Real Wireless was recently commissioned by Bluwan to analyse the emerging trends and technological challenges that carrier-grade Wi-Fi is creating.
The study, Carrying Carrier Wi-Fi: The Technology Challenges, emphasized the increasing reliance operators will be placing on carrier Wi-Fi over the next five years. In fact, our analysis reveals that carrier-grade Wi-Fi hotspots will make up more than 80% of all available access points in 2019.
The study also identified that data demands being placed upon Wi-Fi hotspots will increase dramatically in the coming years, driven by data-intensive applications like streaming content. In fact, according to figures from Cisco, the world’s hotspots will need to support a staggering 63 exabytes of Wi-Fi IP traffic each month by 2018.
While there is little doubt carrier-grade Wi-Fi will form a crucial part next generation mobile networks, operators need to be aware of how important effective backhaul provision will become. In particular, the affordability of backhauling such dense network hotspots will become an increasingly serious barrier.
To avoid this, our analysis identified eight key technology criteria that Carrier-grade Wi-Fi needs to meet in order to ensure they are both cost-effective and operationally efficient to deploy. These key criteria are:
- < $1,000 per link
- Flexible planning
- Flexible capacity allocation
- Low Total Cost of Ownership per Mbps
- > 500Mbps throughput
- High scalability
- Low latency: < 10ms
- Quality of Experience
In the report, we then benchmarked a range of wireless backhaul technologies against these criteria to assess their suitability for tackling this challenge.
For more information on the findings, our full analysis, and our conclusions, please download a copy of ‘Carrying Carrier Wi-Fi: The Technology Challenges’ here.