5 Things You Need To Know About 5G.

5G TechnologyThe 5G picture is getting clearer by the day. While there is still a lot of fuzziness that will take take time to crystallize the broad outline for 5G is now more clear. Below, is a summary of some of our findings on 5G. Needless to say, 5G developments will have significant ramifications especially as the capital expenses to build 5G networks will be greater than ever before. This should not be a surprise as despite the call to reduce the unit cost of data transport (i.e. $/bit), the overall network expenditures continue to rise. So, here is the broad outline for 5G: Read more of this post

Can Runaway Spectrum Prices Stimulate New Business Models?

Thai Spectrum AuctionEvery once in a while a spectrum auction brings big and interesting surprises. The last example is the 900 MHz Thai auction concluded last week which raised close to THB152 billion ($4.2 billion) for the right to use two licenses of 2×10 MHz. This is over 6x the reserve price THB12.8 billion per license, and one of the most expensive in the world. To put this into another perspective, the auction of 1800 MHz spectrum concluded last month in mid November raised to total of THB80.8 billion ($2.25 billion) for two licenses of 2×15 MHz. That’s 2.8x lower than the 900 MHz band on per MHz-PoP basis. Read more of this post

WRC-15: Win Some, Lose Some

WRC 2015WRC15 concluded with new spectrum assigned for mobile services:

L-band:  1427-1518 MHz is now assigned for fixed and mobile services. The L-Band is used for mobile satellite services. Technical measures need to be developed for co-existence with mobile satellite in 1518-1559 MHz. The 1350 – 1400 MHz was also a target for IMT, but it did not get the required support. Read more of this post

How Much is 700 MHz Spectrum Worth?

Spectrum pricing and costThe 700 MHz auction in France closed last week raising a total of €2.8 billion ($3.17 billion). Orange and Free Mobile secured 2 block of 5 MHz duplex spectrum, while Bouygues and SFR secured one 5 MHz block each. The operators will have now to bid for the position of the allocation in the band: they got four choices, so the price will go up. In this second bid process, the second and third choice placements cost 2/3rd and 1/3rd the price of the winning bid, respectively. The operator left with the last choice pays nothing.  Read more of this post

Time for a Comprehensive Strategy for License-Exempt Spectrum

Spectrum ConnectivityCalls for regulators to release more unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi are getting louder: the 2.4 GHz band is heavily used and the 5 GHz band suffers from many restrictions that limit its applicability. LTE’s entry into unlicensed spectrum is further amplifying these calls and adding an acute sense of urgency.

But what is required is more than additional unlicensed spectrum. There needs to be a comprehensive strategy not only for additional unlicensed spectrum, but also for ensuring that regulations are harmonized to the extent possible between regions and are aligned with socio-economic needs. This is because we reached a point where additional spectrum means greater divergence between regions and increased market fragmentation, a similar scenario to the current state of the 5 GHz band. Read more of this post

700 MHz German Spectrum Auction Overview

The German 700 MHz auction concluded with a price tag of a billion Euro:

700 MHz Auction Results.

700 MHz Auction Results.

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What to Shut Down First 2G or 3G?

Spectrum RefarmingTelenor Norway announced it will shut down 3G network in 2020; five years before 2G.

This is yet another example of how operators in Europe are diverging from North American operators by opting to shut down 3G ahead of 2G. 3G is much less efficient in carrying data traffic than LTE which is twice better.  2G/GPRS is the workhorse for M2M services by operators. Also, the relatively small networks and markets in Europe and the amount of roaming makes a case to keep 2G operating for longer. Read more of this post