Mobile Broadband – the Blueprint for Progress in 2013
I’m very upbeat, regarding the current outlook for the Global Networked Economy in 2013. In particular, I see a tremendous opportunity to further explore the many benefits of readily-available wireless access to the internet.
Numerous events occurred during the course of 2012 that indicate we’re getting closer to a mobile broadband nirvana scenario – whereby network deployment has a positive impact on economic growth and potentially results in a higher living standard for those that take advantage of this valuable resource.
We now know that wireless broadband services can contribute directly to social and economic growth. The findings from several studies suggest that this essential infrastructure for the 21st century can positively impact the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation, improve commercial productivity and help to stimulate job creation.
Moreover, the potential for advancing economic development is likely much greater in emerging economies – that’s because they often lack ubiquitous access to legacy wireline broadband.
If you seek a path to advance your community’s prosperity, then consider mobile broadband as a catalyst that takes you on a journey to reach your goal. Why wait for tomorrow? Seize the day.
Why Government Vision and Leadership Matters
4G Americas recently shared an insightful white paper entitled “Mobile Broadband Acceleration in the Americas” – which included some examples of the known barriers to progress and best practices that are proven to advance service deployment and adoption.
Pragmatic government leaders can make a big difference — removing the barriers to progress. The following is a summary of some of the key points — what’s needed to connect the unconnected.
- Government control of radio spectrum, a public asset, should be regarded as a key enabler to ensure the progressive adoption of broadband. Furthermore, democratic access should be provided, in addition to sustaining its continued growth and ongoing development.
- Government can help mobile network operators gain access to improved facilities for cell site and hotspot placement. For example, federal government controls 30 percent of the total territory of the United States.
- Government can proactively make it easier to obtain licenses, permits and other required authorizations. They can simplify the process and eliminate all unnecessary, duplicated or disproportionate formalities.
- Government could better inform the public about electromagnetic emissions from antennas, and thereby avoid the fear about perceived health risks. Also, communication carriers should be encouraged to share antenna towers and masts, whenever possible.
- Government could acknowledge the importance of RAN backhaul facilities; by helping to accelerate the application and approval authorizations, legal permits and rights-of-way access for the deployment of transport networks.
Besides, government and business leaders can unite behind their common cause — promoting public-private cooperation initiatives, as well as defining and implementing a National Broadband Plan that includes a definitive mobile broadband agenda.
Forces Shaping Mobile Network Economics
It’s imperative for all stakeholders to understand the reasons why barriers to the progressive deployment of wireless infrastructure must be removed – if for no other reason, because demand for mobile broadband will require this forward-thinking action.
I attended the 4G World Conference and Expo at the end of October last year. I learned more about the many changes that are affecting the wireless communications arena. I also added a new term to my telecom tech vocabulary: wireless densification.
Densification of the wireless grid is going to be a major emphasis for the telecommunications industry in 2013. Here’s why it is important to everyone who wants pervasive access to the internet in their community. Service providers will need to deploy more macro cell sites, distributed antenna systems and a multitude of small cell devices.
Moreover, most service providers will now use a dual radio (cell/Wi-Fi) technology approach to the growing mobile subscriber demand challenge – in particular, delivering flexible and adaptive coverage solutions to meet the unique requirements of dense low-income urban areas.
Can you envision how challenging it must be for mobile network operators to meet these high expectations? I can – I’ve seen a visualization of the obstacles that must be overcome.
Mobile cell-site and Wi-Fi hotspot coverage mapping software has moved to the forefront of initial infrastructure planning, management and ongoing wireless network optimization. I witnessed several demonstrations of the latest network engineering tools at 4G World – it’s all very encouraging.
Solutions to the known wireless broadband coverage issues are apparent. Case in point: mobile network operators are already in the process of deploying the technology to make the transition between cellular and Wi-Fi networks appear more seamless and automatic.
In summary, I’m hopeful that the success of the internet continues — and it touches all that seek its capabilities; especially those in the lower socioeconomic levels of our society.