Insight: HetNets Infrastructure Test Equipment Market Drivers

Posted by Mae Kowalke on Monday, October 26, 2015 with No comments

In its September 2015 global report, “Analysis of the Global HetNet Infrastructure Test Equipment Market,” Frost & Sullivan looked at the current and forecasted (2015-2021) state of infrastructure and test equipment for HetNets (defined as networks that use small cells/Wi-Fi/DAS and macro in the same network). It characterized this market as being in a ‘growth’ phase, with predicted 6.8% CAGR through 2021. 

Frost & Sullivan noted that, logically, demand for HetNet testing solutions is driven by three factors fueling HetNet deployments: 

  1. Need for continual network coverage and capacity
  2. OpEx and CapEx savings
  3. New technologies like LTE, LTE-A, and 5G
HetNets enable operators and service providers to meet those demands, because they offer increased support for differentiated services (VoLTE, unified communications, cloud-based services, etc.) enabled through better coverage and quality of service (QoS).

Frost & Sullivan called out two particular characteristics for HetNets, illustrated here:
HetNet characteristics noted by Frost & Sullivan
These characteristics, and the benefits of HetNets, require end-to-end, sophisticated testing and monitoring systems, which increasingly leverage virtualization technologies including network functions virtualization (NFV)-based solutions. One clear repercussion of extending macro-mobile networks with small cells, Wi-Fi offload, and other HetNet technologies is that there are more access points, more backhaul connections, and more coordination between them as users hand-off between them. This means performance can be more dynamic, easily impacted by inconsistencies in configuration, capacity, backhaul QoS, interference, and many other factors introduced by this extended architecture.

Conclusions about HetNets drawn by Frost & Sullivan. Source.

Virtualized instrumentation offers relief for the challenges of gaining visibility, and control, over this increasingly complex RAN. The resources below give insight into proven techniques used by the majority of the top 20 mobile operators to drive exceptional user experience with assured small cell and HetNet deployments.