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States Should Issue Public Safety Network RFPs

By Berge Ayvazian

In negotiation theory, the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is the most advantageous course of action a party can take if negotiations fail and a favorable agreement cannot be reached. The BATNA is often seen by negotiators not as a safety net, but rather as the driving force behind a successful negotiation and a key point of leverage in negotiations. When applying this theory to practice, states that opt-in to FirstNet without investing the time to issue an RFP and understand their alternatives inevitably fail to serve their interests and the interests of their constituents.

As of Nov. 2, 2017, 30 states and territories have issued a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Opt-in to FirstNet plans, however, these LOIs are not binding. Major questions remain for the 26+ still mulling the decision, particularly regarding coverage and pricing. States should not and cannot make final opt-in decisions until the final state plans are made available on state portals and the critical information is provided on the grants and payments for the use of Band 14 spectrum and the FirstNet core.

By issuing an RFP, states are able to define their needs, make their demands known and review competitive bids. Any state that does not explore its options regarding FirstNet is doing a great disservice to its constituents and first responders. Only by issuing an RFP, can states ‘take control of their own destiny’ in getting the coverage, capacity, service quality, low cost and revenue sharing potential made possible by FirstNet. States should not be rushed to accept the initial proposals made by FirstNet to serve their public safety needs for the next 25 years.

After the award of the $6.5 billion federal contract for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), the launch of a public FirstNet portal in June provided the first wave of information on the status and features of the new first responder network to the general public. This public portal includes a service coverage map, a list of supported devices, potential software solutions, and further details on the network’s app store and developer program. The public FirstNet portal was targeted to FirstNet subscribers, including primary and extended primary users. However, this information is incomplete and insufficient for states to make decisions.

The first concrete details on FirstNet’s pricing, network design and geographic coverage were released by FirstNet and AT&T in draft state plans available only to state officials via a secure portal. The detailed information on network design, technology and pricing is considered confidential and only accessible to state single points of contact (SPOC) and their designees. This information is designed to allow governors to review and make ‘opt-in/opt-out’ decisions by mid-December 2017.

Since June, several states have complained that the AT&T draft plans do not provide:

  • complete state-wide public safety network coverage in both urban and rural areas
  • dedicated purpose-built “public safety-grade” network using Band 14 spectrum
  • local control by the states and their designated public safety officials
  • any specific pricing for public safety users reflecting their unique requirements
  • any payment or revenue share back to the states

There is still an active debate as to whether ‘opt-in’ decisions by governors are binding until after final state plans are issued. States and territories have been given a statutorily mandated 90-day window after they receive the final state plans and other required information from NTIA and FirstNet to decide whether to opt-in or opt-out of having AT&T build radio access networks (RANs) in their states. States were given an additional 180 days following this 90-day window to select a vendor for their state alternative plan, and retain the option to “opt-in” to the final state if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their RFP process. Wireless 20/20 believes that more states will be issuing RFPs, and opt-in decisions will be disputed until the nal state plans are revealed.

Berge Ayvazian, a principal consultant, joined Wireless 20/20 as a Senior Analyst in 2009, following more than 20 years as a senior telecom industry analyst and strategy consultant with Yankee Group, where he served as CEO and co-chairman of the 4G World and Mobile Internet World conference programs.

Ayvazian is now conducting 4G Network and Mobile Internet research on the convergence of broadband and mobility and the evolving business strategies of mobile service providers and their technology vendors. He leads an integrated 4G/LTE practice to help operators and their vendors to develop their 4G technology roadmaps and build a complete mobile Internet business case leveraging the Wireless 20/20 WiROI™ 4G Business Case Analysis Tools. He has used these tools to develop operator 4G network business cases, and address the most challenging modeling problems associated with Wi-Fi Offload, Small Cell deployments and 4G networks to serve venues such as stadiums, airports and train stations.

Ayvazian is also the Program Director and Conference Chair of UBM Tech’s Tower & Small Cell Summit and 4G World conferences in the US and India. He also serves a frequent speaker at other telecom industry events worldwide. He has been a regular contributor of analyst notes, white papers and webcasts for Light Reading, Light Reading India, Wireless 20/20 and 4G Trends media and community portals.

The Advantages of Wireless Backhaul for Small Cells

February 28, 2017 —

Using a combination of unlicensed frequencies, phased antenna arrays for beam steering, and semiconductor chips initially designed for consumer products makes the difference in providing affordable backhaul for small cells.


By Don Bishop

Executive Editor, AGL Magazine

rp_Don-Bishop-200x300-1-200x300.jpgThe cost and difficulty of providing backhaul to small cells can make the difference in whether carriers would construct the access points. In the early days of cellular network construction, carriers were reluctant to share antenna space on their towers with competing carriers. Similar reluctance to share small cell installations with other carriers either provides a competitive advantage or hampers network densification, depending on one’s point of view.

Randall Schwartz, a senior analyst and consultant with Wireless 20/20, led a session about small cell connectivity at the Tower & Small Cell Summit in September 2016. He said when connecting the small cell to the wireless network costs more than the small cell itself, it drives Wireless 20/20 crazy as it develops business plans for small cell deployment. “If you can buy a small cell for $3,000, but a broadband connection with wireless is $5,000, that’s an immediate red flag for us,” he said.

Schwartz questioned whether wireless carriers should view small cells as dedicated resources (one carrier per small cell) versus shared resources, the way carriers share antenna space on towers.

A panelist in the session, Nitin Madan, product line manager at semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom, is responsible for his company’s 60-GHz products and some of its Wi-Fi combination products for mobile phones. He said that mobile network operators pursue deployment of access points such as small cells primarily to increase capacity, sometimes referred to as network densification, and extending coverage is not a high priority for them.

“The only way we can provide gigabit speed to the next billion people on a mobile platform is with network densification,” Madan said. “Although that’s well understood, many underestimate the logistics. Each of these small infrastructure nodes has to be supplied with power and fiber or some other high-bandwidth backhaul. This is more expensive than what we imagine it could be if installers have to dig up the streets. The permitting process of going municipality by municipality, community by community, blows up any business case.”

Three Elements

Broadcom’s effort to make the process of connecting the small cells with a fiber hub over multiple hubs wirelessly as inexpensive as possible rests on three elements: its use of radio-frequency (RF) spectrum; phased antennas; and high-volume, consumer-grade silicon devices (semiconductors).

First, Broadcom tries to use unlicensed frequencies in the band from 57 GHz to 71 GHz. “There’s plenty of spectrum out there, with no upfront cost to obtaining permission to use the frequencies,” Madan said.

Second, the company tries to use phased antenna arrays for electronic beam-steering. “Using beam-steering allows you to be pretty sloppy in your deployment,” Madan said. “You do not need two dish antennas precisely pointing at each other anymore, because of electronic beam-forming. Each node can find the next node or backup node in case the first node is blocked for some reason.”

Third, as much as possible, Broadcom uses high-volume consumer silicon that goes into the mobile cell phones so that, at the outset, the components the company uses have a certain base volume that subsidized much of the research and development. “This is important, and it’s also not traditional in the infrastructure industry,” Madan said. “Because we use consumer silicon, each wireless link is not five-nines reliable. But you can do mesh networking to make sure that the network, as a whole, is robust.” (Five-nines reliability refers to making the connection 99.999 percent reliable, which represents a maximum of about five hours of outage in a year’s time.)

High Frequencies

In the semiconductor business, cost is a function of volume, and Madan said Broadcom uses derivatives of technologies architected for consumer electronics to control the cost. He said the architected solutions tend to be modular.

Path loss at 60 GHz is extremely high. “It’s a hostile frequency because of oxygen absorption and other effects that reduce range, Madan said. Engineers can increase the range by increasing the amount of power that the antenna panel can output, which Broadcom does by increasing the number of antennas. Madan said the use of 60-GHz frequencies makes it simple to increase the number of antennas because they are so small. “With the form factor of an iPhone, you can have units that can communicate 300 meters line-of-site with a good margin of signal strength at multigigabit-per-second speeds,” he said.

To serve the 4G small cell market, Broadcom makes use of the technology it developed for Wi-Fi, including the intellectual property of the semiconductor chips themselves. The company also uses software it developed for Wi-Fi test infrastructure so its customers won’t have so steep a learning curve — because they’re familiar with products the company already makes.

Moreover, Madan said the company views the market as too new for accurate product forecasts. “I cannot tell you today what RF range the market needs to connect a small cell site to the closest fiber over wireless,” he said. “That’s why we’ve tried to make our system as flexible as possible, so that as people learn and discover the optimum configuration, it does not demand us to tape out and design new chips for each iteration.”

The RF side offers Broadcom flexibility, because it can arbitrarily increase the number of antennas the RF module has to support. Meanwhile, on the baseband processing side, most of the timing’s sense of logic is in software that the company can change with a firmware upgrade.

“But the real flexibility comes in the way we architected the RF front end,” Madan said. “We’re optimistic about it because, with the use of phased antenna arrays, you’re not broadcasting energy in every direction. We focus a narrow beam of energy toward the receiver. This allows us to use the spectrum more wisely.”

Broadcom wants to replace the fiber that comes to the small cell site. “We want to make wireless fiber on the backend.” Madan said. “How the user accesses that network, I’m completely agnostic to — it could be 5G; it could be Wi-Fi. At Broadcom, we like Wi-Fi. We have a strong feeling that 80 percent of all wireless data goes over Wi-Fi, and we don’t see that changing.”

Especially for deployments that call for non-line-of-sight wireless connections, Madan said he is bullish on the Citizens Broadband Radio Service, which allows access to frequencies in the 3.5-GHz band. “Indoors, CBRS could be a big advance coupled with our technological innovations such as massive multiple-input, multiple-output communications. With line-of-sight wireless connections, millimeter-wave frequencies still have some advantages.”

The CBRS and millimeter-wave frequencies would complement each other well, Madan said. He said the days in which the telecom industry operated on a cost-plus model may be behind us. “We need to find ways to cut the cost, because I don’t think we can pass on the cost as price increases to the end customers anymore,” he said.

Enterprise Is the Current Buzz, But Large Venues Are Still the Biz

December 20, 2016 — 

By Mike Collado

Principal Consultant, Wireless 20/20

rp_Mike-Collado-150x150.jpgIn Roman theology, Janus – the god of transition – is famously depicted as having two faces to represent the dichotomous nature of change which includes beginnings and endings, opportunities and threats, and wins and losses. This ancient perspective is still applicable today. As author and Fortune columnist Dan Lyons observes, “Transformation is hard – but not changing can sometimes be fatal.”

For the wireless industry, transition manifests as megatrends as well as sector-specific trends, and informs that successful outcomes are contingent upon organizations getting the right groups to focus on the right things at the right times.

Throughout this multi-part series, we have examined how 5G, Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), Public-Safety and E911 Location, and the Tier 2 Enterprise Market will impact the in-building wireless ecosystem in 2017 and beyond. Specifically, we have forecasted when each trend will be felt, and made recommendations on which key functional areas (R&D, Marketing, Sales) should be focused on them in 2017.

Our final trend is the Tier 1 Venue Market.

Opportunities Remain, But Competition and Market Penetration Is Higher

tier-1-illustrationIn-building wireless continues to be a vibrant industry for simple reasons that include the fact that the macro cellular network was never designed for indoor wireless use, buildings obstruct radio frequencies, and business cases exist to fund high-profile projects. To wit, a recent market study from ABI Research forecasts the worldwide in-building wireless market will more than double in revenue by 2020, with the market anticipated to top $9 billion by 2020.

The mainstay for the in-building wireless industry is large public venues such as stadiums and arenas, airports, subways, convention centers, shopping malls, casinos and resorts where it is economically advantageous to carriers and venue owners to empower wireless users to “sit and stay” as opposed to leave the facility to use their wireless devices. These venues, which are typically 500k square feet or larger, are known as the Tier 1 Venue Market.

DAS tends to be the preferred solution to address this market segment for both technical and business reasons. Not only does DAS effectively deliver coverage and capacity, but also efficiently uses spectrum, manages interference, scales for future capacity requirements, and adapts to technology changes. In addition, the ability of DAS to support multiple carriers on a single infrastructure is the lynchpin for neutral-host business models where ROI is achieved for the network owner through multiple revenue streams generated by carriers who pay monthly fees to participate on the network.

According to data collected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the Tier 1 Venue Market consists of approximately 8,000 buildings. Considering this rather small universe on which the in-building ecosystem has focused almost exclusively, Wireless 20/20 estimates this segment to be nearly 35 percent addressed.

Given both market penetration levels and the downtrend in carrier spending for in-building projects as a strategy to densify their networks, we observe that the Tier 1 Venue Market has transitioned from a growth market to a mature market.

Shifting Strategy for a Mature Market

As the Tier 1 Venue Market progresses to become a mature market, the in-building ecosystem will adapt and evolve go-to-market strategies in key ways:

  • Market commoditization will reprioritize price, channel strategy and brand differentiation above product innovation as key value drivers.
  • Focus will shift from coveted, but highly-contested and limited “greenfield” projects to more plentiful “brownfield” opportunities where older in-building networks require “forklift” replacement and more recent networks need to be upgraded to support AWS and LTE-A.
  • In response to fewer market opportunities, organizations will seek to capture greater customer share-of-wallet by expanding their solutions portfolio through a build, buy or partner approach.
  • Ecosystem members will look to dominate and defend market sub-sectors such as verticals (e.g., airports) or geographies (e.g., mid-Atlantic) through specialized and distinctive product and service value propositions.
  • Operational challenges will be addressed through improved education, simplification of the design and commissioning of the network, streamlining platforms to make it easier to order and deploy gear, and significantly more sophisticated network monitoring and management solutions.

Timeframes and Stakeholder Focus

tier-1-timelineAlthough the Tier 1 Venue segment has become a mature market, that does not mean it is no longer viable. On the contrary, it will continue to account for most of the U.S. in-building wireless spend for the next few years. That’s because the technology toolkit, business models and distribution channels are optimized, and value propositions are aligned with stakeholder requirements. Similarly, DAS will continue to be the optimal solution that gets deployed.

In 2017, R&D, marketing and sales will be actively engaged in the Tier 1 Venue Market. While innovation is not a key value driver in a mature market, it nonetheless remains critical. R&D should focus on reducing CAPEX and OPEX through a combination of hardware and software technology to simplify deployments, and enable virtual upgrades to the network and fewer truck rolls. Marketing should focus on developing differentiated value propositions and creating “champions” among distribution channels through education, lead generation, success stories and other co-marketing programs. Lastly, sales should focus most of its efforts on the Tier 1 Venue Market where account executives will still find the available opportunities to make their number in 2017.

In summary, maturation of the Tier 1 Venue Market is going to usher evolutionary and revolutionary change that can manifest as either opportunity or threat to participants within the in-building ecosystem depending on how they position themselves. Will your organization be prepared?

Mike Collado helps companies win mindshare and capture marketshare. He is a Principal Consultant at Wireless 20/20 and former Vice President of Marketing at SOLiD. He also serves as a strategic advisor for both industry and nonprofit organizations and is an author, blogger and frequent speaker at wireless industry events. Learn more about Wireless 20/20 and the WiROI™

CAPEX and OPEX network planning tool at www.wireless2020.com. Contact Mike at mike@mikecollado.net.


Indoor Public Safety, E911 Location May See Growth

December 13 2016 — 

By Mike Collado

Principal Consultant, Wireless 20/20

mike-colladoChange is often viewed as a catalyst for opportunity. Yet the SWOT planning method, which considers the strategic viability of a business plan or market initiative by assessing the upside (strengths and opportunities) and downside (weaknesses and threats) for both internal and external dynamics, informs that change can also be inauspicious.

Given the observation of the philosopher Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change,” business leaders within the wireless industry have much to consider as they seek to identify the right ventures for their organization in response to both megatrends and sector-specific trends.

This article arrives as the midway point in a series that investigates five key trends and how they’ll impact the in-building wireless ecosystem in 2017 and beyond. So far, we’ve examined 5G and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), including when each trend will be felt by the industry and which key functional areas (R&D, Marketing, Sales) should be focused on it in 2017.

Today, we tackle public-safety communications and E911 location services.

An Industry Shaped by Regulations and Requirements

ps-illustrationThe importance of indoor public-safety communications and location services cannot be overstated. Public-safety personnel must be able to communicate and coordinate efforts. Likewise, the general public needs to be able to call for help as well as receive alerts and instructions. Plus, knowing only the horizontal location of the caller is insufficient – the vertical location or z-axis is essential information during an emergency when seconds can determine an outcome.

That’s because, according to Chief Alan Perdue, the executive director of the Safer Buildings Coalition (disclosure: I serve as a board member), an estimated 80 percent of all wireless calls originate or terminate inside buildings. Similarly, most emergency incidents occur indoors.

These facts have not lost on the International Code Council (ICC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) whose bodies created the first national code for indoor public-safety communications in 2009. This model language was elevated to the technical provisions section of the code in 2012, and it is expected that it will be further refined in 2017. Related, FirstNet has hinted that in-building communication is essential, although the independent authority has not indicated whether indoors will be included in its scope to provide emergency responders with a nationwide high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety.

Location has also received scrutiny. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stated that, “(The) gap in the performance of 911 location service needs to be closed: the public rightfully expects 911 location technologies to work effectively regardless of whether a 911 call originates indoors or outdoors.” The FCC has set forth location rules for both horizontal and vertical location in which certain increasing benchmarks must be met over a timeframe of seven years.

Together, these Fire Code and FCC requirements represent changes that signal potential opportunity. In February 2016, ABI Research forecasted the public safety worldwide spend for DAS will double to $1.7 billion over the next five years. And in a move that advances the lucrative commercial indoor location-based services market, smartphone OEMs have made Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) a standard which will likely spur innovators to develop other applications including public safety.

Nuances Distinguish Indoor Public-Safety from Indoor Commercial Cellular

Members of the in-building wireless ecosystem that view indoor public-safety communications and E911 location as an adjacent market to capture greater customer share-of-wallet will likely find more differences than similarities to commercial cellular in their go-to-market strategy:

·       Public safety is a regulated industry which means that products and network performance “shall” – not “should” – meet specified requirements and standards. Failure to comply significantly impacts the venue owner.

·       Buyers, influencers and channel partners tend to be stakeholders the commercial in-building wireless ecosystem has not consistently engaged before. They include Venue Owners, Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), A&E firms and electrical contractors.

·       The buying decision is not based upon return-on-investment (ROI) but, instead compliance with an unfunded mandate. As a result, price is the key consideration.

·       OEMs should expect to reap lower revenue per project while shouldering higher manufacturing costs. That’s because the infrastructure needed for public-safety is approximately a quarter to a third of that for commercial cellular. Plus, products must be “hardened” to meet certain unique public safety-grade requirements which include NEMA Type 4 enclosures, 24-hour battery backup capabilities, dry contacts for fire panel connections, filtering against competing signals, and red paint.

·       The market is as nascent as indoor commercial cellular was in 2002, which means that the likelihood of a fundamental understanding of problem-solution scenarios among AHJs, CRE and A&E stakeholders is low.

Timeframes and Stakeholder Focus

ps-timelineA market currently exists to address indoor public-safety communications due to prevailing code requirements. But, given the aforementioned nuances, organizations should weigh the risks and rewards. It is likely that momentum for this market as well as E911 location won’t meaningfully increase until five years when codes become more stringent and uniform, LTE public-safety is launched through FirstNet, and location requirement standards become higher.

Conceivably, R&D, Marketing and Sales groups among in-building ecosystem organizations will be actively engaged in 2017. R&D should manage the product portfolio via a build-buy-or-partner approach with the understanding that the majority of buildings within the foreseeable future will be addressed by BDA Signal Boosters, not Active DAS and Small Cell solutions. To fill the information void, Marketing should develop programs to engage and educate AHJs and Venue stakeholders. Finally, Sales should similarly liaise with public-safety and E911 location buyers, and cultivate channel partners who possess both venue owner relationships and expertise in local and regional public-safety deployments.

In summary, requirements for indoor public-safety communications and E911 location services is going to usher evolutionary and revolutionary change that can manifest as either opportunity or threat to participants within the in-building ecosystem depending on how they position themselves. Will your organization be prepared?

Next trend: The Tier 2 Venue Market.

Mike Collado helps companies win mindshare and capture marketshare. He is a Principal Consultant at Wireless 20/20 and former Vice President of Marketing at SOLiD. He also serves as a strategic advisor for both industry and nonprofit organizations and is an author, blogger and frequent speaker at wireless industry events. Contact him at mike@mikecollado.net.


Bridging the In-Building Wireless Divide Between Carriers, Enterprises

December 8, 2016

By Mike Collado

Principal Consultant, Wireless 20/20

rp_Mike-Collado-150x150-1.jpgChange often has a dichotomous impact with elements that are both good and bad; beneficial and painful; opportunistic and threatening. But change is also inevitable.

Like it or not, evolutionary and revolutionary changes are afoot within the wireless industry. From megatrends which have pervasive tidal wave effects to sector-specific trends that have smaller ripple effects, these changes will present seemingly contradictory implications for the in-building ecosystem.

As organizations plan for 2017 and beyond, they must focus the right groups on the right things at the right times.

This multi-part series examines five key trends and how they’ll impact the in-building wireless ecosystem in 2017 and beyond. Related, we will forecast when each trend will be felt by the industry and advise which key functional areas (R&D, Marketing, Sales) should be focused on it in 2017.

First up was 5G. Next, it’s Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).

Using Shared Spectrum to Enable Others to Connect to the Mobile Core Network

Earlier this year, the FCC opened 150 megahertz of spectrum (3550-3700 MHz) for commercial use. Known as CBRS, the band is located partly in the 3GPP TDD Band 42, and partly in TDD Band 43.

cbrs-spectrum-diagramIts backers, which include Ericsson, Federated Wireless, Google, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ruckus (part of Brocade), envision an industry ecosystem that leverages shared spectrum to deliver LTE-based solutions on a massive scale and serve as a catalyst for 5G. Simply stated, CBRS represents a new frontier of change.

CBRS addresses – among other things – coverage and capacity indoors as well as outdoors in dense urban environments. Notably, it enables enterprises, neutral host service providers and large venue owners to become mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and deploy carrier-grade LTE networks on which mobile subscribers can roam. It’s a win-win-win: unresolved and underserved venues and locations benefit from having wireless service; subscribers benefit from a high quality of service experience; and carriers theoretically benefit from a significantly cost-effective shared network, which provides an expanded network footprint.

cbrs-illustrationAs pragmatic as CBRS sounds, there exists several important obstacles. First, carrier approvals remain forthcoming to connect these networks to the core network. In addition, commercial Spectrum Allocation Server (SAS) administrators have yet to be appointed by the FCC to prioritize, assign and manage frequencies licensed within the 3.5 GHz band. Last, CBRS chipsets must be incorporated in smartphones. When the first carrier approves, expect other carriers to follow suit. Meanwhile, SAS vendors are currently in interoperability testing. Look for CBRS chipsets in smartphones as soon as six months but more likely 18 months.

A Key to Unlock and Address In-Building Wireless Markets

Although clear answers do not currently exist, CBRS has the potential to reshape parts of the in-building wireless ecosystem landscape in profound ways:

·       Venue owners will be able to control their own cellular destiny and no longer depend on the carriers or third parties to bring service to the building. Instead, the venue owner will pay a nominal annual subscription to operate their own private CBRS network in return for possible revenue sharing from the operators in the form of modest roaming fees.

·       The neutral host model will be reimagined as no longer the owner and operator of multiple networks at a single location, but, instead, as a consolidator of many CBRS networks into the core networks.

·       DAS and Small Cell OEMs will innovate products to deploy CBRS networks indoors and outdoors. CBRS small cells will feed DAS head ends and use the distribution efficiencies of DAS for indoor deployments in certain enterprise venues that require multi-operator support. Meanwhile, small cells will evolve from single-operator to multi-operator, and offer the value proposition of low total cost of ownership and ease of deployment to address smaller enterprise venues as well as dense urban outdoor applications.

·       Lines will continue to blur between in-building cellular networks and Wi-Fi networks including infrastructure sharing as well as convergence of small cell radios and access points.

·       Systems integrators and installers will be in demand to deploy and maintain equipment to meet demand within unresolved and underserved market segments such as the Tier 2 (also known as the Enterprise or Middleprise).

Timeframes and Stakeholder Focus

cbrs-timeframe-illustrationCBRS is still nascent. However, with strong support from ecosystem stakeholders that represent carriers, the core network, smartphone chipsets, neutral hosts and OEMs, it’s likely that CBRS is poised to accelerate in the United States and begin to have an impact on the in-building wireless industry in about three years from now. Expect other countries to also adopt the shared spectrum model.

Therefore, of the key functional areas within in-building ecosystem organizations, R&D should be well engaged in 2017 to develop and execute on product roadmaps to support CBRS and/or interoperability testing. Marketing should be sharing the roadmap with the analyst community but not yet promoting among the distribution channel.

In summary, CBRS is going to usher evolutionary and revolutionary change that can manifest as either opportunity or threat to participants within the in-building ecosystem depending on how they position themselves. Will your organization be prepared?

Next trend: Public-Safety Communications and e911 Location.

Mike Collado helps companies win mindshare and capture marketshare. He is a Principal Consultant at Wireless 20/20 and former Vice President of Marketing at SOLiD. He also serves as a strategic advisor for both industry and nonprofit organizations and is an author, blogger and frequent speaker at wireless industry events. Contact him at mike@mikecollado.net.