Tag Archives: LTE

Time for a Comprehensive Strategy for License-Exempt Spectrum

Calls for regulators to release more unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi are getting louder: the 2.4 GHz band is heavily used and the 5 GHz band suffers from many restrictions that limit its applicability. LTE’s entry into unlicensed spectrum is further amplifying these calls and adding an acute sense of urgency. But what is required is more than additional… Read More »

LTE Flavors in Unlicensed Spectrum

Guest post by Faris Alfarhan* The unprecedented increase in demand for high-speed broadband requires a bundle of solutions to satisfy the demanded capacity. Unlicensed spectrum is increasingly considered by cellular operators, internet service providers, and businesses as part of solution set. Unlicensed spectrum cannot match the quality of licensed spectrum, as the interference profile is much more stochastic.… Read More »

Are Small Cells for 5G?

As the Small Cell Summit winds down I can’t help but wonder whether small cells are a technology awaiting 5G networks. There were many discussions on architecture at the conference which cannot but lead me to ask whether the market and technology drivers are in place for mass adoption. My reading of the situation points to further delays… Read More »

What to Shut Down First 2G or 3G?

Telenor Norway announced it will shut down 3G network in 2020; five years before 2G. This is yet another example of how operators in Europe are diverging from North American operators by opting to shut down 3G ahead of 2G. 3G is much less efficient in carrying data traffic than LTE which is twice better.  2G/GPRS is the… Read More »

Will 5G Be 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… Read More »

Cellular IoT Connectivity: Threats and Opportunities

There 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… Read More »

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… Read More »

Dark Fiber Makes a Comeback. Here’s Why.

Wireless operators have quietly embarked on acquiring dark fiber – a trend that was picked up in 2013 and accelerated in 2014. Verizon is leading this activity and rolling out dark fiber to their cell site. But why specifically have carriers decided on dark fiber rather than continue lease capacity? I think the answer has to be looked… Read More »

How to Het Net!?

There has been much written about why Het Nets are needed (running out of capacity) and when it will happen (licensed band small cell centric view of Het Nets). On the other hand, how Het Nets will happen is rarely discussed in the general media. Perhaps this is because this is a very technical discussion that does not… Read More »

It’s All Too Good To Keep Talking About The Capacity Problem

The capacity problem is at the heart of everything said about the wireless industry. Everybody loves to talk about this problem. To start, it is easy to give examples of exploding data consumption forecasts or quote numbers on mobile applications such as Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and many others. I suspect that the capacity problem makes for a… Read More »

SON Progress Report: A Lot Still to Be Done!

Since 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… Read More »

From LTE-U to LTE-DSA: Solving The Capacity Crunch

The proposal by Qualcomm to enable LTE operation in unlicensed band (LTE-U) received a warm response from some (e.g. Ericsson, Verizon) and not so warm from others especially incumbents with strong legacy in Wi-Fi in both the vendor and operator communities. The contentious issue center on co-existence of LTE and Wi-Fi in the same band as Wi-Fi implements… Read More »

Observations on MWC 2014 – My Takeaways

In a nutshell, the wireless industry keeps on getting broader and more bifurcated. This is the main trend that has been around for years and that will not stop. Communication is becoming truly pervasive. Opportunities and confusion are intermingled. To understand it all, one needs to cut across wider breadth and dive into greater depth to separate hype… Read More »

Carrier Aggregation and the Road to Cognitive Radio and Superwide Spectrum

Often, the least hyped technologies are the most effective, get the widest adoption, and have the greatest impact. Carrier aggregation is one such technology that I don’t think it received its fair share of attention. LTE did bring a number of new features that were not available in 3G, such as MIMO. But MIMO was already deployed in… Read More »

What the Future Bodes for Small Cells: An Operator Perspective

The market awaits the arrival of outdoor small cells, but the wait continues. When small cell deployments will happen keeps sliding from one year to the next. I have always thought that some in the industry have been too optimistic on small cells deployment timelines and they have ignored important facts that define the deployment timelines and the… Read More »