The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014 - (Page 53)

THEME: ON THE EDGE: MEETING CONSUMER DEMAND On the Verge: Fulfilling 4G-LTE Consumer Demand in America By: Andrew Silberstein Senior Vice President and General Manager, Globecomm Network Services C onsumers in rural America are demanding to be brought into the 21st century with high-speed bandwidth. Regional and rural markets in the U.S. present the greatest need for LTE wireless networks, as well as the greatest opportunity for carriers and the consumers they serve. Expanded 4G-LTE is meeting these demands with faster bandwidth and the ability to instantly access popular applications such as video that, in the past, were beyond the reach of many rural communities. Yet, carriers still face challenges in delivering the goods. Large incumbent carriers often overlook small towns and cities, or simply can't get there fast enough, presenting opportunities for Tier 2-3 carriers. Yet, while LTE delivers a wealth of business and consumer opportunities, it also brings sophisticated requirements and issues. Operators' challenges range from funding limitations, worries about spectrum allocation and usage to the need for additional intelligence to their network services, backhaul capacity demand, and device procurement issues. The good news is that small carriers know that now is the time to rise to the opportunity. Spectrum allocation and usage will remain critical. In part, carriers will be at the mercy of policy decisions on interoperability issues and the outcome of spectrum auctions - each affecting carriers' ability to compete and provide services in their local areas. However, by making the most of their spectrum and gaining access to the latest mobile devices, carriers can roll out LTE in rural communities and make their businesses viable. What does this mean? Carriers must move quickly to protect and maximize their licenses by meeting spectrum requirements. This includes pre-testing and lighting up bay stations. Spectrum, including 700 MHz spectrum, must also be utilized efficiently as it is a finite resource and wireless broadband demand rapidly consumes spectrum. As rural operators build out LTE networks, QoS management, real-time policy enforcement, and analytics attuned to managing spectrum should be part of any operational plan. Proactively handling high content traffic and ensuring bandwidth where demand is heaviest and quality where needed is critical. Carriers should add essential back-office capabilities while bolstering their network and backhaul resources in anticipation of aggressive growth. Roaming presents another opportunity for carriers to reach consumers and generate revenue. In the current mobile environment, national operators have been reluctant to qualify smaller roaming partners. This often cuts rural operators out of traditional roaming revenue, particularly because meeting backhaul and core network access requirements are cost prohibitive. However, access to other networks that are roaming-approved can be leveraged at a low cost. Using these leased services not only positions rural operators to capture LTE roaming revenue, but also allows the deferment of backhaul THE expansion costs as broadband traffic, particularly that bound for the Internet, increases. Another sophisticated network requirement when rolling out LTE is offloading network traffic. Moving Internet traffic on and off interstate backbones creates a large LTE network expense for rural carriers. Broadbandbased applications common to LTE environments, such as over-the-top video and gaming apps, generate significantly more of this traffic. While rural carriers can consider using LTE for short-range backhaul and save some costs, they also have the option of leasing access to local gateways that provide proximate access to the public Internet. This diffuses network traffic rather than backhauling to a central point, thus protecting backhaul networks and reducing build out expenditure. While rural America is moving ever closer to the benefits of LTE, each rural carrier will need to determine which LTE path is right for them. Each carrier will also need to determine if they should go it alone or invest in a partner to leverage technology and expertise while saving capital. Whichever path they choose, rural America will reap the rewards. VOICE * * Spring/Summer 2014 53

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014

Chairman’s Letter by Jonathan Foxman
A Message from the President and CEO by Steven K. Berry
CCA’s 2013 Annual Achievement Award Winners
Staying Ahead of “The Next Big Thing”
Near Tragedy in Nevada Demonstrates Need for Rural Investment
Competition – The Foundation for a Healthy Industry
Putting the “Incentive” in Incentive Auction
Beat ’Em or Join ’Em: Data Roaming in a 4G LTE World
2014: The Year of Small Cell Deployment
Band Class 12 – Beyond Broadband
Chat Mobility Utilizes Multi-Faceted Plan to Attract & Retain Customers
Blurred Lines: Reinventing in the Rural Market
Regional Carrier Bridges Digital Divide with Massive Network Upgrade
Wireless Challenges and Solutions for Competitive Carriers
Expanding America’s Wireless Networks: It Takes a Village
Lead with Location
Giving Your Customer Their Preferred Choices in Billing: Paper, Electronic, and Mobile
Monetizing Data Demand with Personalized Services
Making Sure Long-Distance Calls Reach Rural Subscribers
Mobility Growth with Emerging Devices
Mobile Broadband and the Rise of Mobile Security Challenges
On the Verge: Fulfilling 4G-LTE Consumer Demand in America
Transform Your Business by Making It Simpler
Lessons Learned on the Road to LTE
Let’s Get Personal
Even If the Voice Packets Make It, Does the Lack of Quality Ruin It?
Our Connected World: The Necessity of NFV for Telcos
Ten Hot Consumer Trends in 2014 and Beyond
Gain Your Edge: Effective Edge Out Strategies with 4G LTE
Reaching Consumer Demand Through Marketing in the Rural Driven Markets
Tips for Improving the Customer Experience
Creating a Super High-Capacity Network in Rural America
Your Competitors Are Coming for Your Customers
Index of Advertisers
Congressional Spotlight: Representative Robert “Bob” Latta

The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014