Should Licensed Spectrum be Allocated to IoT Applications?

IoT ConnectivityA mix of connectivity technologies combines to enable the Internet of Things. These technologies can be complementary or competitive in nature. Determining which fits and which does not starts with the application use case and the user requirement. For most IoT applications there is no need for broadband connectivity. Rather, what is required is a reliable connectivity to transmit intermittent data cost effectively. This includes low maintenance and serviceability and low power consumption. To address such applications, new standards are emerging for low power wide area (LPWA) connectivity with operations in unlicensed bands such as 900 MHz or TV whitespaces. But that leaves connectivity subject to external interference that cannot be managed. Hence, should there be a dedicated spectrum for IoT applications? Read more of this post

The IoT Value Chain: Where’s the Value?

IoT Internet of things$19 Trillion is a lot of money. That’s the value Cisco expect the Internet of Things (IoT) market will generate over the next 10 years. Compare with annual world GDP of 75 Trillion, IoT will make for about 2%. Not bad. In terms of devices, the talk is for 50 billion connected devices in 2020, other estimates from ABI put the number at 30 billion and JP Morgan feels more like 75 billion in 2020; no matter, there will be a lot of devices! With this context, no wonder companies are salivating at the opportunity IoT brings about for new revenues streams and profits. But where will the value be and how can it be captured? This question is surely on the mind and lips of executives and the subject of discussion in many boardrooms. Read more of this post

Defining the Innovation Band and Shared Spectrum Access

3.5 GHz Shared Spectrum RulesSpectrum sharing rules for the 3.5 GHz band in the US are beginning to take shape. While there are still some important aspects to define, the broad lines have been drawn for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). The process of fine-tuning the rules will continue following the April Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) (comments are due July 14th and reply comments by August 1st). The proposed rules will have a three-tiered spectrum sharing scheme in 3550 – 3650 MHz between Incumbent Access, Priority Access License (PAL) and General Authorized Access (GAA) users. Furthermore, there door is open to roll into this band the 3650 – 3700 MHz band which today operates on a non-exclusive licensed basis. Read more of this post

Raising the Stakes in 3.5 GHz: LTE-Advanced Achieves 1 Gbps

1Gbps LTE-AThe 3 GHz frequency bands stands at the upper limit of what is considered today as viable spectrum for mobile communications. But bands 42 (3400 – 3600 MHz) and 43 (3600 – 3800 MHz) are not only the ‘last frontier’, but more importantly, they provide the widest spectrum of any other band (200 MHz). Additionally, the relatively short wavelength is perfect to enable advanced antenna system technologies based on beamforming and massive MIMO techniques. Couple these with the limited range of propagation that limits interference and the 3.5 GHz band becomes an interesting proposition for capacity starved operators. Read more of this post

Small Cells Progress Report – Challenges and Opportunities.

Small cells I have just released a new research report on the progress of small cell deployments in collaboration with ExelixistNet:  “Small Cell Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities.” The report examines mobile operators’ plans and deployment strategies of small cells and backhaul solutions along with vendor and technology preferences. The research is based on experience gathered by operators from market trials of small cells and wireless backhaul solutions conducted to evaluate the ecosystem deployment readiness and impact of small cell roll-out on operator financials and network performance. Read more of this post

SON Progress Report: A Lot Still to Be Done!

SONSince the first building blocks of SON were laid down around 2008 by 3GPP and NGMN, uptake in SON deployments has been very selective by a few leading carriers for some use cases. However, universal applicability remains elusive. To say the least, the SON market is struggling – but why, and how that can be turned around is what interests me. Having just attended the SON USA conference, I had made a few observations and like to put some down here. Read more of this post

Further Enhanced ICIC (FeICIC)

FeICIC LTE-AdvancedGuest post by Faris Alfarhan*

In an earlier post, R10-LTE enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC) techniques for heterogeneous networks were discussed, along with the concept of small cell range expansion. The purpose of cell range expansion is to offload more traffic from macro cells to small cells and hence achieve larger cell splitting gains. By adding a cell selection bias, the service area of small cells increases and more users are offloaded to small cells. The need for heterogeneous networks interference management schemes stems from the fact that users in the small cell range expansion area are vulnerable to stronger interference signals than useful signals from the associated serving small cell. In the previous post, it was explained how time domain partitioning based eICIC schemes – known as Almost Blank Subframes (ABS) – could be used to control the interference on the data channels in the range expansion region. Further, carrier aggregation based techniques – known as Cross Carrier Scheduling – could be used to control interference on the control channels (such as the PDCCH, PCFICH, and PHICH channels). However, R10 eICIC schemes did not address interference control on cell-specific reference signals (CRS), which cannot be blanked in order to ensure backward compatibility with R8 and R9 UEs. In this post, R11 improvements to eICIC schemes are discussed, along with the shortcomings of R10 eICIC schemes. First, the concept of Reduced Power Almost Blank Subframes (RP-ABS) is explained along with its advantages over ABS. I then discuss the R11 techniques of Further enhanced ICIC (FeICIC) to control the interference on CRS resources. Read more of this post

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