MWC19 Barcelona Predictions


What announcements or new initiatives are we likely to see at this year's MWC? Three key themes to watch for include O-RAN Alliance news, innovative 5G applications and the further development of private LTE solutions using CBRS.

O-RAN Alliance News

The O-RAN Alliance was announced at last year’s MWC, and it now includes most of the industry’s Tier 1 providers. At MWC19, look for major operators and suppliers to make significant O-RAN announcements.

The work of the O-RAN Alliance addresses important topics like Open Interfaces, Intelligent RAN Control, RAN Virtualization and White Box. O-RAN defines next-gen RAN architecture, enabling increased use of infrastructure virtualization and embedded intelligence.

Certain initiatives will likely address the rapidly evolving demands of the RAN marketplace, including:

  • Simplified deployment
  • New technology concepts
  • Reduced costs
  • Innovative business models

As the 5G era dawns, the open interface defined by the O-RAN Alliance will promote a more agile response to exponential increases in network complexity. Open APIs and interfaces will be further empowered by AI, heralding a new era of synchronicity. 

O-RAN provides an additional point of entry to the market for vendors and industry innovators. SOLiD recently joined the O-RAN Alliance as a contributing member. The company is committed to delivering solutions to global operators based upon the protocols established by the O-RAN Alliance. Examples include Genesis DAS, IA-8000 and its mobile front-haul solutions.

5G Opportunities Multiply

As 5G deployments continue to appear on the horizon, its myriad practical applications will only be limited by the collective imagination of industry innovators.

Support of massive IoT

5G’s arrival is well-timed to address the demands of a rapidly expanding Internet of Things. Estimates of the number of in-service IoT devices range up to 50 billion by 2020. 5G responds with an exponential increase in capacity, seamlessly connecting these myriad, ubiquitous devices.

Reliable low-latency communication

5G’s low latency makes it attractive in the public safety space. It can also enhance smart-grid control, robotics, industrial automation, drone control and more.

Enhanced mobile broadband

5G will also deliver an exponential increase in power required to deliver real-time responsiveness in mobile broadband. For example, it can respond to the burgeoning needs of both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

LTE Networks and CBRS

Industry buzz about private LTE networks and use of the CBRS spectrum will drive numerous conversations at MWC19. CBRS spectrum access will supercharge the development of private LTE networks. For many enterprises, these private networks are attractive because they simultaneously address coverage, capacity, compliance and security needs.

Specifically, private LTE will enhance everything from IoT to enterprise connectivity. A CBRS field trial for first responders is underway in Clarksville, TN. The NFL may use CBRS to replace established two-way radio communications in stadiums. The PGA wants to use CBRS to address capacity issues that occur when thousands of fans arrive for golf tournaments.

It is likely that vendors will launch CBRS-capable smartphones and other devices at this year's MWC. End-to-end system testing expanded in 2018, as numerous vendors and operators worked to fine-tune CBRS use. For example, on April 5, 2018, Verizon announced a collaborative effort to expand LTE networks across the CBRS spectrum. 

About SOLiD

SOLiD ( drives extreme edge connectivity through a portfolio of DAS, optical and IOT solutions to connect people, places and things in a fantastically connected world. SOLiD delivers distributed antenna systems, optical transport and IOT solutions across the globe. SOLiD enables indoor and outdoor cellular and public-safety communications at some of the world’s best-known and most challenging venues including leading hospitals; professional, and college sports venues; government, university and Fortune 500 corporate buildings and campuses; international airports and metropolitan subways; industrial and logistical facilities; and other high-profile sites.

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