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Radio over Fiber for Wireless Communications: From Fundamentals to Advanced Topics by Xavier N Fernando

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Chapter 1Introduction

1.1 Motivation

The demand for wireless communication services is increasing steadily. According to an estimate by the Global Technology, Media and Telecom (GTMT) team, the number of global mobile phone users is expected to reach 7.6 billion by 2020, up by 41% from 5.4 billion users in 2011. In other words, wireless user penetration will be close to 99% of the global population in 2020, up from 87% in 2011.

The reason for this increase in demand is twofold. First, there is a sustained increment in the number of subscribers. On top of that, the bandwidth demand of most of these subscribers also shows a rapid increase, at an even higher rate than the increment in number of subscribers. The proliferation of smart phones and tablets that enable multimedia services has led to this trend. For example, the average smart phone usage grew 81% just in 2012. Image transfer and video streaming, as well as innovative cloud services, reach an increasing number of customers. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the rapid emergence of the internet of things(IoT) further contribute to the bandwidth quest. Global mobile data traffic grew 70% in 2012, which was nearly 12 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000 [1]. In the future, the amount of data traffic will grow at a pace never seen before. Many recent forecasts project mobile data traffic to grow more than 24-fold between 2010 and 2015, and much higher beyond 2015 [2]. To catch up with the need and ...

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