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Thursday, October 12, 2023

6G won't wait. Will traditional MNOs still be the main customers when it arrives?

This post originally appeared in September 2023 on my LinkedIn feed, which is now my main platform for both short posts and longer-form articles. It can be found here, along with the comment stream. Please follow / connect to me on LinkedIn, to receive regular updates (about 1-3 / week)

 One line I heard yesterday at #ConnectedBritain that really struck me came from BT Group Network/Security head Howard Watson during his keynote.

He was hoping #6G arrived later rather than earlier, "For the Brisbane Olympics, not LA", ie 2032.

This is not the first time I've heard an MNO exec expressing a desire to let #5G run longer, before 6G prompts more Capex and infrastructure changes. They want to get payback on existing investments before thinking about the next round.

This is unsurprising. The industry itself now recognises that it overhyped 5G before launch, and completely forgot to mention that it would arrive in phases, with all the "cool stuff" really only arriving in later versions, with the features in 3GPP Releases 16, 17 & 18.

Instead, we started with 4G++ (ie non-standalone 5G, with sometimes higher speeds but not much else) and then the first versions of "proper 5G" with the Release 15 standalone cloud-native core.

5G SA gives somewhat lower latency, and some rudimentary QoS and other features, but it's far from the ubiquitous millisecond / gigabit / slicing nirvana that everyone promised in 2018.

I was skeptical from the beginning - and I'm still a "slice denier". (I think #networkslicing remains a critical strategic error and distraction for the industry). But my view is that the really useful stuff in 5G, such as time-synchronous networking, RedCap and vertical-specific elements such as FRMCS for railways, are still a long way from mainstream.

So I can understand that MNOs look at the proposed 6G timeline of 2030, and think "we're still making heavy work of moving to cloud-native 5G standardalone. How are we going to do successive iterations of R15 SA, R16, R17, R18, R19... and make money, all within 6 years?"

[Note: technically 6G should start with Release 21, but based on past experience we'll see R20, or maybe even R19, marketed as 6G by some MNOs]

There is a possible uncomfortable answer that's starting to get discussed quietly. What if 6G isn't primarily about MNOs, at least at first?

6G will happen in 2030, one way or another. The world's universities and R&D labs aren't going to down tools for two years, while MNOs are still trying to "monetise" 5G. There will be a bunch of technologies and standards that get called IMT2030 / 6G.

There might even be multiple standards, either because of geopolitics leading to regional versions, or because my niggling of IEEE and Wi-Fi Alliance eventually prompts them to submit a candidate 6G technology (#WiFi 9 or 10, I guess).

So the question then becomes - will traditional MNOs be the main buyers of 6G in the 2028-2030 timeframe? Or will it be enterprises, new-entrant and niche MNOs, infracos, neutral-hosts, satcos, governments and others building greenfield wireless networks?

Is the failure of 5G to live up to inflated expectations actually going to be the pivot point for the (slow) demise of the legacy MNO model? Are we watching #pathdependency effects in play?


Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Overlapping private networks - an emerging challenge for spectrum management

This post originally appeared in September 2023 on my LinkedIn feed, which is now my main platform for both short posts and longer-form articles. It can be found here, along with the comment stream. Please follow / connect to me on LinkedIn, to receive regular updates (about 1-3 / week)

File this one under “high quality problems”!
We’re starting to see a trend towards multiple enterprise private 5G networks on the same site, or very close to each other. That has a lot of implications.

Various large campus-style environments such as ports, airports and maybe business parks, industrial zones and others in future, will need to deal with the coexistence of several company-specific #5G networks.

For instance, an airport might have different networks deployed at the gates for aircraft turnaround, in the baggage-handling area for machinery, across the ramp area for vehicles, in the terminals for neutral host access, and in maintenance hangars for IoT and AR/VR.

Importantly, these may be deployed, owned and run by *different* companies - the airport authority, airlines, baggage handlers and a contracted indoor service provider, perhaps. In addition there could be other nearby private networks outside the airport fence, for hotels, warehouses and car parks.

This is something I speculated about a few years ago (I dug out the slide below from early 2020), but it is now starting to become a reality.

This is likely to need some clever coordination in terms of #spectrum management, as well as other issues such as roaming/interconnect and perhaps numbering resources such as MNC codes as well. It may need new forms of #neutralhost or multi-tenant setups.
Yesterday I attended a workshop run by the UK’s UK Spectrum Policy Forum. While the main focus was on the 3.8-4.2GHz band and was under Chatham House rule (so I can't cover the specifics), one speaker has allowed me to discuss his comments directly.

Koen Mioulet from European private network association EUWENA gave an example of the Port of Rotterdam, which has 5 different terminals, 3000 businesses including large facilities run by 28 different chemical companies. It already has two #PrivateLTE networks, and 5G used on a "container exchange route" for vehickes, plus more possible networks on ships themselves. It is quite possible to imagine 10+ overlapping networks in future.
While the UK has 400MHz potentially available in 3.8-4.2GHz, some countries only have 50-100MHz for P5G. That would pose significant coordination challenges and may necessitate an "umbrella" network run by (in this case) the Port Authority or similar organisation. An added complexity is synchronisation, especially if each network is set up for different uplink/downlink splits for specific applications.

MNOs could be involved too, in roles from wholesale provision, down to just spectrum leasing. Whatever happens, regulators and others need to start thinking about this.

In the past I’ve half-jokingly suggested that a new 6G target metric should be to have “1000 networks per sq km” rather than the usual “million devices per sq km” or similar.

Maybe we should start with 10 or 100 nearby networks, but that joke is now looking like a real problem, albeit a healthy one for the private cellular industry.


Monday, October 09, 2023

Enterprise 5G - evolving bottom-up from small islands, not top-down from national networks

This post originally appeared on September 29 on my LinkedIn feed, which is now my main platform for both short posts and longer-form articles. It can be found here, along with the comment stream. Please follow / connect to me on LinkedIn, to receive regular updates (about 1-3 / week)

While the broad concept of #privatewireless seems to be getting a lot more awareness in the wider tech industry, some of the implications haven't quite fully landed yet.

I've had a couple of meetings recently where there was still a prevailing view that #5G evolution would continue to be "top-down", with major MNOs setting the agenda, especially for enterprise. The belief is that national "umbrella" networks would address all the various localised applications, such as #industry40 and #smartagriculture, or #v2x networks along roads.

Such a set-up would mean that the network "mothership" would need all sorts of cloud-native elements for orchestration, security and control systems, both at the telcos and their clients, which would be a boon for vendors expecting a direct correlation with the promised $xxx billions of 5G value, coming from URLLC capabilities, slicing and other features.

But what is happening is much more bottom-up. The most cutting-edge uses of 5G are happening at specific locations - whether that is standalone networks at factories, or new #neutralhost deployments in offices and hotels (more on NH's in my next post btw). We can expect Release 16/17/18 features to appear at a micro level, long before they're switched on for the macro domain.

And while these small local networks are sometimes being deployed by MNOs, they are often based on dedicated infrastructure, perhaps using different vendors to the main umbrella national networks. It's often the B2B units running the show, with a variety of partners, rather than the central core network team.

Other small islands are getting their networks built by integrators, towercos & infracos, inhouse teams, industrial solutions suppliers and assorted others. It's very heterogeneous.

And each island can be *small*. A port's 5G network might have huge value for the site's operator, but only have 100 SIMs in cameras and vehicles. There might be redundancy, but it won't need a datacentre full of kit. There's often going to be a lot of customisation, and unique combination of applications and integrations with other systems

So if you're a vendor pitching umbrella-grade solutions, you might need to rethink how to re-orient towards small islands instead.


Sunday, October 08, 2023

RCS messaging: still a zombie, but now wearing a suit

This post originally appeared on October 4 on my LinkedIn feed, which is now my main platform for both short posts and longer-form articles. It can be found here, along with the comment stream. Please follow / connect to me on LinkedIn, to receive regular updates (about 1-3 / week)

Yesterday I followed the Mobile Ecosystem Forum stream of its #RCSWorld conference, on #RCS #messaging, especially business messages. I thought it was time to get an update.
As regular followers know, I’m a long-time critic of RCS. I saw it announced in 2008, wrote reports & advised telco clients about its many problems in 2010-2013, called it a zombie tech in 2015 (“28 quarters later”) and have been sniping at it ever since, including at Google’s acquisition of Jibe and its attempt to turn it into Android’s equivalent of Apple #iMessage.
Some flaws have been addressed (it finally uses E2E encryption), while Google’s tightening control of its features has maybe fixed its “design by committee” paralysis and historic fragmentation. Google is now hosting the whole application for many MNOs, rather than telcos relying on (and paying for) in-network IMS integration, but with an implicit threat of end-running them if they don’t support the services to customers.

There's about 1.2bn phones with RCS active - mostly Google #Android but also about 200m in China. This has been driven by its adoption as the default messaging client on new phones, rather than by consumer download.

I didn't hear any stats on genuine active use - ie beyond just using it as a pseudo-#SMS/MMS app because it's the default. Numbers always seem to be monthly MAUs rather than meaningful DAUs. No anecdotes of teenagers who swapped from FB / WA / iMessage / WeChat / TikTok / whatever because RCS is cooler with better emojis, birthday greeting fireworks or cat-ear image filters.
To be fair, the conference name was misleading. Almost the entire event was about RCS Business Messaging (RBM) rather than personal or group messaging. It was about targeted marketing campaigns (that’s spam to most of us), customer interaction with so-called “brands”, multichannel whatnot, and blather about engagement and “digital” marketing

Apparently A2P revenues for SMS are flattening, but the addition of "rich" interactive in-messaging customer experience functions will reignite growth. One operator in the audience asked why the same forecasts have been shown (and not come true) for the past 4-5 years. Apparently it's too complex for most developers.

So the big innovation is "basic RCS" with 160 characters. SMS with a brand logo, a verification tick and read receipts. It's aiming at the #cPaaS market to get more devs/marketers onto the first rung & hope to catalyse more fancy use-cases later.
IMO this is why Apple isn’t going to support it anytime soon, despite Google's cringey social media exhortations. The notion RCS is a standard for P2P messaging is a smokescreen. It’s an ad & CRM platform, not an SMS replacement or default way to chat with friends. It’s not going to be the messaging equivalent of USB-C chargers & forced on Apple by the European Commission
In a nutshell, it’s still a zombie. But now it’s a zombie in a suit spamming you with ads and "engagement" while it eats your brain



Saturday, October 07, 2023

Train connectivity - is passenger Wi-Fi too linked to rail portals' needs?

This post originally appeared on Oct 5 on my LinkedIn feed, which is now my main platform for both short posts and longer-form articles. It can be found here, along with the comment stream. Please follow / connect to me on LinkedIn, to receive regular updates (about 1-3 / week)

It's always interesting to attend non-telecom industry events. Too often, we breathe our own smoke. Visiting another sector's conferences gives better perspective. Often, networks are less important than we imagine for "verticals".

Yesterday I chaired the Connectivity stream of the World Passenger Festival conference in Vienna, an event primarily for the rail industry, plus other forms of transport mobility. The speakers in my breakout covered Wi-Fi access onboard trains and at stations, plus how to manage video traffic. 5G was covered for on-train network backhaul, neutral-host provision and possible use-cases like AR-enabled tourism & urban mobility V2X safety for buses and bikes.

The rest of the conference and show floor was about passenger experiences more generally. Ticketing, sleeper trains, coordination with other types of transport, train-based tourism and so on. Plenty of talk about apps and "transformation" more broadly, but the network wasn't a priority.

There was also a rather muddled main-stage keynote on #5G by Accenture, with 2018-era references to millisecond latencies, network slicing and autonomous vehicles. It conflated normal MNO 5G with the long-promised critical-comms rail variant #FRMCS and bizarrely suggested they would coexist on converged, virtualised networks. A later chat on their booth with a more knowledgeable colleague gave a lot more clarity & agreement on the realities & drivers of operational connectivity for future rail - especially enabling ECTS (European Train Control System) for higher capacity on rail networks.

The rail industry is at the apex of a trend I discussed in a recent newsletter article and post - the need for customers to have reliable access to smartphone apps for ticketing, journey-planning, at-seat entertainment and catering etc. Travellers need to download passes, make payments and use QR codes.

This explains why so much of the on-train #WiFi strategy is linked to apps and portals, and much less to general wireless infrastructure, whether MNO or dedicated trackside/FRMCS.

Some rail Wi-Fi teams view cellular as a cost (for backhaul) or a rival that stops passengers seeing the portal and info/monetisation offers, when they directly access the Internet from phones. They filter or cache video use to reduce cost and congestion. One even tries to dissuade passengers from using cellular, to save 4G/5G network capacity for the train!

In my view, there is both too much "joined-up" thinking and too little. It's either 5G maximalism ("we don't need Wi-Fi on trains") or it directly links connectivity to the rail operator's own priorities, rather than passengers' real Internet access needs and expectations.

What is needed is integration in the right places and layers. Shared trackside masts and fibre, plus hybrid connectivity to trains from public 5G, trackside dedicated networks (including #private5G) and satellite, delivering good, neutral, fast on-train Wi-Fi AND cellular for passengers.


Friday, October 06, 2023

Indoor wireless & the need for unlicensed 6GHz

This post originally appeared on October 2 on my LinkedIn newsletter, which is now my main platform for both short posts and longer-form articles. It can be found here, along with the comment stream. Please subscribe / connect to me on LinkedIn, to receive regular updates (about 1-3 / week)


Note: This article has been commissioned by the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, based on my existing well-known analysis and positions, which I have been discussing for many years both publicly and privately. I believe that in-building wireless - irrespective of technology - receives far too little attention from policymakers and regulators. 6GHz should be indoor-primary spectrum.

Abstract & summary: The vast bulk of wireless data traffic today is for indoor applications. In future, in-building wireless will become even more important. It is ideally-suited to 6GHz spectrum, made available on an unlicensed basis. A licensed model for 5G mobile in 6GHz would be unable to deliver coverage consistently for more than a small number of sites.

Indoor wireless is already critical & often overlooked

Industry estimates suggest that 60-80% of cellular data is delivered to indoor users, predominantly on smartphones. Additional statistics shows that smartphones also typically consume another 2-5x the cellular data volume on Wi-Fi, almost all of which is indoors or in vehicles. In other words, 90%+ of total smartphone data is consumed inside buildings.

In addition, residential fixed broadband traffic volumes are roughly 10-20x that of mobile broadband, with final delivery mostly over Wi-Fi, often to non-smartphone devices such as smart TVs, laptops, game consoles and voice assistants.

Outside the consumer market, a great deal of non-residential wireless connectivity is also indoors – healthcare, education, manufacturing, conventions, hospitality and office environments are all increasingly dependent on wireless, especially with the rise of industrial automation systems, IoT, robots, connected cameras and displays. These map to the rise in cloud- and video-based business processes.

Most wireless uses & devices are indoor-centric

This does not imply that outdoor wireless use is either trivial or unimportant. Most obviously, everyone uses their phones for calling, messaging, mapping and various transport and other apps while on-the-move. Vehicle connectivity is becoming essential, as well as wireless use for safety, utilities and smart-city infrastructure. Some sectors such as agriculture, logistics and construction are predominantly outdoor-oriented, albeit often at specific locations and sites.

But to a rough approximation, if 80%+ of wireless use is indoors, then 80%+ of economic and social benefit of wireless will accrue indoors as well. This applies irrespective of the technology involved – Wi-Fi, 4G/5G cellular, or even Bluetooth.

Future growth of indoor wireless

The demands for indoor connectivity are likely to grow in both scale and scope in coming years. There will be huge demand for high-throughput, low-latency access for both consumer and enterprise use-cases.

  • Gigabit broadband, especially delivered with fibre, is becoming the default for both residential and business premises. In the medium term, we can expect 10Gig services to become more common as well. In many cases, the bottleneck is now inside the building, and local wireless systems need to keep pace with the access network.
  • There is a growing array of demanding devices and applications connected inside homes and enterprises premises. 4K and 8K screens, automation systems, healthcare products, AR/VR systems, cameras for security and industrial purposes, robots and much more.
  • Wireless devices will increasingly be located in any room or space inside a building, including bedrooms, garages, basements, meeting rooms, factory-floors and hospital operating theatres.
  • The density of devices per-building or per-room will increase exponentially. While some will be low-traffic products such as sensors, ever more appliances and systems will feature screens, cameras and cloud/AI capabilities demanding greater network performance.
  • There will be growing emphasis on the efficiency of networks, in terms of both energy and spectrum usage. “Blasting through walls” with wireless signals will be viewed negatively on both counts.

Yet only some policymakers and regulators have explicit focus on indoor wireless in their broadband and spectrum policies. There has been some positive movement recently, with regulators in markets such as the UK, Germany, Canada and Saudi  Arabia addressing the requirements. But it is now time for all governments and regulators to specifically address indoor wireless needs – and acknowledge the need for more spectrum, especially if they eventually want to achieve “gigabit to each room” as a policy goal.

Wi-Fi can satisfy indoor requirements, but needs 6GHz

Almost all indoor devices discussed here have Wi-Fi capabilities. A subset have 5G cellular radios as well. Very few are 5G-only. This situation is unlikely to change much, especially with a 5-10 year view.

Yet Wi-Fi faces a significant limit to its performance, if it just has access to traditional 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Not only are these limited in frequency range, but they also have a wide variety of legacy devices, using multiple technologies, that must coexist with any new systems.

While mesh systems have helped extend the reach to all rooms in a home, and Wi-Fi 6 brings new techniques to improve performance and device density in consumer and enterprise settings, much more will be required in future.

Now, Wi-Fi 6E and 7 generations are able to use the 6GHz band. This adds up to 1.2GHz of extra spectrum, with almost no sources of interference indoors, and almost no risk of indoor use creating extra interference to incumbent outdoor users, especially at lower power levels.

6GHz Wi-Fi would be able to address all the future requirements discussed in the previous section, as well as reducing system latency, improving indoor mobility and providing greater guarantees of QoS / reliability.

6GHz 5G is unsuitable for indoor use, and of limited use outdoors

By contrast, 6GHz is a poor fit for indoor 5G. Most buildings will be unable to use outdoor-to-indoor propagation reliably, given huge propagation challenges through walls. This would be hugely wasteful of both energy and spectrum resource anyway. This situation will worsen in future as well, with greater use of insulated construction materials and glass.

That leaves dedicated indoor systems such as small cells or distributed antenna or radio systems. Current DAS systems cannot support 6GHz radios – most struggle even with 3.5GHz. It may be possible to upgrade some of the more advanced systems with new radio heads, but few building owners would be willing to pay, and almost no MNOs would. In any case, only a fraction of buildings have indoor cellular systems, especially beyond the top tier of shopping malls, airports and other large venues.

The industry lacks the human and financial resources to implement new 6GHz-capble indoor systems in more than a tiny proportion of the millions of buildings worldwide, especially residential homes and small businesses.

Enabling public 5G services to work reliably indoors with 6GHz is therefore a decade-long project, at least. It would likely be the mid-2030s before 5G (or 6G) devices could routinely use 6GHz inside buildings. Lobbyist estimations of the notional GDP uplift from IMT use of the band ignore both the timing and the practical challenges for indoor applications. A very heavy discount % should be applied to any such calculations, even if the baseline assumptions are seen as credible.

Private 5G systems in factories or warehouses could theoretically use 6GHz licensed cellular, but most developed countries now have alternative bands being made available on a localised basis, such as CBRS, 3.8-4.2GHz or 4.9GHz. Many countries also have (unused) mmWave options for indoor private 5G networks. In theory, 5G systems could also use an unlicensed 6GHz band for private networks, although previous unlicensed 4G variants in 5GHz never gained much market traction.

It is worth noting that there are also very few obvious use-cases for outdoor, exclusive-licensed 6GHz for 5G either, beyond a generic increment in capacity, which could also be provided by network densification or other alternative bands. Most markets still have significant headroom in midband 3-5GHz spectrum for 5G, especially if small cells are deployed. The most-dense environments in urban areas could also exploit the large amount of mmWave spectrum made available for cellular use, typically in the 24-28GHz range, which is already in some handsets and is still mostly unused.


Regulators and policymakers need to specifically analyse the use and supply/demand for indoor wireless, and consider the best spectrum and technology options for such applications and devices. Analysis will show that in-building wireless accounts for the vast bulk of economic and social benefits from connectivity.

This is best delivered by using Wi-Fi, which is already supported by almost all relevant device types. With the addition of 6GHz, it can address the future expected growth delivered by FTTX broadband, as well as video, cloud and AR/VR applications.

The ultra-demanding uses that specifically require cellular indoors can use existing bands with enhanced small cells and distributed radios, neutral-host networks, or private 5G networks in the 3-5GHz range. There is also the ample mmWave allocations for 5G.

A final fundamental element here is timing. 6 GHz Wi-Fi chipsets and user devices are already shipping in their 100s of millions. Access points are widely available today and becoming more sophisticated with Wi-Fi 7 and future 8+ versions. By contrast, 5G/6G use of the band for indoor use is unlikely until well into the next decade, if at all.

Indoor wireless is critically important, growing, and needs Wi-Fi.

And Wi-Fi needs 6GHz.


Thursday, June 29, 2023

5G data traffic growth - the devil (FWA) is in the detail

This blog combines two separate, linked LinkedIn articles published in June 2023 on consecutive days. The original posts and comment threads are here and here.

Measuring #mobile data traffic is important for operators, vendors, and policymakers.

As I've said before, we should use *good* #metrics to measure the #telecoms industry, rather than just *easy* metrics. This post is an example of what I mean.

Yesterday, Ericsson released its latest Mobility Report. It's always an interesting trove of statistics on mobile subscribers, networks and usage, with extra topical articles, sometimes written by customers or guests.

While obviously it's very oriented to cellular technologies and has an optimistic pro-3GPP stance, it has a long pedigree and a lot of work goes into it. It's partly informed by private stats from Ericsson's real-world, in-service networks run by MNO customers.

This edition includes extra detail, such as breaking out fixed-wireless access & separating video traffic into VoD #streaming (eg Netflix) vs. social media like TikTok and YouTube.

It had plenty of golden "information nuggets". For instance, traffic density can be 500-1000x higher in dense urban locations than sparse rural areas. I'll come back to that another time.

Global mobile data grew 36% from Q1'22 to Q1'23. The full model online predicts 31% growth in CY2023, falling to just 15% in 2028, despite adding in AR/VR applications towards the end of the decade. That's a fairly rapid s-curve flattening.

For Europe, MBB data growth is predicted at 29% in 2023, falling to only 12% in 2028. That's a *really* important one for all sorts of reasons, and is considerably lower than many other forecasts.

But what really caught my eye was this "#FWA data traffic represented 21% of global mobile data traffic at the end of 2022". Further, it is projected to grow much faster than mobile broadband (MBB) and account for *30%* of total traffic in 2028, mostly #5G. When the famous "5G triangle" of use-cases was developed by ITU, it didn't even mention FWA.

However, the report didn't break out this split by region. So I decided to estimate it myself based on the regional split of FWA subscribers, which was shown in a graphic. I also extended the forecasts out to 2030.

I then added an additional segmentation of my own - an indoor vs outdoor split of MBB data. I've pegged this at 75% indoors, aligning with previous comments from Ericsson and others. Some indoor MBB is served by dedicated in-building wireless systems, and some is outdoor-to-indoor from macro RAN or outdoor small cells.

The result is fascinating. By the 2030, it is possible that over 40% of European 5G data traffic will be from FWA. Just 14% of cellular data will be for outdoor mobile broadband. So what's generating the alleged 5G GDP uplift?

That has massive implications for spectrum policy (eg on #6GHz) and proposed #fairshare traffic fees. It also highlights the broad lack of attention paid to indoor cellular and FWA.

Note: This is a quick, rough estimate, but it's the type of data we need for better decisionmaking. I hope to catalyse others to do similar analysis.


A separate second post then looked at the policy aspects of this:

Yesterday's post on mobile data traffic - and contribution from 5G FWA and indoor use - seems to have struck a chord. Some online and offline comments have asked about the policy implications.

There are several conclusions for regulators and telecoms/infrastructure ministries:

- Collect more granular data, or make reasoned estimates, of breakdowns of data traffic in your country & trends over time. As well as #FWA vs #MBB & indoor vs outdoor, there should be a split between rural / urban / dense & ideally between macro #RAN vs outdoor #smallcell vs dedicated indoor system. Break out rail / road transport usage.
- Develop a specific policy (or at least gather data and policy drivers) for FWA & indoor #wireless. That feeds through to many areas including spectrum, competition, consumer protection, #wholesale, rights-of-way / access, #cybersecurity, inclusion, industrial policy, R&D, testbeds and trials etc. Don't treat #mobile as mostly about outdoor or in-vehicle connectivity.
- View demand forecasts of mobile #datatraffic and implied costs for MNO investment / capacity-upgrade through the lens of detailed stats, not headline aggregates. FWA is "discretionary"; operators know it creates 10-20x more traffic per user. In areas with poor fixed #broadband (typically rural) that's potentially good news - but those areas may have spare mobile capacity rather than needing upgrades. Remember 4G-to-5G upgrade CAPEX is needed irrespective of traffic levels. FWA in urban areas likely competes with fibre and is a commercial choice, so complaints about traffic growth are self-serving.
- Indoor & FWA wireless can be more "tech neutral" & "business model neutral" than outdoor mobile access. #WiFi, #satellite and other technologies play more important roles - and may be lower-energy too. Shared / #neutralhost infrastructure is very relevant.
- Think through the impact of detailed data on #spectrum requirements and bands. In particular, the FWA/MBB & indoor splits are yet more evidence that the need for #6GHz for #5G has been hugely overstated. In particular, because FWA is "deterministic" (ie it doesn't move around or cluster in crowds) it's much more tolerant of using different bands - or unlicensed spectrum. Meanwhile indoor MBB can be delivered with low-band macro 5G, dedicated in-building systems (perhaps mmWave), or offloaded to WiFi. Using midband 5G and MIMO to "blast through walls" is not ideal use of either spectrum or energy.
- View 5G traffic data/forecasts used in so-called #fairshare or #costrecovery debates with skepticism. Check if discretionary FWA is inflating the figures. Question any GDP impact claims. Consider how much RAN investment is actually serving indoor users, maybe inefficiently. And be aware that home FWA traffic skews towards TVs and VoD #streaming (Netflix, Prime etc) rather than smartphone- or upload-centric social #video like TikTok & FB/IG.

Telecoms regulation needs good input data, not convenient or dramatic headline stats.