Mobile Phone Networks adapt to homeworking lockdown

CoronavirusHow have mobile phone networks dealt with the demands of the current Covid-19 crisis? Traffic patterns, locations and demands have all changed radically. On the whole, they’ve held up pretty well but there have been a few surprises. Additional insights have been made available about population movement levels, but one area of operations has been severely affected. 

CBRS commences Initial Commercial Deployment

USmountainpeakAfter much-longer-than-hoped-for delays, CBRS was granted Initial Commercial Deployment approval by the FCC, NTIA and DoD this week. It’s a major step forward for small cells and for independent cellular adoption as a whole. A market leading first for the USA. We consider what this now allows, what’s still to come and implications for the wider marketplace.

Small Cell End of Year Report 2018

ReportCardAs we approach the holiday season, it’s once again time for me (and other analysts) to reflect back on the year gone by, revisit our predictions and make some new ones for the year ahead. CBRS has progressed but will not be commercially deployed until early 2019, still holding much promise. Open Source projects like TIP seem to be gaining momentum, but it remains to be seen if there were be a large breakthrough. Mainstream media continue to hype 5G. Political decisions could affect the market share of major RAN vendors. Business and regulatory issues will set the pace for next year rather than technology development alone.

Reliance India acquires Radisys including Small Cell software business

Radisys 2018This month sees another big shake-up for the small cell industry, with Reliance Industries, the largest private company in India and owner of Reliance Jio acquiring Radisys, a software business supplying telecom software stacks to a wide variety of equipment vendors worldwide. We examine both companies and consider the likely outcome for the future.


Analysts search for the 5G business case

5g logoIn August last year we reviewed the 5G Myth, a book questioning the rationale behind 5G. In recent weeks I’ve read several journalists and analysts reinforce that line of reasoning, asking which flavour of 5G would be deployed, and based on what business case.

Small Cell End of Year Report 2017

ReportCardAs we approach the holiday season, it’s once again time for me (and other analysts) to reflect back on the year gone by, revisit our predictions and make some new ones for the year ahead. Progress in each of the main four sectors of small cells has been quite different. There has been much hype and distraction from 5G alongside much promise for 2018 from CBRS. Equipment vendors are under more financial pressure, both large and small, and we've seen several acquisitions. The larger vendors have all become more visible with Small Cell solutions. Business and regulatory issues have set the pace rather than technology development alone.

The 5G Myth – Vision decoupled from reality?

5G Myth BookMany will be taking a well deserved holiday summer break and perhaps catching up on some reading. My choice wasn’t the latest thriller but instead a book on 5G by William Webb. He provides some strongly argued reasoning to justify why we shouldn’t assume 5G will be a natural winner. I wonder if it could be a distraction from a more commercially sensible evolution?

Is RAN Virtualisation creating too much choice and confusion?

Network VirtualisationVirtualisation has been a hot topic throughout the industry in recent years with questionable benefits to date. The latest initiatives look to virtualise the RAN but in practice this means choosing where to place certain network functions. But is there a risk of confusion from too many competing options? We consider what business benefits these are most likely to deliver?

Is network virtualisation delivering value?

stephen saundersSteve Saunders, Founder and CEO of LightReading, published a provocative article about the current state of network virtualisation. He believes the industry has abandoned its proven standardisation process resulting in confusion rather than achieving their promised benefits. Will his approach solve the problem and get the industry back on track?


Which industry verticals will adopt small cells first?

Pie ChartWhile 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?

Dell’Oro Group forecast Small Cells trending towards 20% of RAN investment

Stefan PongratzNetwork 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.


The world’s median mobile phone

Android Smartphone 3GWe can easily overlook or misinterpret some of the headline figures quoted for mobile phone subscriptions, device types and usage. Here are some of the latest statistics and insights into the proportion of mobile phones and subscriptions worldwide. This includes the specification of the median mobile phone worldwide.

How the Big Four Internet Giants are addressing cellular network evolution

Internet GiantsWe may think that the major network operators or the three major RAN vendors are driving the strategy for cellular service for the next decade. But with so much activity and value switching to content, Apps and advertising, the big four Internet Giants all have a major stake. We look at what each has been doing and consider the implications.

Adding new vendors and organisations into networks

Coming SoonWhat is the process by which new vendors and suppliers can be introduced, challenging and competing with the large established providers? With Small Cell growth arguably more constrained by non-technical aspects, we ask what needs to change to accelerate take-up.


Small Cell End of Year Report 2016

ReportCardAs we approach the holiday season, it’s once again time for me (and other analysts) to reflect back on the year gone by, revisit our predictions and make some new ones for the year ahead. We've seen some steady progress throughout the year with several leading small cell vendors gaining traction. New features, especially use of unlicensed and shared spectrum, promise easier access to both speed and private deployments in 2-3 year timeframe.

Are mobile data prices about to take a tumble?

About to take a tumbleNew 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.


How much do you think your personal data is worth?

Fotolia 84703119 XSWould 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.


Small Cells for quality of service first, network capacity later

Quality ControlThe general consensus has been that Small Cells were used either to solve poor coverage issues (especially indoor) – so called not-spots – or to add capacity. A third reason is becoming visible today – improving Quality of Service and customer satisfaction. CTOs from European operators explained their logic at recent public conferences.


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    A significant number of users continue to report poor mobile coverage in their homes. There will always be areas which are uneconomic for mobile operator to reach. They range from rural areas

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    The term Enterprise addresses any non-residential in-building including hotels, convention centres, transport hubs, offices, hospitals and retail outlets. It's not just intended for businesses to

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    Urban small cells (sometimes also named metrocells) are compact and discrete mobile phone basestations, unobstrusively located in urban areas. They can be mounted on lampposts, positioned on the

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    A rural small cell is a low power mobile phone base station designed to bring mobile phone service to small pockets of population in remote rural areas. These could be hamlets, small villages or

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