Creative Connectivity - the site for eHealth, telematics and wireless

Why LTE should wait for 2.3GHz

It’s premature to give in to mobile operator’s demands.

In the last blog I wrote about the immense damage that could be done to the market for connected personal devices and the Internet of Things by licensing the 2.3GHz spectrum to mobile networks.  As OFCOM is still asking for consultation responses prior to their auction I thought it timely to list some of the reasons that I believe justify a delay in releasing this spectrum.  If you agree that it should be postponed, you have until June 26th to send OFCOM your views.  Please do, as I believe this could cost the industry billions of pounds and push back innovation.

The battle is between mobile network operators, who want more spectrum and the ongoing survival of the 2.4GHz band.  The 2.4GHz spectrum is unlicensed, and used by the wireless standards in most consumer devices, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and others.  If mobile phones start to use frequencies close to 2.4GHz, it will degrade the performance of these products.  Your Internet access may slow down, audio bars and Sonos systems may get noisy, hearing aids will perform poorly, the response of smart home systems could get sluggish or stop.  Everything that uses the 2.4GHz band may work less well and have a reduced range, to the point where they’re no longer compelling devices.  If that happens, users will stop buying products, businesses may close, investors will lose their money and the current Internet of Things bubble will be firmly burst.

There are a lot of “mays” in that.  That’s because we can’t be sure.  To their credit, OFCOM have commissioned some tests which show that there is a problem, but they didn’t test enough, or new enough products to determine the true extent of the problem.  OFCOM’s response is to say that manufacturers need to redesign their products to be more resistant to interference.  However, that adds cost, the technology is not yet available for small products and it can’t be retrofitted to the billions of existing products already on the market.  For that reason I believe any auction should be delayed to give the industry time to test and see if it can develop solutions.  Otherwise the costs could be enormous. Continue →

June 22nd, 2015 | Published in Wireless Connectivity

Previously


Pressure grows to stop GB Smart Metering

Ask your MP about the value of smart meters.


Apple’s revolutionary ResearchKit deserves a better audience

Or why I’m finally going to buy an iPhone…


MWC – Men Want Connections

Wearables and the IoT at the Mobile World Congress


Smart Metering 2.0

How obsolete is the GB smart metering program? Very.


Smart Wearables – a $30 billion dollar opportunity

Wearable tech’s coming to a body near you…


About Creative Connectivity

Creative Connectivity is Nick Hunn's blog on aspects and applications of wireless connectivity. Having worked with wireless for over twenty years I've seen the best and worst of it and despair at how little of its potential is exploited.

I hope that's about to change, as the demands of healthcare, energy and transport apply pressure to use wireless more intelligently for consumer health devices, smart metering and telematics. These are my views on the subject - please let me know yours.

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Why LTE should wait for 2.3GHz

It’s premature to give in to mobile operator’s demands.

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Pressure grows to stop GB Smart Metering

Ask your MP about the value of smart meters.