Wireless 20|20 Blog

The following is the first in a series of blog posts based on a recent presentation I was invited to make for the FCC’s Artificial Intelligence Working Group (AIWG) focusing on the Synergy Between AI, 5G and IoT. 
I was asked for my expert opinion on what is real, what is hype and my opinion of the maturity of AI technology. 


AI Will Drive Dramatic Breakthroughs in 5G Networks

The major US mobile operators are all deploying their 5G networks in 2020, and each one claims that AI and machine learning will help them proactively manage the costs of deploying and maintaining new 5G networks. AT&T recently outlined the company’s blueprint for leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) to maximize the return on its 5G network investment.  AT&T’s Mazin Gilbert sees a “perfect marriage” of AI, ML and software defined networking (SDN) to help enable the speeds and low latency of 5G.  

Since the launch of the Deutsche Telekom IoT Solutions Optimizer last year, the service has welcomed over a dozen new hardware and solution partners to its network of globally recognized IoT players. These include:

  • Chipsets & IP: CEVA, Goodix (Commsolid), Unisoc; 
  • IoT Modules: Changhong (AI-Link), Gosuncn, Nordic Semiconductor, USR IoT;
  • Positioning Technology: Polte, Skyhook, Sony Semiconductor Solutions;
  • IoT Battery Life Optimization Tools: Qoitech;
  • IoT Devices: Allterco, BeWhere, Ubiscale;
  • IoT Business Case Consultancy: Wireless 20/20.


Executive Summary

Major mobile operators are already challenged to keep up with expanding capacity demand.  In addition to the capital challenge of expanding capacity, now operator must invest in next generation 5G networks, further straining capital budgets.  In order to close the gap of investment, now more than ever, it is critical for MNOs to work with neutral hosts as part of their strategic network planning for 5G networks. 

Operators of 4G-LTE cellular data networks face an uphill battle against rapidly increasing data usage and declining ARPU. Increased sales of iPhones, Android smartphones, tablets, and notebooks with embedded 3G/4G capabilities are all taxing the macro networks for scarce capacity resources. This exponential growth of data traffic is forcing operators to evaluate mid to long term migration strategies to LTE while in need of short term strategies to relieve their congested macro networks. On top of these clear and present dangers to the day-to-day operations of the network, operators are faced with increased scrutiny from shareholders to prove that a pure LTE overlay deployment will provide a positive ROI as well as an improved customer experience.

While IOT is one of the key areas of development for next generation wireless technology, many discussions and conference presentations on IOT focus on technology and use cases.

As the mobile industry continues to develop at breakneck speed, new technologies, spectrum uses, and products are being developed to support new user requirements and use cases. Of the most important new developments is the emergence of MulteFire™ technology which allows the implementation of LTE standalone in unlicensed and shared spectrum.

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