interview


Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas: “The spectrum crunch is a critical issue in the U.S.”

Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas
Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas

Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas is delivering a keynote address on the subject of “Challenges to LTE Progress”, on Day One of the LTE North America conference, taking place on November 21-22 2013, Westin Galleria, Dallas, Texas. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the successes and challenges in the US LTE market.

We’ve been talking about the massive increase in demand for data for a long while. How well would you say carriers are dealing with that?

The operators are doing a great job in trying to manage the robust demand for mobile data. The four national carriers in the North American market—AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint—are investing billions of dollars each year to increase network capacity and efficiency. While there are still significant challenges in attaining more spectrum to meeting the robust demand the operators are making tremendous progress in their LTE network coverage. This is exemplified by AT&T expecting LTE to reach 270 million POPS and T-Mobile expecting to reach 205 million POPS by the end of 2013.

What’s the most interesting technology out there, or soon coming, that will help deal with data demand?

4G Americas believes that there needs to be three areas of continued improvement to help meet the data demand:

  • Spectrum: More exclusive use of internationally harmonised spectrum is needed in the Americas region.
  • Technology evolution: Deployments of small cells, advanced antennas, carrier aggregation features and self-organising networks are key elements to LTE’s future in meeting data demand.
  • Regulatory innovation: Governments and regulatory bodies must look at new ways of bringing spectrum to the mobile broadband industry. Considerations should be made for Authorized Shared Access (ASA) or Licensed Shared Access (LSA) to supplement operators’ spectrum assets.
The LTE North America conference is taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Click here NOW to download a brochure for the event.

Verizon has just recently boosted LTE speeds with new AWS spectrum. To what extent is the spectrum crunch still a concern for the U.S. market? 

The spectrum crunch is a critical issue in the U.S. It will be important over the next few years to reach the 500MHz of new wireless spectrum goal that was set out by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) National Broadband Plan. Key opportunities over the next few years are the 3.5GHz small cell spectrum, TV Broadcast Incentive Auction spectrum as well as the auction and licensing of the AWS-3 spectrum matching the 1755-1780MHz uplink with 2155-2180MHz on the downlink. Time is of the essence to move forward in bringing more mobile broadband licensed spectrum to the industry.

Is enough progress being made in integrating cellular and wifi for an improved user experience? 

In my view, yes.  Wifi complements cellular effectively and is an essential “tool” in the toolkit for mobile broadband carriers.  4G Americas recently published a white paper titled, Integration of Cellular and Wi-Fi Networks. The white paper describes the current state of wifi/cellular integration and provides recommendations for the future. It is a well-written and informative white paper which is available for free download at: www.4gamericas.org.

What are you most looking forward to about attending the LTE North America conference?

Learning about the progress of LTE and LTE-Advanced and hearing about the various views of the future of mobile broadband in North America.


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