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Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) is one of the most salient examples of how location of network and service functions matters when we optimize network performance and QoE – specifically by pushing functions and content that are typically part of the core closer to the edge – to the RAN and to the subscriber. 

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Stadiums and other sports venues are typically the first targets of densification because of the extremely high usage density during events. We talked about wireless coverage with DAS and Wi-Fi at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, with James Hammond, the Director of Information Technology with the Carolina Panthers, and Kevin Schmonsees, the CTO of Beam Wireless.

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Testing and monitoring in densified networks has to evolve to enable operators to understand network performance and to identify performance issues in networks that are more advanced but also more complex. We talked with Todd Cotts at Ascom Network Testing about how testing and monitoring are changing, and how they can assist operators in planning their networks.

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At Kathrein, densification is pushing towards new antenna configuration, form factor, and location – and more generally to deploy equipment that blends in the environment or cannot be seen. In our conversation with Jim DeKoekkoek, Product Line Manager, Antennas and Small Cells, we talked about Street Connect, a solution that takes small cells below ground, protected by specially designed manholes. 

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In millimeter wave deployments, densification is not an option, but a necessity because of the limited coverage radius, as well as the opportunity to provide a vast capacity increase in the backhaul or in the access. We talked about the role of mmW in densification with Alpaslan Demir, Principal Engineer at InterDigital. 

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Densification is nothing new in wireless networks to expand coverage or increase capacity. But the pace of densification and how it is achieved has changed. Operators increasingly target indoor locations in addition to outdoor ones. Ben Cardwell, Senior Vice President and Segment Leader at CommScope, sees an increased need for indoor coverage.

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The enterprise is one of the major player in densification, and its role and relationship with mobile operators is evolving as reliable indoor coverage becomes a requirement for subscribers, enterprises and service providers. We discuss the role of the enterprise in wireless with Art King, Director of Enterprise Services and Technologies at SpiderCloud. 

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This webinar will examine the challenge facing operators to address increasing capacity and performance demands in mobile networks and consider the various macro network enhancements available such as deployment of 4x4 MIMO, Carrier Aggregation, antenna tilt optimization and increased sectorization. It will then explore the role of mobile network testing to enable operators to make well-informed decisions about which technologies are appropriate, beneficial and efficient in different network scenarios and environments and go on to draw conclusions.

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The report "Voice comes to the fore, again. VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling redefine voice" has been published today. 

I would like to thank our sponsors, AT&T, Smartfren and T-Mobile for participating in the report and contributing their perspective in the interviews

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With over half of voice calls being routed over LTE and one of the earliest VoWi-Fi services, T-Mobile has been very active in drawing a new role for voice services and in taking a new approach to leverage voice services to improve customer retention. I have spoken with Mark McDiarmid, VP of Radio Network Engineering and Development at T-Mobile US on how voice is evolving in T-Mobile’s network.

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