Small Cells to the Rescue
As part of our series of blogs with Small Cell Forum Members who are supporting the Small Cell Zone and Mobile World Congress, Ronnie Haraldsvik of SpiderCloud Wireless has written this blog on the continued focus of NFC in enterprise and mobile networks.
2015 has the earmark for more monumental shifts in the mobile landscape. Overall, we should expect a continued focus on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) in enterprise and mobile networks, edge and cloud services and Software Defined Networking (SDN) to drive network transformation as the industry moves from CapEx to OpEx. Network infrastructure spending is expected to be flat, but thanks to the rise of cloud services over the last few years, 2015 will mark the year that OpEx overtakes CapEx and never looks back. Deutsche Bank is following this trend, as both carrier and enterprise IT is looking to cloud; SaaS; subscriptions and service contracts will make up the majority of spending in the year ahead.
Enterprise businesses are starting to realize that BYOD is a misdiagnosis of a larger problem when trying to solve in-building mobility issues and security concerns. Originally trumpeted as a smart fiscal move, CIOs and CFOs begin to realize that without the relationships and economies of scale, enterprises begin to see its employees are treated like regular consumers. CIOs realize that corporate IT are security savvy, but not mobility experts, and lean on mobile operators to fix mobility problems. For large enterprises, Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) devices with secure application containers becomes the preferred method to deal with mobility, security and cost-containment by corporate IT, CIOs and professionals alike.
Mobile network evolution to LTE and beyond continues, especially as ‘wearables’ and the growth of the “Internet of Things” make the case for improved use of higher spectrum for last mile access to enhance our quest for an “always-on” experience. Expect small cells and software to dominate network build out to handle the need for mobile capacity. The expected increase in wearable and connected devices, due in part by significantly lower prices as companies fight for adoption, will add a significant strain on the already-strained enterprise Wi-Fi networks, creating opportunities for 3G/4G in-building mobility solutions and services from mobile operators and computing partners. Within the next 2 years, wireless and mobile traffic demands inside the enterprise will double. This will mean IT departments will need help to better cope with dynamic capacity demands while focusing on security. Simply banning non-essential devices is not a move that works as early adopters always find work-around methods. Rather, the savvy enterprise IT team will look for ways to prioritize application usage and/or cloud-source a large majority of network functions.
Flat macro-cellular spending means the shift is going to be on small cell build-outs and services rather than the traditional macro-focused infrastructure spending we’ve seen in the past. Mobile carriers will be looking for ways to enhance coverage in high-density areas using small cell networks. Expect to see in-building Enterprise services become the new battleground for mobile carriers by years end.
As we look forward, the transition from 3G to 4G and then 5G, is a long journey.
Unlike the previous mobile telephony generations that were defined by technology access, 5G promises to be defined by service level and quality of service. What we know is that small cell systems will play a big role in the network evolution for many years to come.
Art King, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies, will be speaking at the Small Cell Zone Hall 7, Stand F61 on Tuesday 3 March at 15:30pm. Find out more.