I know what you’re thinking, DAS spectrum is not dedicated, but what if it were? Now that the carriers don’t want to pay for a shared DAS system in venues, we should come up with alternatives to getting them into large venues. DAS is needed in the industry for coverage. We can play favorites for coverage, but how do we provide coverage for all carriers? Let’s explore some options.
DAS is still booming, in fact, I found a really cool website, http://www.daspedia.com/ where you can find some DAS information. I really think its good stuff. DAS for LTE will continue to boom. Yet, the carriers no longer want to pay for a shared DAS system. What will we do? Will the work go away?
NO! I don’t think so and I will tell you why. The coverage is still needed and while we all love Wi-Fi, the voice handoff from VoLTE to VoWi-Fi is still not as clean as anyone would like it to be, it may get better but this is why LTE-U is taking off. So this leads to my question, “will LTE-U become the new shared system for carriers?”
Well, Verizon is pushing things in that direction along with Qualcomm. It seems like all the OEMs are joining the party because they are providing solutions with carrier aggregation and LET-U, so it seems to be moving ahead.
I know that the debate between a safe coexistence between Wi-Fi and LTE-U is still up in the air. In fact ask anyone that is associated with the cable companies or Wi-Fi groups and they think that LTE-U is just one step down from the Antichrist, at least it feels that way. Cablelabs did some tests, http://www.cablelabs.com/fair-lte-u-coexistence-far-from-proven-in-cablelabs-qualcomm-testing/ where they have undeniable proof that LTE-U will devastate Wi-Fi. But then we can look at Qualcomm’s letter to the FCC, http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=60001084962 and see that Wi-Fi and LTE-U can live happily together and thrive in this new world that is coming. Actually Qualcomm said LTE-U is less of a problem to Wi-Fi that Wi-Fi is to itself, which I believe, because I have been places where there are 5 hotspots and coverage is not so great. To be fair, RCR did a segment on it here, http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150701/test-and-measurement/lte-u-testing-5-studies-and-their-results-tag6 which does a good job at pointing out all arguments.
Can’t we all get along? Seriously? Should let them fight it out? It looks like LTE-U will be a new opportunity for deployment. It looks like the FCC will allow LTE-U and LTE in the 3.5GHz lightly licensed band, so that means we can deploy CRAN and small cells with carrier bands, Wi-Fi, LTE-U, and 3.5GHz! Let’s go and deploy. LTE-U is coming in one form or another, and it should allow the carriers to share the bands. That means the design, engineering, and deployment teams will get a new wave of work! That’s where I am interested, the next phase of DAS may not only include Wi-Fi and carriers, but LTE-U.
Just think if you have a new player that uses LTE in 3.5GHz for access to the devices? Or it could be used as backhaul. Is that cool or what? Who would do 3.5GHz as a carrier would? Well it has been done, http://www.gtigroup.org/35ghz/overview/2015-03-20/5820.html in Japan and China. Wouldn’t it be cool if the lightly licensed band here in the US would be a step up from Wi-Fi but a step down from the billion dollar carrier bands? I am just dreaming here but the band works, so why not see if we can deploy it here in North America?
It’s funny you would ask, because 2 small companies you may have heard of, Google and Nokia, are already working towards a test, http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/nokia-teaming-google-lte-u-35-ghz-spectrum/2015-09-14. This is big news, to me at least, because it will open up new venues for deployment. I see this as a great way for the carriers to pay a third-party to share in a DAS system that is cost-effective to deploy. All they need to do is roam onto this system. Easy peasey lemon squeezy, if the FCC adopts that band for testing with enough bandwidth! Oh, that’s right, they did, http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/fcc-votes-adopt-new-35-ghz-spectrum-sharing-plan-innovation-band/2015-04-17 back in April! So what are we waiting for? The OEMs to make something, it takes a long time, then someone needs to deploy it and test it, like Google. Then the carriers need to do interoperability testing, IoT, into their networks. Then we will have 150MHz of bandwidth to play with, lightly licensed bandwidth for the small business to build and be deployed. Oh boy, it’s always exciting to see something like this happen, innovation! I would like to thank the DOD, department of defense, for freeing the bandwidth! Free with only the threat of radar interfering with it, and radar is high power so that may be a problem. All the more reason to put it indoors for DAS and small cells. Thank you FCC chairman Tom Wheeler!
I know that it would also be a great backhaul technology, which now that there is 150MHz. Having that much is a start so we could use it effectively. I see an opportunity here.
Something to think about!
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