Over the last few months we saw two big announcements for Telecom consolidation in the US from the 3rd and 4th largest carriers. Is this a surprise or what? By all means it is not – I have been busy lately studying demand and supply curves for my micro-economics class (part of my MBA program) and viola – this all makes perfect sense! It is all due to the economy of scale – the larger the firm is the better it is able to supply the service needed at a better rate (meaning lesser dollars!). The one graphic that is always hurting the budgets for carriers is the ARPU distribution and the long tail economics.
So what will happen over the next few years is a change from selling voice and data for MNOs to service enablers. This requires several market plays which require – two main factors investment dollars and partnerships with several niche market players and this will allow MNOs to move into the VAS space. (more…)
Mobile networks of today will evolve to become the Cloud providers of tomorrow. What does a cloud provider mean? It means that the networks of the future will become your only source for – Internet, TV, Cellular service – voice and data, home automation, Car connectivity and so much more. Networks of today have an inherent advantage they have the existing infrastructure like cell towers, the backhaul and other services in place to compete tomorrow. How many providers will we have? My guess is as good as yours. We will have a duopoly with Verizon and AT&T from existing carriers; the smaller carriers will no longer matter. Their existence as bottom-feeders will always be there for Pre-paid plans and serving customers for entry-level voice and data plans and rural carriers. Cable companies like Comcast, Roadrunner, Qwest, etc will exist either in a partnership or will merge with the wireless giants.
That will depend on the evolution of the cloud architectures and how users evolve..
Distributed Node-B architecture called Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) is the new paradigm in base stations architecture that aims to reduce the number of cell sites while increasing the base station deployment density bypassing some of the zoning and construction hurdles to brining up new sites on-air. Metro cities like NY, LA and SFO already have a high density of Cell towers. As LTE and more complex wireless technologies are being deployed – would it not make sense to re-use and harness the existing infrastructure?
The concept of the Cloud RAN comes with a new architecture that breaks down the base station into a Base Unit (BU) – a digital unit that implements the MAC PHY and AAS (Antenna Array System) functionality, and the Remote Radio Head (RRH) that obtains the digital (optical) signals, converts digital signals to analog, amplifies the power, and sends the actual transmission. By making the RRH an active unit capable of converting from analog to digital, operators c..