Smartphone users spend nearly 80 percent of their daily device use time on non-voice activities, rendering traditional capacity expansion inadequate. A tremendous increase in global mobile data traffic due to the use of video and other applications on smartphones is causing network overloads. Wireless network testing is witnessing a resurgence due to high demand for positive customer experiences.
Traditional drive test solutions are no longer sufficient to provide a true picture of the quality a customer is experiencing. Thus, there is a need for additional operation support systems (OSS) tools with geo-location, as well as highly effective active and passive monitoring probes.
Frost & Sullivan’s research, Global Wireless Network Test Equipment Market, 2017–2023, finds that 5G is expected to bring several changes in infrastructure and networks. With this change, the need for testing is expected to rise and will lead to more parameters monitored through key performance indicators. The study examines current and expected market developments, drivers, restraints, opportunities, regional trends, and end-user perspectives. Segments analyzed include OSS (CM/FM/PM), OSS with geo-location equipment, site test equipment, SON test equipment, active monitoring, passive monitoring, and crowdsourcing.
“Carriers need to know where the network coverage is supposed to go, as poor coverage and service are the top drivers for high customer churn,” said Frost & Sullivan Test & Measurement Program Manager Olga Yashkova. “Service providers’ (SPs’) desire to obtain better, richer, and more detailed information about the quality of the coverage is pushing demand for drive test solutions that communicate virtually with other tools, along with investment in new drive test equipment.”
With each new wireless technology rollout, there is a critical need to refresh and update drive test equipment so that the new technologies can be successfully and accurately measured. Currently, OSS testing and drive testing is applicable for 3G, 4G/LTE, and even VoLTE. However, with the evolution of newer technologies such as 5G, drive testing becomes expensive and exorbitant.
The testing process has to be redone from the beginning with a new workflow process. In the near future, minimization of drive test integrated with geo-location is expected to provide more accurate results that will enable vendors to provide more services.