Although auctioned as technology neutral, it is envisioned that new GSM mobile services will be offered through these new entrants. Applications envisaged for this spectrum include:
- Local government (hospitals, government offices)
- Campus environments (university sites, large office complexes)
- Data infill for mobile networks (anybody using a PDA or blackberry – especially indoors)
- Fixed-mobile convergence (wireless office environment)
- Remote deployments (oil refineries, pharmaceutical sites or perhaps remote small villages)
- GSM hotspots (airports, coffee shops, internet cafs)
- Closed community groups (museums, clubs, sport stadiums etc)
A new dedicated website is today launched to examine and explain the range of applications in more detail. (www.lowpowergsm.com).
To enable these entrants to rollout networks quickly and efficiently, compact, robust and economic infrastructure will be key. As the majority of these operators will be new to mobile networks, the need to keep costs low by using existing infrastructure coupled with cost-effective backhaul solutions leads naturally to flexible IP-based solutions being deployed. These solutions utilising soft switches are capable of scaling to support the emerging services from a few pico-basestations in buildings up to multiple basestations coping with large amounts of traffic within a shopping complex or airport. The requirement for simple integration to existing PBX systems, large complex MSCs and billing architectures will also be paramount.
“There are a variety of products on the market for GSM networks”, Sandra Gilligan, Mobile200 commented, “but only a limited number offer scalability and a good fit for the various applications that will enable the new mobile operators to be successful.”
Within the next few months, the mobile services landscape in the UK will have changed considerably. New operators offering exciting innovative, competitive products to consumers and businesses alike will open up the market.