Pierson Wireless Blog

FCC Commissioners Express Interest in Redesignating Public-Safety 4.9 GHz Band for Commercial Use

FCC commissioners initiated a proceeding to examine potential new rules that might spur greater use of the 4.9 GHz spectrum band currently dedicated to public safety. Several FCC commissioners said less than 4% of potential licenses use the 4.9 GHz band, which the FCC designated for public-safety use in 2002 and has since been the subject of several policy revisions. KEY TAKEAWAYS: FCC commissioners unanimously initiated a proceeding that might spur greater use of the 4.9 GHz spectrum band Currently the 4.9 GHz spectrum band is dedicated to public safety, including various spectrum-sharing schemes The possibility exists for redesignating of the airwaves for commercial use “Our goals here are simple: to promote more productive use of the band, to foster the development of new technologies, and to spur investment. We believe that we will unleash the potential of this band with the proposals that we consider here—from aggregating channels into larger blocks to facilitate broadband use to opening the door to more spectrum sharing.” “In light of the underutilization of this band by public safety for non-public-safety purposes and the relative progress of FirstNet, I would argue—and I know some of my colleagues agree with this—that it is time to redesignate this valuable spectrum for commercial use,” O’Rielly said. “Today’s notice provides the opportunity to contemplate whether this spectrum, which is located close approximately to the 5 GHz unlicensed band, should be allocated for unlicensed or licensed use.” Original Source: http://urgentcomm.com/fcc/fcc-commissioners-express-interest-redesignating-public-safety-49-ghz-band-commercial-use

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FCC Votes 3-2 to Ease Small Cell Infrastructure Deployment

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently voted along party lines 3-2 to make it easier for operators to deploy small cell infrastructure in an effort to quicken network densification in support of 5G commercialization.   This decision exempts small cell deployments from the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and National Environmental Policy Act review process and eliminates the requirement for environmental assessments solely based on a proposed location being in a flood plain.   A report titled Impact of Federal Regulatory Reviews on Small Cell Deployment was released March 12 by Accenture estimated that operators could save over a billion dollars as a result of this decision. KEY TAKEAWAYS: FCC voted 3-2 to make it easier to deploy small cell infrastructure The vote will quicken the deployment of network densification A report titled Impact of Federal Regulatory Reviews on Small Cell Deployment found 29% of deployment costs are related to NHPA/NEPA regulations Meredith Atwell Baker, president and CEO of industry association CTIA, said the move “will help America win the global 5G race by significantly reducing the number of months to deploy 5G networks and decreasing the cost to build out new small cells by almost a third. The reforms will make a big difference in how quickly these more powerful networks can be installed for consumers and communities across the nation.” Original Source: https://www.rcrwireless.com/20180323/policy/fcc-votes-to-ease-small-cell-siting-rules-tag17 Additional information: https://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2018/db0301/DOC-349528A1.pdf

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The Debate Over Who Pays for In-Building Cellular for Commercial Real Estate?

It’s simple: a modern enterprise needs in-building cellular coverage and capacity. If they don’t have it, they lose out a huge market that expects it. However, for commercial real estate owners and managers, there remains a gap in market education. Not only that, but there lacks a consensus in regards to who pays for the service. The options are: bill–the carrier or carriers, the building owner or manager, or the tenant. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  There remains a gap in market education especially in commercial real estate During the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s HetNet Expo, there were overlapping points of view with some variation marked by the former’s position with a company that manages buildings as opposed to the latter’s role with a company that owns properties It all comes down to market education “We are in a different position,” Berezowsky said. “We are managing properties on behalf of numerous clients, while Nick has to educate a handful of his peers…we have to educate every single one of our clients. It’s all about educating the enterprise community as to why they need coverage and capacity in their buildings. That’s been a large part of our challenge.” “Education is really important,” Stello agreed. “We’re a real estate company, not an IT company. The education comes over time. It came over time and the appreciation, if you will, and the value of what we’ve been doing has really hit home when you have a 250,000-square-foot lease that’s predicated on technology.” “It’s not really marketing. It’s truly education. The biggest hurdle you’re going to have with the enterprise community is truly educating them on why they need coverage. It is something that’s necessary. The number of enterprise clients that are aware of what they want, what the solutions are, it has changed. It has increased.” Original Source: http://www.rcrwireless.com/20171012/network-infrastructure/in-building-cellular-commercial-real-estate/

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New Technologies Bring Private LTE Networks into View

In October, Harbor Research of Boulder, Colorado, published “The Private LTE Opportunity for Industrial and Commercial IoT” to explain how a new generation of wireless technology — private LTE networks — is unleashing an age of pervasive connectivity and awareness that is fostering entirely new and more efficient modes of customer interaction and service connectivity, as the report put it. In the report, the term wireless connectivity implies universal connectivity. However, Harbor Research says universal connectivity is yet to be seen in business-critical domains such as manufacturing, supply chain, transportation systems and energy. Interesting revelation. KEY TAKEAWAYS: The report says that the current state of industrial and business critical environments point to an inflection point in networking technology evolution. The report draws the conclusion that the private LTE model introduces a potential remedy to the current fragmentation of the industrial wireless market. The report cites another instance of ecosystem innovation in which Huawei has effectively deployed private LTE solutions across shipping ports, mine sites and oil exploration platforms achieving better coverage, capacity and availability that improves the overall security, efficiency and sustainability of operations. “According to Harbor Research, private LTE networking technology — LTE-based wireless technology for local and independent networks — enables users and customers to integrate diverse sensors, machines, people, vehicles and more across a wide range of applications and usage scenarios. The report says private LTE networking technology treats user concerns — from reliability and service quality, to security and compliance — as challenges that can be addressed by a single, scalable wireless networking solution that makes use of LTE’s technology and ecosystem benefits.” “In taking this perspective, private LTE networks are jumping ahead of the current market confusion about wireless connectivity and are re-defining how value is created from devices and data,” the report reads. “Key solutions for this new breed of private LTE network are LTE-based solutions using the U.S.-specific Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) 3.5-GHz band, MulteFire LTE technology for global unlicensed spectrum such as the 5-GHz band, or dedicated licensed spectrum.”

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The Making of a DAS at the Country’s Largest State Fair in the U.S.

State and County fairs appear to be in our distance future as spring emerges but to the participants and organizers, preparations are in full swing.  Livestock are being groomed, concerts are being planned and recipes are being perfected all for the intended purpose of creating magical moments during the fair that will be posted, streamed, tweeted or otherwise shared.  Making sure the wireless networks are ready to capture and share those moments take preparation as well. At the country’s largest fair, The Minnesota State Fair with an average daily attendance of between 100,000 to 250,000 people, a distributed antenna system or DAS was deployed in 2017.  This multi-carrier DAS provided a long-term scalable solution for the operators of the State Fair, extended the reach of coverage for the licensed operators and simplified how the operators of the State Fair and the licensed operators interacted to meet wireless user needs. Deployment of DAS like the one deployed at the Minnesota State Fair enable fairgoers to send and receive text, share pictures and video on social media and share their fair experience with friends. KEY TAKEAWAYS:  Traditionally cell carriers prepare for intense foot-traffic events by deploying Cells-on-Wheels (COWs) to extend cellular data coverage. A DAS project the scale of the Minnesota State Fair DAS install requires an unprecedented amount of planning and governing body pre-approvals before ground-breaking can even take place. With a hybrid indoor/outdoor DAS comes certain environmental challenges that can affect the performance of data delivery. “Now the DAS is installed, and for 12 days in late August and early September the Minnesota State Fair will open its gates to almost 2 million visitors – roughly the population of Nebraska – and another 15,000 – 20,000 vendors, State Fair employees, and related business and administrative staff.  Almost every one of them will have some form of smart phone, tablet or connected device (Or even all three) and will have the demand for text, media sharing and possibly even a phone call or two. “

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Consumer vs Industrial: What Building Owners Need to Know About DAS Compliance

While virtually all cellphone users in this country are served by at least one wireless provider, there are still gaps in coverage which are to be found on the perimeters of large service areas, and in these areas, it’s fairly common for users to experience less robust data speeds, possibly dropped calls, and sometimes even a total loss of service. To help cover these service gaps, signal boosters can be very useful, and are commonly employed in rural areas or indoor facilities with notoriously weak service. The intent of FCC 13 – 21 is to clarify and announce legal means by which signal boosters can be used to improve wireless service in those areas where it is presently deficient or spotty, and in those areas where it’s blocked by some kind of indoor shielding. In order to be sure that the usage of such boosters does not conflict with public safety networks, private networks, or commercial wireless networks, the FCC has enacted a set of technical rules which all signal boosters will be required to comply with. According to the FCC, its rules do not favor any one technology over another, the rules will promote huge improvements to signal boosters currently available in the marketplace, and they will encourage further technical enhancements in the coming years. Legal Boosting of Licensed Frequencies Part of the framework for FCC 13 – 21 is that it establishes two classes of signal boosters, those being industrial signal boosters and consumer signal boosters. Consumer signal boosters are those meant for personal usage, and which are intended to improve wireless coverage for a car, boat, recreational vehicle, or inside the home. These consumer signal boosters will be licensed under certain requirements, for instance registering the booster with a provider, confirming that the booster itself is FCC-certified to meet the Network Protection Standard, and operating the booster in such a manner that it does not interfere with existing networks. Industrial signal boosters are intended to provide service for many users simultaneously, and to cover much larger areas like hospitals, tunnels, airports, college campuses, and stadiums. These will require an FCC license, and must be properly labeled as having FCC approval. Installation of industrial signal boosters must be by qualified installers or licensees, to ensure that all standards are met during the process. What does FCC 13-21 Actually Say? All such consumer signal boosters and industrial signal boosters must go through a two-part process to transition toward compliance with FCC 13-21, the first of these being that all applications for registration of either type of booster currently on file with the FCC will be rejected as of February 20, 2013, if it does not comply with the new rules imposed for registration. Secondly, all new signal boosters sold in the U.S. after March 1, 2014, must meet the new requirements of the FCC, or they will be considered to be illegal equipment. The stringent measures adopted by the FCC for the usage of legal signal boosters are designed

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The Growing Importance of Cloud Orchestration

Despite lingering concerns about security, reliability and, yes, costs, the enterprise is still very eager to migrate workloads to the cloud. And not surprisingly, cloud providers are equally eager to take on enterprise workloads. So what’s the problem? From an operational perspective, the main stumbling block appears to be the lack of effective tools to manage the data environment once it leaves the confines of the data center. And this becomes particularly worrisome when, as is often the case, data is not limited to a single provider but is divided among many. This is why cloud orchestration continues to be a primary, albeit elusive, goal for the enterprise. According to Persistence Market Research, orchestration is on pace to top $20 billion in market value by 2025, representing 14.6 percent compound annual growth. The main driver will be the increased use of SaaS-based management solutions, which are becoming increasingly embedded in broader cloud management stacks. As the need for more efficient infrastructure grows, these platforms will naturally seek to spread workloads to the lowest-cost provider while still maintaining centralized control for the data owner. And this phenomenon is equally prevalent among small businesses and multinational conglomerates. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Cloud orchestration, in fact, is becoming such an important element to emerging data infrastructure that software developers are starting to break it out as a key business initiative. Orchestration within a Linux ecosystem is helpful, but many organizations would no doubt want to extend that to other operating systems, as well. New releases provides enhanced security features like event auditing, device management and file system access control, as well as automated workflow management across distributed, heterogeneous RHEL deployments. In addition, the system supports multiple chip-level architectures like IBM Power and z System and 64-Bit ARM. “While it is always helpful to find just the right infrastructure to support a key workload, too much variety can lead to inefficiency, cost overruns and lost data.” Original Source: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/the-growing-importance-of-cloud-orchestration.html

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Unlocking the Value of NFV and SDN

With the 5G New Radio specification, both non-standalone and standalone variants, tracking for finalization by the end of this year and mid-2018, respectively, operators around the world are coming to grips with the crucial role of network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). Simply put, in order for 5G to deliver on its promises of ultra-high-capacity and ultra-low-latency in support of three primary use cases–enhanced mobile broadband, support for massive IoT and mission critical communications–network operations must be automated. As communications service providers take on the monumental task of re-inventing their networks, a cohesive strategy for virtualization of key network functions is imperative. To further complicate this seachange, NFV and SDN require not only technological advancements, but also organizational restructuring to a devops model. And in order to combat churn and keep delivering the quality of experience consumer and enterprise end users demand, service assurance has to be top-of-mind throughout this process. EXFO takes a three-fold approach in supporting customers on the road to gaining software control of the network: A smooth migration to network function virtualization with a keen focus on the integration of physical, hybrid and virtualized infrastructures; Automating previously time-consuming, manual processes in a manner that ensures return on investment; And full integration of service assurance best practices into a new devops structure that breaks down internal silos and maximizes the vast amount of data communications service providers collect. In a recent discussion with RCR Wireless News, EXFO Solution Architect Ihab Mahna pointed out that, while operating applications in a cloud environment is nothing new, in the context of communications service providers, becoming truly cloud native “is the next step. It really comes with the evolution of any customer as we see them progress in deploying virtualization. The challenge with that comes when you ask, ‘How can you leverage virtualization to increase performance?’ We want to build perfect networks on imperfect infrastructure. You can buy cheaper equipment and achieve better performance–this is really the value of virtualization and monitoring and service assurance is key to that.” KEY TAKEAWAYS: To take it step-by-step, the move toward virtualization–then automation–involves orchestrating your virtual network function with a service orchestration tool, conducting service assurance, validating instrumentation, then real-time, analytics-based performance monitoring. This dynamic approach to measuring network resource usage, and leveraging that information to create responsive policy machinations that, in turn, inform the actions of the orchestrator, essentially creates a closed loop. Flexibility is a one time thing, agility is the ability to be flexibile all the time. “Definition of closed looped analytics. Ihab: here we’re focused on closed loop feedback on service quality analytics and monitoring through the orchestrator to provide the high quality zero-touch service.” Original Source: https://www.rcrwireless.com/20171010/sponsored/unlocking-value-nfv-sdn  

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T-Mobile US Prioritizing 600 MHz Repack in New York City Metro Area

T-Mobile US continues its effort to aggressively deploy its 600 MHz holdings. Following activation of rural sites in Maine and Wyoming, the carrier is now focusing its efforts on the high-value, high-density New York City metropolitan area. T-Mobile spent around $8 billion in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission auction of 600 MHz spectrum previously dedicated to television broadcasters. A key part of the immediate plans for the 600 MHz band is bringing “new competition and choice to rural areas previous unserved by T-Mobile,” according to the document, which summarizes an Aug. 2 conversation between T-Mobile execs and FCC representatives. The first deployment came in early August. T-Mobile worked used Nokia equipment to light up sites in Cheyenne, Wy., according to the carrier. Later that month the build-out expanded to Scarborough, Maine. In terms of device compatibility, the operator said it will begin selling the LG V30 device, which supports the 600 MHz band. Now the attention is on New York City. The 600 MHz airwaves were, in some cases, and are still in many more, occupied by television broadcasters. Per the FCC, there’s a 39-month timeline to make those frequencies available to T-Mobile. In NYC, the carrier is working with Fox affiliate WWOR to have the repack done by early 2018. WWOR serves around 19 million customers in the area. T-Mobile has a similar arrangement with PBS to facilitate a faster activation of the 600 MHz holdings. “We’re committed to working with broadcasters across the country to clear 600 MHz spectrum, so we can preserve programming and bring increased wireless choice and competition across the country!” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Earlier this year at the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet and Communications Conference, Vice President of Investor Relations Nils Paellmann discussed the 600 MHz roll out in the context of 5G and the internet of things (IoT).  Clearly, for a lot of the IoT things you will need ubiquitous coverage. The high bandwidth spectrum, the millimeter wave that people talk about, will never give you the coverage. “We can basically use our roll out of the 600 with LTE to also lay the foundation of future 5G. A lot of the radios…will be upgradable, through a software upgrade, to 5G. We think the 600 [spectrum]could be very interesting for IoT applications. ” Original Source: https://www.rcrwireless.com/20171011/carriers/t-mobile-600-mhz-repack-new-york-city-tag17

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Minnesota Becomes 23rd State to ‘opt-in’ to FirstNet

  On October 4th, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced that he has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T on behalf of his state, making Minnesota the 23rd state—not including two territories—to “opt-in” to the FirstNet system. “First responders across our state risk their lives every day to protect and serve the people of Minnesota,” Gov. Dayton said in a prepared statement. “Modernizing our communications infrastructure will allow our courageous first responders to coordinate and respond more quickly, effectively, and safely, creating better outcomes for them and the communities they serve.” Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman echoed this sentiment. “The workgroups devoted numerous hours to ensure the dedicated wireless broadband network offered the tools needed for those on the front lines of an emergency,” Dohman said in a prepared statement. “FirstNet promises to change the way Minnesota’s public-safety personnel, in every corner of the state, do their jobs.” Also applauding Dayton’s decision was Richard Stanek, a FirstNet board member who has served as the sheriff of Hennepin County, Minn., since 2007. “Gov. Dayton’s decision to launch FirstNet in Minnesota will dramatically enhance police work across the state by giving law enforcement access to the most advanced communications capabilities available today,” Stanek said in a prepared statement. “It will also modernize communications used by fire, EMS, and other public-safety personnel, which will help all first responders maintain the safety of our neighborhoods and communities.” KEY TAKEAWAYS: AT&T will build the FirstNet RAN in “opt-in” states or territories at no cost to each jurisdiction, although local public-safety entities will be responsible for paying subscription costs and end-user device expenses. the law that established FirstNet stipulates that individual public-safety agencies and potential first-responder users are not required to subscribe to the FirstNet service. FirstNet and AT&T are pleased to have delivered a plan that meets Minnesota’s unique needs, and we look forward to bringing the network to public safety throughout the Land of 10,000 Lakes. “Under the law that established FirstNet, governors in all 56 states and territories have the choice of making an “opt-in” decision—accepting the FirstNet deployment plan and allowing AT&T to build the LTE radio access network (RAN) within the state’s borders at no cost to the state—or pursuing the “opt-out” alternative, which would require the state to be responsible for building and maintaining the RAN for the next 25 years.” FirstNet is a high speed data network for First Responders.  As the FirstNet network is deployed in Minnesota and throughout the country, building owners and operators should treat it like other public safety communication systems.   If the local AHJ requires enhancement for your existing Public Safety systems, there is a reasonable chance an enhancement solution might be needed for FirstNet as well.    Contact your local AHJ or public safety solution provider if you need more information. Original Source: http://urgentcomm.com/ntiafirstnet/minnesota-becomes-23rd-state-opt-firstnet

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