Articles from Andy Mitchell, Editor, 4G Trends
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Mexico’s federal telecommunications regulator COFETEL recently announced plans for re-farming 2.5 GHz, the majority of which is currently allocated to Mexican media company MVS Comunicaciones (MVS). COFETEL will not renew 2.5 GHz licenses and instead will auction them for 4G services. The move has sparked a firestorm of controversy.(Read Full Article)
On the surface it would seem that managing a 4G mobile broadband network might be less a challenge than managing networks of earlier generations. The mere fact that 4G networks are all-IP brings to mind a host of methodologies, tools and management platforms that have been time proven in the wired world. And to an extent there are some commonalities of managing both wireless and wired IP network, however the implications of multiple access technologies and roaming, and present a critical new set of considerations for 4G.(Read Full Article)
It’s all-IP, can deliver greater data rates at a lower ‘cost per bit’, is easier to manage, provides flexible architectural possibilities to cover even the most challenging of geographies and markets and is driving a continuous stream of more powerful and efficient devices. How could the value proposition for mobile network operators to deploy 4G technology be any more compelling?(Read Full Article)
There’s no doubt about it, 4G mobile broadband offers unprecedented throughput and capacity and for bandwidth-hungry applications it would seem to be a panacea for enterprise IT. But just how practical is it for enterprises to set loose a flood of 4G mobile devices in the office, at home or on the road? For enterprises Wi-Fi offload is gaining both visibility and momentum as one element of the logical solution – but there’s no slam-dunk at present.
Delivering 4G ‘enterprise-class’ connectivity can very simply be defined as deploying a network and devices that can cost-effectively provide secure access to applications and information when and where a user requires it. The definition itself is simple enough but the challenges to deliver it can be daunting.(Read Full Article)
The 2012 Olympic Games are underway in London and the UK is welcoming visitors and competitors from around the world. Venues have been constructed and infrastructures improved, all with the goal of facilitating a welcoming, accessible and safe environment for competition; a Herculean task to say the least. And in some ways, just like the Olympics, readying for 4G competition in the UK has also been no easy task.
While the UK’s regulator, Ofcom, has just recently announced a 4G spectrum auction, the irony of the delay in opening 4G markets has already emerged during the 2012 Olympics.(Read Full Article)
Cloud computing, social networking, the tablet and enterprise IT are converging to become one of the hottest opportunities and challenges for the mobile broadband industry.
The benefits of cloud computing for the enterprise, large or small, have been extolled as being the re-shapers of the future of IT. Lower capital investment, lower operational costs, flexible, scalable, survivable, rapidly deployable; the list goes on.(Read Full Article)
In a series of announcements made Friday of last week, US cable operator Comcast indicated that it will begin offering Verizon Wireless services to its cable subscribers in ten more states including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Georgia Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Verizon Wireless and Comcast have already commenced co-marketing of their bundled cable and mobile services in several major markets outside the Verizon service territory including Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle.
"Together with Verizon Wireless, we're delivering more value for more consumers by providing an entertainment and communications solution that aligns with their lifestyles,” explained Comcast Regional Vice President of Marketing Kerry McKelvey. The key message here has to be the acknowledgement of alignment with consumer lifestyles - something that both the cable and wireless industries have long been criticized for ignoring. "Because mobility is a top priority for the consumer, we have developed an offering that provides a terrific wireless, entertainment and communications experience in one spot,” said Jonathan LeCompte, president, Verizon Wireless Georgia-Alabama Region.(Read Full Article)
According to Anne Lutz Fernandez, author of the book “Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives”, Americans spend an average of 18.5 hours a week in their cars. An increasingly more mobile society with a seemingly insatiable appetite for personal vehicles means that not only are Americans spending more time in their vehicles, for business, commuting or pleasure but it also means that there is a growing number of vehicles vying for a spot on America's ever more congested roadways.
With so many Americans in cars, for longer periods of time, and with 88 percent of all US adults owning a mobile phone, an opportunity for the 4G mobile broadband ecosystem is clearly on the horizon. Globally, GSMA estimates that the opportunity associated with connected car applications will grow to $600 million (USD) by 2020. And recent announcements by Verizon reflect how the opportunity can bridge across operator enterprise and wireless business units.(Read Full Article)
In an industry that thrives on marketing claims, there’s a lot more at stake for carriers who are preparing to deliver 4G voice than simply being the able to announce that they’re the first to market.(Read Full Article)
Barely two years old, Instagram - an iPhone photo sharing app and service - has emerged as the “billion dollar baby” of social networking. It began as a simple application, developed byStanfordUniversitygrads Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, which added a vintage Polaroid look to photos taken with an iPhone camera. Last week Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.
As an application Instagram has a certain “cool factor” about it; the effects can make even blasé pictures look like creative genius. But is it so much the “cool factor” that warrants a billion-dollar buy-out, or is it the fact that it has a rapidly growing user following, currently pegged at over 27 million? For Facebook, the allure of Instagram is most certainly associated with its growth and the focus of its users.(Read Full Article)
The arrival of 4G and a myriad new smartphone and tablets is resulting in mobile office ‘makeover’. The early days of mobile office were simpler, at least for IT departments. Mobile users were all issued the same device, likely it was a BlackBerry. It was managed by a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and the liability for security and usage resided corporately.
Today’s mobile enterprise users are demanding more. With the increasing consumerization of enterprise mobility, new devices and applications are becoming an integral part of their everyday personal lives. Users now want these same devices to provide them with access to their enterprise needs. They don’t want to carry two devices and they want the freedom to choose their own device.(Read Full Article)
In the context of mobile payments, the rollout of Google Wallet might easily be viewed as being as critical to the industry as Google itself has been to the Internet search engine. But not unlike the Internet search engine, there’s not just one name in the game and with a competitive marketplace emerging even before widespread user adoption, it will be an interesting if not exciting game to watch.
A joint venture between AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile, Isis is currently Google Wallet’s only visible mobile wallet competitor. Although it has been around since 2010, Isis has until recently maintained a relatively low profile compared to Google which announced its plans almost a year afterward.(Read Full Article)
The vision of achieving truly converged networks is one that has been fraught with obstacles that preventing it from delivering full benefit to users. These obstacles were initially the result of the absence of standards, and by extension, technologies, to bridge the disparate platforms of wireless and wireline networks.
With the evolution of all-IP networks and adoption the adoption of SIP (session initiated protocol) the potential for a seamless convergence of services for both mobile and wireless networks has become real. But in spite of these advances in technology growth of FMC (fixed mobile convergence) services supported by converged networks has until recently, been relatively slow.(Read Full Article)
A long awaited announcement by Industry Canada, the government agency responsible for the regulation of spectrum in Canada, has met with mixed reactions. Canada’s Industry Minister Christian Paradis made the announcement last week, which includes the auction of 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz licenses as well as outlining changes to foreign investment limits for small carriers.
The Canadian auctions are to begin in mid-2013 and are expected to net the government nearly $3.5 billion CAD. In his announcement Paradis outlined plans for the 700 MHz spectrum that would include priorities for delivery of advanced services for rural Canada as well as public safety. Canada’s regulator has typically not demonstrated itself to be a ‘trail blazer’ when it comes telecommunications policies, preferring to ‘wait and see’ what unfolds in the US before proceeding with rule making. That Canada’s auction of 700 MHz licenses comes some 5 years after US auctions is certainly no exception to that approach.
Rules for the auction will place specific limits on how much spectrum is made available to the larger carriers and will permit competition from a minimum of four operators in each of the country’s 14 license areas. The regulator has also stated that it will reserve one of four blocks of the auctioned spectrum for new market entrants and regional carriers.(Read Full Article)
Pressure of 4G Consumption has Operators Redesigning Unlimited Data Offerings
It could be considered a sign of the times – 4G times – where the demand for bandwidth has finally exhausted supply. It may also be an indication that the time has come for mobile network operators to take a deeper look at ways to monetize in a 4G world. Regardless of perspective, the reality is that the days of “unlimited” mobile data plans are numbered.
AT&T recently announced that it would be implementing bandwidth throttling for “grandfathered” unlimited mobile data customers who exceed usage limits within a billing cycle. While throttling is not a new concept for AT&T, which began to throttle back its top 5% of bandwidth consumers in 2011, the new policy it has adopted is much less ambiguous and is likely to be better understood by customers. The change will see customers of AT&T’s unlimited data plans having their throughput reduced if their data consumption exceeds 3GB for 3G/4G smartphones or 5 GB for 4G LTE smartphones. Customers will be notified by text message the first time they exceed these limits. AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans to new customers in 2010.(Read Full Article)
Equipment Vendors Investing to Capitalize on Benefits of 802.11
Recent announcements by Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and Ericsson all point to a renewed interest in the potential of Wi-Fi as a critical technology for 4G wireless networks. Wi-Fi, once viewed as a solution only enterprises, hot spots or digital cities could embrace with any sort of passion, is quickly becoming a darling technology of not only operators but also “carrier-grade” infrastructure vendors.
Initially shunned by operators as unwieldy to manage, insecure and generally unreliable, Wi-Fi is emerging today as a clearly viable contender for 4G access. Almost all smartphones and tablets currently being shipped support Wi-Fi access for high speed wireless broadband, as do most laptops and notebooks, as well as an increasing number of non-mobile devices such as televisions and M2M-enabled solutions. Beyond its seemingly ubiquitous presence, Wi-Fi also brings with it the benefits of being standards-based and unlicensed.(Read Full Article)
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