Category Archives: Wireless Networks

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 »

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 »

Midterm Observations on the Telecom Industry.

Three events were held this past week that provided an opportunity to get a midterm pulse of the telecom industry: the MWC-Shanghai, 5G World and WBA Congress. Having attended the last two, I wanted to summarize a few observations: * The vision for 5G is converging; industry is aligning along common themes.  A few leading operators are racing to claim 5G capability… Read More »

Does the Short Road to 4.5G Mean a Long Road to 5G?!

Browse through industry literature or conference proceedings and trade shows, and you’ll be inundated with talk about 5G. On the other hand little is to be found on “4.5G”, or technically speaking, LTE Release 12 and 13 branded as LTE-Advanced Pro [which incidentally I find to be a bad choice of terms that I prefer to use 4.5G even… Read More »

Comparative Look at LPWA Performance.

There are over a dozen LPWA technologies contending to provide connectivity for some of the billions of connected devices as projected by market analysts. How they all compare with each other is a hot topic in the race to markets. We recently published detailed analysis benchmarking these technologies in terms of capacity, range, throughput, power consumption and other… Read More »

Demystifying Cloud RAN Architectures

Imagine a wireless service provider can provide service anywhere there’s Internet connectivity at the click of a button. All they need is a small remote radio connected to the Internet. The baseband modems no longer reside at cell sites, but are hosted in data centers where powerful commercial servers execute all the functions of todays base station baseband… Read More »

C-RAN and the True 5G

While people may debate what 5G will be, there are a few key facts that cannot be changed. These facts will shape what 5G will be. Based on this we expect that new winners will emerge who can capitalize on new trends through innovating new solutions. Therefore, aside from the hype that dominates 5G talk, the key is… Read More »

MNOs Investments in LPWA: Strategic or Tactical Expediency?

Over a year ago, SK Telecom invested in SigFox in a round that raised €100 m from a consortium of investors that included Telefonica and NTT Docomo. This week, SKT announces that it will build a LoRa network at a cost of more than $84 m over two years. In the meantime, SKT is working with Ericsson to evaluate the… Read More »

The State of IoT Connectivity

MWC16 was a great venue to check the pulse of developments in IoT connectivity. We summarized part of our observations which we shared and published (link). It caused many follow ups by colleagues and friends who voiced a wide range of opinions that I thought some further color would be useful. To start, the main challenge in IoT is… Read More »

Is IoT at Risk of Stalling?

The wide-area IoT connectivity battle which has been brewing for a couple of years is heating up. Early last month at CES, Ericsson announced the release of “the first complete cellular low-power wide-area (LPWA) solution” to AT&T. At the same time, the Wi-Fi Alliance branded 802.11ah as Wi-Fi HaLow targeting applications in smart home, connected car, digital healthcare, industrial, retail, agriculture, and… Read More »

Will Operators Deploy Phase 1 5G?

Standardization of 5G is split into two phases. The first phase, which is scheduled for 2H2018, will focus on a subset of use cases and features. The second phase which is scheduled for December 2019, will meet ITU2020 requirements for 5G technology. Phase 1 will also focus on sub 6 GHz bands although carriers in Asia are pushing… Read More »