Frank Rayal

Telecom industry management consultant.

Author Archives: Frank Rayal

600 MHz Incentive Auction: Beating Disappointment

Bidding on the 600 MHz ‘incentive band’ stopped at $19.63 billion. The assignment phase now in progress to decide on specific allotments.  Detailed results will be announced a few weeks after that concludes. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Dish and Comcast are among the bidders with Sprint a notable absentee. It will be a few short years before this new… Read More »

The Value Proposition of mmWave 5G Networks

This year marked a coalescence* around the 28 GH band for 5G fixed access services. A year ago at MWC 2016**, different millimeter wave bands (mmWave) were still in play including the 70 GHz range. I recall discussing the performance of those solutions with exhibitors. They all claimed that mmWave access works in non-line-of-sight conditions. I even recall one the demos… Read More »

The Crossroads of Change: My thoughts on MWC 2017.

There’s not event like Mobile World Congress for gauging the pulse of the industry: 108,000 visitors and over 2,300 exhibitors provide the right platform for that. As I participated with other partners at Xona Partners in drafting our observations from MWC, I wanted to share a few notes and thoughts:

The Road to MWC: The Challenge Ahead

It’s only a week or so for MWC to opens. The biggest telecom event in the globe continues to grow, challenging companies to get their message heard. Press releases are no-longer effective. Day 0 – Sunday before the show – is now a full event day. But even that is not enough, leading major corporations host to analysts and… Read More »

IoT Business and Technology Simulator

Multiple IoT technologies are competing for dominance with no one solution fits all applications. Rather, application requirements, regulatory, and deployment constraints will favor one technology solution over another. This makes it imperative for IoT service providers, vendors and investors to make sound and knowledgeable technology and business model choices. To help in strategic decision making, we at Xona have developed a… Read More »

A Year in Transition: A Look Ahead

As the year winds down, I wanted to share a few brief notes and observations. In short, I view 2016 as a ‘transitional’ year. This transition will unfold  unfold over multiple years. It will see new technologies and business models rising while others fading away. Some highlights based on what we at Xona Partners have been involved in:

Is There a Business Case for Network Slicing?

Network slicing is a focal feature of 5G networks – a savior for service providers that will enable greater control of the quality of service delivered to clients, especially the enterprise market.  But while the discussion address the technical aspects of network slicing, there are many business and financial issues that remain mysterious!

Is 550 million 5G subscribers in 2022 Too Many?

Will there be 550 million 5G subscribers in 2022 as Ericsson forecasts in its latest mobility report? I highly doubt it – here’s why. LTE is a very successful technology that commercially began to roll out in the US, Japan and Korea in 2010 timeframe. Today, it includes over 520 live networks and over 1.3 billion subscribers (1.7 b per Ericsson’s… Read More »

The Triumvirate Standoff and the New Telecom World Order

We are at a defining moment in the evolution of telecom. Forces are building across a fault line between service providers and Internet giants. Both sides appear to have reached a wall. It’s a matter of time before an earthquake reshapes the scene.  For service providers, the challenge lies in hard-to-scale rigid networks and a culture steeped in conservatism that… Read More »

Virtualize or Perish: The Software Transformation Challenge!

Telecom service providers are facing a challenging dilemma. While they are sitting financially comfortably, the forward-looking service providers know that they are required to implement sweeping changes in how they deliver services. Otherwise, they stand the risk of being relegated to commodity dumb pipe provider by visionary entrants with new service models. Thus, in facing the risk of marginalization,… Read More »

The Future of 5G: Risking Disappointment?!

Monitoring the progress of 5G at the recent 5G Americas analyst summit, where carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint engaged industry analyst on many 5G topics, I noted few observations. For context, the industry remains fixated on capacity: how to scale to support 11 GB in 2019 from ~4 GB monthly usage? This is fuelling the drive towards millimeter… Read More »

Why Are Telecom Service Providers Interested in Open Source?

Open source in telecom networks is an emerging concept that could disrupt the telecom value chain. Hardware solutions make up the vast majority of today’s telecom network infrastructure. In recent years, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN) solutions began to appear in networks – a trend that will accelerate in the future. While virtualization provides a leap in… Read More »

How to Get to 5G?

Never before in the history of wireless that as ambitious a program as 5G was put in place. The scope of requirements far exceeds anything that came before it. Moreover, 5G comes at a time when mobile network operators are facing their toughest challenges as their financial performance demonstrates. Consolidation in the ecosystem is wide-spread at the semiconductor… Read More »

Will 5G be the Last ‘G’!

The 3GPP recently agreed to accelerated timelines 5G standard definition to bring in a new radio system in both non-standalone (LTE EPC core) and standalone (next generation core) architectures within Release 15 targeting June 2018 for completion of specifications.In the meantime, the ‘more mature’ version of 5G will come in Release 16 in conjunction with ITU specification for IMT-2020.… Read More »

What Capacity Problem?! A View on the Small Cell Market.

Small cells have existed and been talked about for about a decade now. The technology and market went through different phases tracking 3G, LTE and now 5G technologies. Yet, the deployment of small cells has been timid and numbers fall below expectations. The fundamental thesis behind small cells is that demand for capacity exceeds supply. The market speculated that… Read More »