Virtualisation 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?
I had the opportunity to witness what it’s like moving into a brand new tower block apartment in London recently where some relatives moved in. I was struck by the contrast between the high standard of basic services provision with the thoughtlessness of cellular service. The industry seems be getting distracted with 5G while simply ignoring the needs of its customers.
Hats off to TMN for highlighting this end-of-life product announcement from Cisco in April that had been generally overlooked by the media. We summarise the announcement, discuss some of the history/reasons behind it and comment on implications for the industry.
Cambridge Wireless Small Cell SIG ran a half-day event on rural and remote small cells, with expert speakers from EE, Nokia, Microsoft and Real Wireless. There is clearly both need and opportunity. Technical progress continues but the overall theme was that a change in operator mindset is needed on how best to deploy and support them using different processes from the traditional macrocell methods.
Steve 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?
DAS and Small Cells have in past years been positioned as strong competitors rather than collaborators. New technical solutions, new opportunities and new thinking are radically reshaping that perception. We consider some of the recent product announcements and regulatory changes which affect that view.
This event has morphed and changed considerably over recent years and is now a stream within TECHXLR8. I picked out a handful of relevant talks where RAN planners shared their view on standards and commercial progress. It seems to me that the use cases, requirements and business case for 5G remain quite vague, with plenty of wishful thinking.
Many operators are deploying LTE in low frequency bands (700 and 800MHz) to improve coverage in rural and in-building penetrations. Others are looking at LTE relays as an alternative approach. We examine the differences between a repeater, a relay and an LTE small cell and look at two specific operator use cases.
Hat’s off to Fierce Wireless and Allnet Insights for an extensive graphically rich report on the current spectrum holdings by each of the main US cellular operators. This highlights the clear contrast between high and low spectrum of each of the key players and how that affects their network strategy.