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Mobile Operator Survey: Increase In Data-Hungry Devices Set To Be Most Disruptive Force, But Driving Revenues Still The Biggest Challenge

A rise in the volume and variety of data-hungry mobile devices, including more affordable smartphones, tablets and e-readers, is set to be the most disruptive force in the wireless industry in the next three years. Operators are investing heavily in their networks to support new devices and services, yet they identified driving revenue from mobile broadband as their most significant challenge. These were the key findings of a global operator survey commissioned by Radisys® Corporation (NASDAQ: RSYS) and undertaken by wireless analysts Senza Fili Consulting, ahead of Mobile World Congress 2012.

In January and February 2012, senior decision makers from operators in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific were interviewed for the survey. The survey revealed which technologies or services operators expected would have the most significant effect on the industry, how those technologies would impact network performance, subscriber experience and revenue, and which they would support or fight.

Highlights from the global operator survey include:
  • 100% of European and Asia Pacific operators intend to deploy small cell networks within two years; 100% of North American operators will do so but in three years’ time
  • 86% of all operators surveyed support VoLTE
  • 82% of all operators surveyed support Wi-Fi ® offload
  • 82% of all operators surveyed believe new mobile devices will have a positive impact on revenues and subscriber experience
  • 71% of all operators surveyed viewed new mobile devices as the most disruptive force in the next three years
  • In North America, the most disruptive force will be VoLTE. In Europe, it will be new mobile devices, and in Asia Pacific, it will be, jointly, Wi-Fi offload, small cells and TDD/FDD hybrid networks, with devices in second.
  • 58% of all operators surveyed believe LTE Advanced will have a highly positive impact on revenues and subscriber experience; 66% agree that it will not happen for three years

“Devices will continue to be the main driver to change in our industry,” comments Monica Paolini of Senza Fili Consulting. “They have fundamentally changed the way subscribers use mobile broadband – why they use it, what they do with it, and how much traffic they generate. Yet, there is a pervasive feeling that we have just started to scratch the surface.”

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