2019 marks the start of a new chapter in my career. After four really fun and informative years with Ciena, I have joined Colt Technology Services to head up a new team focusing on the mobile & wireless market segment. It’s been a full on start since joining at the beginning of the year.
Here are a couple of press releases regarding my appointment.
Key topics discussed during the conference included
100G in the Metro,
SDN in the transmission/transport layer
Datacentre evolution & geographical spread
I spoke at two sessions during the four days. First in one of the pre-conference workshops WDM-PON Networking. In this session I introduced Three UK and discussed WDM in the access environment for mobile backhaul and participated in a panel discussion with Fabienne Saliou of Orange Labs on the subject.
On the final day I presented to the conference during a section on Fronthaul & mobile backhaul. The title of my paper being “Even a Wireless Network needs Wires.”
I gave an example of a complex mobile backhaul environment and discussed some of the future requirements that architectures such as C-RAN may bring to the transport network.
In my address I put forward the case for demonstrating that the global rise in mobile data traffic was no longer a tsunami but in fact more of a rising tide with the sea levels rising each year. I presented statistics from the last 7 years within the Three UK network which has been leading the market in mobile broadband volumes in the UK to illustrate my point. Being a scuba diver, one who looks for the turning of the daily tides and slack water, I found it interesting that whilst in UK waters we experience two tides (High, Low, High, Low) a day, in the terms of Mobile data usage, there is only one tide in a day.
The slide on the right taken from my presentation illustrates a typical midweek day in March 2014, with a low water mark around 5am and a high water mark around 10pm. Weekends also look like this with the axis shifted one hour to the right. It seems the UK consumer likes to stay in bed an hour later on the weekend and stay up an hour later using their mobile devices. Month on month, year on year the overall volume of data traffic has continued to rise and overall market and industry trends bear this out and the outlook towards the end of the decade and the development of 5G indicates this will continue.
Michael Carroll, reporting on TNMO 2014 for Fierce Wireless picked up on the analogy for one of his reports on the conference. Link to report , thanks Michael.
There was a quite a lot of debate on the need for and use of backhaul for small cells, this will be explored further no doubt at the upcoming Small Cells World Summit and Backhaul summit at the Excel Centre, Dockland, London. I will feature on a couple of panel discussions at that conference, debating the Small Cell Backhaul Demand and how to prepare for small cells.
I rejoined the mobile operator Three UK in August 2013 after a 7 year stint within the managed services arm of Ericsson, prodominately providing services back into Three but also all of the other mobile network operators in the UK . The team I managed throughout 2012 & 13 were heavily & directly involved in the rollout of the transmission network enabling EE’s 4G launch in October 2012 and as I prepared to leave the company and move back to Three were doing exactly the same for Three’s 4G launch.
August 29th 2013 was an interesting date as the rest of the major MNOs in the UK announced their 4G launch plans including Three making public their intention to switch on their 4G network to all customers with compatible handsets and subject to 4G coverage at no extra cost.
Those with an IOS device on Three would have had updated carrier settings sent to them just before Christmas.
4G on Three is coming soon.
So to my title will 2014 be the year of 4G for the UK ?
Each mobile operator will be expanding their coverage map throughout the year. A quick glance at the coverage checker on the website of each MNO and it is clear that EE are still streets ahead in terms of coverage but all operators have plans this year and will be rapidly enhancing their 4G footprint. Device penetration will increase, certainly for Three this means that a large percentage of their customers will be able to experience 4G once coverage reaches them. For the other operators it will hinge upon the tariffs and bundles in place to entice the UK consumer to make the change. Need.
Ultimately the change to 4G in the UK will be driven by demands of the customer. The continuous and seeming insatiable desire for bandwidth on the move will continue to drive operators like Three and others to make the change to their networks, because where there is demand there is a customer base.
The challenge for mobile operators is to complete these upgrade programmes whilst at the same time maintaining or by necessity increasing network availability and quality.
As for me at Three I am looking at what comes next and how the transmission network has to evolve.
The future looks very promising for the mobile industry but it will look different.