Strategy: LTE: Huge Technology, Huge Challenges

Mar 16, 2012


Dark Side of Mobility

The mobile broadband industry is becoming a victim of its own success. Mobility initiatives are huge for companies, and that translates to an unprecedented number of bytes flowing through wireless networks. Yet efforts to free up additional spectrum are going nowhere fast, putting carriers between a dysfunctional government and enterprise and consumer customers who want their entertainment, apps and data, now.

Long Term Evolution, with its more efficient use of spectrum and an impressive road map of features to increase capacity, is a crucial element in how operators will address demand. By itself, though, it’s not enough. For enterprise IT teams, that means work in two areas.

First, think carefully about your mobility partner. Among respondents to our latest Mobile Device Management and Security Survey who have IT-driven device and carrier selection, Verizon (68%) and AT&T (58%) are the top choices, but neither offers an unlimited data plan for new customers. Be sure that which­ever carrier you partner with has a road map to blend technology, such as LTE and eventually LTE-Advanced, with efforts to obtain more spectrum; pricing policies you can live with; increases in the number of cell sites, including small cells such as femtocells and picocells; and data off-load onto Wi-Fi.

Also keep bandwidth limitations in mind when considering new mobility initiatives. For example, 68% of respondents to our MDM survey say they use or plan to use virtual desktop technologies (terminal services, VDI, Citrix) via tablets. Fifty-nine percent say the same about enabling access to cloud services or SaaS via mobile devices.

Fortunately, LTE can help address not only capacity concerns, but quality-of-service control, voice over IP and operation in fragmented radio bands that are anything but harmonized globally. (S4590312)

Research Report