Friday, October 14, 2011

A Year Before the Olympics - London is Running Out of Mobile Capacity

Mobile Magazine reports that "London mayor Boris Johnson, Three CEO David Dyson and others have warned that London will run out of mobile capacity within a year, and that the influx of visitors to the 2012 Olympics was likely to crash the existing networks".

Doug Pulley (pictured), CTO of Picochip said: "London needed 70,000 “small cells” to relieve existing congestion in airwaves and provide consumers with good service once next generation services, expected from 2013 onwards, are available. Operators could now start installing the latest generation of small cell base stations because they come with support for 3G HSPA, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi built-in. This means operators could switch on LTE (or fit the LTE radio components) as soon as they have won their 4G licences .. Network sharing would have to be the norm because the five LTE licence holders expected to emerge from the delayed auction, now set for Q2 2012, could not each afford to build national networks. This was even though the cost of a small cell base station was around €10,000, one-tenth of the cost of a traditional cellular base station"

"Ofcom said Wi-Fi offered ‘some potential’ for offloading traffic, but claimed the 4G auction, which has been delayed by the threat of legal action by the network operators, and subsequent introduction of LTE would prove a ‘step change’ in network capacity .. Rupert Baines, a spokesman for Picochip, thinks Ofcom is misstating the situation. ‘Wi-Fi and LTE are complementary technologies, and cable is crucial to both, which means network owners have to deal with a portfolio of technologies".

See "London faces mobile capacity crisis" - here.

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