Workshop: Technology/Wireless

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm EDT
Washington, DC
The purpose of this workshop is to explore how the wireless technologies will evolve to address the demands for broadband access. The workshop will address two distinct groups of users: mobile and rural.
The first session will explore the issues related to mobile broadband. The mobile use of wireless devices is quickly migrating from making voice calls to accessing internet and being “always on”. The increasing demand for access to broadband data on the move is creating many challenges. This session will consider how the currently planned 3G, 4G, and WiMax technologies will handle these challenges? What are some of the likely future evolution scenarios for providing wireless broadband access using devices which may work on both fixed and mobile networks? What role will architectures based on femtocells or similar technologies play in the future delivery of broadband over wireless? What network and spectrum management techniques may be necessary to ensure efficient use of the spectrum? How are the cybersecurity issues impacting these technologies? Are there potential techniques currently being researched that seem promising for future improvement in spectrum use?
The second session will focus on the opportunity for the use of wireless technologies to address the broadband needs of rural users. Given that several technologies have limitations in serving rural users, are there unique technologies for deployment in rural areas? What are the limitations of wireless solutions for last mile access, particularly vis-à-vis capacity? Can wireless rural solutions support truly bandwidth applications such as many simultaneous streaming video or video telepresence cost effectively? Can the technology solutions for rural applications keep pace with urban development? Is the access speed “divide” likely to grow between urban and rural users or are there technology solutions to address the growth? Are there innovative proposals for combining these approaches? What are the limitations imposed by “long” last mile in many rural networks? How does wireless technology evolve to address the rural “middle mile” access? What roles will unlicensed technology based solutions play in addressing rural needs? What future technology evolution may improve this situation? Are there unique solutions for very low density rural (like tribal lands) areas?



Session 1: Mobile Broadband
  • What are the two most important concepts about mobile broadband technology that the FCC must understand in developing the National Broadband plan?
  • What are the cost trends for the technologies which would impact the migration from 2G to 3G, to LTE or WiMax or other technologies? Cost trends for initial investments.
  • How soon will the entire ecosystem for LTE, WiMAX, and IMS be ready for large scale deployment?
  • Can mobile broadband networks also support fixed residential and SME broadband access cost effectively beyond a small market niche, i.e. is fixed to mobile substitution likely for broadband access given the economics of wireless broadband?
  • What supporting infrastructure issues like requiring higher capacity backhaul links may cause potential problems? Cost trends for operations.
  • What network management and access policy management techniques will be considered in the future as the demand for bandwidth grows over the available spectrum?  Are there policy issue implications?
  • Are there issues or concerns related to cybersecurity for wireless networks given the wireless nature (ability to listen to the underlying signal and given that the shared access technologies?  What are technology issues and what policy issues need to be addressed?
  • What new technology solutions are there beyond 3G, 4G (LTE and WiMax) for the long term evolution to address the needs for higher speeds? In the next 5 years and longer term.
  • What role “smart” spectrum sharing techniques will play?
  • Are cognitive radio technologies, mesh networking, self configuring, wireless peer-to-peer or other “opportunistic usage” techniques likely to evolve to address large scale deployment? Are there policy issues to be addressed to encourage such technology?
  • Are there different solutions for different applications or markets (metro area, suburban, rural, etc.)?
  • Does the potential for “fixed-mobile-convergence” provide opportunity to address some of the resource issues related to spectrum? Are mixed wireless and wireline networks more appropriate to address access issues? What role will technologies like “femtocell” play in such networks?
  • Are there technologies that will permit inter-working between different technologies? What about roaming between wireless and wireline networks?
  • What is the impact of delivering traditional broadcast services over IP on wireless networks?
  • What are the impacts of open access on the networks? Increased need for speed and broader access?
  • What technology innovations may create “disruptive” trends?
Session 2: Rural Networks
  • What are the two most important concepts about the use of wireless technology to serve rural areas that the FCC must understand in developing the National Broadband plan?
  • Fixed wired solutions exploiting exiting infrastructure, i.e. xDSL or cable modems, typically have an upfront capital expense per subscriber costs of <25% of wireless solutions, a cost per Megabyte delivered of < 10% of wireless, and a customer equipment costs of <50% of wireless solutions. Will technology close this gap?
  • What are different viable models for serving rural users? Does each of the models require their unique technology solutions?
  • What are the cost trends for technologies for use in the rural areas?
  • Can the technology solutions for rural applications keep pace with urban development? Is the access speed “divide” likely to grow or are there technology solutions to address the growth?
  • What role different technologies – wireless, satellite, Broadband over Powerline, rural cable, wireline, and fiber play? Are there innovative approaches possible in the near term and long-term for combining these approaches?
  • How does wireless technology evolve to address the rural “middle mile” access?
  • What role unlicensed technology based solutions play in addressing rural needs? What future technology evolution may improve this situation?
  • What role licensed technology based solutions play in addressing rural needs? Are there alternative technologies that may be better suited using the licensed spectrum?
  • Are there unique solutions for very low density rural (like tribal lands) areas?
  • What role will satellite technologies play in complementing access? What are the fundamental limitations of satellite, particularly vis a vis latency and capacity? How will that affect the use of satellite technology and the applications supported?


1:30 pm Workshop Introduction, Julius Knapp, Moderator

1:35 pm Panel 1: Mobile Broadband (55 minutes: 5 minutes from each panelist followed by questions from the FCC moderating panel and the audience)
  • Kristin Rinne, Senior VP Architecture and Planning, AT&T
    • Ms. Rinne will outline the continuing evolution of AT&T’s mobile broadband networks and its plans to deploy next generation technologies. In addition, she will discuss the growth of data traffic over AT&T’s mobile network and the company’s plans to expand capacity and coverage to meet these growing demands.
  • Sten Andersson, Head of Wireless Networks Solutions, Ericsson
    • Mr. Andersson will discuss how to deliver the full promise of LTE, U.S. spectrum policy must evolve to meet the needs of high-bandwidth mobile services. Specifically, the U.S. must identify new spectrum, revise its regulatory framework in favor of wider bandwidth allocations, and rework its rules and policies so that they are not skewed in favor of certain technologies. National spectrum policies must take into account the performance and propagation characteristics of particular frequencies and must not undermine the value of licensed spectrum or compromise the performance of licensed operations. Further, the U.S. should capitalize on every opportunity to improve the international harmonization of spectrum, which enables industry to create the economies of scale that are critical to making technology more affordable for everyone, everywhere. 
  • Barry West, President - International, Clearwire
    • Mr. West will discuss the advent of 4G mobile WiMax technology and Clearwire’s approach to the technology.
  • Scott Corson, Vice President of Engineering, Qualcomm Flarion Technologies
    • Dr. Corson will discuss the role of wireless spectrum in realizing ubiquitous mobile broadband services. Unlicensed spectrum is unsuitable for delivering wide-area coverage, and there remains too little commercial licensed spectrum to handle the foreseeable demand for mobile broadband. We therefore suggest that any future national broadband plan include provisions for auctioning additional licensed spectrum to be regulated in a technology neutral fashion. At the same time, it should be understood that capacity constraints will remain. Existing 3G and evolving technologies will need to realize higher spectrum reuse efficiencies, including smaller cell-size deployments and, in the long term, usage of direct inter-device communications. 
  • Milo Medin, CTO, M2Z
    • Mr. Medin plans to discuss key policy principles that can advance the use of wireless spectrum for broadband services. These policies include future broadband spectrum allocations that permit flexibility and provide for technological neutrality while addressing the co-existence of different transmission protocols. Mr. Medin will also discuss the state of the art in technological innovations that could lead to better utility of spectrum including the availability of AAS, OFDMA, and SDMA technologies. In addition, Mr. Medin plans to address process improvements in the spectrum allocation and equipment authorization processes that could make more wireless broadband spectrum available for new competitors and new applications. Other policy areas such as the need for improved backhaul to support and the impact of open standards and open platforms on adoption will also be addressed in his presentation. 
  • Sascha Meinrath, Director, Open Technology Initiative, New America Foundation
    • Mr. Meinrath will discuss some potential approaches to using new technology and spectrum policy to address the need to deliver mobile broadband services.
  • Tom Anderson, Head of Architecture for Mobility, Office of CTO, Alcatel-Lucent
    • Tom Anderson will discuss the spectrum needs, bandwidth capabilities and constraints, and technical feasibility of various 3G and 4G wireless technologies. Carriers throughout the globe are trialing and commercially deploying 4G technologies and others are continuing to maximize their current 3G technologies in order to roll out more advanced services to meet demand from consumers, businesses and the public sector. It is critical for governments to understand the facts about these technologies to better deal with technological issues associated with geographic reach, spectrum capabilities, and bandwidth constraints when developing policy and regulations.
2:30 pm Open Q&A Period (30 minutes)

3:00 pm Break

3:10 pm Panel 2: Rural Broadband (60 minutes: 5 minutes for each panelist followed by questions from the FCC moderating panel and audience)
  • Mark D. Dankberg, CEO, ViaSat
    • Mr. Dankberg will discuss the plans of ViaSat to launch a new generation broadband satellite in Q1 of 2011 that supports over 100 Gbit/s of bandwidth. It represents an order of magnitude improvement in the capital efficiency of broadband delivery from space, making it highly competitive in terms of price and performance with DSL and 3G or 4G wireless in terms of speed and volume (Gigabytes/user/month) in rural markets. 
  • Jim O’Connor, Director, CPE Engineering and Planning, Open Range Communications
    • Mr. O’Connor will discuss why deploying rural broadband wireless in 2009 affords the operator the opportunity to use cutting edge technologies to reduce costs and increase spectrum efficiency, while delivering a broadband service offering to low population density areas. However, the continued growth in per-user Internet traffic and quality of service expectations places constant pressure on the operator and vendors to innovate and reduce costs. We will discuss some of the tools available to the operator to help meet the challenges of broadband wireless deployments in rural areas. 
  • Richard Keith, Senior Director of Strategy, Motorola
    • Mr. Keith will discuss the business models for providing broadband services in rural areas. He will provide high level view on some of the results based on his investigation. 
  • Vanu Bose, President and CEO, Vanu Inc.
    • Dr. Bose will discuss the why low population density in rural areas makes the economics of wireless coverage unsustainable in many areas. For a given provider, the cost of building and operating a rural network exceeds the potential revenue that can be gained from low population density sites. This talk describes how software defined radio can transform the economics of rural coverage by providing a wholesale network capability that can support multiple carriers using different standards. 
  • P. Kelley Dunne, CEO, Digital Bridge
    • Mr. Dunne will discuss Digital Bridge’s network deployment and plans. He will discuss their use of WiMax technologies to reach a wide variety of rural customers.
  • Mark A. McHenry, Ph.D, President and CTO, Shared Spectrum Company
    • Dr. McHenry will address the need for the Commission’s National Broadband Plan to promote private and public investment in innovative wireless technologies that will ensure cost-effective, sustainable, viable, and scalable deployment of wireless broadband service, including cognitive radio and dynamic spectrum access (DSA) technologies. He will provide a briefing on how SSC’s DSA technology enables fundamental improvements to wireless broadband network performance (e.g., improved link range and reliability) and reduces deployment and hardware costs in rural areas. 
  • Brett Glass, CEO,
    • Mr. Glass will provide his perspectives on why wireless technology is a useful medium for broadband distribution in all areas, urban and rural. However, as population densities decrease, wireless quickly becomes the most cost-effective technology. But how best to ensure that rural wireless service offers the quality, speed, and reliability of urban broadband at reasonable cost? Brett Glass, the world's first WISP, will discuss ways in which new technology (such as cognitive radio and spectrum sharing protocols such as 802.11y) and enlightened regulatory policy (including rule changes, and the release of new spectrum) can work synergistically to level the playing field between rural and urban areas. He will also discuss the ways in which reasonable network management practices for wireless and rural networks differ from those for "wired" and urban networks. 
4:10 pm Open Q&A Period (30 minutes)

4:40 pm Closing Statements/Adjournment

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