Light Reading

Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
3/18/2013
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Apple Inc. is looking to have more influence on the radio network technology behind 4G and is looking to get involved in the groundwork for mobile broadband specifications beyond LTE-Advanced. The iPhone vendor is currently advertising for a senior wireless standardization engineer to be based in Santa Clara, Calif. The successful candidate will represent Apple "in wireless communication standard bodies" and be responsible for pushing the company's strategic interests therein. A big part of that task will involve making contributions to the development of standards and specifications for the network radio interfaces of future 4G technologies by sitting in on 3GPP RAN Working Group 2 meetings. Specifically, Apple wants the engineer to be involved in the development of "specifications dealing with UTRA, Evolved UTRA, and beyond." E-UTRAN (Evolved Universal Terrestrial Access Network) is the LTE air interface specification, where maximum data rates and the channel bandwidth used are defined. E-UTRAN was first "frozen" in Release 8 of the specifications (completed in 2008). Release 10, which defines LTE-Advanced, was frozen in April 2011. The specification calls for maximum data rates of 1 Gbit/s, although it will likely be much slower on deployed commercial networks. There's a useful primer from the 3GPP on the technology here. Now, the focus for the mobile technology community is on the specifications beyond LTE-Advanced. The RAN Working Group 2 meetings are attended by a wide array of major carriers, equipment vendors, smartphone vendors and chip developers. Apple appears to be sending engineering manager Ajoy Singh to the next meeting in Chicago in April, but hasn't always been represented at the gatherings. Now that so much of Apple's business is tied up in wirelessly connected smartphones and tablets, it makes sense that the vendor would like to have an advocate to work on the air interface standards for 4G and beyond. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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macster
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macster,
User Rank: Light Bulb
3/28/2013 | 3:37:54 AM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
Some ppl have been let go recently, so any hiring = good thing or good news I guess.

Anyway, have a good Easter break.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/27/2013 | 10:20:07 PM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
Yeah, I went through the attendance lists, they often have people attending but not always and it seems to be split between 3 or 4 separate engineers. This seems different, they're hiring someone specifically to sit in on the meetings, that is their job.
macster
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macster,
User Rank: Light Bulb
3/27/2013 | 10:12:51 PM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
Hi Dan,

Had a look at the job spec. It says RAN 1, i.e. physical layer. The ad is from Jan 2013 though. Also, I think they do have ppl that attend SA meetings regularly.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/23/2013 | 4:26:30 AM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
Well they've attended some of these meetings before but hiring a specific person to sit in seems extreme.
soldack
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soldack,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/23/2013 | 1:38:37 AM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
I observed committees like this when I worked on InfiniBand. -áCompanies that do not actually create equipment base equipment that provides the technology (compared to actual wifi chip companies like qualcom) end up protecting their interests but not contributing much in terms of real ideas. -áThey tend to just slow things down and dilute the specification. -áI hope that doesn't happen here.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2013 | 6:38:11 PM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
Thanks to DSL Reports for the link-back:

http://www.dslreports.com/show...
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2013 | 4:05:36 PM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
-áWell they do mention IPR right in the job ad!
ydoucare
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ydoucare,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/19/2013 | 4:18:22 AM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
I can see the underlying motivation for Apple to get involved in this just so they can screw other phone manufacturers over when they try to adopt the technology. -áI don't think Apple needs to be anywhere near network standards.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/18/2013 | 7:50:48 PM
re: Apple Goes Deep on the Future of 4G
So in a very real way Apple is going to help define fifth generation (5G) wireless standards.
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