CBRS is a US scheme that dynamically allocates 3.5GHz spectrum on demand to anyone, such as a building owner, for their exclusive use. A similar scheme is being developed by ETSI for use in Europe in the 2.3 and 2.4GHz band. Both have huge potential for standalone or neutral host small cell networks, and incorporate strategies to avoid incumbent users being disadvantaged.
We often hear that video and virtual reality will drive huge growth in mobile data consumption. It’s a major theme for 5G. So last week I attended Virtual Reality World Congress to find out what all the fuss is about. It helped me clarify the differences in several immersive video technologies, realise that the majority of opportunities are business-related rather than purely for pleasure and that super low latency/super fast broadband aren't mandatory for all applications.
There are several competing standards for ubiquitous wireless connection of the Internet of Things, including two specific to LTE alone. Operators are actively deploying both on a nationwide basis. We summarise what these are, review their commercial status and consider the implications.
Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless, knows a thing or two about Small Cells. In 2007 when at Sprint, he launched the world’s first residential femtocell service (Airave) that has seen millions of units deployed throughout the US. He explained to me how he has helped shape the CBRS ecosystem, what part Federated Wireless plays in it, and predicts the timeline for deployment.
While it’s easy to split the small cell market into indoor and outdoor, there are many different industry market sectors each with their own specific requirements and timescales. Which ones would benefit most from improved wireless communications as part of their digitization transformation and which are most likely to be demanding more from their wireless communications?
We’ve heard of some installers/system integrators combining small cells with simpler DAS systems to achieve full multi-operator service. I spoke with Sina Khanifar of RSRF, a US company that’s been doing exactly that. He shared some insights and real-world experience that you might not get from operators or product vendors.
If I’m honest, Mobile Edge Computing has seemed to me up to now to be a somewhat academic exercise. But this month sees a full commercial launch by Vodafone Netherlands of a comprehensive and tightly integrated solution. I spoke with NEC’s Yogarajah Gopikrishna, Head of Engineering and Strategy at NEC Europe, who developed and integrated the system based on SpiderCloud E-RAN small cells and their Service Node MEC server.
It used to be simple. Almost all cellular basestations were connected by separate backhaul connections that didn’t use any precious cellular spectrum, whether fibre, copper, point-to-multipoint wireless, point-to-point wireless or satellite. There were a few scenarios which used repeaters. More recently we’ve seen LTE relay and other technologies come into play for outdoor small cells. Here we look at several different levels of inband and out of band small cell backhaul.
Network vendors have enjoyed a recent glut of spending from the initial rollout of LTE, but are now in the throws of a downturn. Dell’Oro Group forecast cumulative revenues between 2017 and 2021 will represent the weakest five year period this century, with $137 Billion of infrastructure spend. Nonetheless, the analyst firm is optimistic about the longer term and expects a return to growth with the initial 5G rollouts towards the end of the period.