Usually, industry analysts such as myself wait until December for the annual ritual of "predictions" columns. But there is enough of import happening in the industry that I think it will be of some value to Fierce readers to take stock of where we are as of mid-year, and to think about what the next 6-9 months look like across the mobile landscape.
Wireless operators and vendors looking to deploy LTE-U have expressed frustration in the past about the time it's taking to create a test plan for coexisting with Wi-Fi, and now it looks as though it might get pushed back a little more.
More than 40 percent of Sprint's overall traffic is being carried on its 2.5 GHz airwaves, Wells Fargo Securities reported over the weekend, and the carrier hasn't suffered any "meaningful congestion" recently.
MulteFire later this year will see the release of its first technical spec. The unlicensed technology, which allows for LTE-like deployments in the unlicensed 5 GHz band without the need for a licensed spectrum anchor channel, is the raison d'etre for the MulteFire Alliance, an industry group that is quickly recruiting member support from mobile operators like SoftBank and network vendors like Cisco.
China Mobile recently worked with Huawei to introduce a key 4.5G Distributed MIMO (D-MIMO) technology on a 4G commercial network at the Bund in Shanghai, a famous scenic spot that features ultra-high traffic density and wireless network coverage difficulties.
While a great deal of attention has been given to higher-band spectrum for 5G in the United States, Qualcomm is busy showing off a 5G New Radio (NR) prototype system and trial platform for the sub-6 GHz spectrum bands.
MulteFire is the key to driving LTE without a license. Qualcomm's technology, which achieves the basics of LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) and License Assisted Access (LAA) in the 5 GHz band without needing to own spectrum, has gained support and skepticism. But will MulteFire find footing in the wireless, cable or broadband industry when it competes with so many similar technologies?
Two years ago, we published our first 5G Architecture predictions, and our first 5G business case analysis. We made the outrageous claim 16 months ago, that 5G will target fixed broadband applications first, not mobile handsets. We hit the bull's eye on that one. We also said that we didn't expect meaningful deployment until the standards were finished in 2020. It looks like that prediction was wrong.
AT&T is defending its record on TDM-to-IP trials in Alabama and Florida, calling out Public Knowledge's statement about its request to streamline the transition process.
The FCC approved rules that require submarine cable operators to report significant outages to the regulator, an initiative that could hold operators more accountable. But AT&T and others say the measure is flawed.