As of Mobile World Congress 2015 this week, WiFi now has new co-operation with LTE. Several vendors previewed new products and partnerships showing devices that combine WiFi and LTE in the same working system, for example, Ruckus and Nokia.
Our impression from the show is that many service providers and most cellular-heritaged vendors support this recent product development.
Before the show, however, we discussed LTE-U (LTE unlicensed) with vendors and semiconductor companies that could be characterized as more wireless LAN pure-plays, and these vendors are either against such a crowding in on the unlicensed party or are supporting it as one of many products in their portfolio, mainly as a hedge in case LTE-U becomes popular. It will be interesting to see how things evolve. Qualcomm for one thinks there’s a bright future ahead for this technology.
Virtual Evolved Packet Core, or vEPC, and IMS continue to be themes at the MWC show, similar to last year.
But perhaps the most interesting trend of all was the crop of several acquisitions that were announced. Most notable were Mitel’s intent to purchase Mavenir, the software-based telco networking company; Brocade’s plan to bring Connectem, an LTE vEPC company into its fold and HP’s deal for Aruba, adding wireless mobility solutions to their portfolio.
Each suggests consolidation waves may ensue in areas such as the telco core and WiFi.