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Phil Marshall

July 31, 2015

The release of digital dividend (700MHz/800MHz) spectrum around the world has slowed dramatically after the initial spike in allocation in the US, Europe and some Asia Pacific countries. The 700MHz band is still used for broadcasting in most of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America. This is primarily due to the painfully slow negotiation processes between regulators, and broadcasters who have little incentive to relinquish their spectrum holdings. It is a case of history repeating itself, where past spectrum clearance initiatives have also been notoriously difficult... MORE

March 27, 2015

The mobile industry is being fueled by tremendous advancements in device capabilities, which can be largely attributed to Moore’s Law performance gains in semiconductor technology. This creates challenges for RF filter designs, which languish under a shroud of complexity, and rely on design techniques that have not changed much since the 1920’s.

In many respects, RF filter design is as much art as it is science. While there are a variety of RF filter technologies available, the filters used in mobile phones generally fall into one of two categories, those that are based on Surface... MORE

August 18, 2014

This month I published a research report on the telecom tower industry; an industry that I have followed for nearly two decades since its inception in the United States in the mid-1990’s. In recent years, the tower industry has expanded at an incredible rate, particularly as operators seek cost effective network expansion strategies, and network sharing becomes more readily accepted.

Snapshot profiles for the major tower companies for the beginning of August 2014 are shown in Exhibit 1 below. The US is dominated by American Tower, Crown Castle and SBA. American Tower and SBA have... MORE

July 03, 2014

For many years, web content has been transported over the Internet using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol version 1.1 (HTTP/1.1), running on the Transport Control Protocol (TCP). HTTP/1.1 was published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 1997 (RFC 2068), was modified in 1999 (RFC 2616) and in 2014 (RFC 7230-7325), and has been the work-horse for the web for many years. It is also a widely used application-layer protocol for fixed and mobile internet services.

The size and complexity of web sites and internet applications has increased tremendously since 1997 when HTTP/1... MORE

April 22, 2014

Unlicensed LTE (uLTE) has been put under the spotlight since it was proposed by Qualcomm in November 2013. The uLTE solution uses the radio carrier aggregation of LTE-Advanced to allow licensed radio spectrum technologies to aggregate carriers that operate in unlicensed bands. From a technical perspective, the solution is elegant in its simplicity. However, uLTE needs more than technical elegance for mass market success and depends on a variety of factors including support by the 3GPP, equipment vendors and service providers.

Since it is still in its infancy, most industry players... MORE

April 15, 2014

LTE network deployments have accelerated at an unprecedented rate since the first commercial networks were deployed by TeliaSonera in Stockholm and Oslo in December 2009. The strong interest in LTE is being driven by consumers’ seemingly insatiable appetite for data services that is buoyed primarily by the proliferation of smartphone devices. As this occurs, infrastructure vendors are feverishly competing for market share and incumbency. Traditionally, this incumbency is important for a variety of reasons. In particular it:

Provides market scale needed to fund research and... MORE