Will Densification be the Death of 5G?

IEEE CTN Issue: May 2015

A vast majority of the increased mobile data throughput we are always hearing about has been enabled by ever-increasing network densification, i.e. adding more base stations (BSs) and access points that have a wired backhaul connection [1]. This trend is set to continue for the next decade at least, primarily through the provisioning of small cells such as pico and femtocells. What if we ever reached a point where adding more infrastructure did not allow increased wireless network throughput? This would be comparable to the impending end of "Moore's Law"; a cataclysmic event having far-reaching consequences (i.e. beyond our own industry).

Mobile World Congress 2015: Industry Experts Highlight Key Trends from the Show

IEEE CTN Issue: March 2015

If you are like me, you have been working in this business for years, or decades, but have never been to Mobile World Congress. You have probably heard all the stories of exotic and expensive behavior from the marketing guys who invariably got all of the company assigned slots for the conference. I remember stories of basestations being demoed on yachts with champagne for the lucky participants, from back in the days that it was at Monte Carlo. Of course, this isn’t the only trade show that provides this kind of entertainment and the move to Barcelona in 2006 was seen as an attempt to keep costs down a bit.

IEEE ComSoc CTN Special Issue on Towards The Open Basestation

IEEE CTN Issue: February 2015

Traditionally the Basestation in a cellular network covers approximately layer 1 through layer 3 of the network functionality and is seen as a closed box into which bits go in and waveforms come out, and vice versa. In logical network diagrams it is often portrayed as a tiny box at the edge of a large and complex network of wires, gateways, home locations, authenticators and so on. However, this belies the true cost of the Basestation equipment which can account for 40% or more of network capital expenditure [1]. The relative cost of Basestation equipment is increased by trends towards denser networks with smaller cell sizes, overlays, and more cooperation between cell sites using techniques such as Cooperative MultiPoint (CoMP), all of which reduce the utilization of...