The evolution from 3G to LTE networks challenges wireless telecom operators as it represents changes such as moving to all IP traffic and a direct communication from the eNodeB to EPC, having no distributed controller in aggregation as with 2G or 3G networks.
In addition, carriers have specific areas to consider such as bandwidth, security, delay and sync. “They all have to address these needs in a very efficient way. Otherwise, carriers won’t achieve expected results from LTE,” said Alberto Barriento, VP for Latin America and the Caribbean at Tellabs, during a press conference held in São Paulo and ahead of next week’s Futurecom event (read more stories).
During the meeting, Barriento emphasized operators’ backhaul challenges. Those include having to continue supporting 2G networks across Latin America, the continued growth of 3G and, when deploying LTE, carriers will need more traffic and network capacity. “2G, 3G and LTE networks will coexist, so mobile backhaul needs to support all of them at the same time,” Barriento said.
This has been a topic on Tellabs’ agenda for the past several years. The company claims carriers need to rely on a more optimized and intelligent network in order to reduce complexity and improve customers’ experience. “Carriers need a single mobile backhaul solution that addresses 2G, 3G and LTE at the same time,” Barriento pointed out. Another need is to address and reach small cells, once LTE deployment requires the installation of such infrastructure to improve coverage.
“As for business challenges, operators face a dilemma of traffic growth versus flat revenue. Service providers see their revenues are not [growing], while network complexity is rising and [capital expenses] and [operating expenses] are also increasing,” Barriento added.
While just beginning LTE deployments, Latin America is also busy deploying 3G networks. Tellabs said it aims to catch this boom to help emerging markets continue to grow. In the first half of 2012, the company’s revenues grew 38% in Latin America, with 2011.
Barriento explained that Tellabs has been working to target emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Russia. “International markets are already bigger than the [United States. As for Latin America, the annual average rate is expected to be 25% per year throughout 2015.”
Barriento noted that about five years ago Tellabs’ strategy relied on gathering new clients and to diversify its customers base, but its current challenge is to keep clients and increase revenues from those clients.