As the wireless boom continues unabated, wireless network operators are coming under increasing pressure to provide more capacity, coverage and quality – and all of this without upping prices. This is going to be a major focus in 2015.

“During 2015 we will see operators modernise their networks and upgrade to LTE while, at the same time, working on more efficient future architectures,” says Derick Roberts, CEO of diversified wireless specialist, TruTeq Devices.

Operators will also move to increase the capacity of their networks through the technology of cell splitting, the creation of a metro layer, and the ongoing focus on deploying the required indoor coverage layer. Networks will become increasingly modernised and those operators who do not invest in capacity – and quality capacity – will likely fall behind in the marketplace.

LTE is now the vogue and is the latest evolution of commercial cellular systems – boasting the greatest spectral efficiency to date.

The roll out of LTE is not going to be cheap and companies like Cell C are poised to spend billions of Rands in this endeavour.

Efficiency improvements, however, are not limited to spectrum, but benefit the ecosystem as a whole.

Roberts says that in order to properly service the increasing mobile demands of users, operators are going to have to look at every segment of the infrastructure. “The entire infrastructure must, indeed, be evaluated and optimised,” he says.

LTE is an acronym for Long-Term Evolution, often marketed as 4G LTE. It is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. LTE is says to be the obvious upgrade for carriers with both GSM/UMTS and CDMA2000 networks. The different LTE frequencies and bands used in different counties will mean that only multi-band phones will be able to use LTE in counties where it is supported.

“But, whichever way you look at it, in terms of where the wireless data provision market is moving, LTE is the new kid on the block – and operators are going to have to ensure it is integrated into the modernised networks,” says Roberts.