbyte by 2021.
The combination of these two factors will result in
exponential data traffic growth around the world. How
are mobile network operators ensuring that they can
offer their subscribers an excellent quality of experience
in the future?
By Meik Kottkamp, Principal Technology Manager, Test & Measurement Division, Rohde & Schwarz
Big Data and the
Internet of Things
How the mobile communications industry is meeting the challenge of subscribers’ continuously growing big data requirements.
Figure 1: RF and protocol testing systems help network operators select suitable wireless device providers. The test solutions ensure that
the devices comply with mobile network standards.