By Capriccio Martin
It’s been a whirlwind event schedule for the past few months – especially for Kathrein, as we continue to amp up our presence at industry events. As the oldest antenna manufacturer in the world, we feel it’s our job to share much of what has been learned over the past 100 years and translate that into our vision for 5G, massive MIMO, sectorization, concealment, mmWave, and other antenna innovations.
We had the pleasure to attend LTE North America this week in Big D – it was a good show and we like that it is in our “backyard”. It’s a notable industry event in that the organizers do a nice job in bringing in top notch speakers from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Telus, Sasktel and key analysts from 451 Research, iGR, Senza Fili, and Mobile Experts.
One resounding message from the Antenna Evolution Focus Day was the importance of Antenna quality in LTE and soon 5G networks. LTE KPI’s are more stringent than 3GPP and we anticipate 5G to take things even a step further. Be on the lookout for a new whitepaper from Kathrein that will discuss this topic in more detail.
At the show, the 5G tracks seemed to bring in the biggest audiences from what we observed and it was nice to see big interest in Public Safety as well. Ken Rehbehn, analyst at 451 Research, as well as a fire fighter himself, tweeted eight times during the presentation from Jeff Bratcher, Acting CTO for FirstNet. It was a fantastic overview on the progress FirstNet has made. Here’s a few key takeaways:
- FirstNet has $6.5 Billion to offset network costs. Cannot go back to Congress to ask for more money.
- There is excess capacity in the 20MHz of Band 14 and will commecialize the leftover spectrum.
- There are 5 Early Builder Projects and all have a Spectrum Lease Agreement (SMLA) with FirstNet: Texas, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New Mexico, Colorado.
- FirstNet has close ties with other countries’ public safety plans – specifically in the UK and South Korea. South Korea is pushing voice the fastest.
- There will be a single “awardee” to build out and manage the core network, but will incorporate teaming agreements for national, regional, and rural providers.
Another recent industry event where Kathrein had the pleasure to attend, speak, and exhibit was HetNet Expo in sunny Los Angeles this past October. As always, Tracy Ford at PCIA does an excellent job of representing the entire HetNet ecosystem via the topics and speakers. Our favorite presenter hands down was the well-spoken Marc Ganzi, CEO of Digital Bridge (which just closed on the acquisition of ExteNet Systems). He was bullish on the industry as a whole and seemed particularly jazzed about Small Cells over the next few years. Watch here.
Marc shared his views of the Bandwidth Delivery Model and noted:
- We need to be creative in our 5G site offerings – multiple forms of “Site Solutions”.
- Need to account for MIMO in the future.
- CRAN and SDN are part of the future network.
- “Owning” the network elements and delivery is critical.
- “Spectral efficiencies will be where the battle will be won or lost” – efficiencies in radios, battery life, and devices.
- Need more Sites – Macro, Small Cell, DAS, Wi-Fi Offload.
- Densify and fortify the network with Small Cells – underlay networks.
- Wi-Fi is not going away, not a disrupter.
- Distributed Network Services (DNS as he calls it – not DAS) – 74,000 Active Nodes in 2014.
- Indoor DNS Market will grow to 12,000 locations and 133,000 nodes by 2020.
We had the honor of presenting on the public safety panel at HetNet Expo 2015 that was moderated by Sandra Wendelken. Panelists were Mel Samples of CADSTAR, Ken Baker of the University of Colorado-Boulder, Jim Nevelle of Kathrein and Battalion Chief Kevin Nida of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Click here to watch the panel (in segments):
We will be sharing more in the coming months including more on Antenna evolution strategies, Multi-band Antennas, Small Cells, and the Importance of the Quality of the Network. Until then, we would like to hear from you. Your thoughts as we wind down the wireless tradeshow circuit of 2015?