Just back home from MWC’12… What a show this year… Over 67,000 attendees and some 1500 exhibitors, and some student protests in the mix… It was the biggest to date and a good finale for the Fira before moving next year to a new nearby location.
For those in the mobile infrastructure space, long gone are the days when infrastructure set the agenda. The show is now strongly dominated by the handset and applications of mobile technology to everyday life: in the home, the car, applications for entertainment and for health and everything else conceivable. Surely, the show is no longer bound for the industry’s elite, but is becoming a major consumer event. The crowds jamming the Samsung booth for a peak at the latest tablets and the buzz and excitement of the App Planet are but a couple of examples. Continue reading
As a new wave of hype is building around TD-LTE, I wonder what the fuss is all about. For certain, TD-LTE is not a groundbreaking technology – it comes many years after WiMAX and quite a few after its older FD-LTE sibling. But what intrigues me most is the business model for TD-LTE and especially the dilemma of the TDD spectrum holder: what is a winning business model that maximizes the value of my operation and company? Without such a model, TD-LTE will be yet another technology toddler that never makes it to adulthood. Continue reading
Should operators deploy a macro or micro cellular architecture in 2.5 GHz band? This is not a trivial question particularly for an incumbent wireless operator that already holds spectrum in lower spectrum bands. The same can be said of Greenfields looking to capitalize on the exponential demand for wireless data services. Continue reading
The rules for the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction are set to be announced soon after parliament returns from its two months winter recess on January 30th. In the lead up, we’ve had an amazing debate raging between the incumbents (Rogers, Bell and Telus) who back an open auction and the new entrants (Wind, Mobilicity, Public Mobile and Videotron) who’re on the side of set asides. Let’s take a closer look at the issue. Continue reading
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has just approved LTE-Advanced and WiMAX-Advanced (aka WiMAX 2.0) as part of the IMT-Advanced standards. Aside of marketing catch phrases like “putting fiber optical speed on your mobile phone,” the statements about efficiency – being able to transfer higher data rates in lesser bandwidth – are what the industry will be grappling with. Continue reading
Large amounts of spectrum in the 2.5-2.7 GHz band are available now for mobile network deployments. Spectrum auctions in Europe in the past two years made much of the 190 MHz available to network operators. This band sold at a significant discount to the 800 MHz band (between 5 – 35x). While in the United States Clearwire used this band to deploy WiMAX, in Europe, operators are unanimous of LTE. So, what are the deployment options? Continue reading
On December 22, the FCC approved of AT&T’s purchase of the unpaired D and E blocks from Qualcomm for a total of $1.925 Billion. What went missing in most media reports that the D and E bands are unpaired 6 MHz bands in what’s commonly known as the “lower 700 MHz band.” Continue reading
The year closes with the 800 MHz spectrum auction in France where the regulator Arcep netted €2.639 billion for the 60 MHz made available. In September, Arcep raised €936 million from the sale of 2.6 GHz spectrum for a total of €3.6bn, about €1.6bn over the €2.5bn reserve price. Continue reading
While much attention has been focused on LTE data rates, another important parameter, latency, has gone largely unnoticed. Yet, latency is critical to enable a number of applications particularly voice services (VoLTE). I review in this post some of the publicly reported results I found on LTE latency. Continue reading
The 2.6 GHz spectrum auction in Belgium closed yesterday after it netted a total of €77.8 million for a total of 155 MHz. Although the media reported the outcome as being low, I think the price is representative for this band at 4.6 euro cents per MHz-PoP. This is more so the case as the license is valid for 15 years while in other countries the licenses are for period of up to 20 years.
When it comes to planning radio access networks, mobile traffic data forecast become very important: Operators need to properly size their networks, and the ecosystem needs to predict potential bottlenecks and come up with creative solutions. The granddaddy of all traffic forecast, Cisco’s VNI was used to argue the need for more spectrum. Hence, a lot ride on these forecasts and anyone who has been to industry events notes how often these forecasts are used to make a point of the impending “capacity crunch.” Ericsson recently released a white paper on their data forecast, so I wanted to compare it with other data available on the market. Continue reading
At a recent conference I attended, a strategy executive at Deutsche Telekom stated that they would turn off the 3G network before turning off 2G GSM as the migration to LTE evolves. Sounds bizarre? Not really, it makes a lot of technical sense. One reason to come to this decision is the nature of the LTE architecture and the way LTE handles voice traffic. As a full-packet network, LTE is fundamentally different from the full circuit-switched GSM and hybrid circuit and packet-switched 3G networks which include today’s data workhorse HSPA+. In LTE, voice is just another application, albeit one with specific parameters and requirements. Therefore, voice is packetized and classified according to a certain Quality of Service level (QoS) to maintain important parameters such as latency and jitter. This is essentially what Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is. Continue reading
One thing is certain: outdoor small cells are getting ever larger attention as a solution to projected operator’s capacity woes. For the uninitiated, small cells are all-outdoor compact base stations that are easy to deploy on public infrastructure assets such as light poles or utility poles. They typically feature lower power output than their larger siblings – the macro base stations. So, what are the necessary elements to enable mass small cell deployments? Continue reading
After 22 days and 469 rounds, the 4G frequency spectrum auction in Italy closed on September 29th netting the government over €3.9 billion. By all measures, the auction was a great success with prices exceeding the reserve prices in a country that has not been far from the epicenter of financial turbulence in the Eurozone. Continue reading
Yesterday, ARCEP announced the results of the 2.6 GHz FDD spectrum auction in France. A total of 140 MHz was sold off for a total of €936 million ($1.26 billion), far exceeding the reserve price of €700 million. Good news for the French government! Continue reading