Let us do a quick review of a typical WiMAX network architecture: Essentially, the MS (member station)/SS (subscriber station) is on one side, and the BS (base station), ASN (Access Service Network) Gateway, CSN (Connectivity Service Network: HA(home agent), AAA, etc.) is on the other side. Please remember the following common interface terminologies: the air-interface between the MS to BS is termed R1, the interface between MS to CSN is R2, BS to ASN is R6, ASN to CSN is R3, ASN to another ASN is R4 and CSN to another operator’s CSN is R5. Next, we provide a simplistic summary of the network entry and initialization process: Phase a) the MS scans the DL channel and synchronizes with the BS, Phase b) transmit parameters are obtained, Phase c)
The FCC recently concluded in its Sixth Broadband Deployment Report that between 14 and 24 million Americans still lack access to broadband or “advanced telecommunications capability” that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology. The FCC, in its July 20th Report, estimates that 1,024 out of 3,230 counties in the United States and its territories are unserved by broadband and, on average, these unserved areas are home to 24 million Americans living in 8.9 million households with a population density of 138.3 people per square mile and a per capita income of $14,565 measured in 1999 dollars. The FCC’s estimates of broadband availability are based primarily on the Model that FCC staff created in conjunction with the development of the National Broadband Plan, and the broadband subscribership data the FCC collects on FCC Form 477.
The FCC applied a “de minimis threshold,” under which it found broadband to be available in a county only if at least 1 percent of the households in that county subscribe to broadband. Stated differently, broadband is deemed available in a county if it is unavailable to up to 99% of the households in that county! Given this relatively low threshold, the FCC data may tend to actually overstate broadband availability in the United States. These and other details are critical to understanding the full impact of the FCC’s data.
So how and when will broadband deployment improve in the United States? The Report proposes to meet the FCC’s goal of deployment to all Americans by implementing key recommendations from the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, including reforming the FCC’s universal service programs, unleashing spectrum for mobile broadband, reducing barriers to investment, collecting better broadband data, and upgrading the standard from 200 kilobits per second downstream, to 4 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.
As we noted last week in our Back to the Future article, other possible solutions involve changing the regulatory classification of broadband, and moving it from an information service to a more heavily regulated telecommunications service. Critics of this approach typically raise concerns of increased costs and regulatory delays, ultimately leading to reduced or stifled broadband availability. This debate is currently playing out in comments and reply comments filed with the FCC in response to the National Broadband Plan. Given enough spectrum, engineering solutions such as higher transmitter … Read the rest
Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are the companies leading the way for this new product. They exude confidence during technology fairs concluding that the 4G revolution is upon us. They’ve developed products to help connect to the network such as portable modems, usb drives, and sim cards. They’ve even entitled their networks; Sprint’s being WIMAX (World-wide Interoperability for Microwave Access) while Verizon and AT&T’s shall be called LTE (Long Term Evolution). However, perhaps their confidence is missed guided and their promise of debuting in 2013 is unrealistic.
WIMAX developed by the Sprint and Clear companies respectively, seems to be losing ground in the United States amidst their attempt to bring WIMAX success domestically. Though they’ve raised 3.2 billion dollars in investments to produce the network, Sprint and Clear may have underestimated how expensive it is to blanket the country in connectivity. Sprint, the lesser of the three major telecommunications distributors in the country, may not have enough currency to continue production if the 3.2 billion isn’t enough, and investors Google, Time Warner, and Intel may grow weary of waiting and pull their investments early. Also those dependent on their WIMAX’s success is far less than those who are dependent on LTE”s success due to the fact that Verizon and AT&T are far larger companies. … Read the rest
In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress codified the FCC’s distinction between “telecommunications services” used to transmit information and “information services” that run over the network. The FCC later eliminated the regulatory asymmetry between cable companies and other broadband Internet service providers by extending the information service classification to broadband Internet services offered over DSL and other wireline facilities, power lines, and wireless. Today broadband Internet service may be offered as an information service subject to consumer protection, network reliability, and national security laws, rules and regulations, but largely exempt from Title II telecommunications service regulation.
Expressing its resolve to further broadband deployment, Congress recently passed
1) the 2008 Farm Bill directing the FCC to submit to Congress “a comprehensive rural broadband strategy,
2) the Broadband Data Improvement Act to improve data collection and “promote the deployment of affordable broadband services to all parts of the Nation”, and
3) the Recovery Act, which appropriated up to $7.2 billion for broadband services deployment, and required the FCC to develop the National Broadband Plan.
In the last decade, technological advances have become a necessity rather than a luxury for today’s American consumers and businesses. As a society we are always in demand of something new, something faster, something that will change our lives even if it means paying a little extra for the service. When turning on the television, commercials rule the airwaves using various techniques to coerce us into buying their product or at least implant a little annoying seed that unconsciously has us repeating the commercial slogan. An example of this would be the Optimum Triple Play Package advertisement, which uses corny rap and rock songs that are catchy, and I confess, are imbedded in my memory due to it’s continuous broadcasting during football games and practically all of television. Verizon and Apple use a compare and contrast technique, which subtly imply that they have a better product than their competing companies as seen from the “Can you Hear Me Now”, and the “Mac vs. P.C” commercials. These companies have been the pioneers of 21st century advertisement, and I’d bet money that most people have seen their commercials and/or own their product or service. With such marketing maneuvers it is no surprise that these companies are leading the industry with their respective product.
So with that said, has anyone ever heard of WiMAX or Clearwire? At first glance, it sounds like a bootleg version of Wi-Fi and water bottle brand, but it’s not, it’s an up and coming technology and company that will change the way the public connects to the internet. Want proof? Well how about 3.2 billion dollars of proof? Google, Time Warner Cable, and Intel have agreed to produce that amount in support of the Sprint’s Clearwire Company and the WiMAX product with hopes that it will unlock its 4G potential and make its mark on today’s market. WiMAX has the potential to cover entire cities with connections and works just like a portable modem, meaning you can be anywhere in the city and have access to the internet. WiMAX mean’s no restrictions; you can reconnect with society anywhere you go, it means you can say goodbye to hunting for coffee shops that have free internet access, or even paying 2.99 for three hours use of internet at Barnes and Nobles. WiMAX offers an option of a faster Internet with a stronger connection, so why in the world isn’t … Read the rest
“We are pleased with the reliability and performance of the Aperto solution” said Mr. Wu Weide, managing director of production management center at SINOPEC. “Our application demands high availability and predictable performance by the communication system. Aperto has worked closely with us to design and deployment of this critical infrastructure.”
“We are excited to be working with a quality partner like SINOPEC” said Bill Waters, Sr. VP of World-wide sales for Aperto “This successful deployment once again validates the powerful capability and high reliability of our PacketMAX product family.”
“Just a few years ago, service providers would have paid many times the cost of the new 8150-CPE just to provide voice service. Today they can deploy broadband anywhere, and at an impulse-buy price,” said Craig Mathias, a Principal at the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group. “The 8150-CPE extends an already industry-leading wireless broadband product line, addressing the global requirement to provide universal broadband connectivity cost-effectively. Proxim is building upon their years of experience in the carrier and service provider market and has introduced a product line that delivers what service providers everywhere are clamoring for.”
As the United States recovers from the great recession, it is even more critical to focus on broadband deployment to ensure that Americans have the necessary tools to compete worldwide. This is the first of a series of articles that addresses broadband deployment, with recommendations for its improvement. This article focuses on rural broadband deployment.
Broadband allows users to reach the Internet at higher speeds than they could with traditional modems. Broadband uses data processing capabilities that compress voice, video, and data information into bits that become words, pictures, charts, graphs, or other images on computer, wireless phones, or screens. High-speed Internet access allows information downloads at significantly higher speeds than traditional modems. It also allows online access without tying up telephone lines, videoconferencing, and access to entertainment resources. Broadband access comes in several flavors, including Digital Subscriber Line (“DSL”), cable modem access, fixed and mobile wireless, satellite Internet, and Fiber to the Home (“FTTH”).
Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, allows Internet access by short-range signals, and it is available at thousands of hotspots around the country. WiMAX, or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a standards-based wireless technology that provides high-throughput broadband connections over long distances. WiMAX is similar to Wi-Fi, but it permits usage over much greater distances.
Federal legislation clearly favors rural broadband deployment. Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act requires the FCC to “encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans.” The Act also mandates that consumers in “rural, insular, and high‐cost areas” should have access to services and rates that are “reasonably comparable” to those in urban areas. On February 17, 2009, Congress passed the Recovery Act, which charged the FCC with developing a national broadband plan that seeks to ensure that all Americans have broadband access. In response to this Congressional mandate, the FCC recently delivered to Congress a national broadband plan for robust broadband capability for Americans with benchmarks for meeting that goal.
Broadband deployment in rural areas is critical for economic development, growth, jobs, education, tele-medicine and other data-centric services, and for the United States to remain competitive with other countries. But rural broadband deployment in the United States considerably lags broadband use in urban areas. In light of this need, Congress passed the 2008 Farm Bill, which recognized the critical need for broadband in rural areas. That law requires the FCC … Read the rest
“Open Buffet” and “All you can eat” plans can bring in the customers. It works for restaurants, casinos and other establishments where competition is high, and where the economics make sense as a loss-leader and/or where there is adequate margin on volume or turnover. But, with the recent announcement by AT&T that they are ending their unlimited data plans in favor of tiered pricing (i.e., pay for what you eat), it looks like they have come to learn what MNOs in the more mature mobile markets of Europe learned. Namely, that once you have captured a customer, you need to find other ways to keep them. Using unlimited data plans as the “sticky” service to keep a customer, can cause an operator to lose their shirt through service degradation, and sully their reputation with the overwhelming majority of their other customers.
Customers who use the iPhone, which is sold through AT&T in the U.S., consume seven times the bandwidth of typical mobile phones, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, as reported by Bloomberg, But, that is not all. They also quote company sources at AT&T who say that 98 percent of their smart phone customers use less than 2 gigabytes of data a month. The Handset-Base Station Radio Network is still a limited resource, and having a lot of smart phone users can “hog up” this most precious resource for an MNO.
European MNOs learned this lesson a while ago. They offer data plans either prepaid or postpaid with varying pricing based on tiered usage and contract type. I tried a prepaid 3G data stick on one of my visits to London last year. It cost 39 GBP and included 1 GB of data with 1 GB top ups for 15 GBP. I was very happy. It was a cheaper solution than paying for daily Wi-Fi access in Starbucks or at the hotel, and I was connected everywhere. I have seen the light and I have become a believer.
European MNOs also learned another lesson early on in the mobile life cycle. That they have another resource that is generally underutilized, and that they can use to increase revenue with very little risk- their Billing System.
MNOs, and most Telcos for that matter, are exceptionally adept at tracking and charging for lots of very small events. Billing calls in One Second Increments, user authentication, fraud detection, … Read the rest