Will 5G Be Irrelevant?

Is 5G Irrelevant?Last week I had the privilege to discuss the latest wireless industry trends with colleagues at the RAN and Backhaul conference. We discussed 5G in addition to host of other topics ranging from architecture to virtualization and much in between: spectrum, Het Nets, IoT, etc. As I contemplate the proceedings, I came to wonder about the relevance of 5G!

Today, the focus is on developing consensus on what 5G is and will be: what are the applications and which use cases will it serve? Which technologies and architectures will be best to meet the objectives? Which spectrum it will operate in?  What type of physical layer it will employ? These are but a few questions the ecosystem is debating. But what everyone agrees on is that 5G will support IoT connectivity for a great number ‘things’ in addition to providing better than ever personal broadband connectivity services. Read more of this post

Cellular IoT Connectivity: Threats and Opportunities

Cellular IoTThere has been a flurry of activities related to wide-area Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. The market recognizes that existing technologies, and more importantly business models and cost structures do not scale to meet IoT application requirements. A number of competing solutions have emerged and are today vying for commercial validation which scales through standardization. Hence, there is a strong push in standard organizations such as 3GPP and GERAN to develop and adopt IoT connectivity techniques. Additionally, investors who recognize the opportunity created by potentially disruptive models and the need to hedge existing investments have embarked on making strategic investments. It is against this background that we provide this brief with a summary of related opinions we developed based on multiple engagements in this space. Read more of this post

Can Device-to-Device Communications Extend into the Home and SME?

DSL LTE BondingDSL and LTE bonding is a technology that have been hovering under the radar, not receiving the attention it deserves. A few operators have been experimenting with it, and some deployed it. Vodafone targets the solution at the enterprise sector, while Deutsch Telekom sees it as complementary service in rural areas. DSL/LTE bonding combines a DSL modem with a LTE UE modem at the user side along with integration in the core network to allow supplementing the service of one technology where the other falls short. It reduces bottlenecks in performance so for example when xDSL service slows to a crawl it taps the capacity of LTE. Having two separate links to the Internet creates redundancy of service and consequently increases reliability and quality of service. DSL/LTE bonding is a great technology, but I wonder if it can extend further to provide for additional applications. Specifically, can it be used as a platform for future device-to-device (D2D) communication? Read more of this post

Meeting the Cost Requirements for IoT Devices

It seems many are convinced that the magic number for device cost in cellular M2M applications is $5. What should be the cost of a module, and how critical an issue is the device cost to start with, is a topic of debate and although I have my view on it, it is not what I will address here*. Instead, I like to focus on what needs to happen to get the cost to sub $5. So, how can we reach such a target price and what are the implications? Read more of this post

Canada AWS-3 Spectrum Result Summary

AWS-3 Auction CanadaThe AWS-3 auction in Canada has wrapped up raising a total of C$2.11 billion (US$ 1.68b) in a sealed-bid second-price format that was completed in a day. Of the 50 MHz auctioned, 30 MHz was set aside for challengers like Wind Mobile, Videotron and Eastlink who paid just over C$98 m in total, or on average C$0.105 (US$0.084) per MHz-PoP, in what is considered a subsidy to these challengers in a market dominated by incumbents with overwhelming market advantage in spectrum assets and subscriber base. Industry Canada estimates that these operators increased their spectrum holdings by 107% on average, which is considerable. Mobilicity which has filed for Chapter 11 did not bid. Read more of this post

MWC2015 Wrap-up Notes

MWCIf there’s a single theme to sum up this year’s MWC, it is the acquisitions that were announced. A number were announced and many are yet to be announced: NXP’s acquisition of Freescale ($11.8 bllion), HP of Aruba, Mitel of Mavenir, CommAgility of MIMOON are but a few examples. Consolidation is a natural outcome for an industry that transcends communications to offer multiple services including but not limited to entertainment, education, and financial services. So in a clear trend, we find more focus this year on how to enable mobile network operators (MNOs) generate more revenue as opposed to a focus on performance which is characteristics of past years. This represents a new level of maturity in a number of products and solutions that initially were brought upon as a mean to enhance performance but since have morphed into tools to generate revenue. It is also an acknowledgement that the status quo for MNOs characterized by eroding margins (EBITDA margins have dipped below 40% down from low 50% range a few years ago) has to change whereby data services are better monetized. Read more of this post

600 MHz Incentive Auction Key Facts

Incentive Auction - TVWS - WhitespacesNow that the AWS-3 auction has concluded, not without controversy which will continue to reverberate for some time, attention will shift to the incentive auction planned by the FCC for next year. Being the first of its kind anywhere in the world, I thought it would be a good idea to summarize some of the inter-working of this auction by highlighting some key features: Read more of this post

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