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Spectrum auctions: Okay for some, but not for others (Analyst Angle)

A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and former President of the World Bank, controversially suggests that auctioning spectrum for 5G is detrimental to the U.S. and helps Huawei. While spectrum allocation is an...

Modest SEP royalties on smartphones have declined and licensing is stabilizing (Analyst Angle)

Aggregate royalty payments for licensing cellular technology standard-essential patents (SEPs) in smartphones have remained in modest single-digit percentages and have declined since 2013.  This defies purported concerns that the stacking of patent royalties paid to multiple licensors have led to or would lead to unreasonably...

Long live the revolution in 5G: With SA, 5G-Advanced, 6G, virtualization, O-RAN and competition among industry standard computer hardware platforms (Analyst Angle)

An upcoming mobile communications metamorphosis—delivered by 5G standalone (SA) mode, 5G-Advanced and 6G—is being facilitated by complementary innovations and transformations in computing architectures and their supply. Change will be huge but gradual over the next decade. With 5G yet to make its mark beyond...

Harmful dominance in 5G computing if NVIDIA is allowed to acquire Arm (Analyst Angle)

SoftBank’s proposed sale of Arm to NVIDIA should be blocked. While there are major UK national interest concerns about this transaction, the threat and likelihood of severe anticompetitive effects are global and more fundamental. NVIDIA’s control over Arm will throttle the advance of other...

Right-pricing cellular patent licensing in 4G and 5G connected vehicles

While litigation is bogging down the licensing of cellular standard essential patents (SEPs) in vehicles with disputes about where in the production supply chain licensing may or must occur—from chip, to module, to telematic control unit (TCU), to entire vehicle—this is also delaying payment...

One-stop-shopping with segmented offerings is most appealing for SEP licensing in IoT including 5G (Analyst Angle)

In various industries including pharmaceuticals, where a product is typically protected by only a few patents, if intellectual property is licensed at all, licensing tends to be atomized: company-by company for individual patents or small portfolios, and nation-by-nation rather than globally in many cases. In...

Polarization in 5G technology supply (Analyst Angle)

The U.K. government has banished Huawei’s 5G network kit. Supply must cease before 2021 and operators must rip out and replace all installed equipment by 2027. This is tightening of its previous policy —instigated as recently as January 2020—to exclude “high-risk vendors” from an...

Outlook for 4G and 5G with COVID-19 and climate change

The long-term growth trajectories, to 2025 and beyond, for all telecommunications, including mobile and 5G, are significantly elevated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming climate change crisis, that will also make us stop traveling around so much in motorized transport. Since...

How C-V2X in 5G will transform cars and save lives (Analyst Angle)

Technological improvements in cars over the decades have generally reduced costs or increased performance and safety. “Analog” technologies including collapsible steering columns, crumple zones and seatbelts have saved car occupants from death or serious injury. Many digital technologies have also improved our in-car experience...

How innovative, competitive and well adopted was LTE— implications for outlook in 5G?

LTE’s introduction a decade ago and its development as the definitive 4G mobile communications standard which predominates in smartphones is an outstanding accomplishment. Competition has served technology innovators, manufacturers, mobile network operators, over-the-top service providers and end-users extremely well.  Markets have functioned and advanced...

Biting the hands that feed you SEP technologies (Analyst Angle)

Longstanding and economically efficient balance in Standard-Essential Patent licensing is being destabilized by misinformation and manipulation of commercial practices and of benchmarks in Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory licensing. This is epitomized in litigation between Apple and Qualcomm, commencing January 2017, until settlement in April...

Must MVNOs be more than that to turn out large and successful? (Analyst Angle)

While mobile virtual network operators may appear to be back in fashion, none of them are significant players among US wireless carriers.  The largest of what are commonly—but incorrectly—called MVNOs, including Boost and Metro in the US, have long since ceased to be MVNOs,...

While low-band spectrum is “beachfront property,” mid-bands offer higher capacities needed for 5G

And some mid-bands are more accessible with better ecosystem support Rather like with real estate, while beachfront properties are coveted, properties elsewhere providing more space and better access can be the most useful. Cellular technologies have improved to utilize the greater capacity in the larger bandwidths—including in...

Large differences in cellular patent royalty rates and payments are legitimate and pro-competitive (Analyst Angle)

Cellular technology companies with substantial device businesses — including Huawei and Samsung today, and Nokia until it sold its handset business in 2014 — generate no more than modest net licensing revenues, despite the significant Standard-Essential Patent (SEP) portfolio sizes they have declared. Crucially,...

Making America great in 5G (Analyst Angle)

America is becoming more joined up in its pursuit of global 5G leadership, with presidential vision and objectives, complementary corporate strategies and the FCC’s plans to Facilitate America's Superiority in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST Plan). In the interests of maximising international competitiveness and national...

Securing our 5G future (Analyst Angle)

National security issues have come to the fore with 5G equipment vendor selection for network deployments and upcoming service launches over the next year or two. Cyber security threats of many kinds are real and significant; but debate about this has become deeply entwined...

Maintaining cellular growth until large-scale 5G IoT adoption in the mid 2020s (Analyst Angle)

The notion of “peak smartphone” is widely discussed of late, including by the Economist.  Revenues are flattening with longer replacement cycles, saturating markets, resistance to Apple’s price increases, decreasing prices among Android’s fiercely competitive OEMs and allegedly diminishing technical improvements in successive new device...

Analyst Angle: US and China lead while regulation and competition policy impede Europe in 5G

US, China, Japan and Korea are seizing global leadership in 5G with support of coherent and helpful industrial policies in those nations across the entire mobile ecosystem including technology development, spectrum licensing, site acquisition and operator consolidation. All these nations will launch 3GPP standard-compliant...

Analyst Angle: 5G introduction checklist

There is plenty of enthusiasm and quite a bit of hype in various quarters about upcoming 5G; but will it be worthwhile for everyone? The outlook for 5G is promising because growing mobile broadband data demand will saturate LTE capacity from around 2020. Only 5G...

Analyst Angle: Cellular inventions trigger avalanche of activities among companies

  Major innovations in cellular technologies arise largely from the substantial Research and Development (R&D) investments and inventions of relatively few companies, followed by widespread collaborations including many more in the process of standard setting. Inventor inspiration triggers avalanche of cellular tech development activities The disproportionately large...

Analyst Angle: Complementary spectrum allocations and technologies maximize coverage and capacity for all

Radio spectrum is the lifeblood of wireless networks. Traditional methods of doling out spectrum have somewhat hindered rather than helped maximize the availability of affordable Internet access, even if this was not the case with voice and text. Instead of seeking to aggrandize auction...

Analyst Angle: Many will truly cut the cord with 4G and 5G

  The broadband performance and economics of cellular with 4G and 5G is making it possible for many of us to do without any wired connection at all — already including those who, on average, stream up to an hour of video per day. Nevertheless,...

Analyst Angle: How to provide Gigabit LTE cheaply when you don’t have the spectrum?

  Deploy LAA. Consumers are only beginning to use LTE in unlicensed spectrum. So far chatter has mostly been about operator trials, commercial chipsets and sales of devices to seed the market before anyone is to be able to use the new service feature. Nevertheless, the...

Analyst Angle: Innovation in the 5G communications platform and the IoT

  At a conference entitled Patents in Telecoms & the Internet of Things, at George Washington University in the District of Columbia last week, I was perturbed to hear a speaker mischaracterizing the communications standards as platforms of preexisting technologies upon which IoT innovation will...

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