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This week's SPIE focuses on ways 4G-LTE can not only improve the customer experience, but help MNOs stay in command with real-time operations and monetization functionality; even as they address customer demand for over the top (OTT) and cloud-based services.
The song of rising mobile data traffic volumes has been sung for more than five years now, building toward a crescendo with data traffic expected by 2018 to be times larger than in 2013.2,3 Accompanying this tune is the steady rise in smartphone and tablet sales across the globe. To sustain their always connected mindset, customers are increasing their use of these mobile devices to: share their data with others, engage with social media, bring the Internet into an enriched learning experience, use apps for nearly every business and personal need, and seek out a variety of content sources, especially video.
Addressing these needs through a 4G-LTE network allows customers to access data at speeds that begin to approach those of a fixed-line connection. At this point mobile data services become top-of-mind for consumers, small businesses, and enterprises. 4G LTE is now an emerging opportunity (or headache, if not prepared) for mobile network operators (MNOs) and communications service providers (CSPs) to offset declining revenues from voice and messaging services.
Just as important as a fast mobile connection, 4G-LTE, and its even faster cousin LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), add new revenue-generating capabilities to the service offering pool, which were not possible with mobile 3G. These capabilities include: broadcast video without noticeable buffering, proximity services, rich communications services (RCS), and voice over LTE (VoLTE). Improved service quality from the faster network throughput delivered by 4G-LTE, combined with these new service creation options, now position MNOs to gain a positive revenue push from mobile data services. For some, the new data service window of opportunity has already opened.
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