Small Cells & Location-Based Services (LBS) – Why Vendors Will Have to Push Harder

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile access infrastructure vendors are increasingly pushing location-based services for indoor/enterprise networks.
  • It’s a logical concept but one that hasn’t shown much traction yet.
  • Such services face serious challenges, including finding killer apps despite a somewhat fractured market.

Enterprise small-cell deployments haven’t exactly spread like wild fire yet (the latest market information from the Small Cell Forum shows most shipments are still residential). Yet, vendors are talking more than ever about applying location-based services (LBS) and analytics to indoor enterprise networks including small cells and WiFi access points. Continue reading “Small Cells & Location-Based Services (LBS) – Why Vendors Will Have to Push Harder”

With Enterprise Small Cells, Remember: Not All Enterprises Are Alike

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise small-cell deployment strategies need to include market segmentation.
  • This segmentation takes many forms and has both technology and business model implications.

Much attention’s been paid in the past year to small cells for enterprises. However, it is important to remember in these conversations that not all enterprises are alike. Continue reading “With Enterprise Small Cells, Remember: Not All Enterprises Are Alike”

Alcatel-Lucent Is Outsourcing Its 2G/3G R&D – Should Service Providers Care?

Peter Jarich
Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • As a part of the Shift Plan, Alcatel-Lucent has inked an agreement to outsource some 2G/3G R&D along with related technical support, design, development and testing operations.
  • As mature technologies, the move should not concern most of the vendor’s customers. However, as 3G continues to evolve – particularly around Alcatel-Lucent’s focus on small cells – operators must make sure the outsourcing scheme still results in solid products.

Late last week, the media began reporting that Alcatel-Lucent had signed an agreement to outsource its 2G/3G R&D and maintenance activities to HCL, an Indian ICT firm. For what seems to be a major decision – something that competitors will be quick to bring up with their customers – the news went relatively unnoticed. I can only guess why. Continue reading “Alcatel-Lucent Is Outsourcing Its 2G/3G R&D – Should Service Providers Care?”

Wait, the Hot New Technology Is DAS? Really?

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

My family will back me up on this: If I tell you that, until very recently, I’d never seen a TV commercial for distributed antenna systems (DAS) before, it’s not because I don’t watch much TV.

No, AT&T began airing ads touting its DAS and small-cell deployments this year, as a competitive claim to a higher-quality network. But the tectonic shift that would usher in DAS ads on TV, or (possibly) the term DAS permeating the mainstream lexicon, goes far beyond AT&T. DAS has definitely become a lot more visible in the past year or two. With greater attention these days to densifying networks and penetrating indoor commercial spaces, it would be odd for DAS not to enjoy at least some of the hype being showered upon small cells. Continue reading “Wait, the Hot New Technology Is DAS? Really?”

Mobile World Congress 2014: What Operators Should Look For – Small Cells

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Small cells at Mobile World CongressHow two years ago.  The last time we all met in Barcelona, even the juggling magicians of small-cell hype couldn’t compete with the fire-eating trapeze act of software-defined networking and network function virtualization.  This year is probably going to be more like 2013 than 2012.

Still, small cells will be there in volume, just as surely as there will be meager slices of Iberian ham hidden inside crusty loaves of bread.  So, what can small-cell enthusiasts expect to see at this year’s show?  Here are some things to look for: Continue reading “Mobile World Congress 2014: What Operators Should Look For – Small Cells”