LTE Deployments Energize Prospects for Test and Monitoring Equipment Market
Published on: 1st Jan 1970: 1:33am
Despite the tough economic conditions, the global Internet protocol multimedia subsystem (IMS) test and monitoring equipment market is witnessing growth, largely owed to the compelling services IMS infrastructure is capable of enabling. An upturn in the macro economic situation could enliven the outlook for this market further. Escalating need for high bandwidth is likely to unleash more long-term evolution (LTE) deployments in the next couple of years, opening new avenues of opportunity for vendors in the IMS test and monitoring equipment space.
Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of over $308.9 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $968.9 million in 2013.
"The success of IMS will largely depend on the availability of new services in end-user equipment, and service providers and network equipment manufacturers are going the extra mile to include more services," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Sivakumar Narayanaswamy. "This would allow them to amplify the average revenue per user (ARPU) by profitably delivering voice, video, and data services to their consumers."
IMS facilitates the deployment of multimedia services. Rich communication suite (RCS), a new initiative of a large group of handset and infrastructure vendors and mobile operators, promises to enhance the ability of wireless and wire line networks to offer interoperable feature-rich communications. High uptake of IMS technology by all sectors of the telecommunications industry, including cellular, landline, and cable, will enable the market to continue its forward momentum. Operators will be able to leverage the long-term value of existing network equipment, resulting in new service development and deployment.
The current economic scenario has impacted the communications industry and service providers and carriers are freezing their capital expenditure (CAPEX). The decrease in CAPEX has deterred IMS implementation owing to the high installation costs involved. Postponements in IMS implementation are the inevitable fallout.
"As far as technical issues are concerned, the main hurdles associated with monitoring IMS environments include highly intensive signaling flows and correlation of multiple interfaces," says Narayanaswamy. "Additionally, tasks that monitor single end-to-end calls, combined session-based and transaction-based flows, and segment flows that are often complex are also challenging."
Customers in this market are displaying a preference for single platforms that offer scalability and flexibility. Products with optimal flexibility are favored because adaptation to new test requirements in the future will be easier in the event of changed protocol implementation. Although IMS provides for a scalable and flexible IP-based network, its flexibility has a downside- it creates management complexities. Operators have to walk the tightrope, inter-working a wide array of technologies and synchronizing resources to move applications seamlessly across networks.
Scalability, which allows investing incrementally, is another critical competitive factor. Ease of use of testing and monitoring tools, which can be achieved by automation and interfaces, is extremely vital from the end-user point of view.
Innovation plays a crucial role in differentiation, triggering constant updates of test solutions offered in this market. Customer feedback has helped fuel innovation, and participants in this space are obtaining it on an ongoing basis. The distribution chain plays a vital role in this exercise as most sales are conducted by direct means.