A recent media article stating that Steve Jobs wanted to build an unlicensed network for the iPhone peaked my interest on speaking about unlicensed spectrum and the way it has been carved out by the FCC. I have always been against licensed spectrum making wireless expensive. The recent auctions both AWS and 700MHz have shown that it is all but a numbers game and deeper the pockets of the Operator the more spectrum they have are able to garner. Spectrum has been called the oxygen for wireless operators and in many ways it is as all commercial operators. Recognizing this potential the Obama administration and the FCC has made plans to make available 300 MHz of new spectrum over 5 years and 500 MHz over the next 10 years, which is almost, doubles the 547 MHz of spectrum that we license out today.
As we race towards 4G there has been a trend in the radio access network (RAN) architecture of simplifying it, making it more compact and flat. The primary motive has been to enable mobile operators to maintain control on their network costs, while they deal with improving coverage and capacity. However, the explosion in data traffic volumes, due to smart phones like the iPhone, have thrown a spanner in the works for operators to keep tabs on CAPEX/OPEX costs while they try and keep up with incessantly exploding mobile data demand from burgeoning smart devices, applications, and changing user behavior. This calls for a new architectural paradigm that optimizes existing cell site infrastructure, most of which is macro layer enabled, but at the same time introduces new network layers at the micro-, pico- and femtocell level, that can effectively complement the macro layer.
A new type of base station – the compact BTS along with Femto in the outdoor implementation has also entered t..
The media is on fire talking about how Google has surrendered the net-neutrality pledge and gone with the carriers, but there are technical reasons how it is the carrier-way or the highway. FCC last year set forth three rules – Providers can’t favor their own content, Providers need to explain variable speeds and Providers cannot limit access to lawful content, which Comcast had it overturned in court. Though FCC might posses the power to make rules on net-neutrality, albeit it is the technologies that control the flow of traffic which will decide how much of content delivery is neutral after all! (more…)