Network operators worldwide are gearing up to provide 100Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink speed to mobile users with Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. With LTE, users can expect to experience bandwidth that is three to four times the current downlink levels for High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and two to three times the current High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) levels. Having gone through evolutions from GSM, EDGE, GPRS, and 3G in the last 15 to 20 years, one thing that the telecommunications industry has learned time and again is that the traditional approach of migrating a core network to a new technology is similar to undergoing a painful surgery.
New networks have been rolled out in a green field manner, thus making the transition capital intensive, time consuming, and often prone to errors. Delays encountered during the rollout due to interoperability issues, difficulties with new platforms, and so on have cost both network operators and equipment manufacturers significant revenue. Network operators end up being consumed in focusing almost exclusively on the “working rollout,” and they have missed the opportunities to add value differentiation during the upgrade to new technologies.