It’s the Signaling Stupid!

Wireless Network Signaling ProblemIf you have been following the wireless industry, you for sure would have heard of the capacity crunch and exploding demand for mobile traffic data services. Hardly any presentation by a vendor, analyst, and even operator starts without a graph of future traffic trends. But quietly, another problem has been brewing; one that has received little media attention, but which operators, vendors and industry insiders have recognized as a real and serious issue that warrants much work to contain: it’s the problem of exploding signaling traffic on mobile networks. To illustrate the challenge, Telus reports that  in Canada while the data traffic has seen tremendous growth of over 100% year-over-year for the past three years, the signaling traffic has grown by a staggering 2700%. Deutsche Telekom reported 360% increase in signaling traffic over a two year period spanning 2010 and 2011 even with the introduction of techniques that reduce the signaling load. Read more of this post


Aligning Mobile Services with Spectrum Properties: Information Showers

Information Shower - Millimeter Wave CommunicationsOne essence of wireless communication does not change: the reliance on spectrum availability. The frequency spectrum is endowed with different features and characteristics that make trade-offs a necessity. One trade-off is that between data rate and mobility. The lower part of the frequency spectrum which is most amenable for mobile services due to economic reasons aggregate in a few gigahertz below the 6 GHz band. By comparison, the entire 60 GHz band features up to 9 GHz of spectrum where atmospheric absorption limits the range of propagation to short distances. As bandwidth correlate with throughput, we achieve much higher data rates at the higher frequency bands which are unfortunately less amenable to mobility services. So, how to bridge this divide? Read more of this post

New Frontiers in Wireless Communications: Extremely High Frequency Communications.

WiFi 802.11ddThe success of personal wireless communications may have been inevitable: communications is an essential tenant of human social structure. Coupled with the proliferation of wireless communication has been a drive to open up new bands of frequency spectrum. The most recent example is the millimeter wave band around 60 GHz which was assigned for unlicensed use and is now part of 802.11ad standard activities. In other words, WiFi operation in 60 GHz is work in progress! But looking further ahead, what new bands can be made available? Read more of this post