The Dreaded Groundhog Day Syndrome and LTE

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 For those of you that haven’t seen the movie “Groundhog Day“, it’s a 1993 vintage movie starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in which the main character, Bill Murray playing a weatherman named Phil Connors, is stuck in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over again. So I feel like it’s Groundhog Day. Again.

Mea Culpa, I started thinking this way about the football team I coach. We just relive it over and over each practice and each game, and I’m like Phil Connors, trying everything to break out of the loop but I digress here. This context is about the state of the LTE marketplace. 

So the US LTE market is searching around for equilibrium and has temporarily stabilized on operators offering LTE as a premium service with ATT and Verizon coming in at nearly the same costs per Megabyte at various usage points, the large OEMs offering nearly the same eNB/EPC packages everywhere (with the same old incentives etc…) in the same old business models, hearing about the upcoming small cell revolution ad infinitum, the daily PRs about an iPhone/iPad killer, the yearly iPhone/iOS release hype, Samsung and Apple lawsuits over LTE, on and on. Maybe I’m just being cranky but there seems to be a whole lot of ho hum same as it ever was marketing and product and service designs just being recycled. 

Networks aren’t being run autonomously by SON (yet)…heck most large US operators haven’t invested in Remote Electrical Tilt (RET) for their sites yet. There’s no LTE roaming yet. 


the most interesting developments are ghosts like SuperWifi (whitespace radio), Lightsquared’s GPS fizzle, news like Clear just turned down their heat considerably with their TDD LTE plans, and band 12 deployments are nowhere, VoLTE is LaTE. 

I mean, even TDD-LTE and 802.11ac are becoming increasingly blurry to the point it’s hard to tell which is which. The future of Release 10 and VoLTE etc aren’t here yet so I can’t consider these things.

There are a couple of outliers, like the crazy things that Lemko claims and so on but I’m talking about real change.

The future seems promising and a break from the blase but how long are we going to be stuck in this loop? Where is the REAL innovation? Where’s all the startups with the innovative SDR, noise canceling thing we can’t even imagine but will change things forever? I’m ready for more intelligence, faster gratification, less suffering all that good stuff technology promises. 

I can’t stand to read any more PRs about a LTE enabled Band 17 or Band 13 device that is better than an iPhone/iPad that I can have for $200 on a year contract extension. 

Previous wishing:

LTE Market Next Steps 

5G candidate technologies 

OK, just feeling a little sorry for myself may this will pass so I’m going to curl up with my Gartner Hype Cycle, maybe watch a little Star Trek and dream…