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!

Small cells: They’re gonna be big
A report from NPD In-Stat predicts that due to skyrocketing demand for mobile data services the sale of small cell devices will hit $14 billion in retail value by 2015. These devices will include femtocells, picocells and microcells in areas where “macrocells would be overkill,” the report says. “The potential that true mobile broadband offers in personal communications, commerce and social networking becomes a curse for mobile operators,” said NPD In-Stat senior analyst Chris Kissel. “Studies indicate that 75% of mobile broadband connections are made indoors. This means that mobile operators have to ensure (quality of service) for subscribers in their homes, at their jobs and at their leisure. Radio access network devices have to show versatility. If thought of as small cells, RAN devices can provide access to as few as four users or as many as a thousand.” The study cited recent research that showed Eastern Europe will see $265 million in retail value of femtocells by 2015; that roughly 30.7 million W-CDMA/HSPA residential femtocells will be shipped in 2015; that worldwide outdoor metropolitan picocell unit shipments will post a compound annual growth rate of 248% over the five-year forecast period; and that in 2011 the global value of voice and data services hosted by small cell devices hit $3.2 billion. … Read more

Rise of the new tech giants
With technology having become ubiquitous, consumerized, cheaper and more equally available to all, the second half of the Information Age will be focused on the exploitation of technology and the information it processes. During this period, the great fortunes are being made by companies like Google and Facebook, which are not traditional makers of technology, said Mark Raskino, vice president of technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc. This might be different compared to the first half, when the primary focus was the technology itself, when great fortunes were made by companies like IBM and Microsoft. Raskino said the majority of companies that gained competitive advantage did so by differential access to the technology from these providers — for example, by having more capital to invest in it or better skills at installing it in their businesses. The Information Age is an 80-year wave of economic and societal change and is in its second half, when business value comes from exploitation of technology rather than from installation. In Gartner’s report, “Strategic Information Management for Competitive Advantage,” released late last month, the firm identified four types of generally useful information — location information, sustainability information, DNA information and social graph information — that are likely to dominate competition this decade, in the way that process information and customer information did in past 15 years. … Read more

Broadcom’s 802.11ac chips debut as ‘5G Wi-Fi’
Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), a semiconductor solutions provider for wired and wireless communications, introduced its first family of 802.11ac (5G Wi-Fi) chips designed for a broad variety of product segments. The new IEEE 802.11ac chips are three times faster and up to six times more power-efficient than equivalent 802.11n solutions, the company said. According to the company, 5G Wi-Fi is the next-generation Wi-Fi standard. “Based on 802.11ac, 5G WiFi is a major evolutionary step from the existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks. Broadcom’s 5G Wi-Fi dramatically improves the wireless range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously,” the company said. “The exponential growth of digital media and wirelessly connected devices requires faster and more reliable ways to connect anytime, anywhere. 5G Wi-Fi solves this media explosion challenge. Broadcom’s vast footprint in consumer electronics devices uniquely positions us to lead the transition to the next generation of Wi-Fi,” said Michael Hurlston, senior vice president of Broadcom’s mobile and wireless group. Broadcom further said that “the increased speed enables consumers to download Web content from a mobile device faster and quickly synch large files, such as videos, in a fraction of the time it would take on a similar 802.11n device. … Read more

AT&T expands LTE footprint
AT&T Mobility has expanded its LTE network to 11 new markets, pushing the network to 26 total markets covering 74 million potential customers. The newly launched markets include: New York; Austin, Texas; Chapel Hill and Raleigh, N.C.; Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; and Phoenix. Consumers are also to be warned that the “4G” marketing used for the LTE service is different than the “4G” marketing AT&T Mobility has been using for its HSPA+-based offering, which while slower does have a much larger footprint. AT&T Mobility originally launched LTE services in mid-September with five markets, and said it expects its LTE network expansion to be completed by 2013, though did not put a coverage number to that expansion. The carrier had said it could cover about 250 million potential customers with its spectrum holdings prior to its failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA, a number that would rise to 97.3% of the U.S. population if the T-Mobile USA deal was approved. Now, without the T-Mobile USA spectrum, as well as those assets given up to Deutsche Telekom as part of the break-up fee, AT&T Mobility’s LTE coverage plans are a bit in flux. … Read more

Sprint outlines its LTE plans
Sprint Nextel’s LTE plans received some clarity as CEO Dan Hesse announced the first four markets to receive the carrier’s new network offering scheduled to launch later this year, with plans for 10 markets in its initial launch. Hesse, speaking at the Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference, said that Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio would lead the carrier’s LTE network rollout. The carrier originally announced its LTE plans last October, noting it planned to begin deploying the technology using the 10 megahertz of G-Band, 1.9 GHz spectrum it controls and updating about 22,000 cell sites. The initial deployment will rely on a somewhat limited 5 megahertz by 5 megahertz channel plan (5×5) that is roughly half the 10×10 spectrum plan Verizon Wireless is using for its LTE service operating in the 700 MHz band. Hesse further clarified Sprint Nextel’s spectrum plans noting that the carrier wanted to move to a 10 x 10 megahertz spectrum channel by 2014 using some of its 14 megahertz of contiguous spectrum it controls in the 800 MHz spectrum holdings it hopes to free up with the scrapping of its iDEN network. … Read more

SK Telecom boosts network speeds
SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM), a South Korean wireless telecommunications operator, announced the successful development of Heterogeneous Network Integration Solution, which enables simultaneous use of different types of networks including 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi to ensure high-speed data service of up to 100 Mbps. “SK Telecom will provide customers with a data service of much greater speed with Heterogeneous Network Integration Solution, which represents one of the company’s world’s top-level network operation technologies,” said Byun Jae-Woan, chief technology officer of SK Telecom. The technology, which the company says is the first of its kind in the world, is capable of seamlessly integrating two heterogeneous networks — such as 3G and Wi-Fi, or LTE and Wi-Fi — to provide a data service, the speed of which is the sum of two network speeds. “Developing a technology that allows simultaneous use of two networks of different technology specification and frequency band have long been an interest of mobile carriers as they face limited radio resources. SK Telecom marks the first in the world to independently develop the core technology,” the company said. “For instance, for high-quality video streaming service users, Heterogeneous Network Integration Solution will reduce video loading time by more than 50% and eliminate buffering during video streams. Moreover, customers will gain Wi-Fi access automatically upon entering a Wi-Fi zone, which removes the need for them to search for Wi-Fi availability at each and every location.” … Read morehttps://www.rcrwireless.com/20120106/devices/south-koreas-sk-telecom-opens-era-of-100-mbps-wireless-data-speeds

Competition for VC funds heats up
Startups in the wireless space will need more than a good idea to secure funding in the year ahead, according to investors and technologists who track early stage funding. “You have to do all the basics — have a team, have an interesting product, and probably be on the market already and validating that with customers,” says author Robert Scoble, the startup liaison officer for Rackspace. Angel investors are more important than ever to early stage startups, with venture capital firms focusing on larger funding rounds and longer time horizons than they have in the past. Veteran investor Bill Payne, a founding member of four angel investment groups, says that the average round of venture capital funding is now $7 million to $8 million, while the average angel round is typically $1 million or less. Therefore, he advises startups to consider successive rounds of angel funding rather than an angel round followed by a venture capital round. “Plan to prove your business model and get to positive cash flow with angel money and without VC investment,” Payne said. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Small cells are gonna be big; Rise of the new tech giants; Early days of LTE … this week in 2012 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.


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