LTE’s high performance combined with newly available sub-1GHz frequencies means it reaches places that 2G or 3G often can’t. But where VoLTE isn’t used, voice service suffers. This causes a dilemma over when and how LTE only vs MultiMode 3G/LTE small cells may be rolled out. We try to separate the facts from the myths to discern what steps will be taken on the path toward LTE only products.
New Indian network operator Reliance Jio shocked the industry by launching with a price plan of free unlimited national calls and 10 Gbytes of data for just $7.50/month. Their competitors dropped prices to match. But these prices aren’t unique to the country. We compare prices, consider the implications and some other relevant initiatives.
Enterprise Small Cells are making a huge difference to many businesses and venues where they’ve been installed. Here we take a look at a factory site in New Jersey that had no cellular service. After trying several potential solutions, SpiderCloud’s LTE Enterprise RAN solved the problem. We spoke to their IT Manager, Bob Howe, to learn about his experience and the difference it made.
While take-up is slower than originally forecast, the cellular industry is beginning to show signs of densification through urban small cells. One of the constraints has been suitable backhaul, with fibre being strongly preferred but not universally available. Several wireless backhaul vendors have recently launched higher speed products. We ask if throughput is the most critical factor for adaptable and rapid urban small cell roll out, or more relevant for adjacent markets.
Voice roaming, the ability to just switch your mobile on in almost any country and make/receive calls using your own phone number, was a revolutionary invention in the 1990s with GSM. The advent of 3G continued the convenience and added medium speed data. LTE data roaming increased the speed further.
But end-to-end voice roaming using LTE is extremely rare. Will this hold back deployment of LTE only networks including in-building systems at 3.5GHz (CBRS) or 5GHz (MulteFire)?
Would you use different network services if it gave you more privacy? While the industry debates the finer points of RF between Wi-Fi and traditional cellular service, perhaps a more significant factor in end-user choice will be related to how their data is shared. We find that consumers are unaware of how much their private data is being shared, while at the same time Internet encryption and security continue to improve.
Amit Jain, VP Product Management and Marketing for Spidercloud, shared his current views on Enterprise Small Cells in a recent webinar. Here, we summarise the key architecture choices they’ve taken and explain the reasoning behind them when addressing this rapidly evolving marketplace. This includes where an Enterprise Controller is needed, why 3G/LTE remains important and what’s required to support MulteFire and LAA.
Although there’s no fixed term, the chair of Small Cell Forum changes from time to time. This month, David Orloff of AT&T steps up to the role. He shared his view of the Small Cell landscape, his vision of how Small Cell Forum will address it, and what we should expect to see from them in the years ahead.
MulteFire operates 4G LTE technology standalone in licence exempt (unlicensed or shared) spectrum, avoiding the need to acquire and pay for spectrum. Businesses and property owners can buy, install and operate their own MulteFire network in the same way as they do for Wi-Fi. It incorporates LTE functionalitysupporting voice and data, either independently as a private network and/or interworking with existing mobile networks to provide secure, seamless service through a neutral host. Cellular subscribers from any network can roam and make use of MulteFire networks where commercially and technically supported.