Tag Archives: Deployment

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook

Book release alert for the Smart City Tech Planning Handbook. It is out! The Smart City Tech Planning handbook which will give you case studies, technical avenues for smart cities, and ways to deploy! Yes, it’s a guide to get you started.

The pain point is most groups working on a smart city, or a smart campus project doesn’t know where to begin. They often struggle just figuring out what is possible. I noticed that every city has a different definition of what they want for a smart city then they have no idea how to get there. They don’t know what has been done, really been done, and they don’t know how to get started.

Many cities fall prey to the large OEMs because they come in and offer a specific solution which the city may or may not want. So they go with it, or they run demos thinking that this is something that the people want. The people generally tell you what they want, if you’re listening. Don’t forget small business and large business for that matter, what do they really want to do business in your city? How do you get there? What has been done? I’m here to help!

Figure out your foundation, your assets, how to monetize and what you can use for your foundation, it could really help you now by knowing and planning, not guessing or assuming. Let’s work together!

This book is here for you to plan your path to deploying technology in your city for your purpose. Not only that but what assets do you have that you can use or even better yet, make money on. Wouldn’t it be nice if the city could find a way to create revenue streams off what they have? Remember that you don’t need to be tied to a large company to make money from your assets. In fact, do you even know what your assets are? You should figure it out ASAP! Again, this book will help you figure that out, and it will guide you to getting the help that won’t take you down a path you don’t want to do.

Showing you what has been done and what can be done. There is help for you. This is a guide to get started. It will help you see what’s been done and what’s possible. Let me help, take some time and learn all you can. Make informed decisions about how to deploy and learn from what’s been done. Understand why they did what they did. Understand how to get where you want to go.

I’ll explain more but here is how you can get it!

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook, available at:

Here is an overview of the Smart City Tech Planning Handbook!

Your Smart City Planning Guide for broadband, IOT, and solutions in technology. A handbook for learning more about smart city use cases, technology, and roll out.

We want you to prepare and plan for your smart city with all the information needed to move ahead cost effectively to develop your vision. Your city may have more assets to make it smart and bring in revenue, do you know how to do that? Get some help from others who have done it. Look smart by planning for your smart city vision!

Are you working to create a smart city? Are you taking that step to add the technology need to build infrastructure for your smart city? Let me help. You can gain the knowledge to move ahead in this book to plan your deployment, your growth, your services. If you don’t’ want the book, then send me an email, I can help. This book is to help you get started.

Everyone thinks technology is just broadband, and this is a big part of today’s world, but the services need to be aligned with your smart city vision. How do you do this? Plan the vision around the technology and know what you have so you know how far you should go.

This is all covered, with case studies, plenty of links for you to reference and PDFs to download. It’s more than this book, it bigger than that, it’s providing you models and solutions.

Are you ready to build your smart city? Do you have the budget? The infrastructure? Why don’t you make sure? This book will help you and your teams!

Smart City Questions:

Do you know that the smart city is here now?

Most cities want to be a smart city, and they are looking for technology to save them. I once saw a TED talk where they described a smart city as being the way the buildings are built. Let me tell you something; the buildings are constructed in these cities. While it would be wonderful to plan a smart city from scratch, it’s not the reality of the cities out there. They intend to improve the existing city infrastructure, which is no easy task. That’s the purpose of this book, to help you work with cities and have them develop their smart city initiatives. Develop a plan!

Learn this!

What is a Smart City?

How do you plan the Smart City infrastructure?

Where do you start when developing the smart city?

What planning is involved?

Whom should I partner with?

What about permitting, rent, acquisition, construction planning?

Whom should we work with? Learn all this and more from case studies and deployment planning. The rest is up to you!

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook is broken into 3 general sections.

  • It provides case studies to show you what has been done in other cities around the world as well as what larger OEMs envision can be done. This is to provide you with real world case studies as well as concepts to get your idea flowing for your city. It also shows you it can be done, it’s not pie in the sky but real solutions to real problems where technology provides the solutions!
  • We discuss the technology that is out there and available. It is a good idea for you to learn what is real and what is coming. In today’s world, the technology and spectrum can determine what can be done and what is 10 years out. Luckily, things move fast today. The only real limitation is getting past the limitations that people, and governments, impose not themselves.
  • What is the foundation of smart city technology? While the technology really matters, what good is it if you can’t roll it out. These things need to happen in steps or phases. Providing a foundation is key to your smart city dream becoming a reality. Use this as a guide to building it the way that you would like to see it.

Get it today!

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook, available at:

PDF version on Gumroad: https://gum.co/saDBQ

PDF on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/QAvq/

Amazon Kindle: Click here.

Paperback: Click here for the paperback!

KOBO, ITUNES, and more!

Below is a sample of the Table of Contents for you to review:

Table of Contents

  • Smart City Questions
  • Community Living:
  • The Purpose of this Book
  • How to use this book
  • What’s been done?
  • Smart City Technology overview
  • The Foundation of your Smart City
  • Your Smart City Plan
  • Deploy, Deploy, Deploy!
  • What is a “Smart City”?
  • Smart City Research Case Studies
  • How to read this section
  • Smart Cities Council and Cisco
  • Smart Cities Projects
  • India Smart Cities
  • Singapore
  • Santander, Spain
  • Yinchuan, China
  • General notes
  • IDC Government Insights
  • Multiple Case Studies from National League of Cities, (NLC), “Trends in Smart City” publication.
  • Case Study Chicago:
  • Case Study Philadelphia, Pa
  • Charlotte, NC
  • San Francisco, Ca
  • Columbus, Oh, Smart City report
  • Smart City Cleveland
  • The US Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge
  • NYC Planning Document called One New York
  • Smart City Columbus
  • The Smart City Playbook by Nokia and Machina Research
  • Sum up Smart City Focus
  • Smart Cities Council
  • Summary
  • Smart City Technology
  • How to read this section
  • An Outline of Smart City Broadband
  • How do we use and roll out broadband?
  • Who uses that broadband?
  • What will the city get from this mass roll out?
  • What is the transport method?
  • Who will roll out what?
  • What technologies are available?
  • Sum it up
  • Why does Indoor Connectivity matter in a Smart City?
  • Fiber
  • Cable & Copper
  • Wi-Fi
  • LTE-U
  • Public safety bands
  • DAS systems
  • Small Cells
  • CBRS
  • Indoor coverage summary
  • Smart City IOT Technologies
  • What is IOT and how will we use it?
  • A Little History
  • What is NB-IOT?
  • Is IOT a 5G Service?
  • IOT Services in the Smart City
  • IOT Wireless Tech:
  • More “Smart City” IOT resources:
  • Fixed Wireless in the Smart City
  • What is Fixed Wireless?
  • M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions)
  • Spectrum for 5G Fixed Wireless
  • Why does Fixed Wireless Matter to a Smart City?
  • 5G Resources
  • Which Technology is right for us?
  • What’s first?
  • Build or lease?
  • Let’s build!
  • It built, now what?
  • Leasing is easy!
  • Who owns the solution?
  • Choose your vision, then plan wisely!
  • Smart City Advantages of Using Technology
  • Summary
  • The Foundation of Smart City Technology
  • How to read this section
  • Assets
  • What do we mount on these assets?
  • Take Inventory of what you have
  • Smart City Audits
  • Mounting assets (lamp posts, wood poles, telephone poles)
  • Underground assets
  • Fiber assets:
  • Building tops and Towers
  • Billboards:
  • Parking Garages:
  • Street Furniture:
  • Wireless Backhaul:
  • Data Collection:
  • Notes:
  • Resources:
  • Summary:
  • Smart City Planning
  • Setting the Vision
  • How do you make the Smart City Decision?
  • Decisions: Expense Reduction or Income or Future Vision?
  • Hard Solutions
  • Think of your long-term budgets.
  • Smart City Start-Up Checklist
  • Don’t let the OEMs push you into something you don’t want!
  • Smart City Sustainability
  • Expense Reduction:
  • Rent
  • New Sources of Revenue
  • Potential Business Models
  • As A Service Models:
  • You don’t have to do it all!
  • Smart City “Other” Services
  • Resources:
  • How do you get Broadband to the “Underserved”?
  • Mounting Small Cells in the City
  • Deployment Solutions for Smart Cities
  • Smart City Obstacles, (Real and Perceived)
  • Deployment
  • Change is Certain!
  • A Smart City is a Safe City
  • Acronyms and Definitions
  • Naming Definitions (To help the non-technical person talk technical)
  • Overall Summary
  • Smart City Assets Are Everywhere!

Get busy! Get the book, read, learn, and plan!


 Get it today!

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook, available at:

PDF version on Gumroad: https://gum.co/saDBQ

PDF on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/QAvq/

Amazon Kindle: Click here.

Paperback: Click here for the paperback!

KOBO, ITUNES, and more!


Other books and products by Wade:

About Wade Sarver

Hi, I’m Wade. I write blogs and books. I work as a solution manager for a major OEM. I consult groups on smart city deployments. I help market and bring products to market. I create online products to help tech deployments. Let’s make great tech happen.

It can be summed up like this. Wade Sarver is a blogger and podcaster at www.wade4wireless.com and an author of several nonfiction tech books, a solutions consultant TechFecta, www.techfecta.com, as well as a solution manager for Nokia. To reach out to Wade, you can email at wade4wireless@gmail.com or wade@techfecta.com or twitter @Wade4Wireless.

Thank you for making it to the end! I appreciate your endurance, tenacity, and perseverance!


The 5G Deployment Plan Book Release!

The 5G Deployment Plan Handbook!

You bombarded me with questions about 5G, like what is it, what’s special about it, and how will it be deployed. You also said you didn’t care about the technical details, just how to implement it and how to build the business plans. You kept asking, so I worked on this for over a year. Many of you want to learn about what’s possible with 5G in the real world.

Since you asked for it I put together a book that covers the 5G deployment of macro sites, small cells, LTE-U and even CRAN and c-RAN. It’s more than deployment but the business case because 5G will enable more people to deploy in the US than just the carriers! Spectrum availability in the USA will go far beyond the carriers. How? Find out! Learn more about 5G in the book, and it’s there waiting for you to learn more about it.

Introducing “The 5G Deployment Plan” to cover the 5G deployments from business case to execution.

Get it the way you want it!

The Amazon Paperback, Full Color 8.5″ by 11″ Version

The Amazon Kindle Version

The Full PDF on Sellfy

The Full PDF on Gumroad

Many books talk about 5G in a very technical manner or talk about what the carriers will do. You are probably wondering what you can do! Learn more in this book which is written for the business owners and deployment teams so that 5G can become a reality. I am sure many of you have read that 5G is the wave of the near future. It’s a new type of network. That’s right, instead of having the typical format associated with wireless systems, like LTE was with 4G, 5G encompasses so much more.

This is a follow-up to the original Wireless Deployment Handbook for LTE Small Cells, CRAN, and DAS!

We need some guidance on the 5G wireless rollout plans. Business plans in this book may help you get started or give you ideas of how to move forward. The ideal situation is that we can use the existing systems, which we can.

There are so many questions around 5G technology, but you all are in deployment and want to know what systems to build. This book will help you align the deployment model with a great business case.

Questions like, “Can I build a private 5G system?” “What would it take to deploy 5G systems?” “What would the business case look like for a 5G system?” “How does 5G tie into IOT?” “Will LTE be part of 5G?”

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The beauty of 5G is that it included so many networks. When LTE came out, we associated that with 4G Even though 4G included HetNets to make up one bigger network. HetNets include Wi-Fi and other formats that can work with LTE. One issue has been that LTE never could create a clean handoff to Wi-Fi.

Voice over Wi-Fi was starting to take off, and it worked great on a dedicated Wi-Fi system, but it still would not hand off to the carrier’s LTE system so well. It goes both ways, VoLTE would not hand off to Wi-Fi as clean as they had hoped.

Here is a document that will help you deploy 5G and understand what is involved as well. Giving a technical explanation and touching on the business needs to ensure you get the big picture.

It has not been easy. I have been studying 5G for the past year and a half. I thought it would make sense to put it all in a book for you to use a reference. I recorded what I could and captured it all on paper to make a reference for your teams to have all in one place covering the deployment from business case creation to delivery. You will have a text that will serve to help you design and build your 5G system.

You will become part of the 5G ecosystem by building your portion of the 5G HetNet. How cool is that?

Here is the table of contents to give you an idea of what’s included.


Who is this book for?

How to use this Book


Why 5G?

What is 4G?

A quick history lesson.

The 4G network.

What is 5G?

Quick history recap

Will 5G replace LTE?

What Applications will 5G have?

What will the 5G be used for?

Why the Need for Speed?

Why the need for 5G Low Latency?

Why Narrow Bandwidth systems in 5G?

5G Network Slicing

5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixels4G and 5G Spectrum and Technologies

4G soon to be part of 5G Spectrum

TDD and FDD Formats

The Wireless Network outline.

The Evolved Core.


Wireless Deployment Planning Overview

Pre-deployment Planning Overview

Planning and budgeting for deployment.

Start with the end in mind.

Put some thought into whom you are going to serve.

What is the service?

Break it down even more.

Inter-Network Connectivity

RAN Backhaul and Fronthaul Overview

Fiber connections:

When is fiber used/not used?

Microwave Connections:

When is Microwave used/not used?

What is LTE UE backhaul?


RAN Site Components



Antennas and Jumpers.

The Mounting Structure and Hardware.

Battery backup.

Testing at the site for more than the equipment!

The 4G deployment plan

Types of Cell Sites

The BTS Installation.

The Radio Head Installation

Antenna Notes

LTE MIMO Deployment Notes

From 4G to 5G.

The 4G and 5G HetNet

What will 5G networks look like?

System Outline

What is the 5G System Plan?

What is the overall 5G plan?

The 5G System

Standard System

Base Station

Antennas and Radio Heads

5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelsHow does MIMO work?

Deploying 5G Small Cells

Will 5G be a Success?

The 5G HetNet

The Cloud RAN

What is Edge and FOG Computing?

What is SDN and NFV?

What about Wi-Fi?

Cheap and Dirty

Carrier Grade

Who will win in 5G?

The Real 5G Winners Will have VISION!


The 5G Business Case Foundation

What is your Business Case for Wireless Coverage?

Medical and Health Care



Rail or Bus


County and City Transportation

Air Travel

Unmanned Vehicles




Emergency Responders


Small Carrier

IOT Systems


Business or Building Owner

Building Maintenance

Entertainment, Stadium, Large Venue

Smart City

Construction vehicles and sites

Renewable Energy


Other – what will your business plan look like?


What is NB IOT and how will we use it?

What is NB-IOT?


Glossary – Naming Overview (Abbreviations and Acronyms)

A Note from Wade

Other Books by Wade


More business plan sheets:

Other – Write your business plan.

Scope of Work Outlines Cover Sheet

Scope of Work Details

The end to end deployment will be more efficient as you learn more and do more deployments. You can learn more about LTE, Wi-Fi, and more. Think about the spectrum issues that are coming up, like mmwave, CBRS, and LTE-U. Think about what systems will be out there, indoor and outdoor, macro and small cell, broadband and narrowband. What about the end user’s equipment? It’s not just for smartphones anymore.

Now we have IOT coming out getting ready to connect millions of devices to the system. There isn’t just one system, as the network slicing chapter explains, it’s a collection of networks. What about the dedicated networks? You know, like the virtual reality networks for entertainment venues. You learn what is possible and what you can do. Just like your Wi-Fi system, the new 5G network will allow you to build smaller and affordable 5G wireless system that you control and manage. It’s not always easy, but you have the control, and the spectrum is becoming available to more than just the carriers. It’s a new age of communications.

As 5G progresses, we can open new wireless venues that we can control. The new devices will be adding more and more receivers for new spectrum. It’s all very exciting! You are one of the lucky ones to be involved in the future of communications which wireless frees all of us and opens new possibilities across all industries. Awesome!

Where to get it!

The Amazon Paperback, Full Color 8.5″ by 11″ Version

The Amazon Kindle Version

The Full PDF on Sellfy

The Full PDF on Gumroad

Thank you for your support! I truly appreciate it. 

Don’t forget the original Wireless Deployment Handbook for LTE Small Cells, CRAN, and DAS!

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention! We need to smart and safe out there.

New Hampshire in or out of FirstNet

Hello FirstNet fans! Guess what, a precursor to the dreaded FirstNet RFP! In case you didn’t see it, the state of New Hampshire issued a FirstNet RFP, (Request for Proposal) for a FirstNet system. The PDF link is here for all of you to see and yes, it is publicly viewable. UrgentComm did a story on this here. The Department of Safety put it out there. Why? I don’t have the inside track so let’s consider the reasons.

So here we are, less than a month away from the FirstNet RFP and look what New Hampshire’s Dept of Safety does, they have to upstage FirstNet by issuing their own RFP, how cool is that? By the way, if you need another FirstNet history lesson go ahead and jump to page 8 of the RFP, it’s all there, again. Let’s go to page 17 where New Hampshire outlines the scope for the FirstNet deployment. It looks like they used the FirstNet RFP as a model and shortened it to 56 pages so that they get an idea of who would partner with them.

First off, if you have to work on these RFPs, it is a nightmare! In this case, it seems obvious they are looking for a partner and pricing. It doesn’t look like the partner will be an integrator, my interpretation. We have to prepare for the big one in a month and now it appears that New Hampshire is covering its bases. They probably want to see who will bite, before the big FirstNet RFP, so they understand the risks of opting out and the pricing. Will they Opt Out? Probably not but now they have done their due diligence.

It seems that they are looking for someone who can design and create a system for their state or a carrier with a system already in place. It seems they want to compare pricing with this versus FirstNet. I think that it’s great they’re looking into it, but seriously, how many people will have the time to look at this? The FirstNet RFP will be released in about 3 weeks and right before a huge holiday season. I know that we are all eager for work but this should really be handled along with the existing FirstNet RFP. It will be hard to stay motivated on this knowing that they are using it to compare.

So what can you do? Wait for the large system integrators to respond or see if a carrier picks it up and then see if you can tag along as a smaller vendor. See if they will pick you up as a partner.

Remember that this may or may not be used, so for the smaller  integrators to spend time on this may be a drain on your resources. It looks like they are going to use it to compare the option of opting in or opting out. If you are the one responding then you know how long it will take to formulate a respectable response. Hopefully you can do this with the real FirstNet RFP in a few weeks. Maybe do them altogether as one. Can it be done? Will the teams be able to work together? Only you know what your teams can and will do. I know some company’s setup firewalls between teams so they can’t necessarily share resources.

So it looks like they are going to   use this for a comparison to FirstNet just in case they want to opt out. It looks as though they hope to see who the partners would be.  It looks as though they think that this can be done with the FirstNet RFP, if I am reading this right.

I hope that helps, just a quick update on FirstNet.

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Get your copy of the Wireless Deployment Handbook eBook that covers professional carrier end to end deployment of LTE small cells, CRAN, and DAS to show you the proper way to plan for deployment then execute, planning and action without the mistakes.

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Give to the Hubble Foundation because if you don’t help these families, who will? Who supports Hubble? The wireless workers and the tower climbers, that’s who! With no support from the carriers or NATE, so it’s up to you! What if it were you? Would you want help? Who would help you if you were hurt? Who would help your family, your spouse, your children if something happened to you? Do you see the people who are hurt?

Free the LTE Indoor Small Cells!

Attention carriers, free the indoor LTE indoor small cells so that they can be deployed with iDAS! This is specifically for the enterprise and building coverage, since you already freed the small femto cells. You are the ones holding the industry back, not the other way around. You say you don’t want to pay for iDAS, but how can anyone else when you control the small cell? Small Cells can be deployed for home office, let’s free them up for the enterprise! Why? Let me tell you why.

The carriers say they don’t want to pay for indoor DAS but indoor small cells are part of that system, aren’t they? The carriers control the release of larger small cells, well any eNodeB for that matter. The VARs, (Value Added Resellers) want to sell and install these systems for large enterprise but they need to work through the carriers, maybe even to purchase the equipment from the carriers. If carriers want to save on these costs, then set up a system to approve the small cells and low power BTS for DAS systems so you can hand it off to someone who can sell it to the building or business owner. Again, I mean that the indoor small cells are so controlled by the carriers that they can’t be deployed by anyone else. It’s like a small cell hell!

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Who agrees with this? I listened to the RCR interview that Sean Kinney did with Jonathon Adelstein, the CEO of PCIA, and he appears to feel the same way. He thinks that the carriers should not be held responsible for a utility like broadband. He was actually talking about DAS, specifically iDAS, but he has to know that small cells are part of the new DAS systems, right? This guy of all people dog-tags_clearbackgrondshould understand this. Digital DAS, LTE DAS, get it? Small cells play a part. So it appears that PCIA is all in, but the carriers want the installs to be paid for by others and yet they won’t let go of the control! Well, which is it? It’s going to be hard for you to hand off the DAS without the indoor small cell. Get your head out of your butt and wake up! Make the change today! This is LTE; analog BDAs are not going to cut it anymore!

Let’s build a better model like the femto cell, for instance, homes and small offices are able to have anyone install the femto cell. Let me explain this model. You may have heard that T-Mobile is handing the CellSpot femto cell out to customers for free. This will help build a coverage model similar to what Comcast did with Xfinity Wi-Fi, hand out hotspots, (Cable modem or femto cell), and put your default ESSID on a Wi-Fi hotspot and then all of you customers can use it. It is a complete plug and play device, one that most carriers offer home users at some point, even with Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi calling may change this, but T-Mobile made it sexy and smart. They get expanded coverage for the price of a box and shipping.

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I believe that SpiderCloud is building this model for their small cells. They know that the carrier does not want to deploy indoor small cells everywhere, but the carriers have to build a better process. So why not do this for all businesses that want iDAS and indoor small cells? Let a contractor handle it! An approved contractor (of course) installing an approved unit.

As for carriers, I believe that T-Mobile is handing out the femto cells, but not anything larger. I think AT&T was going to set up something that would have them hand them, (sell them) to end users that wanted to install them. I didn’t hear of anything like this from Verizon. I know that the technology is catching up but I think that if they would allow the approved contractor to buy them, preferable from the OEM to save money unless the carrier would be able to get them really cheap, the contractor could do the rest. Building out the network for the carrier.

How should carriers do it? Build a process where the vendor gets certified by the OEM and the carrier. Then the carriers will vette the vendor for being a real business and take a look at their safetydog-tags_clearbackgrond programs. Then let the vendor sell to the enterprise and landlords! It’s that simple carriers, get out-of-the-way. Don’t worry about the vendor making you look bad because I know you can set up a feedback system so that the end customer can grade the vendor. Help them improve or boot them out. Build the process today.

Now, on the network and equipment side, you need to do several things. You need 1) Plug and Play, 2) an auto-config neighbor list, 3) power control, 4) get certified VARs to call the integration center, and 5) monitor PCMD data. Then you can let the VAR build your system and improve your coverage! Am I making any sense yet?

Readers, I know that many of you are blaming the OEM, right? But the reality is that the carriers have a firm grip on the small cell since it connects to the network.

Free the small cells to the vendors and let the network grow organically. Increase the pipe with little or no expense! Put the growth on auto pilot for heaven’s sake!

In case you wonder why carriers control deployments, look at the reasons below:

  • Approvals: The OEM has a lot of work with the carrier prior to even being allowed on the network. You see, to get on the carrier’s network you need to put all small cells through lab tests, minimum 3 months, to make sure they are certified and won’t take down a site, cluster or harm the network. Anyone who is working on the OEM side of small cells understands that this takes a lot of time, energy, money, and lab support. It doesn’t happen overnight, in fact, if it happens in 3 months you’re doing incredibly well.
  • Integration: Another thing is the current commissioning and integration of a cell onto the network. It usually needs to be planned. It is still not automated except small femto cells used for home and SOHO, (Small Office Home Office). The reason being is the core. You have several locations that the cell could connect with, and it may be different for each region. There is not an easy way for it to locate the core that it should be talking to. So they either preconfigure the cell or they do it on site. This seems to be tedious but in my opinion, the process should be automated.
  • Optimization: Finally, the ever so important neighbor list. This is the list of neighboring sites that the cell could interfere with and hand off. They want a clean handoff, no drops. Also, you don’t want self interference; you want a good cluster frequency plan. Don’t forget the power setting has to be just right. All key factors in the optimization phase of deployment. An optimized network is a happy network. Happy networks mean happy customers.

Maybe Wi-Fi and LTE-U calling will change this. With the license free options you can already get internet access and make a voice call over Wi-Fi. Comcast has a serious Wi-Fi network that people could use If only Comcast would create a better core for voice, VOIP, or VoWi-Fi, so that they can complete voice calls. It looks like they are working towards this from what I have read, but who knows. They recently announced the deal with Verizon so maybe they will move ahead with a real heterogeneous network.

Q with A&A – (Questions with actions and answers)

  • Q) Are small cells plug and play? A&A – They should be! Femto cells usually are, so all indoor cells should be, get on that today! Tell the OEMs that it is a requirement.
  • Q) Do I have to preconfigure the cell ahead of time? A&A – Get the OEM or a vendor to set up a system where it will be ready to be put on the network. It could be through your office or the OEM or let the VAR do it! One of them could load a configuration file so that when the installer gets it all they need to do is power up and connect to the internet or some type of backhaul.
  • Q) What if it interferes with a neighbor? A&A – Monitor the site when it goes in and catch the PCMD data from the units in the building to update the cell. This is work, but chances are you’re already doing this or you have a SON server doing this. This should be automated.
  • Q) What if power needs adjusted? A&A – See above, monitor, adjust, done.
  • Q) What if the carrier feels they need to install the small cell? Action – Don’t do it! The OEMs are already training people so just verify certifications. Get out-of-the-way!
  • Q) Who will configure the radio? A&A – Build basic configuration files. Could be the VAR or it could come preconfigured.
  • Q) Who will certify the installers? A&A – Let the OEMs manage the certifications! They are doing it today. Carriers need to verify that the VAR is certified to commission the small cell. Again, they need to be trained by the OEM. There should be a certification for installation and commissioning.
  • Q) Do carriers have to stock the small cells and spend the extra expense tracking and shipping? A&A – Don’t do any of it except create the process! Let a warehouse, distributor, OEM, or the VAR do it. If you want complete control then manage and warehouse everything, but the reality is that you should work a deal with a distributor, VAR, or OEM to stock them, prep them, and install them. All the VAR should need to do is call you to verify configuration and date of install. Let each group do what they are good at.
  • Q) What if it’s a large iDAS system? A&A – Don’t get involved unless it’s a high-profile venue! Let someone else do all the work. They should be buying all the equipment to make your coverage better.
  • Q) What will the cost to the carrier be? A&A – Let the VAR’s buy direct. If you do this right you should only pay someone, a PM, to manage the process. The business, building or venue owner will pay for the installation and the small cell just like you want them to do for DAS. You need to define the process and approve the vendors. Get out of your own way!
  • Q) Where will we find these VARs? A&A – They will come to you if you have a contact or group they can talk to! Seriously, this business will boom because a ton of companies want to do small cells and iDAS, just make someone available to them. Set up the process to get contractors approved. Get the contractor vetted and move on to the next one. Seriously, why make more work for yourself? If they screw it up, then deal with it or throw them out of your system.
  • Q) What if the enterprise or venue calls the carrier? A&A – refer them to the nearest 1 or 5 VARs. Build a database of VARs by region. Let the customer run the RFP or bidding process. Let the VAR fight for the work.
  • Q) How do we let the VAR know what band to install? A&A – Create a process where they can either access a website or let them call the regional team for information. I like the website because it is automated with little human interaction.

I would recommend having the carriers approve indoor small cells and then letting VARs deploy them as part of the iDAS and indoor small cell systems. For indoors, the carriers don’t want to pay for the installation unless they have a large payback but a VAR will do it for the cost of the installation. Hopefully the business will pay for.

The carriers, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint need to go to the next level for indoor deployments. In this case I would recommend letting the VAR do the installation for enterprise and for business. Let the VAR work with the end-user for installation of the indoor small cell just like they would the iDAS systems. Honestly, what are they waiting for? They just need to approve it for their system then the PnP, plug and play, should do the rest. Make the investment in a decent SON system and then hand it off to the VARs! Let them sell it to the businesses and enterprises! Let them improve coverage at the request of the end use, not at the carrier’s cost. Get out of your own way! Don’t forget to automate the system!

I think that this is what the carriers want. They can control their end of it with the testing, the labs, and the approvals. They can then hand it off to the VAR to sell it and install it to improve coverage. Just like everyone wants to do with Wi-Fi. Comcast figured it out. T-Mobile is giving the femto cells to the end-user. Let’s create a system that works with this business model.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be a learning curve. If you don’t have a clean way to do this now then get busy! You should have done this already! Automate, integrate, and then grow!

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Carriers say they don’t want t pay for iDAS, what about indoor small cells. Here is an opportunity to let go.

If you are a vendor, a VAR, an installer, here is a golden opportunity for you to get in on a booming market. Coverage is the name of the game! Maybe LTE-U will take off, I know that Verizon has plans to deploy in 2016, or so they say, but wait and see.

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Regional Carriers Slighted by FirstNet

FirstNet made the decision to invite companies that can handle a nationwide rollout to the RFP coming out this year. The playing field for bidders just got a whole lot smaller. Did FirstNet hurt FirstNet by doing this? Did they severely limit competition? Hey little guy, better kiss up to the turf vendors, again. That is unless Verizon or AT&T will take this on, but why would they? They don’t need the spectrum and they probably have huge contracts with emergency services already, but let me get back to the point.

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Did FirstNet screw over the regional carriers by going nationwide only? Should the CCA, Competitive Carriers Association, http://competitivecarriers.org/, feel slighted? While they would never publicly admit it, I think that they already do, the CCA already dog-tags_clearbackgrondfeels a little down because the FCC isn’t going to help the smaller carriers out in the auction. They have a lot going against them. They need to rely on leasing the larger carriers for spectrum, so they probably feel like they are under the big boys’ thumbs with no help from the FCC. And now FirstNet.

The way I see it, this decision has taken away, correction, made it impossible for them to take lead roles in the roll out. Do you think it’s justified? There are 2 lines of thinking that are for and against FirstNet.

Against FirstNet. Here you have a group that is willing to work for spectrum but FirstNet implied that they don’t want to deal with small potatoes. They want to go big or go home. Drawbacks? FirstNet will wonder why the really rural areas are not getting built. Tower_20Worker_20Logbook_20Cover_20Final_203I see that as a problem, like getting Alaska built. They have a commitment to cover 95% of the landmass. I don’t believe that AT&T nor Verizon do much of that on their own. They need partners, the CCA members that are willing to cover those rural areas that the big boys don’t deem profitable. I get it, they need to make money, but the CCA is doing all that they can to provide coverage where there is none, kudos to the CCA.

The other problem I see is that FirstNet just raised the price of the system. They just said that because they don’t have the resources to manage the full build that they are willing to pay a large contractor to do it for them. This eats at margin on margin on margin. Once again, the installer is at the bottom of the food chain. What else is new?

The pros for FirstNet are that they don’t have to manage the build, they don’t need to hire too much staff to manage this. They limit their risk by putting it all on the company that is willing to take it on. They have one throat to choke. If they are really lucky that could partner with AT&T or Verizon to handle all of this for them. I get it, I SOW_20Training_20Coversee a huge upside by paying one contractor to do it all. It makes a lot of sense to me. So I am not one-sided on this. FirstNet has a daunting task, on that the federal government took away from the states. (The states probably would have something built by now, just saying.) So I see where FirstNet is at, this is the most efficient way to use their resources, just like when the government used one contractor over in Iraq, Halliburton, how did that work out?

Don’t get me wrong, the smaller carriers will be involved. They are needed to make this happen, in my opinion, because they have the coverage, the sites, the knowhow, and the experience to deploy in rural areas. I would want them on my side for wireless deployment. They are the key to construction in rural areas. Here is what I see as an invaluable partner, companies that are in the trenches to make the world of communications better in regions that the big boys intentionally overlook in favor of larger profits.

Rural areas are what FirstNet is required to cover, eventually, but they need to turn a profit first, just like the carriers. So do the big boys see them as competition? Do they see money going out the door if FirstNet is a success? Will they lose all that public safety money if FirstNet takes off? FirstNet’s plan hinges on them signing Cover V7 LTEup public safety groups around the US, then the utilities. What if it works and the groups start signing up? Why would they keep their big boy contracts? Why pay twice? Maybe the big boys see the threat of all those government agencies that relied on them for reliable coverage moving to FirstNet. What if they start leaving those 2 year contracts in favor of a system that is built for emergencies? I see that happening, if the system works, maybe in 2020. Why pay the carriers who have a system that gets overloaded in an emergency for one that is guaranteed to work in an emergency. Good bye crappy contracts and hello integrated public safety system. Is all that government money leaving the carriers, at least the big ones, for a newer system that focuses on public safety?

This is where the CCA and their members are invaluable. They could have used the spectrum and partnered with FirstNet to make the best system out there. They could have seen the opportunity to make it happen together in the areas that are very hard to cover. They could have brought their experience to the table. I see the CCA as a great partner, it’s a shame that FirstNet did not do more to work with them. I think that the experience that the CCA brings to the table is invaluable.

Will the big boy carriers take on the challenge of assisting FirstNet? I can’t wait to see but I think FirstNet should have seen more value in the CCA, that’s all I am saying. This is a daunting task, one that will take time, money, and patience. One that will have a lasting effect on the wireless industry because it will be taking money off the table for the carriers if they don’t work with FirstNet and then keep it in the government’s financial system. It is one that will spark growth in the wireless deployment industry for years to come! Deploy, deploy, deploy! Let’s get building! Well, I guess in 2017 we may get building, sorry, I got ahead of myself.

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official logoI am asking you to help the Hubble Foundation because if you don’t help these families, who will? The carriers do not support Hubble and neither does NATE, so it’s up to you! What if it were you? Would you want help? Who would help you if you were hurt? Who would help your family, your spouse, your children if something happened to you? Do you see the people who are hurt?

What is LTE UE Backhaul?

What is LTE UE backhaul? It is backhaul that uses the carrier’s spectrum, just like the UE, User Equipment, you smartphone. If you have ever used a carrier’s Wi-Fi hotspot then chances are you have used a device similar to this. One that will use the carrier’s spectrum, like LTE, for backhaul. This is something that is commonly used for internet access when there is no Wi-Fi available. The carriers all sell these units and many of today’s smartphones do something similar. However, they just use the standard signal. Using it for a tiny hotspot and for an eNodeB are 2 different things.

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Let’s talk hotspot. Many vendors provide equipment that a user can add coverage quickly and easily. A quick Wi-Fi connection to the internet using the carrier’s LTE. Everyone has Wi-Fi and there are devices that create an instant hotspot. Verizon has the Mi-Fi or you can use your smart phone as a hotspot. Every carrier has a wireless modem that you will provide a Wi-Fi hotspot. I think anyone reading this probably knows about the hotspots. I thought it would be a good example to get started.

I am bringing this up because now there is talk about using the UE backhaul for small cells making it a more powerful cell extender. It sounds like a great idea on the surface. This is a cheap, quick and easy backhaul. However, what are the drawbacks?


What is a cell extender? There is a practice where many carriers will use a cell extender that will have a UE relay backhaul to extend the signal. This is also like a smartphone hotspot or a Mi-Fi unit because it was just to help a few customers but extends the carriers signal instead of Wi-Fi. This is a type of repeater to extend the macro’s signal, a cell extender. This is a way for the carrier to extend the coverage just a little bit farther. It’s a way to provide coverage someplace quickly and easily. These were common in 2G, 3G, and now LTE. It is a simple and quick way to install a repeater to extend carrier coverage down an ally. In the old days of DAS, this is really what they did. They would take the signal where it was strong or use an antenna and amplifier to increase the strength to get it into a dead spot. People paid a lot of money for these systems.


What about using UE backhaul for an eNodeB? You know, like a small cell or a mini macro? I am bringing this up because now there is talk about using the UE backhaul for small cells making it a more powerful cell extender. It sounds like a great idea on the surface. This is a cheap, quick and easy backhaul. However, what are the drawbacks?

It’s not a simple cell extender, and let me tell you why. Now you are talking about putting the small cell in an area where there is a loading issue. This goes beyond coverage. The data and spectrum usage could go through the roof! So if you set it up like a cell extender with backhaul to the macro site, then guess what! You will see an overloaded macro sector! The macro not only has to deal with all of its users but all the small cell or Mini macro users too. This sucks up all the spectrum and bandwidth for that sector.  What can be done? Read on!

To break the bottleneck you need to dedicate spectrum in the macro eNodeB that will be feeding the UE backhaul. This will alleviate the spectrum usage for the regular users on the macro sector. We don’t want them to get knocked off if the small cell US backhaul overloads the macro. This will make it so that the users on the macro don’t get shut knocked off if the small cell pulls the entire spectrum for its users. This will allow the small cell UE backhaul to have a dedicated pipe. It needs to have dedicated spectrum for this purpose. Then the small cell will know how much backhaul spectrum it has to available. By the way, not an easy change, changes in the eNodeB and possibly the core need to be considered as well as neighboring sites. This “dedicated backhaul spectrum” needs to be set aside in this sector and others too. It takes some planning and changes.

You could still have the data bottleneck at the macro’s backhaul. That’s another issue that needs planning.

So now you dedicated part of the band to the UE backhaul, which seems OK. Remember that the carrier paid a lot of money for that spectrum and now they are choosing to use it for backhaul. So the pipe is limited based on coverage and availability. It is a quick and easy to add UE backhaul, but is this the best use of the spectrum? Will you lose something in this backhaul? Yes, you have delay issues, timing issues, and neighbor issues. All of this is a problem when building a site for any type of real loading. Go to the links below to learn more.

However, what’s the real issue? Is it all the problems I mentioned above? They are all technical issues that good engineers will resolve. This appears to be a cheap and quick solution. But that’s not the real issue, is it? The carriers paid a crap ton of money for spectrum. Is backhaul a smart way to use this resource? Is that billion dollar investment there to save some CapEx for the company? I thought it was for the customers! Backhaul could have been something in the unlicensed band for a lot less money. It could be a fiber link for more money. Is this an easy out or will it cause problems down the road because the spectrum is only going to get more and more valuable? Do investors want to see that spectrum used this way?  I don’t see the auctions being a cheap alternative to providing backhaul.

So just because it looks cheap and easy doesn’t mean it’s a good move strategically. Don’t get me wrong, the UE relays, the repeaters serve an important purpose for coverage and filling holes, I am just saying be strategic and think it through. For more information hit the links below to learn about these solutions.







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official logoI am asking you to help the Hubble Foundation because if you don’t help these families, who will? The carriers do not support Hubble and neither does NATE, so it’s up to you! What if it were you? Would you want help? Who would help you if you were hurt? Who would help your family, your spouse, your children if something happened to you? Do you see the people who are hurt?




Carrier’s Wireless Deployment Steps Overview

You know, in the old days when deployments were controlled by a tech who would oversee most of the work, things went very well, very smooth, albeit slower. I think that the broadcast engineers probably handle most of their deployments like this because they manage their sites very closely. In the cell carrier business the carriers don’t really have a site owner other than maybe the techs that work on it after handoff. When the site is being built they may notify them of the installation schedule to make sure the installation teams have access. It is very different today. 

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The PM will oversee the entire deployment. The RF Design team will create the design. The Site Acquisition team will find the sites and work with RF Design to fine tune the design and determine details like the antenna downtilt and power. The Site Design team will engineer and create drawings for each site. The Network design team will create all the back-end design for the core and the integration. Logistics will need to make sure that all the kits are set up properly and ready. The installation teams need to get it installed properly. The commissioning teams need to get the site powered up and the backhaul ready. The integration teams need to get the site updated and integrated into the core. The optimization team must make sure it is optimized into the cluster. Then you have site acceptance. 

This is taken from the book I am writing, I thought you might appreciate this high level overview of the wireless deployments steps. Of course I write more detail in the book.

Deployment is more than just the installation. It will cover the RF design which should be done in the beginning but many companies forgo this because they feel that the system doesn’t need it. If someone feels that confident, great. Then you need to do the survey. Many now use Google Earth for this in today’s world and for indoor they use drawings. That usually is good enough but I still think that you should visit the site to make sure that everything is the way it is on the drawing or web. If you run into any issues then someone has to make changes and eat the cost.

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Then you have the optimization, which is an art and a process. For the initial installation many of the installers are doing the preliminary optimization as part of the commissioning since they are on site. Having the installer do this is easy and cheaper than deploying a team to do the optimization immediately. The carrier may have some type of optimization tool or server then that will help with optimizing.

Deployment of the small cell, mini macro, and CRAN is very similar to the Macro cell but it will have to be cost-effective. This is something that many people did not understand I the beginning, including myself. We have to change our way of thinking. Backhaul was the real issue. Installation has a procedure and has to be done dog-tags_clearbackgrondcorrectly, but the backhaul was an issue and when we started this we thought we had to have fiber at every site. We don’t, there are plenty of alternatives, which I will cover later. For now let’s just understand that you could use wireless, fiber, copper, or a cable modem for backhaul. The other issue is that many carriers wanted a dedicated dark fiber connection, which is a lot of money, but an awesome connection. That thinking has changed to save on costs.

Now that we understand that we need to be very cost-effective we know that we can be flexible on many issues that could have been show stoppers, but now they just slow us down. The small cell/CRAN is cheaper and very cost-effective and the mounting assets are plentiful. The backhaul is still an issue, but at least we have options.

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RF Design – this is generally where the RF team will determine the need for coverage based of need, complaints, and holes. This is changing because now the carriers are filling holes by responding to customer need, not looking at RF holes anymore. Just because there is no coverage doesn’t mean they need coverage. So they look at statistics and complaints, then they fill the hole or place the sites as needed. Of course, a Greenfield deployment is going to follow every step possible.

Site Acquisition – this is where a team will look at the RF design and try to find sites that fill the need. They don’t just find sites, that is how it used to be. Now they need to look at the site, the owner, the permitting and zoning, the availability to fiber or some type of backhaul, and then pick a cost-effective site.

Site Design – this is where the site, the individual site will be looked at and the design will be done. They may need to do a site survey to determine what will be needed for the installation, the backhaul, and power. They may also need to create drawings for permitting and zoning.

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Network Design – this is usually the part where they have to assign the name of the site, the IP information, the RF information, the expected neighbor lists, the addition of the site to the core, schedule the date of integration and adding this site to the rest of the neighbors and maybe the cluster. This is a “behind the scenes” task that most people forget about, but it is absolutely critical. It needs to be done.

Logistics – I would bet most people overlook this and think that it’s part of installation. The reality is that if someone isn’t paying attention to logistics there will be major delays. Usually the PM has to make sure that it is all coordinated properly but unless you have the logistics of where to put all the hardware and how they will get to the deployment crews, you will have major delays and lost costs.

Installation – now you can install the hardware, the backhaul, the fronthaul, and the power. Finally you see the equipment at the site and hopefully it will be ready for the next step.

Commissioning – this is where you will power up the cell, test the backhaul, make updates to the firmware if necessary.

Integration – this is where you will complete the upgrades, add it to the core, and possibly turn up the site if it’s ready. They may or may not go live. They will also do some testing with someone on site to insure it’s working the way it’s supposed to. With LTE they will do upload and download tests. If there is voice at the site they will be required to do an e911 test to make sure it works. It must be done at the site and it must connect to 911 for any emergency.

Optimization – this is where they will have the site optimized for peak performance not only with RF, but also downloads, uploads, working with neighboring sites, and so on. The Optimization teams will consist of RF and DT, (drive teams), that will make sure that each cell site is operating properly and working in the cluster properly. The site will need to be integrated into the core. The handoffs will need to be tested. The cluster will be tested together and all the cell sites need to work together, seamlessly for the system to work well. Remember that voice, text, and data all need to be tested in the real world before the system can be accepted or brought live.  This step is critical. The metrics and Key Performance Indicators, (KPIs) of this step will determine what changes need to made to the system. For instance, do the antennas need more downtilt? Does power need to be adjusted? Did a cell handoff to the wrong neighboring cell? This is all worked out and cleaned up in this step. 

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Project Management – PM is the overall management of the project. You will have several PMs, they have become an integral part of every aspect of deployment. You will have a PM that oversees the overall project, not one but several. Generally you have one for the customer and one for the company in charge of the project. Then you will probably have one for each aspect of the deployment and then each company may have their own PM to oversee the deployment and to be the interface between the customer and the work crew. It is the job of the PM to insure the project moves forward and to solve any issues in any aspect of the project and to set the proper expectations for delivery. No easy task.

Wrap up – So there you have a brief overview. I have more detail in the book but this is going to help you understand what is involved in these rollout. There are many more steps in each task. Some people think you build it and then turn it on, it is not that straight forward. It takes skills and talent. For all of you that do this, good job. It’s a shame these tasks don’t pay better. 

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official logoI am asking you to help the Hubble Foundation because if you don’t help these families, who will? What if it were you? Would you want help? Who would help you if you were hurt? Who would help your family, your spouse, your children if something happened to you? Do you see the people who are hurt? Click here to learn about the wonderful work they are doing. Please support hurt climbers and their families by donating to the Hubble Foundation. Show you care for people in wireless. Not everyone has a safe job in deployments. The Hubble Foundation helps support the people who get hurt building the wireless systems that the world relies on.