Free Space Optics: An Overview of Market and Technology

Free space opticsFree space optical (FSO) technology in commercial applications has been around for a couple of decades now. During this time, significant developments happened to improve the utility and reduce cost. Today’s systems pack more capacity in smaller volume and at lower price while measures to improve reliability are integrated into the solutions to increase the robustness of the link.  Yet, the commercial applications of FSO remain in niche segments without a major breakthrough into mainstream markets such as mobile backhaul. In this article, I like to review the basic elements of the FSO market to shed some light on this segment of backhaul that has lived in the shadow of RF technologies. Read more of this post

From LTE-U to LTE-DSA: Solving The Capacity Crunch

LTE-UThe proposal by Qualcomm to enable LTE operation in unlicensed band (LTE-U) received a warm response from some (e.g. Ericsson, Verizon) and not so warm from others especially incumbents with strong legacy in Wi-Fi in both the vendor and operator communities. The contentious issue center on co-existence of LTE and Wi-Fi in the same band as Wi-Fi implements ‘listen before talk’ or in technical terms carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) as opposed to LTE where transmissions are scheduled by the base station. This issue plagued WiMAX in unlicensed bands and was topic of much work at the IEEE during standardization activities of that technology. Still, while the proposal is not yet an approved work item for 3GPP LTE Release 13, the next few weeks will most likely see this feature approved to include in the standard with completion timelines by end of 1Q 2016, when we very possibly can see actual systems deployed. Read more of this post

Data Sciences and Big Data in Telecom: A Big Deal?

Data SciencesThere is much hype in telecom. In just about every aspect of the network, new trends are shaping up: from the core to the radio access and through the transport network; in hardware, in software and in processes, buzz words and acronyms are aplenty. Worse, how often these acronyms are used out of context just to latch on a popular wave in a vain hope of marketing advantage? No wonder one can feel confused, even discouraged at times. What is real and what’s not? Who can really tell when there’s so much noise that masks real progress! Read more of this post

Observations on MWC 2014 – My Takeaways

Saddlenode BifurcationIn a nutshell, the wireless industry keeps on getting broader and more bifurcated. This is the main trend that has been around for years and that will not stop. Communication is becoming truly pervasive. Opportunities and confusion are intermingled. To understand it all, one needs to cut across wider breadth and dive into greater depth to separate hype from reality. This is a challenge all in its own. Separating the real from the fake is harder than ever!

In this year’s edition, some of my observations are: Read more of this post

Is the Personal Cell Technology for Real?

SONThe media is abuzz with the news of the pCell wireless technology – after all, it’s not too often that someone comes out and claims to have a technology that will change the world! For now, too little has been revealed on this technology, which is understandable for a startup.  The aura of mystery is necessary to fuel the hype machine. So, what can we deduce from what little has been revealed? And, what are the prospects of such technology? I will outline here a few thoughts to start this conversation and I look forward to your observations and opinion. Read more of this post

Canada 700 MHz Spectrum Auction Concludes Raising C$ 5.27 Billion

Spectrum AuctionResults of the auction for 700 MHz spectrum in Canada were announced today:  CAD 5.27 billion (USD 4.73 billion) was raised. This is more than what operators had hoped to fork out for this auction, especially considering the wireless market structure in Canada which does not foster competitive behavior. The average price for the 68 MHz auctioned is CAD 2.20 /MHz-PoP (USD 1.98).  Read more of this post

The Long-Term View on Small Cells

Long-Term View Small CellsThe evolution of wireless networks to a HetNet architecture is inevitable, but the question for industry players and investors is what form will it take. This is because there is no single approach to small cells, but rather there are multiple ways to densify the network. Making misplaced bets is common in the technology space, mainly because of the myriad of cause and effects that take place where technology is only a factor among many other factors, and at times a minor one in comparison. Read more of this post

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