March 10, 2014 06:00 ET

iGR Market Studies Analyze All Facets of Mobile Virtualization, Including Cost Benefits

New Research Addresses Impact of Virtualization on the Entire Mobile Ecosystem

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Mar 10, 2014) -  The mobile industry has just recently started adopting elements of virtualization. For the wireless industry, mobile virtualization begins with the end-user device and extends into the RAN (radio access networks) and EPC, the evolved packet core that is unique to LTE networks. Because it touches numerous systems and processes, there are many variations on how and when mobile virtualization can be implemented throughout the mobile operator environment.

"It is easy to talk about 'virtualizing the mobile network,' but the actual implementation becomes complex very quickly," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "The virtualization effort permeates numerous elements, including end user devices such as smartphones and tablets, the EPC, the core SON, 4G network servers, eNodeBs, small cells, and various APIs. Consequently, mobile virtualization can mean many things to many people."

iGR defines three types of mobile virtualization:

  • Mobile application virtualization is when an application is separated from the other apps and services running on a mobile device.
  • Mobile access virtualization occurs when a mobile device connects to multiple radio access networks (RAN) transparently to the user.
  • Mobile core virtualization is when the evolved packet core (EPC) is fully virtualized and runs in a data center with off-the-shelf hardware.

iGR has recently published three major studies on mobile virtualization:

  • Mobile Virtualization: Impact on the Mobile Ecosystem: This report provides an introduction to mobile virtualization, the potential impact on the current mobile ecosystem, profiles of the major virtualization vendors and solution providers, discussion of major threats and opportunities, and a forecast of the likely mobile virtualization developments in the next 48 months.

  • Global Mobile LTE EPC Virtualization Forecast, 2013 - 2017: Impacts and Benefits: This report discusses the potential impact of mobile EPC (evolved packet core) virtualization, the potential benefits both in terms of CapEx and OpEx to operators deploying LTE, and the global implications. Mobile EPC virtualization requires that the EPC functions and processes be recreated using off-the-shelf hardware and then deployed in a data center. A virtualized EPC could be used to provide additional core capacity to a legacy EPC for a mobile operator or could be used by a third party to provide services to a specific group of customers.

  • Global Mobile LTE RAN Virtualization Forecast, 2013 - 2017: Benefit of the BTS Hotel: This report discusses the potential impact of mobile RAN (radio access network) virtualization, including base station hoteling, the potential benefits both in terms of CapEx and OpEx to operators deploying LTE, and the global implications. For Mobile RAN virtualization, splitting of the base station into a Remote Radio Head (RRH) or Radio Unit (RU) and baseband is required. The RRH is mounted where required and connected to the baseband unit via fiber optic -- the baseband is located in a convenient data center. The baseband units for a metro market could therefore be co-located and use standard hardware, hence reducing cost, improving reliability and easing maintenance.

iGR has created a new Mobile Virtualization advisory and subscription service, which will continue to present research on the potential impact of virtualization on the entire mobile ecosystem, the potential benefits both in terms of CapEx and OpEx to operators, and the global implications for mobile solution vendors. The Mobile Virtualization advisory and subscription service includes all related market studies, support to address inquiries related to the studies, and regular customized executive briefings.

The individual reports can also be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR's website at www.iGR-inc.comFor more information on the Mobile Virtualization advisory and subscription service, please contact Iain Gillott at (512) 263-5682 or at for additional details.

About iGR
iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now entering its fourteenth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile wearables; connected cars; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell and het-net architectures; mobile EPC and RAN virtualization; DAS; LTE; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at

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