Analyst: Emerging LTE-U standards can't deflate Carrier Wi-Fi market

ABI Research contends that the rapid development of unlicensed LTE (LTE-U) standards and the increasing number of the technology's proponents brings into question the relationship between cellular networks and Wi-Fi.

Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements
Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements

ABI Research contends that the rapid development of unlicensed LTE (LTE-U) standards and the increasing number of the technology's proponents brings into question the relationship between cellular networks and Wi-Fi.

“While a number of mobile operators, especially Wi-Fi laggards, would strongly back LTE-U and look forward to it to compensate for late or poor Wi-Fi adoption, the Carrier Wi-Fi space continues to grow, attracting other players like fixed and cable operators - we expect a total shipment of nearly 2 million units in 2015," says Ahmed Ali, research analyst at ABI Research.

The firm's latest research describes how technical advances in Wi-Fi transform operators’ objectives for the service from cost saving into revenue generating. ABI's new report notes that, on one hand, 802.11ac and WiGig standards offer great capacity improvement that is much needed in today’s increasing data consumption. On the other hand, standards like Hotspot 2.0 look to perfect the user experience through enhanced security and access mechanisms. Early adopters are also incorporating new innovations in order to reinvent their business models and increase their networks’ ROI.

“Wi-Fi calling, for example, provides opportunities for non-mobile carriers to enter and compete in the wireless market," adds Ali. "Also, dual-SSID gateways allow operators with massive home and enterprise footprints to move into public Wi-Fi segment through community Wi-Fi."

ABI's latest research notes that, generally, Wi-Fi services continue strengthening presence in different verticals and expanding into new ones. From an operators’ point of view, retail (especially food service) remains the "closest friend," notes the analyst. These dynamic and crowded locations are perfect hotspots for both data-offloading and revenue generating analytic services.

The findings are part of ABI Research’s Carrier Wi-Fi Market Research. Learn more.


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