Factsheet (Doc #IDC_P7159 / Sep 7, 2016)
Wireless Network Infrastructure

IDC's Wireless Network Infrastructure service analyzes emerging opportunities and threats facing mobile network operators as they seek to transform themselves into digital lifestyle enablers. Similarly, network equipment vendors are transforming themselves into information and communication technology (ICT) vendors with a view to be the strategic partner in the mobile operator digital transformation journey. The service focuses on radio access, packet core, and wireless backhaul infrastructure products and solutions that support current and next-generation wireless voice, video, and data services for the emerging digital consumer marketplace.

Markets and Subjects Analyzed

  • 5G Infrastructure: Technology and business implications for key stakeholders such as mobile operators, equipment vendors, and enterprises in the 5G ecosystem
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Connectivity: Low-power WAN (LPWAN), cellular IoT (NB-IoT, EC-GSM, LTE-M), LoRA, SIGFOX
  • SMART Radio Access Network (RAN): Next-gen sites, cloud RAN, fronthaul solutions, backhaul solutions, coverage capacity strategies, small cells, carrier WiFi, security, and self-organized network (SON) framework
  • SMART Core: MME, S-GW, P-GW, SGSN, GGSN, HSS, DRA, and PCRF, NFV, and software-defined network (SDN) framework
  • SMART Content: Video optimization, bandwidth engineering, mobile edge computing (MEC), and CDNs
  • SMART Networks: Network analytics, network intelligence, network performance, network service assurance, and network visibility
  • Spectrum implications and network-sharing trends and opportunities
  • Diameter-routing agents, policy enforcement, and next-gen security framework
  • Technical, regulatory, economic, and social issues affecting network evolution and technology selection

Core Research

  • Cellular Infrastructure Capex Forecast — 3G, 4G, and 5G
  • HetNets Forecast — Special focus on small cells including metro, micro, and pico (DAS) elements
  • Technology Evolution Including LTE-Advanced, eMBMS, TD-LTE, VoLTE, vRAN, vEPC, RCS, and Carrier WiFi (LTE-U, LAA, LWA)
  • Internet of Things Connectivity — LPWAN, Cellular IoT (NB-IoT, EC-GSM, LTE-M), LoRA, SIGFOX
  • Mobile Broadband Architecture and Related Trends
  • Radio Network Architecture Challenges and Related Solutions
  • Network Function Virtualization, SONs, Software-Defined Networks, and Related Implication on Network Infrastructure
  • Evolving Role of Network Infrastructure on Customer Service Assurance

In addition to the insight provided in this service, IDC may conduct research on specific topics or emerging market segments via research offerings that require additional IDC funding and client investment.

Key Questions Answered

  1. What are the key 5G technologies that will transform the infrastructure spend patterns?
  2. What are the key components of a 5G network? What will a 5G network look like?
  3. What are the tangible economic implications of NFV SDN frameworks?
  4. Analyzing the technology value chain of 4G and 5G networks and identifying key contributors and key inhibitors: Next-gen sites, cloud RAN, vEPC, MEC, and SON
  5. Definition and discussion of the ICT journey of mobile operators
  6. Innovation opportunities to reduce business friction and technology friction in the mobile internet ecosystem
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