Category Archives: Wireless Networks

Can Edge Computing Help Telcos Win in a Cloud Play?

Edge computing presents a new opportunity for telecom service providers to have a cloud play. Their proximity to users gives them an inherent advantage at the ‘edge.’ The question is: are the telcos ready to capitalize on this opportunity? What could be their approach in securing their share of this market? And, will they succeed in claiming their… Read More »

3.5 GHz Spectrum Valuation Setting New Records

Results from the recent UK spectrum auction and the minimum price set by the Korean regulator show record 3.5 GHz spectrum valuation. UK operators paid £1.16 Billion ($1.64 Billion) for 150 MHz. In Korea, the regulator asked for close to $2.5 Billion for 280 MHz. For comparison, the 3.5 GHz UK spectrum is more than 5x the price paid… Read More »

The True 5G Value Proposition: It’s not about Speed and Latency!

It is common to pin the 5G value proposition on its performance, mainly capacity* and latency. These features will enable applications that operators can monetize. However, I will argue here that capacity and latency are secondary to realizing the full 5G value proposition. Capacity and latency make for big headlines and are easy to grasp by the common… Read More »

The Cost of 5G

In my earlier post, I outlined a few myths about 5G to avoid the cascading technology trap. Here, I like to extend the discussion and share a few data points on the cost of 5G networks. Over the past few months, our team has analyzed vendors’ roadmaps and product features, assessed spectrum and its cost, and developed deployment… Read More »

5G Myths and the Cascading Technology Trap.

There are a few myth about 5G that I came about in discussions with executives, investors, smart city officials and other parties active in technology development and planning for new services. Two examples: Don’t bother deploying a certain IoT technology – for example LoRaWAN or similar technology – because 5G will serve all these applications (e.g. street lighting,… Read More »

The AI-Telco Intersect Opportunity: A Dehype!

Artificial intelligence is in yet another hype cycle – the fourth since the 1960’s. What is different this time from past hype cycles is that it is driven by data from the bottom up as opposed a top-down approach in previous hype cycles. The pervasiveness of connectivity and the Internet make AI applicable in many industries, including telecom.… Read More »

Telcos vs. Cloud Players: Can Edge Computing Change the Competitive Dynamics?

Cloud players continue to set record revenues and profits while the telcos grapple with stalled revenues. The market cap of three to the top cloud players – Amazon, Google and Microsoft – stand at around $1.9 trillion while the top 4 US telcos – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, stand at under $500 billion. The telcos have lost… Read More »

The Impact of Performance Predictability on 5G Deployments

Performance predictability is fundamental to the operation of any service provider. It is the foundation on which processes are built. Processes drive efficiency. So when it comes to deploying wireless technologies on large scale, service providers look for the “cookie-cutter” approach. No matter what a technology is, it will get little if any market traction if it cannot… Read More »

A Perspective on 5G Developments

It has been a long time since I attended an ‘academic’ conference, focusing instead on industry and finance events. But this week, I had the chance to drop by at IEEE VTC Fall, one of the leading conferences on mobile technology to get the pulse on the state of R&D and keep tab on latest developments from the… Read More »

The Critical 5G mmWave Success Levers

Applications of millimeter wave (mmWave) technology in 5G fixed access are subject to a few important levers. To start, it’s important to understand that the cost of fixed access networks is directly proportional to the number of houses passed. This provides the advantage of growing the network selectively on geographic basis. But it also means that economies of… Read More »

The Five Myths of Edge Computing

Edge computing has been attracting a lot of interest lately. The reasons are many, not the least is the potential for service providers to create and monetize new services and applications. I recently chaired a panel on MEC at the Layer123 NFV Congress 2017 in San Jose. In speaking with different ecosystem players, I noted a few misconceptions… Read More »

How the Concept of Cloud RAN has Changed.

Cloud RAN has reached the peak of the hype cycle, but I don’t expect the buzz to fade soon. My recent discussions at MWC2017 with many solution architects, vendors and service providers convinced me that Cloud RAN is foggy! This is because marketeers intent on capitalizing on the ‘Cloud’ trend took over the Cloud RAN concept. What started… 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 »

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 »

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!