O’Brien Shares Private Wireless LTE Vision
Wednesday, October 09, 2013 | Comments

Morgan O'Brien

Wake up and smell the Long Term Evolution (LTE) was the keynote message that industry pioneer and visionary Morgan O’Brien delivered last week at the 2013 Wireless Leadership Summit in St. Louis.

According to O’Brien, there are 200 million LTE devices currently in use, and that number is projected to increase to 1 billion by 2018. With more than 800,000 mobile apps available, the enterprise and critical infrastructure industries should unite to set the stage for a private LTE network.

“It’s wrong to conclude that there is no longer a place for private radio, but LTE should be considered,” O’Brien said.

Private wireless users have special coverage requirements, and priority access and control demands, which create the need for a private system.

“Private radio spectrum in the U.S. is essential for commerce and improves the overall global competitiveness of U.S. companies as a result of the productivity and efficiency gains that may be attributed to the utilization of private wireless radio communications,” said Hal Herron, a Motorola Solutions vice president.

O’Brien didn’t lay out the road to nirvana, but rather presented a “What if?” scenario that focused on the need to address scarce spectrum, regulatory hurdles and financial issues first. He said that if 30 megahertz of spectrum could be secured in contiguous and noncontiguous spectrum, LTE Advanced’s cognitive abilities would be able to piece it together for a robust, private broadband network.

Because O’Brien made his speech at the Enterprise Wireless Alliance’s (EWA) annual meeting, one might speculate that he feels Mark Crosby, president and CEO of the association, would be the right person to spearhead the movement. After all, Crosby has been an advocate for the private wireless industry for nearly 40 years.

“Morgan’s vision that a dedicated private land mobile broadband capability comprising 30 megahertz deserves a fair hearing,” said Crosby. “It’s an aggressive plan, but it needs to be if it has any opportunity to achieve success, providing future opportunities for all of EWA’s traditional membership. EWA’s leadership will look forward to continued dialogue with Morgan, and a meaningful future role in the development of this initiative. Of course, it’s very early, and this strategic spectrum initiative will take time to refine, so we might as well start a constructive and participatory dialogue with all interested parties sooner rather than later.” 

“Spectrum is war,” said O’Brien. “It’s better to be on the offense.”

Washington is looking for pro-competition and spectrum-efficient solutions. The key to the success of the concept will be to convince Washington that it’s better for the nation’s economy to keep an LTE enterprise network private than to auction the spectrum.

The Wireless Leadership Summit is co-sponsored by the EWA and USMSS and features their meetings, an exhibition, plus educational sessions about business strategies and operations.

For more information on the Wireless Leadership Summit, click here.

Your comments are welcome, click here.


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