Biography for Daryl Schoolar
Daryl Schoolar is Principal Analystof Wireless Infrastructure for Ovum. Daryl’s research includes not only what infrastructure vendors are developing in those areas, but how mobile operators are deploying and using those wireless networking solutions. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at @DHSchoolar.
Articles by Daryl Schoolar
During mid-September the 3GPP spent a week in my current hometown Phoenix. The week's events were two fold. The first couple of days were used to discuss matters related to Rel. 13, in particular to make a decision around how 3GPP will proceed in regard to low-power M2M. The second half of the week was a 5G RAN workshop. Fortunately for me I was able to attend the workshop to see the 3GPP in action.
Here is a thought: are 5G presentations becoming some sort of mobile tech jazz performance? With a song there are certain notes musicians have to play. In classical there is very little room for improvisation. The notes and timing of those notes are to be played exactly as written. Jazz on the other hand provides much more room for improv; the musicians are free to play around with the notes and timing so long as they don't stray too far from the rest of the band. Extending this metaphor to 5G, the mobile ecosystem is the band while the technologies and innovations vendors and operators hope to deliver 5G are the notes.
As expected and even discussed here on FierceWireless prior to Mobile World Congress, the annual mobile confab was ripe with 5G talk. Just about every major RAN vendor, with the exception of Alcatel-Lucent, had something labeled in its booth as 5G. This doesn't mean Alcatel-Lucent didn't have plenty to say on the subject during MWC.
450 MHz has been something of a white elephant in the wireless community. Its propagation ability makes it a valuable commodity for trying to cover large, lightly populated areas. At the same time the limited spectrum availability in this band hinders performance, and revenue potential of building devices or deploying services at this band have so far limited the development of an ecosystem. Sure there are CDMA deployments in that band, but they haven't really make 450 MHz a hot market. Ovum estimates CDMA450 users represent well under 10% of the tal CDMA user base. However, LTE450 (LTE at 450 MHz) might finally change all of that.
What is 5G? When will we get to 5G? What will happen to 4G when we get to 5G? All of those 5G questions are interesting, but ultimately none of them currently have a satisfactory answer and it will take time before those answers become known.
Looking back at the "What to expect from MWC 2014" column I wrote in early February, I would say the conference met my expectations. I want to say I'm the world's greatest prognosticator but that would be a lie. Surprises are rare with wireless infrastructure. Vendors often give me a heads up on what to expect and having watched this market for some time, I can tell you that if one or two vendors are doing something, you can be sure their competitors are working on something similar. But, that isn't to say I didn't encounter a surprise this past February while in Barcelona.
Having spent the last several months updating Ovum's RAN forecasts and market share estimates, one thing is very clear: the base station business is a very tough business to be in no matter where each vendor falls within the market share ranking.
As you can imagine, as an analyst, I get the opportunity to talk with many of the companies in the optimization space. Some are well known, while others are just pulling the curtain back on their operations. Here are four start-up specialist vendors I have talked with recently that I think others should know about as well.
Now that the Mayan apocalypse has passed without event, and we are all still here, there is no avoiding 2013. For an analyst like me, the start of a new year is a time to take stock of the previous year and to think about what the new one will bring.