Wireless telecommunication market is witnessing a shift in business models and market structure as a result of the deployment of new broadband access technologies, spectrum management techniques, policy-based network management, and the drive of new entrants to compete against the incumbents. If you look at operators in the US today – Verizon has 2G, 3G and now LTE; AT&T is rapidly looking to deploy LTE and so is Sprint with its technology refresh program. There are reasons why all the operators need to look intrinsically as well to plug their coverage holes. Deploying new technologies is very exciting but the need to plug holes in the current technologies to address – traffic offload, inter-technology handovers and IP as a layer to guarantee the QOS needed to continue as a data or VOIP session is an often isolated. There have been technologies like IMS around for quite some time that operators have been reluctant to utilize the benefits due to high initial investment needed. But as the market matures and the need for connectivity all the time overtakes the cost, incubating technologies like IMS, Software defined radios, Inter-radio technology solutions will have to take place both on the access side as well as on the backhaul (transport) side. In the last few years we have seen an emerging trend in the use of Microwave as a backhaul tool mainly due to Clearwire and its innovative approach of using microwave rings to aggregate the cellsite traffic.
Coverage Maps for top four Operators in the US
Addressing Dead zones
By far the biggest factor for wireless churn has been coverage holes, other than of course the iPhone! The fact that the customer experience has been bad is the biggest factor that influences customer churn. So how can an operator address this? What can be done that would mitigate these dead zones – building new cell sites in these coverage deficient areas are one. But in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York zoning is difficult and getting space, power and leases signed might take up to two years. There are other ways and solutions to get around these bottlenecks – Strand mounted femtocells, public Wi-Fi and Relay technologies with LTE and 4G technology. Read more…