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Who Makes What: Next-Gen Wireless Infrastructure

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LR Mobile Report
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The boom and the bust that's occurred in the third-generation (3G) wireless market means that it's time for a roll call on what companies still make equipment in this space.

For starters, we've compiled a list of categories that we believe covers the key components of a 3G network and the vendors that sell them. Now we want your input: If you think there are additional categories needed, or if we missed a startup fresh out of the VC incubator, tell us by jumping on the message board or sending email to [email protected].

A wireless network of any stripe is mind-numbingly complex, so to keep our taxonomy to a manageable size, we've focused on two network areas – the radio infrastructure and the packet core – because these undergo the most changes during the evolution from 2G to 3G. Those categories are:

We've left out the circuit-switched core because it undergoes relatively little change. Of course, eventually the circuit core will disappear as voice traffic is packetized and routed through the packet core, but that change probably won't happen for a least a few more years. But if you, the folks in the trenches, can make a case that the circuit core and equipment such as mobile switching centers (MSCs) should be included, let us know. And don't forget to include a list of vendors serving that space.

That brings us to the next step: Once we've complied a final list of equipment categories and vendors, we’ll use it as the basis for future reports.

So fire away. And if you need a 3G refresher course first, visit A Wireless Taxonomy.

Unstrung Staff

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12/5/2012 | 2:14:06 AM
re: Who Makes What: Next-Gen Wireless Infrastructure
How about handsets/user terminals/IMS, etc...
12/5/2012 | 2:14:02 AM
re: Who Makes What: Next-Gen Wireless Infrastructure
Because we're focusing on wireless infrastructure this time. Think there is a need/demand for a more handset/terminal/device-orientated survey. If there is we'll probably do one, we're just working through the wireless networking elements in manageable chunks.


DJ Unstrung
12/5/2012 | 2:03:01 AM
re: Who Makes What: Next-Gen Wireless Infrastructure
I would think that the need to improve capacity, range and interference management would be another sector. For example, smart antenna companies, tower top amplifiers and interference management (e.g., advance filtering). Evidently, it will be especially niche with data networks.
12/5/2012 | 1:52:54 AM
re: Who Makes What: Next-Gen Wireless Infrastructure
How about CN (Core Network) components for 3G for the CS/Voice domain? Network elements such as PSTN Gateways, Access Gateways, Wireless Softswitches, etc...
12/5/2012 | 1:51:18 AM
re: Who Makes What: Next-Gen Wireless Infrastructure
The BTS, Node B, pico/microcell split is really a bit silly and adds nothing to this survey.

Why not simply go for a split like:

a) base stations (BTS, node B, picocell/microcell, etc.)

b) antenna systems (often a very different list!)

c) Radio controllers (BSC, RNC, etc.)

d) Packet data nodes (PDN, SGSN, GGSN)

e) circuit switch nodes (MSC, TC, MGW, MSC-S, etc)

f) Subscriber data nodes (HLR, HSS)

g) Other service nodes (SMS-S, CB-SMS-S, MMS-S, etc.)

In each case the vendors would be listed according to the standards (GSM, IS95, cdma2000, UMTS-FDD/WCDMA, UMTS-TDD/TD-SCDMA, etc.) and, for the base stations, which bands (450, 800, 900, 1800, 1900, 2GHz) they support.

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