Chief Marketing and Product Officer, Telit
Gigabit LTE is a mobile technology milestone that will help enterprises make the most of 5G’s faster speeds, network elasticity and huge opportunities, says Manish Watwani, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Telit.
Q: What is the role of Gigabit LTE in 5G?
A: Gigabit LTE represents a significant mobile-connectivity landmark as the world moves to 5G and data is transferred at much faster speeds.
We think of cellular mostly as a consumer play, but, at this point, cellular is transforming enterprise networking, business and industry in more material ways than our consumer lives. In this transformation, both people and “things” demand gigabit-per-second upstream and downstream speeds as they live stream, download video and share content.
It will play a crucial role because cellular is becoming the primary technology for enterprise networking, industrial automation and other areas usually reserved for wired connections.
Q: What will the Gigabit LTE carrier landscape look like in 2020?
A: We are seeing a huge investment in Gigabit LTE, with 125 countries investing in at least one of the three key component technologies (Cat 9/11, Cat 16 and Cat 18).
The call for effective 5G will continue as demand for data gets stronger and enterprises see more and more ways to monetise the bandwidth. The industry body, the CBRS Alliance, is promoting the adoption of private LTE networks in the United States. These networks are expected to see significant growth in 2020.
Q: What is the recipe for Gigabit LTE?
A: If higher speeds are to be achieved, there needs to be a blended approach including more radio frequency channels, higher modulation and more antennas and spectrum.
It is only possible to achieve Gigabit capacity by pooling channels, and, when it comes to more spectrum, Gigabit LTE can adopt an unlicensed spectrum using resources specified in a standard known as Licensed Assisted Access.
We will continue to see more networks around the world achieve Gigabit speeds as they implement new carrier aggregation combinations and increase or aggregate their spectrum.
The call for effective 5G will continue as demand for data gets stronger and enterprises see more and more ways to monetise the bandwidth.
Q: Why is it important for companies to design for 5G?
A: As enterprises build their 5G-based networks, they need the confidence that the modules they adopt are engineered and tested to the highest standards. These high standards mean having the toughest security and knowing the module is scalable.
For most enterprises, Gigabit LTE will initially be the fallback option for when users move out of 5G coverage areas. With this in mind, designing for 5G means networks and devices need to evolve to newer versions of LTE over time, which will satisfy data-hungry users and ensure enterprises can exploit the ensuing savings and revenue opportunities.
Data cards are ideal for fixed wireless access applications, such as customer premise equipment and video cameras. They open new opportunities for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators and service providers. They are also instrumental in elevating the resilience and robustness of software-defined networks (SD-WAN) where we are seeing Gigabit LTE play a fast-growing role.
Q: When it comes to IoT modules, are all modules created equally?
A: No. The market is complex, and a lot of modules indeed use similar chipsets like Qualcomm. The differences only become clear when the modules are tested in live environments.
Modules can vary greatly when it comes to design, connectivity and the power and energy consumed. Reliability is also crucial because IoT modules often perform in harsh and remote environments.
As we see more user success stories around Gigabit LTE, the entire ecosystem will flourish. Others will learn to avoid some of the issues the industry has run into with the introduction of narrowband IoT in Europe and LTE-M in the U.S.