Many Americans live in areas without adequate high speed access to the Internet. The 2009 stimulus plan includes funds to improve telecommunications infrastructure and help close the Digital Divide. Wireless Strategy's experience in rural coverage assessment and business modeling provides invaluable guidance for new entrants evaluating rural business opportunities. Capabilities include assessment of incumbent operators' coverage, demographics, and cell site counts, along with targeted services and features to develop a comprehensive business, technology and operations plan.
Wireless operators must look three to five years ahead to understand how new technologies will impact the business. But the technology landscape is ever expanding, and operator budgets for research generally are not. Wireless Strategy, LLC can help an operator's research team master emerging technologies quickly, and partner with the operator in translating the knowledge into a working business plan. We can deliver training sessions and white papers on mainstream subjects such as WiMAX and LTE, or tailor a research effort to specific areas such as fractal antennas or TV channel white space regulations. Leveraging our experts is an excellent means to stay within budget and abreast of industry developments.
Crafting requests for information (RFIs) and requests for proposal (RFPs) is a specialized art not often needed by wireless operators, yet asking the critical questions and mining deeper into the details of system performance is critical to a procurement success. The technology selection process is clearly essential to the business plan, but vendor selection and contract execution are equally important. Not all vendors' solutions work the same, and the deltas are often difficult to discern. The contract must contain adequate safeguards to prove out technical performance and assure vendor compliance with the key metrics. Wireless Strategy's engineers have been through this process numerous times and can hone the questions and sift the responses to arrive at the set of information relevant to the operator's decision, and if needed, support the operator in technical negotiations with the vendors.
Once the equipment contract has been signed, the operator typically engages in lab tests to validate that the purchased equipment performs as expected. Testing then moves to the field to assure performance in a fully operational environment. We have seen multiple technologies through the full maturation process to commercial reliability and can assist operators in planning and executing testing of new technologies. Our thorough testing processes have identified bugs and software stability issues not captured in vendor testing, and typically delivered a performance improvement of 3 to 5 dB.
Integrating a new technology at existing site locations poses technical challenges in terms of antenna and cable reduction, intermodulation and interference mitigation, and optimization. New entrants deploying a Greenfield technology or existing operators with technologies requiring coverage fill-in sites bring the added complexity of RF design and site acquisition. Network performance relies on careful site selection; with every site constituting an investment of more than a quarter million dollars, both the RF design and the site architecture must be streamlined to maximize the investment.
For established operators, we bring a fresh viewpoint to streamlining operational procedures and processes to maximize efficiency. For operators deploying new technologies, gathering enough information to manage the network can be a challenge. Evaluating system statistics to identify RF coverage, capacity or quality problems is an art, made difficult by the typically incomplete set of statistics delivered by new technologies, and by potential instability of young software code. We have been there before, and can help design workarounds to assure proper network performance in adverse circumstances.
Operators must also have a view of vendor roadmaps and development programs. New system releases to deliver new capabilities and improve functionality must be managed closely and tested to ensure backward compatibility as well as stability and performance. We have dealt with major infrastructure vendors and small proprietary shops and can employ the appropriate degree of management to deliver quality results.
Whether a new licensee or established operator, FCC proceedings involve rule changes that impact a licensee's business. Every licensee must understand the impact of proposed rules and, where necessary, prepare technical analyses in defense of the operator's business. Wireless Strategy has developed technical studies and represented clients before the Commission, successfully communicating the licensee's interests.
Our firm has extensive experience with an array of wireless technologies:
UMB: Ultra Mobile Broadband is 3GPP2's answer to HSPA. UMB is the first OFDMA air interface in the 3GPP2 roadmap.
EVDO: Revision A, with enhanced uplink capabilities, is broadly deployed by Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless. Revision B provides a mechanism for aggregating 1.25 MHz carriers to deliver higher peak user rates, but the major US operators have not yet committed to this upgrade.
iDEN: a proprietary technology developed by Motorola for Nextel and other carriers, delivering voice, packet data and industry-leading push-to-talk services.
cdma2000 1x: Qualcomm's CDMA voice technology with improvements over IS-95 and introduction of high-speed data services.
GSM: air interface technology widely adopted throughout the world, with a near 90% market share of wireless voice services.