Latest Commentary

Consumers may threaten regulators' best-laid plans

The battle over net neutrality and related pushes to rewrite the Telecommunications Act of 1996 are sure to have major impacts, one way or another, on the future of consumers' communications and entertainment options. But those effects will themselves be influenced by ever-changing marketplaces, which are undergoing rapid transformations.

3.5 GHz spectrum band plan drawing scrutiny

The FCC's plan to create a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) in the 3.5 GHz band has multiple moving parts. And the FCC's spectrum-related decisions will likely have international as well as domestic repercussions.

AT&T's Mansfield proud of persistent pace at Small Cell Forum, remains bullish about industry's roadmap

Just as the small cell industry is coming into its own, with small cells now on most major operators' roadmaps in one form or another, the Small Cell Forum has also matured into a go-to source for operators interested in learning about ways they can put small cells to use to gain coverage, capacity and possibly new revenue streams.

Apple's iPhone 6: Bigger screen may prompt more data consumption

Apple fans have long suffered from large-screen envy as the smartphone maker has resisted the urge to increase the screen-size of its iconic iPhone. But rumors are that the Cupertino, Calif., company is close to giving in to temptation with plans for an iPhone 6 whose screen could run as large as 5.5 inches, with a smaller variant that might be offered simultaneously coming in at 4.7 inches. But along with larger screens could come higher wireless data consumption, which mobile operators, depending upon their network's capabilities, may meet with cheers or jeers.

LTE Advanced carrier aggregation's pitfalls are few and far between

It's been one year since South Korea's SK Telecom became the world's first carrier to activate LTE Advanced carrier aggregation with a commercial smartphone available for use with the service. That anniversary prompted me to ask around about any pitfalls to this technology that carriers and vendors may have come across now that there is a year of carrier-aggregation experience under the industry's collective belt.

FirstNet's Swenson says she almost quit, pushes for reconciliation

WESTMINSTER, Colo.--June 3, 2014, marked a new era for the First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet). Not only did the board meet in a public ballroom while audience members sat within spitting distance, but the new chairwoman brought along a refreshing candor that should go a long way toward healing the rift that had emerged between FirstNet and the overall public-safety community.

FirstNet's Swenson gets her chance to bring public safety back into the fold

Two years into its existence, the First Responders Network Authority has undergone a change in leadership, with a former telecom executive taking the reins from another former telecom exec. Sue Swenson, the new chairwoman, has proved a powerful advocate for FirstNet and has also shown--via her lead role in the 700 MHz spectrum-lease negotiations--that she can work with the public-safety community, which still voices serious concerns about the direction that FirstNet is taking.

AT&T's Marian Croak reveals the inner workings of Domain 2.0 and AT&T's plan for an all-IP future

AT&T is leading the way into the worlds of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) via its Domain 2.0 architecture and "User-Defined Network Cloud" initiatives. At AT&T's recent Innovation Showcase event in New York, my colleague, FierceWireless Editor Phil Goldstein, spoke with Marian Croak, senior vice president of Domain 2.0 architecture and advanced services development, about these initiatives.

Time Warner Cable's Cerbone dishes on Wi-Fi, cellular and the need for unlicensed spectrum

Trying to get executives from leading cable operators to spill the goods regarding the likelihood that their Wi-Fi networks might someday provide head-to-head competition against cellular networks has become something of a parlor game for analysts and media. I, too, gave it a shot when I recently got the opportunity to speak with Rob Cerbone, vice president of wireless products at Time Warner Cable.

C-RAN, distributed architectures bring action to the edge

In discussing Cloud RAN and Centralized RAN (C-RAN) distributed base station architectures, the related topic of shifting services away from the network core often pops up.