It looks like a there is a consensus about the expected data increase in upcoming 10 years. Operators and vendors are expecting 1000 times more traffic in 2020!! Unfortunately for operators it does not mean 1000 times more revenue. Dragan Nerandzic, CTO of Ericsson Canada notes that “the business model will break unless something is done” by just looking at the expected numbers in 5 years: 10 times more capacity requirement versus only 20% to 30% increase in mobile broadband data revenue! So we can see how serious the problem is for operators which not only to supply 1000 times more capacity but also find a proper business model to survive!
When we leave the revenue problem to operators and handle the question of “How to achieve this 1000 times more capacity in future mobile radio networks”, we see different opinions from both vendors and operators. The table shows the view of 3 big componies, Nokia Siemens, Huawei and NTT Docomo. As we can see, only common point how they define the capacity enhancement dimensions which are spectrum, spectral efficiency and densification. The question of how independent are these dimensions aside, how realistic to assume 10x more spectrum or 24x spectrum efficiency are other questions to be discussed. I have attended one panel discussion in Chinacom this year and Dr. Chen Lan from NTT Docomo mentioned the necessasity of new non-ortogonal multiple access schemes that can achieve very high spectral efficiency for future mobile radio networks.
It seems we have lots of things to think about! :)