University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006
Service-based Requirements for Future Mobile Networks
Master's thesis, September 2006.
The mobile phone has, as a device, taken the world by storm in the past decade; from only 136 million phones globally in 1996, it is now estimated that by the end of 2008 roughly half of the worlds population will own a mobile phone. Over the years, the capabilities of the phones as well as the networks have increased tremendously, reaching the point where the devices are better called miniature computers rather than simply mobile phones. The mobile industry is currently undertaking several initiatives of developing new generations of mobile network technologies; technologies that to a large extent focus at offering ever-increasing data rates.
This thesis seeks to answer the question of whether the future mobile networks in development and the future mobile services are in sync; taking a forward-looking timeframe of five to eight years into the future, will there be services that will need the high-performance new networks being planned? The question is seen to be especially pertinent in light of slower-than-expected takeoff of 3G data services.
Current and future mobile services are analyzed from two viewpoints; first, looking at the gradual, evolutionary development of the services and second, through seeking to identify potential revolutionary new mobile services. With information on both current and future mobile networks as well as services, a network capability - service requirements mapping is performed to identify which services will work in which networks.
Based on the analysis, it is far from certain whether the new mobile networks, especially those planned for deployment after HSPA, will be needed as soon as they are being currently roadmapped. The true service-based demand for the "beyond HSPA" technologies may be many years into the future - or, indeed, may never materialize thanks to the increasing deployment of local area wireless broadband technologies.
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© University of Helsinki 2006
Last updated 11.10.2006