YOU ARE AT:Archived Articles#TBT: 600 MHz auction begins; LTE launches number 500+; LTE-U coexistence quarrels...

#TBT: 600 MHz auction begins; LTE launches number 500+; LTE-U coexistence quarrels … this week in 2016

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

600 MHz auction kicks off

Despite some pessimism about the eventual outcome of the proceedings, the mobile telecommunications industry showed robust enthusiasm for the 600 MHz spectrum auction currently up for bid by the Federal Communications Commission. The first round of forward bidding in the FCC’s 600 MHz incentive auction proceedings generated more than $8 billion in net “winning” bids, or roughly 10% of the more than $88 billion in total proceeds expected to be needed for a successful auction. Most of the initial bidding was heavily weighted toward the auction’s more populous licenses, which garnered significant interest from participants. Following conclusion of the proceeding’s reverse auction, the FCC is offering up various blocks of spectrum across 428 partial economic areas, with each block containing 10 megahertz of spectrum. As expected, the New York City-based partial economic area license block received the greatest amount of interest, with bidders putting in claims for 33 10-megahertz blocks of licenses at the opening price of $135 million per license. … Read more

Rivada Networks fills its ranks with former Sprint execs
Rivada Networks continues to tap former Sprint executives to fill its ranks, announcing the hiring of four former leaders of the carrier to senior positions at its Rivada Mercury business. The new hires include Pierre Elisseeff, Peter Campbell, Bill Esrey and Todd Rowley. Elisseeff was named CFO at Rivada Mercury, having previously served as VP and whole business unit CRO at Sprint overseeing the carrier’s Enterprise/Wholesale and Postpaid Consumer businesses. Campbell joins as CIO, having accumulated more than 30 years of experience in the telecom space, including his position as CIO at Sprint where he led the deployment of operating support and business support systems connected with the carrier’s LTE network build out. Esrey was named SVP of wholesale and business development, having previously served at Sprint where he was responsible for the growth and retention of the carrier’s largest business customers selling cloud, wireline, wireless, machine-to-machine and mobility applications. Esrey also served in Sprint’s Global Wholesale organization as VP of operations, product, marketing and global sales. … Read more

LTE deployment status: 521 launches and counting
A total of 521 operators have commercially launched LTE, LTE-Advanced or LTE-Advanced Pro networks in 170 countries, according to a recent report focused on the state of LTE network reach released by the Global mobile Suppliers Association. In 2015, 74 mobile operators globally launched 4G LTE networks, GSA said. Bermuda, Gibraltar, Jamaica, Liberia, Myanmar, Samoa and Sudan are amongst the latest countries to launch 4G LTE technology. The report also reveals that 738 operators are currently investing in LTE networks across 194 countries. This figure comprises 708 firm network deployment commitments in 188 countries – of which 521 networks have launched – and 30 precommitment trials in another 6 countries. According to the GSA, active LTE network deployments will reach 560 by the end of this year. A total of 192 telcos, which currently offer standard LTE services, are deploying LTE-A or LTE-A Pro technologies in 84 countries, of which 147 operators have commercially launched superfast LTE-A or LTE-A Pro wireless broadband services in 69 countries. … Read more

China Mobile adds 200K LTE base stations
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, ended the first half of the year with 428.5 million subscribers in the LTE segment, according to the operator’s latest available figures. The telco recorded nearly 116 million LTE net additions since December 2015. During the first half of 2016, China Mobile added more than 200,000 4G base stations, increasing the total number to 1.32 million. The operator’s 4G network has now been expanded to cover more indoor areas in a larger number of cities. At the end of June, China Mobile counted 837 million total mobile subscribers, including 1.6 million net customer additions in June. At the end of December, the telco had 826.2 million mobile subscribers. The Chinese telco also had a total of 132.8 million 3G subscribers at the end of the first half of 2016. The firm’s operating revenue for the period was 370.4 billion yuan ($55.7 billion), up 7.1% year-over-year, of which revenue from telecommunications services was 325.4 billion yuan, up by 6.9%. … Read more

Ronan Dunne gets feisty with Sprint on Twitter
Ronan Dunne, the former CEO of O2, doesn’t start his job as the new group president of Verizon Wireless until September, but, on Twitter at least, he’s already putting pressure on Verizon Wireless rival Sprint. It’s no secret that U.S. carriers use network quality ratings like those provided by RootMetrics, Open Signal and others, to form advertising campaigns that, in turn, contain shots at competitors. In the context of Verizon Wireless and Sprint, Verizon has used pitchmen Jamie Foxx and Ricky Gervais to knock Sprint, while the Overland Park, Kansas-based operator has brought on a former Verizon Wireless spokesman to hawk Sprint services. Anyway, the official Sprint Twitter account recently tweeted out a “history lesson” targeting Verizon. “It’s 2016 & all networks are great. Y charge high rates of the past? #FactsMatter.” To that, Dunne responded: “I think you mean all networks are great some of the time – only some networks are great all of the time #FactsMatter.” Dunne will be responsible for all aspects of Verizon Wireless’ operations, including marketing, wireless, network operations, digital operations and customer care. … Read more

Quarrels over LTE-U coexistence

Qualcomm has attacked the latest draft of an industry LTE-U/Wi-Fi coexistence test plan as “fundamentally biased against LTE-U” and called on the Federal Communications Commission to ignore it.
Wi-Fi Alliance held its most recent industry workshop on LTE-U coexistence testing this week, continuing to work toward its goal of delivering a test plan that will ensure fair play between Wi-Fi and LTE-U at five gigahertz. Previous workshops seemed to be largely cooperative, but this time Qualcomm emerged and blasted the latest version of the test plan as “unacceptable,” and said that it makes unreasonable requirements for LTE-U to protect Wi-Fi and that the test plan itself “lacks technical merit.” Wi-Fi Alliance’s work was established as a cooperative effort between the Wi-Fi community and LTE-U supporters to work out coexistence concerns. LTE-U is the approach that Qualcomm, Verizon Wireless and others developed to leverage unlicensed spectrum alongside licensed LTE. Although it is based in LTE releases, it includes proprietary approaches to the coexistence mechanism between LTE and Wi-Fi. License-Assisted Access, or LAA, requires a listen-before-talk approach to Wi-Fi coexistence with LTE and was established through the 3GPP standardization process. LAA is required in Europe, Japan and other regions, while the U.S. and some other markets have not required an LBT approach and LTE-U would be allowed. A more rapid time to market has been seen as one of LTE-U’s biggest advantages, and the amount of time spent on coexistence testing details has made some proponents fretful – but Wi-Fi stakeholders are still nervous that fundamental operational differences between Wi-Fi and LTE mean that Wi-Fi will be significantly degraded by neighboring LTE-U installations in real-world situations. … Read more

FCC trims some small cell review regulation
The Federal Communications Commission is eliminating requirements for historic preservation review for small cells that do not adversely impact historic sites. The agency said “physically small deployments like DAS and small cells” will be exempt from the Section 106 review process. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires federal agencies to consider the effects of federally funded projects on historic properties prior to the expenditure of any federal funds. Most small cells are not financed by federal funds, but historic review requirements can nonetheless delay deployments.
“The FCC is taking a big step forward by streamlining the review of small cell and distributed antenna system deployments under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act,” said Jonathan Adelstein, CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association. “This agreement shows how government entities and industry can work together to deploy wireless infrastructure while also protecting historic resources. The action the FCC takes today will enable ‘5G’ technologies of tomorrow by reducing a regulatory barrier to wireless infrastructure deployment.” … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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