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In a venue that is all about speed, fans expect the fastest experience possible. That’s why Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, spent this past weekend at Phoenix International Raceway demonstrating its second phase trial of a hyper-dense small cell network, cooperating with Sprint and NASCAR® to connect one of the toughest environments around.
The NASCAR stock cars enter the garage connected with Qualcomm small cell technology.
The raceway (and, specifically, the garage area) is an ideal venue to conduct a small cell trial: 43 teams rely on real-time data relayed between the car, pit, garage and their home base – usually in North Carolina; these radio frequencies are hampered by an ever-changing environment packed with large vehicles that often reflect signals, as well as the crush of up to 5,000 mobile users in the garage area, with their own data demands. Staying connected – especially at the fast speeds that are demanded – is no easy task.
The stock cars get analyzed and the data uploaded from the garage at Phoenix International Raceway.
To address this challenge, Qualcomm Technologies installed 31 small cell base stations in the garage to test density limits, measure network performance improvements and quantify users’ mobile experiences. This hyper-dense network demonstration, built with Airspan’s AirSynergy 2000 LTE Advanced Pico Base Stations, is connected by Qualcomm Technologies’ small cell chipsets and UltraSON™ (Self Organizing Network) technology. The hyper-dense network has an equivalent density of 1000 cells per square kilometer operating on Sprint’s band 41 LTE-TDD spectrum.
A Qualcomm-enabled small cell on top of the NASCAR garage near the race tower.
In preparation for the anticipated 1000x increase in mobile data traffic this decade, Qualcomm Technologies is leading the charge to maximize the efficiency of limited spectrum. In its Phase 1 trial at Phoenix International Raceway in November of 2013, Qualcomm Technologies showcased its UltraSON technology’s ability to improve wireless performance and quality of service in hyper-dense small cell networks, while significantly reducing network load. In phase 2, Qualcomm Technologies plans to demonstrate significant capacity gains resulting in robust user experiences across the whole trial area. We are ready for the 1000x data challenge, and tackling the toughest places first.
While traditional macro cell towers are good at providing wide area coverage, small cell deployment is designed to offer a more cost-effective solution to deliver high levels of mobile data capacity in both indoor and outdoor venues, with the added benefit of enhanced performance in areas of dense usage –a busy NASCAR garage being the ultimate example.
It was a thrilling weekend for many speedy reasons, but we were most excited to see the next phase of small cells come together and deliver data quickly and reliably in such a demanding environment. After all, if small cells can address data demand in the bustling garage at NASCAR, they can help improve performance anywhere.
That’s a lot of mobile data demand! Thousands in the grandstands look on as the stock cars scream by.
The Public Wi-Fi Frustration
It happens to all of us: sitting in a coffee shop, mall, or busy public place and scanning through dozens of Wi-Fi® networks to connect to. It’s often difficult since most are secured or look unsafe. You might have an account with one of the local business venues nearby, if you could only remember your login…
Passpoint™ is a new approach in Wi-Fi that aims to improve all that. After all, wouldn’t it be so much better if your devices could identify trustworthy networks in public areas and connect to them automatically? What if it were just as easy to connect as when you step inside your home?
Passpoint: A Revolutionary Approach
The Wi-Fi Alliance® and Wireless Broadband Alliance are aiming to make connecting care-free with Passpoint “Hotspot 2.0” technology. They are working to take Wi-Fi hotspot access to a new level by streamlining network selection, authentication, and provisioning for wireless devices. In layman’s terms, you’ll be able to connect simply and securely to a Wi-Fi network away from home and even roam and switch between networks when you’re on the move.
During Mobile World Congress 2014 these two alliances are holding a Next Generation Hotspot Wi-Fi roaming demonstration along with 17 operators, which features commercially available Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint equipment. MWC attendees who come by the Carrier Wi-Fi Summit, where the demo is being hosted, can get hands on with the Wi-Fi Passpoint products provided by a number of device manufacturers.
Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, has long been a Passpoint supporter and is actively working with the Wi-Fi Alliance and our partners to evolve capabilities and grow adoption of Passpoint technology and products.
Just think: logging into a public Wi-Fi network could soon be as easy as walking in the door.
Some quick shots of how easy it is to use Passpoint from their demo at Mobile World Congress 2014.
We know a huge part of what makes Qualcomm® successful is its community (that’s you!). So while we’re busy at Mobile World Congress announcing key collaborations and better enterprise connectivity, we also want to give back. The Qualcomm family is excited to offer you a number of fantastic prizes in our #bornmobile sweepstakes, including a top-of-the-line router featuring VIVE™ 11ac StreamBoost™ technology.
Just in case you haven’t read about what makes StreamBoost so great, here’s a quick refresher on its numerous benefits for connectivity, Wi-Fi®, and home network performance:
So, ready to blaze the Internet at lightning speeds? Great – enter the #bornmobile sweepstakes and you could get a hyper-smart StreamBoost-enabled router as well as a new smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch.
All you have to do is follow Qualcomm on Twitter and tweet with the #bornmobile hashtag saying what you would love about having a new StreamBoost-enabled router. It’s that easy!
The sweepstakes is running February 24 to 27, 2014, and is open to US-residents only. Be sure to read the complete terms and conditions for all the details: www.qualcomm.com/mwc-terms.
Good luck, and stream on!
Qualcomm Snapdragon and Qualcomm Toq are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Qualcomm VIVE and Qualcomm StreamBoost are products of Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.
In January during CES14, we discussed how faster Wi-Fi®, like Qualcomm® VIVE™ 2-stream 11ac, will soon change the way people interact with their cars and with mobile devices on the road. But let’s talk about smartphones and tablets, which historically have included 1-stream Wi-Fi due to size and battery limitations. New phones are going 2-stream, and here’s why: with the increase in viewing of video content on smartphones and tablets, consumers want the best possible experience.
With smartphones and tablets using VIVE 2-stream 11ac, consumers can get better than 600 Mbps transmission, which is two times faster than today’s best smartphones (up to six times faster than what’s available in most tablets today, which still have 11n Wi-Fi). This means consumers can get much better video streaming and faster media downloads, as well as better performance for games and apps.
And that’s not even taking into consideration the advent of 4K video. While there is some debate about whether people will want 4K video on mobile devices, we believe consumers crave better video no matter the device. Obviously Qualcomm is playing a role in ensuring smartphones and tablets have the processing capacity to handle 4K. From a Wi-Fi perspective, smartphones and tablets need to be ready for 4K files without exhausting battery life (or patience, for that matter).
In addition to the support for 4K video, VIVE 2-stream 11ac includes Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ for peer-to-peer connectivity, so consumers can mirror content from their smartphone and tablet displays onto larger screens, such as TVs.
One more advantage for consumers? The ability to do everything they want with their smartphones without maxing out cell phone data plans. By moving over to Wi-Fi for data-intensive activities, consumers can avoid the extra costs charged by carriers for 3G and 4G/LTE network usage.
The next logical question is: when will we see these 2-stream 11ac enabled smartphones and tablets in the market? The answer is sooner than you think.
Small cells are an emerging technology, yet they are already evolving. ip.access, a leading small cell innovator and system builder, has released that evolution’s next step: Presence. This new breed of small cells produces unique capabilities centered on analytics and big data, allowing them to provide improved support services and value. Presence cells, based on FSM™ technology, will open up new solutions and revenue opportunities and improve the consumer experience.
By collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., ip.access is able to drive new areas of innovation within mobile infrastructure. Leveraging small cell networks for the use of analytics and big data creates a myriad of added value services for businesses and consumers alike. This understanding of subscriber activity, location, behavior and profiles creates rich data insights that operators can use to enhance their offerings of connectivity and relevant, valuable services to their customers. In so doing, operators will get added return from their network investment as well, thereby improving its overall value.
The potential for Presence is palpable: from retail analytics to mobile banking and payments and even loyalty and rewards programs, new Presence small cells are designed to offer operators outstanding opportunities to improve value and experience for their consumers. Even better, they will be compatible with more than two billion 3G handsets without any adjustments from how they currently operate, and later generations will be able to operate within LTE networks as well.
The worlds of small cell connectivity and big data are still in their early years, but creating clever ways to marry these two highly valuable areas is sure to produce fantastic results. Armed with Presence small cells and the continued pursuit of innovation, ip.access and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. are paving the way for a lucrative and delightful experience for operators and consumers alike.
Something very significant is happening in the mobile world as licensed band technology starts to converge with Wi-Fi®. This convergence will create new opportunities for the entire mobile ecosystem, both in the user equipment (UE) and infrastructure worlds. But, it will also create some controversial and interesting discontinuities. In this and future posts, I will be exploring this topic and providing insights into Qualcomm’s role in shaping what is turning out to be an important new way of thinking about “the network.”
Want to read more? The full post is available via OnQ, Qualcomm’s primary blog.
If there’s one thing Qualcomm knows, it’s how to connect. We want you to appreciate your loved ones this Valentine’s Day – so we’ve collected the best tech and apps to keep you connected: whether it’s your partner, parent, progeny, or pet.
Apps that Help You Connect
Smartphone users (single and committed) know apps make a world of difference. Here we’ve selected apps for different situations: keeping close despite long distance, meeting new people, and even planning your next Valentine’s date.
If your paramour is far away, apps with video calling usually come to mind. But for long distance there are many that go beyond, with cute features like converting photos into postcards or sharing a virtual “kiss.”
There are also plenty of dating apps, each with different focuses. The Huffington Post has a list detailing what each app does and how it works, and the Daily Beast tells the subtleties of what each app is best for.
Finally, planning a date and its details can be burdensome, but luckily this infographic details apps that can help.
Tech to Stay Close
Apps need good tech to back them up. Let’s give some love to Wi-Fi®, which keeps us connected so much it inspires cute related pictures linking Wi-Fi to love.
Of course there’s other great tech too, like connected cameras that share epic cuddles, devices to keep your four-legged friend healthy, and routers that ensure your video date runs smoothly.
May You Stay Connected
Whether it’s your cherished partner, delightful children, wonderful family, or even your furry companion we hope you stay connected this Valentine’s. We’ll do our best to bring you together for years to come.
Recently our friends at ip.access® collaborated with research analysts at the Yankee Group® to look into the technology of small cells and identify potential market opportunities. Their findings suggest an approach that could increase revenue and customer affinity. Small cells, which provide strong signal and better capacity for mobile data users, face initial challenges due to cost and variations in business cases. Based on this research, ip.access and Yankee Group have devised a way to move the small cells market forward.
The paper – “Accelerating Enterprise Small Cells” – is based on industry-wide probing and in-depth interviews with leading mobile operators. It identifies a disconnect between the needs of implementers and end users.
The study suggests addressing current problems with data demand and small cell rollout by using “business case chaining.” Basically, operators start by launching a small number of cells to address a simple business case, which minimizes their risk. Additional cases would then be added over time, creating a growing cycle driven by incremental successes.
Business case chaining has an initial significant cost, but once the infrastructure is set up it becomes more feasible to create follow-on services. Think of it like taking a dip in cold water: getting your feet wet is the hardest part, but once that’s done is much easier to jump in – in this case, diving in to a rich revenue stream of satisfied customers.
In other words, once small cells are initially deployed – whether for coverage, capacity or other reasons – the biggest challenge is already done. Creating new offerings for subscribers then becomes much cheaper and offers notable profit potential.
The next step is investing in the value of small cells. To do that, the research recommends a sales and marketing push combined with deployment of indoor business and public access small cells to create growth and new cash flow.
Small cells entered the market to fill coverage gaps, but their current benefits go far beyond. Yankee Group’s report suggests using the advantages of small cells to address the world’s growing appetite for data. By implementing it one step at a time, it’s possible to create a more fertile market for operators and customers alike.
Edit: If you want to learn more about the research, ip.access released the recording of their webinar.
Recently Qualcomm Incorporated announced through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., its latest enhanced location feature for mobile devices, working with China’s BeiDou satellite constellation – but what does this really mean, and where is it going? The answer to both is a world where your smartphone or tablet can help find your location quickly, even in tough environments – with Qualcomm® leading the way.
Picture two jungle explorers: one’s a busy business person dashing between the glass and concrete of the urban jungle, and the other’s backpacking their way through the lush terrain of Southeast Asia. Both are trying to use their smart device to find their location and get to their next destination, and both are struggling with interference that’s blocking satellite signals like buildings, trees, and mountains.
It’s not their device’s fault. Although cell towers and Wi-Fi® can help with location the most common method uses satellites, which need good line of sight to their receiver. If it’s blocked, or if they’re currently in orbit somewhere else, they’ll have to wait until their device can “see” the next one. Smartphones and tablets without Qualcomm location technology have access to far fewer satellites, which means the user is often out of luck.
Recognizing this need, Qualcomm is the first to integrate the technology into our chipsets that will work with China’s BeiDou satellite constellation, adding 30 more satellites to the list that the latest gadgets can reach. With more satellites overhead, location accuracy greatly improves for our business executive and intrepid adventurer alike.
While the technology is currently only in the Samsung Note 3® available in China, embracing more satellite constellations like BeiDou lays the groundwork for expansion to more devices and networks alike, with Qualcomm Technologies at the forefront.
William McFarland, Qualcomm Atheros Inc.’s VP of Technology, recently earned a prestigious Fellowship in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – something 0.1% of members achieve. Specifically, the IEEE recognized his leadership in seamless, low-cost Wi-Fi® radio technology and years of contributions. This week he shared a glimpse of what it takes to be a leader in the wireless world as an individual, a team, and a company.
McFarland is no stranger to innovation: so far he has published over 35 papers and holds 70 patents. He has been at the forefront of Wi-Fi’s growth virtually since the beginning, as well as worked with Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, cellular, and some wired technologies such as Ethernet and Powerline Communications. He’s heard “it can’t be done” plenty of times. McFarland propels the world forward because he’s driven to solve problems and looks for better, big-picture ways to create solutions.
For him, challenges are like a Rubik’s® cube. Rather than approaching an engineering problem as a small monolithic piece, McFarland looks at it as a whole, considering each problem element as a separate piece with various solutions, just like the cube can have various colors. By mixing and matching elements and solutions like the colored tiles, he figures out what works. This unique, persistent approach helped him make strides in technology development.
As an industry leader, he unsurprisingly has interesting perspectives on the future. His own career is evolving to include coaching and mentoring others to think in new ways and use similar techniques – by testing many approaches even if they’re inelegant and messy, then evaluating and refining them until arriving at a simple solution. For the company and industry as a whole, he sees a tremendous growth in Wi-Fi technology.
What makes Wi-Fi interesting to him is its ability to grow and accelerate in multiple dimensions simultaneously, evolving from the mere pursuit of higher data rates. New initiatives are trying to improve Wi-Fi range, explore more local applications, and bridge gaps with other wireless technologies, mixing and matching them to create unique results.
For McFarland, the beauty of working for Qualcomm Atheros is that it’s a company that does these technologies very well – QCA’s combination of leadership and innovation with business savvy lets him do creative, technical work while addressing business issues and market trends. McFarland and Qualcomm Atheros are pushing forward to make great technology that improves people’s lives, while propelling a profitable and sustainable business – that, combined with his dedicated work in Wi-Fi, is why McFarland is a newly honored Fellow of the IEEE.