Perhaps we’re a bit punch drunk from what has seemed to be a nonstop weekly series of events…
But contrary to the naysayers – including our friend Zoran Kehler who humorously likened this year’s seemingly smaller event to a farmers market in Northern Virginia (ouch!) – Team SOLiD had a busy and wildly productive show at CTIA 2013.
What did we learn?
The wireless industry continues to struggle with the definition of a Small Cell. The joke goes something like this: ask 10 experts what a small cell is and you’ll get 14 different answers.
Iain Gillott recently wrote about what is – or rather, what is not – a small cell:
Any RF network component that is not nailed to a tower! Since small cells are really macro cells with the power turned down and without a tower, this means that just about any of the range of RF solutions fit the definition. This would include remote radio head, Wi-Fi, DAS, femtocells and even home signal boosters.
More importantly, there’s the question of when small cells will deployed. According to Ron Kline at Ovum, the key hurdle is solving the challenge of backhaul.
Further, Yankee Group’s Ken Rehbehn shared that there’s another challenge in how to handle multiple carriers placing small cells. You don’t want to clutter street furniture with a bunch of infrastructure similar to Seoul (see below).
Clearly, the deployment of small cells in the U.S. market is in the nascent stages. We’re reminded of the saying you’ve got to crawl before you run. We’re attending the Small Cells World Summit this week in London where we expect to learn more answers to this hot topic.
Driven by the momentum of FirstNet, the convergence of both cellular and public safety continues.
SOLiD has been out in front on this topic for a while as a founder of the Safer Buildings Coalition. During the first of our three event trips to Las Vegas this spring, we presented at IWCE a key initiative of Safer Buildings Coalition to create best-practices for integrators who install and manage DAS networks that support both cellular and public safety communications.
During our discussion with former FCC chairman Jonathan Adelstein who now leads PCIA, we learned that his organization is focused on becoming the key cellular vendor representative for public safety. They will leverage their relationship with APCO to help bring together the cellular and public safety communities and explore training initiatives.
When it comes to enabling wireless services in stadiums, there’s a dichotomy of interests.
According to Heavy Reading’s Berge Ayvazian, wireless operators want to keep traffic on their cellular networks. In contrast, venue owners want the traffic to be on the Wi-Fi network.
It’s all about addressing the reality that spectrum is finite. That’s why SOLiD has developed the GameChanger Neutral Host Wi-Fi solution which appeals to the interests of both the carriers and stadium owners.
What did you think about CTIA 2013? What are your expectations for the new and improved CTIA which combines CCA and moves to the fall of 2014?
Backhaul, CTIA 2013, Neutral Host WiFi, Public Safety, Safer Buildings Coalition, Small Cells, WiFi Offload