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Why the 700Mhz Wireless Spectrum is Valued

With 3G adoption, smartphones, and mobile data usage on the rise, apparently there's an urgent need for mobile operators to improve the indoor coverage of their networks, says Infonetics Research in its latest white paper entitled "An Evaluation of In-Building Wireless Coverage."

Cellular is still the dominant technology for wireless voice, but it is well documented that cellular signals -- particularly 3G signals -- have difficulty penetrating into buildings. Infonetics' white paper assesses the viability of different solutions for addressing this issue, particularly distributed antenna systems, picocells, femtocells, and alternatives such as VoIP over wireless LAN.

"Improving in-building cellular coverage should be a pressing concern for mobile operators if they want to drive up revenue per user, particularly from enterprise customers," said Richard Webb, wireless analyst for Infonetics Research.

"If they don't, these high value customers will look to competing operators, or perhaps to competing technologies such as wireless LANs to serve their in-building mobile voice and data needs. If mobile operators can work with the customer to solve current cellular coverage shortfall, they have the opportunity to lock in the customer for the future."

The paper analyzes the various solutions for in-building cellular coverage in terms of their improvement of signal reach and quality, deployment and management challenges, cost of deployment and ownership, handset requirements, and commercial issues.

This is a very timely topic for the FCC to consider for the U.S. market, as they prepare to set the terms and conditions for the auction of the 700Mhz wireless spectrum.

Previously utilized for UHF television broadcasts, it's believed to enable wireless broadband service providers to deliver signals into buildings that otherwise can't receive current cellular transmissions.

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