While there is a legitimate concern that LTE Broadcast content will be given a higher quality of service than regular, over-the-top video content, I don't think the situation will violate net neutrality. In fact, based on conversations I have had this week with experts at vendors that specialize in LTE Broadcast (and, admittedly, are proponents of the technology), carriers' use of it is likely to benefit customers, even those who are not taking advantage of it.
Now that the jetlag has subsided and the blisters on my feet have healed, I'm taking a look back at last week's Mobile World Congress 2015 and pinpointing what I believe were the highs and lows of the annual gathering of wireless executives from around the globe.
Smartphone makers are seeking to emulate and put their own spin on Apple's success as more than just a device maker but as a services provider and maybe even a lifestyle brand. The question is whether device companies can provide services and products to consumers beyond smartphones that actually make their lives better.
BARCELONA, Spain--A major topic at this year's Mobile World Congress trade show here is whether, how and when wireless operators should conduct LTE transmissions over unlicensed spectrum. And based on comments from those in the industry, it appears this technology is well on its way to being deployed broadly starting next year. But there remain concerns among Wi-Fi proponents that the technology could affect the Wi-Fi industry. And hanging over the whole issue is the nagging notion that allowing wireless operators to butt into unlicensed spectrum is fundamentally unfair.
BARCELONA, Spain--The logic behind LTE (CAT 1), a slower speed version of LTE, makes a lot of sense for its intended application--the Internet of Things--particularly when it is coupled with reduced module size, less power consumption and perhaps more importantly, lower cost.
I think wireless carriers need more oversight than they have had--they deserve it after years of failing to provide data usage alerts and being unclear on throttling policies, among other harms to consumers. And wireless customers need protections than they have been afforded in the past. But I don't think the FCC should be playing traffic cop (no pun intended) with carriers' business models.
If you want to get the latest on 5G from the biggest experts in the field, then join me at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, for "The Path to 5G: Defining the Next-generation of Wireless Networks" luncheon panel that will be held on Tuesday, March 3, from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the Fira Congress Hotel, which is just a five-minute walk from the main Fira Gran Via MWC venue.
For the past decade, the industry has been laser-focused on mobile data and how network operators are going to address users' escalating demands for data. Voice services, for the most part, took a back seat to data during this time. But that's no longer true. Voice over LTE, Wi-Fi calling and HD Voice are now becoming must-have services for operators.
The IoT promise won't roll out uniformly across every country and every market segment. For example, the healthcare market remains hampered by strict privacy and medical regulations. Similarly, the industry and manufacturing segments--another key target among IoT companies--may not be able to quickly embrace Internet of Things services due to established, legacy systems with lifecycles that are measured in decades rather than years. So what area should curious executives focus on to learn about the latest advancements in the IoT space? My bet is the connected home.