Mobile Backhaul: Innovations and Challenges in a 4G World
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Backaul of 3G and LTE macrocell traffic is one of the largest problems--and opportunities--in telecom. The world has gone mobile and is “going video”, and the future presents major obstacles. Demands of traffic growth, video applications, and mobility for workplace applications must be fit into limited, finite spectrum—the only viable solution is to multiply the use of that spectrum by introducing outdoor and in-building small cells, for 3G and LTE.
On Thursday, AT&T submitted an ex-parte letter to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission requesting specific conditions be met in regards to Dish Network’s pending Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) waiver request, raising suspicion that AT&T may be looking to Dish to solve its current spectrum shortage.
On Monday, MetroPCS Communications, Inc., the fifth largest broadband mobile wireless carrier in the United States based on number of subscribers, announced it has signed a four-year agreement with telecom equipment maker Ericsson to provide microwave backhaul equipment for its broadband mobile networks. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The two largest telecom operators in the United States posted their quarterly results for the fourth quarter of 2011. Both AT&T and Verizon posted quarterly losses in the fourth quarter, in part due to noncash pension-related charges as well as heavily subsidized smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone. AT&T posted a rather large loss due to its
Telecom equipment maker Ericsson missed fourth-quarter profit forecasts, hit by lower demand from the United States and Russia, and said weak margins and cautiousness from its operator clients would continue in the short term. The company posted a fourth quarter net profit of $222 million, down 66% from $651 million in the year-ago quarter and down 61% from last quarter.
Ambiguous marketing by some mobile network operators and the numbering of Apple’s iPhone models has resulted in 46% of iPhone 4 users thinking that they are already using a 4G-capable phone, according to a recent survey published by Analysys Mason, an advisor on telecom, technology and media.
On Monday, the United States Supreme Court passed down a unanimous ruling stating that police must obtain a search warrant in order to track a suspected criminal with GPS technology. The court’s actions in this matter are extremely important because they could affect data privacy for much more than GPS systems, including cell phones and virtually any network device in the U.S.
Verizon Wireless will only be adding LTE-capable smartphones to its list of devices moving forward, as the mobile operator builds support for its next generation network.
Verizon’s LTE network is currently the largest LTE network in the U.S., covering more than 200 million people in 190 markets. But since its launch in 2010 the network has experienced three major outages, all within the same month. Verizon (New York) referred to these outages as “growing pains.”
AT&T on Wednesday announced increased data rates for smartphone and tablet customers that will go into effect next week. The mobile operator is scrambling for new ways to address the broadband crunch after dropping its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA, which would have increased its spectrum by 62%.
On Friday, a group of government agencies with portfolios in GPS and related technologies announced that it had halted testing of LightSquared’s proposed network after it found that “plans for its proposed mobile network would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers.”