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WiseHarbor publishes industry insights in cooperation with numerous media outlets.

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      • July 1, 2016
      • George Mason University School of Law Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property

      Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken: The Extraordinary Record of Innovation and Success in the Cellular Industry Under Existing Licensing Practices

      The cellular industry has brought fast rates of innovation and consumer
      adoption operating under existing laws and standard-setting organization policies governing intellectual property and licensing over the last
      25 years. These developments have made changes in the daily lives of billions
      of people at a speed unequalled in history.

      • October 7, 2015
      • George Mason University School of Law Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property

      Busting Smartphone Patent Licensing Myths

      Despite enormous success, smartphone manufacturers are seeking to severely reduce what they pay for the technologies that make their products possible. Unsubstantiated by facts, they are promoting myths to justify interventions in intellectual property licensing by antitrust authorities, as well as changes to patent policies in standard-setting organizations.

      • September 2, 2015
      • WiseHarbor Spotlight Reports

      Wireless EV Charging made Safe with Foreign Object Detection and Living Object Protection Systems

      Safety is paramount while replenishing energy stored in all types of vehicles because very large energy transfers are required to fill fuel tanks and charge EV batteries. Wireless EV charging using inductive power transfer presents two types of safety hazard: excessive heating of stray objects; and direct exposure of humans, animals and implantable medical devices to magnetic and electrical fields technologies.

      • August 24, 2015
      • WiseHarbor Spotlight Reports

      WEVC Requires Many Technologies with Well-Integrated Systems and Supply

      State-of-the art coil and pad technologies including Double-D and BiPolar are highly desirable in Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging; but many complementary and compliant elements must also be developed, integrated and optimized. Technology transfer from a WEVC expert is best for all with highest-performance and homologated systems at lowest cost.

      • August 18, 2015
      • WiseHarbor Spotlight Reports

      Wireless Charging Ready for Burgeoning Mass Market in EVs

      Wireless electric vehicle charging has progressed enormously in recent years: it is ready for widespread adoption in the burgeoning mass market for EVs. Inductive power transfer is highly effective, compact, easy and safe to use, and economic for volume car production, but the circular coil technologies upon which early implementations are based have been developed about as far as possible.

      • April 1, 2015
      • IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine

      Smartphone Revolution: Technology patenting and licensing fosters innovation, market entry, and exceptional growth | PDF Version

      The fortunes of leading mobile-handset vendors have turned with the advance of smartphones. The was transformed by Apple’s iPhone starting in 2007 and a succession of Android-based smartphone newcomers since 2008. This has greatly expanded the size of the handset market, with global revenues doubling in the last six years, as consumers substitute more expensive smartphones for their feature phones and basic phones.

      • February 13, 2015
      • A Modern Framework for Standardisation involving Intellectual Property Rights

      Submission of Information, Industry Analysis and Opinions on Patents and Standards

      WiseHarbor response to European Commission’s DG GROWTH (formerly DG Enterprise) public consultation on the interplay between standardisation and intellectual property rights such as patents.

      • June 14, 2016
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      5G to eclipse but not eliminate fiber

      Prevailing opinion on whether wireless is complementary or competitive to wireline access in telecommunications has swung back and forth over recent decades with large investments in various types of access technology including copper, wireless and fiber connections. This could be a defining moment for 5G with potential technical and economic advantages in wireless over fiber for fixed as well as mobile access.

      • May 11, 2016
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      eMBB will prevail on path from 4G to 5G while Intel pins its hopes on cloud and IoT

      Companies contributing technologies to the improvement of LTE in 3GPP Releases 13, 14 and 15, and are capturing substantial near-term product demand growth for chips, devices and network equipment in eMBB including smartphones in particular. They will be best positioned around 2020 for full-blown IMT-2020-compliant 5G in Release 16.

      • March 9, 2016
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Duct and pole access essential for 1000-times growth with 5G

      Ofcom wants to “make it easier for competing providers to build their own fibre networks… by providing them with access to [BT] Openreach’s network of underground ducts and telegraph poles.” Achieving predicted 1,000-times global mobile traffic growth from 2010 to 2025 requires plentiful, low-cost supply for places to put the fibre and equipment.

      • February 10, 2016
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      O2, Three UK merger could produce a dynamic marketplace

      Ofcom chief executive Sharon White weighed-in against the proposed O2-Three merger in the UK. The European Commission then issued a Statement of Objections to the deal expressing particular concern about consumer prices. These interventionists are failing to recognise the new and expanding ways that innovation and competition may occur, while pricing trends everywhere are to much lower prices per gigabyte.

      • December 15, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Mobile ecosystem effective and flourishing with smartphones and LTE growth

      While plenty of firms have risen and fallen many factors have caused the enormous growth and success in mobile communications including extensive innovation and the means by which this can be shared among suppliers through open and collaborative standards including technology licensing. Competition authorities should be very wary of intervening to regulate prices or commercial practices among companies where there is no sign of market failure, and with such abundant evidence of outstanding success.

      • November 20, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      How Apple profits overwhelmingly in smartphones

      Apple continues to go from strength to strength with stellar profitability because it competes so effectively on multiple fronts including trading and competing with other smartphone ecosystem players, including its customers.

      • October 21, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      O2 UK/Three UK, BT/EE mergers show devil is in the details on consolidation benefits

      There are major differences of opinion on how few competing networks would be best for investment, innovation and consumer welfare. Arguments for and against consolidation, including the proposed mergers of BT and EE, of O2 and Three, and the possible structural separation of BT’s network from its downstream operations in the UK must be based on evidence and analysis.

      • September 23, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      The perils of £10-per-second high-speed data

      The high data speeds achieved by the latest smartphones running on LTE networks worldwide make a mockery of the 2G-era alerts operators employ, supposedly to enable users to control mobile data usage, while roaming internationally.

      • August 26, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Apple, Google and ‘smartcar’ makers will disrupt the automotive supply chain

      By early 2013, most phones sold globally were smartphones. But this change was very disruptive for suppliers, many of whom have significantly declined or have resultantly exited the handset market. A similarly dramatic transition toward predominantly “smartcars” is well underway.

      • September 22, 2016
      • IP Finance

      Self-interested bias of committee members amending IEEE’s patent policy devalues SEPs

      Research published by J. Gregory Sidak of Criterion Economics finds that the process by which the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) amended its patent policy governing its WiFi standard, among others, was significantly biased in favour of implementers, against standard-essential patent (SEP) owners and was designed to devalue SEPs.

      • September 9, 2016
      • IP Finance

      Free and Fair Trade in IP would be Crushed by Compulsory Chip-based SEP Licensing

      Royalty base and royalty rates are agreed bilaterally, not by regulatory fiat or based on silicon foundry costs. Imposing terms would cause unpredictable disruption to arrangements that have worked very well and enabled Apple, numerous Asian OEMs and others to enter and succeed in SEP-intensive markets while owning little or nothing in SEPs themselves.

      • August 16, 2016
      • IP Finance

      “Patent holdup” allegations encourage SEP free-riders

      Despite many years of speculation and recently adjusted claims, there is still no empirical support for the theory of “patent holdup.” Fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing contracts and available recourse to the courts have ensured licensees cannot be forced to pay “excessive” licensing fees for standards essential patents (SEPs).

      • August 19, 2015
      • IP Finance

      Cumulative mobile-SEP royalty payments no more than around 5% of mobile handset revenues

      There can be a massive difference between what a licensor asks for and what a licensee ends up paying to license standard-essential patents. Actual aggregate rates are far lower than those calculated by simply piling-up every licensor’s rate demands.

      • May 25, 2015
      • IP Finance

      Masterminds Discuss Fair Play, Equitable Rewards and Market Success in Patents and Standards

      Theories of dysfunctionality and abuse in patent licensing, with SEPs in particular, predict that alleged hold-up and royalty stacking will harm markets and consumers by reducing R&D, slowing innovation, extracting excessive aggregate royalty payments, stagnating consumer prices, impeding or foreclosing market entry and increasing vertical integration. However, in “poster-child” markets for (F)RAND-based SEP licensing everything seems very healthy and, if anything, improving.

      • May 1, 2015
      • IP Finance

      Patent and Licensing Policies Disregard Government Standards on Information Quality and Impact Assessment

      U.S. and European government agencies are ignoring government standards on information quality and impact assessment in pursuit of politically-driven policy goals. Governments are held to high quality standards because the public trusts and relies on information and assessments disseminated by governments and their agencies much more than it does with other sources.

      • February 13, 2015
      • IP Finance

      Closing time for open standards and patents consultation

      The European Commission’s DG GROWTH (formerly DG Enterprise) is running a public consultation on the interplay between standardisation and intellectual property rights such as patents. Its associated report is very subjective and speculative in support of its demands that alleged barriers in the market for IPR licensing need to be removed.

      • February 6, 2015
      • IP Finance

      IEEE will jeopardise its attractiveness as venue for standards development if proposed new IP policies are adopted

      IP policies are pivotal to standard setting organisations. They determine whether or not technology developers have sufficient commercial incentives to contribute their patented technologies and engineering resources in development of interoperability standards such as IEEE’s 802.11 (WiFi). IEEE is set to disrupt vital balance between the interests of developers and implementers of standard-essential patented technologies.

      • November 26, 2014
      • IP Finance

      Licensing mobile technologies becomes even more essential

      Dramatic structural changes in mobile communications technology supply, with the demise of vertical integration, is forcing those who are developing standard-essential technologies for 4G and “5G” networks to monetise these efforts through patent licensing, as well as their own product sales.

      • September 25, 2014
      • IP Finance

      Nokia, BlackBerry left behind amid untold disruption of the smartphone revolution

      Technological changes, new business models and market entry by Apple with its iPhone and many others using the Android operating system have caused massive disruptions in the mobile phone industry. Former market leaders have fallen and challengers are succeeding on the basis of highly-standardized and readily available hardware and software platforms.

      • September 19, 2014
      • IP Finance

      Stacking the Deck in Analysis of Smartphone Patent Licensing Costs

      Estimates of patent licensing costs for smartphone manufacturers are greatly exaggerated. Allegations of excessive fees paid and resulting harm to manufacturer profits, incentives to invest and compete are faulty and unsupported by the facts — which show much to the contrary

      • June 4, 2014
      • IP Finance

      Plunging into a Safe Harbour from SEP Injunctions

      That the availability of injunctions or even seeking them should be an antitrust issue is quite perverse. The European Commission’s antitrust agency is striking a compromise by dictating under what circumstances injunctions may be sought for patent infringements where patentees have agreed to license patents, they have declared as potentially essential to the UMTS (WCDMA) standards, on FRAND terms.

      • November 15, 2013
      • IP Finance

      Absurd (F)RAND licensing-rate determinations for SEPs

      “Reasonable and non-discriminatory” fees set for H.264 video and 802.11 WiFi by Judge Robart in the case between Microsoft and Motorola and by Judge Holdermann in the Innovatio case are defectively based and unreasonably low.

      • September 25, 2013
      • IP Finance

      Seeing the Wood for the Trees

      In the IPO Facto blog review of UK IPO report entitled A Study of Patent Thickets draws the correct conclusion that UK firms are not negatively affected by so-called “patent thickets”, and that the “forest” is, in fact, “thicket-free”. However, the IPO’s report and the blogger’s other comments about it are not so benign.

      • September 19, 2013
      • IP Finance

      DG Comp Pursues Settlements on SEP Licensing with Samsung and Google’s Motorola

      The case for competition authority intervention in SEP licensing lacks adequate support. Key issues under consideration by DG Comp include whether these defendant companies have the possibility to “hold-up” standards if they seek, obtain or even threaten injunctions for the infringement of standard-essential patents, and are thereby able extract unreasonable royalties.

      • May 24, 2013
      • IP Finance

      Theories of Harm with SEP Licensing Do Not Stack Up

      Economic theories of negative effects including harm due to alleged royalty stacking with numerous patents essential to cellular standards can be debunked by assessing the development of these technologies, products and services, market entry, competition and prices over the last six years or so.

      • March 31, 2013
      • IP Finance

      Scaremongering about SEPs

      It is falsely asserted that “specific circumstances affecting some industries like the information and communication technology (“ICT”) sector may limit the effectiveness of intellectual property rights” to “stimulate innovation, and to benefit consumers” On the contrary, the IPR licensing system is thriving with widespread benefits beyond patentees, in 3G and many other technologies.

      • February 13, 2013
      • IP Finance

      SMEs, SSOs and Patent Thickets: Introduction by Jeremy Phillips including link to article

      The latest IPO report lends only convoluted and qualified support to theories of harm from patent thickets. Empirical evidence shows that thousands of SMEs and many others are, instead, flourishing by virtue of—not despite—extensive IP developments, patenting and licensing of Standard-Essential Patents (SEP)s, and with Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs).

      • December 24, 2012
      • IP Finance

      No Evidence of Stifled Innovation in Smartphone Patent Battlefield

      Crisis, what crisis? No market is more successful, and yet also based on standards-essential patents and other patented technologies, than that for smart devices including 2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC. The marketplace and competition are in rude health. Beneficiaries include those most entrenched in patent and other intellectual property litigation — Apple and Samsung Electronics.

      • October 21, 2012
      • IP Finance

      Innovation, Competition and Choice Flourishing with Mobile Standard Patents

      Theories of harm arising from recent disputes with standards-essential patents (SEPs) are poorly substantiated and contradicted by market facts and figures. Pending smartphone patent litigation including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Motorola Mobility (acquired by Google) and others is causing a big stir; but settlements to high-profile litigation have produced benign results.

      • September 3, 2012
      • IP Finance

      Are There Too Many Patents?

      Innovation is the lifeblood of various technology markets including pharmaceuticals, software, telecommunications, consumer and automotive electronics. It is facilitated by R&D investments and secured from misappropriation by patenting. Meddling with patent law to discriminate among different types of inventions, industries or business models is unwarranted and would be harmful.

      • May 16, 2012
      • IP Finance

      The Folly of Picking Winners in ICT

      Government attempts to favour and promote certain business models, companies and technologies are justifiably criticised. The UK Cabinet Office’s proposed policy to mandate the use of only pre-selected, royalty-free standards in public ICT procurement is similarly flawed. This will limit choice by foreclosing many popular open standards, numerous products which adhere to them and companies who depend on upstream licensing revenues.

      • March 29, 2012
      • IP Finance

      Patent trolls aren’t all they are cracked up to be

      There is a lot of pending patent litigation in mobile communications with 3G and smartphone technologies. Smartphone ecosystem participants are jockeying for position in a new order with a rapidly changing and expanding ecosystem. This indicates an industry in rude health, not malaise.

      • February 3, 2012
      • IP Finance

      ICT Esperanto and competition among standards

      Open and competitive ICT markets produce many standards, but not all will flourish or even survive. With free choice, customers and their users often overwhelmingly plump for one standard over others in pursuit of highest performance or widest interoperability.

      • November 14, 2011
      • IP Finance

      Scaremongers Falsely Claim IP Rights Impede Adoption of Standardised ICT and Public Policy

      It is a grave mistake for governments to manage competition in favour of particular business models by manipulating their procurement policies. Mandating royalty free standards will deter technological development, limit choice and increase customer costs elsewhere in the software lifecycle with implementation, operations and maintenance.

      • November 8, 2011
      • IP Finance

      Valuing IP in Smartphones and LTE: Introduction by Jeremy Phillips including link to article

      Extensive IP litigation between various smartphone ecosystem participants —- most notably between Apple and Android licensees Samsung and HTC -— reflects the ever-increasing importance of a business strategy based on first developing or acquiring IP, then licensing and defending it.

      • September 20, 2011
      • IP Finance

      Software Patents: a Convenient Misnomer for those who Seek to Expropriate IP

      It makes no sense to disqualify innovative technologies from patentability or limit the rights on the basis they can be implemented in software on general purpose processors rather than only on dedicated hardware. The “software patent” debate is largely a battle of ideology and business models between those who develop patented technologies and implementers who would rather not pay for the privilege of using others’ IP.

      • September 2, 2011
      • IP Finance

      Artificial Distinction between Software and Telecoms for Essential IP Disclosure

      The European Union takes a non-interventionist approach towards horizontal cooperation agreements against the criticisms levelled by the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), which supports the mandatory disclosure of the most restrictive licensing terms for patented IP in the “software” sector.

      • July 21, 2011
      • IP Finance

      A Great Deal for Consumers in IP

      Mobile technologies, devices, networks and operator services are highly standards based with essential-IP licensing predominantly and successfully based on a system of (Fair), Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory terms. Extensive competition has resulted in new market entry, an effective and vibrant innovation ecosystem including Standards Setting Organisations such as 3GPP, and modest aggregate royalty charges for essential IP.

      • July 5, 2011
      • IP Finance

      Fixing IP Prices with Royalty Rate Caps and Patent Pools

      Whereas voluntary patent pooling is common in licensing standards-essential IP for digital audio and video, attempts to impose pooling is potentially anticompetitive. Mandatory patent pools seeking to limit licensing fees would distort competition by favouring downstream licensees at the expense of upstream licensors who depend on licensing fees to fund their R&D.

      The graphics have disappeared from the blog posting. The full article including graphics can be accessed here: http://wiseharbor.wpenginepowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Wiseharbor-for-IP-Finance-on-patent-pools-4July2011.pdf

       

      • June 12, 2011
      • IP Finance

      Patent Licensing Fees Modest in Total Cost of Ownership for Cellular

      Manufacturing costs for handsets and network equipment represents a declining share of value compared to investments in innovative mobile technologies and software. There is no inherent maximum value share for the IP created with such investments. Aggregate IP fees are a small proportion of handset costs and are very modest compared to operator service charges.

      • May 31, 2011
      • IP Finance

      (F)RAND works — If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

      FRAND licensing is a huge success in boosting technology and reducing prices in the mobile communications sector. IP licensing arrangements have promoted—not inhibited—superlative market developments in mobile communications.

      • May 11, 2011
      • IP Finance

      Fruits of Labour not Windfall Gains in Standardization

      Basic economic principles that underpin the IP system—such as being able to make a return on the capital, labour and time invested in what are typically risky developments of patented technologies—are as applicable with standards-based technologies as they are elsewhere.

      • May 10, 2016
      • 3GPP

      The path to 5G: as much evolution as revolution

      The introduction of 5G will be as much the result of relentless and extensive improvements in LTE as it is a technology revolution. 5G opens up possibilities such as an entirely new air interface (i.e. other than OFDMA-based) or fixed transport layer (e.g. based on Information Centric Networking (ICN) rather than IP), it also prompts development of numerous incremental improvements.

      • August 18, 2014
      • 3GPP

      LTE-Advanced is bringing more than just carrier aggregation in 3GPP Release 12

      Carrier aggregation multiplies maximum user speeds several-fold and significantly improves capacity utilization by increasing trunking efficiency as more spectrum blocks are added; but LTE-Advanced can deliver so much more including heterogeneous network capabilities in particular.

      • January 1, 2014
      • 3GPP

      Heterogeneous Networks in LTE

      Effective network planning is essential to cope with the increasing number of mobile broadband data subscribers and bandwidth-intensive services competing for limited radio resources. Operators have met this challenge by increasing capacity with new radio spectrum, adding multi-antenna techniques and implementing more efficient modulation and coding schemes.

      • June 22, 2012
      • 3GPP

      2020 Vision for LTE

      We are still at just the beginning of the mobile broadband revolution. Market development and user adoption worldwide for mobile web, apps, multimedia and location capabilities while impressive where available, was only a pursuit for a small minority until the last couple of years. Coverage remains patchy, with insufficient capacity in many places; and erratic service quality, including highly-variable data speeds.

      • May 15, 2013
      • Wireless Week

      From the Magazine: No Free or Easy Ride with Open Source Software Licensing

      Purveyors of competitive and market-leading products and services in IT and telecom are highly reliant upon the technological innovations of many others. These offerings typically abound with technologies developed by many different organizations. Leading smartphones need to employ many standard-essential patented technologies for LTE and video coding encoding, as well as non-SEP technology pinch-to-zoom, swipe-to-scroll on multi-touch displays and more.

      • December 17, 2012
      • Wireless Week

      Broad Coverage and Disparate Access with Mission Critical Availability for First Responders

      Today’s public safety wireless networks reflect much of what is wrong with historic airwave allocations. Different user groups are served in fragmentation by numerous incompatible systems. This feudal system using relatively old technologies makes for inefficient use of prime spectrum resources.  It is all overdue for a major overhaul with a new LTE-based broadband public safety network.

      • October 15, 2012
      • Wireless Week

      BYOD Accelerates Rise of Smartphone and Tablet Leaders

      CTOs are increasingly implementing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies which enable employees to select the devices and apps they desire for personal use while preserving corporate control over security and financial liabilities.

      • July 31, 2012
      • Wireless Week

      Increasing Spectrum Piecemeal with LTE

      Wireless carriers need to exploit a wide and fragmented array of new spectrum possibilities, but this presents major challenges to them and their equipment manufacturers. Frequencies are scarce; with only limited prospects for more this decade, while demand for them increases massively as mobile broadband grows rapidly. Innovative technologies help squeeze more network capacity out of the scarce and disparate amount available.

      • May 3, 2012
      • Wireless Week

      Smartphone & Tablet Display Strategies

      Differentiation is critical for device manufacturers and display technology is one area where the potential to shine is particularly bright. Display technology innovations have been most significant over the last decade with introduction of color, widening gamuts (i.e., more colors), increasing screen resolution with much higher pixel densities, faster response times required for full motion video and graphics and multi-touchscreen capabilities.

      • December 3, 2011
      • Wireless Week

      America Invents with Innovation Moving Upstream

      Global technology vendors, over-the-top players and application developers are all driving the next phase of innovation in wireless. An extensive supply ecosystem is facilitating a new revolution in wireless with smartphones and mobile broadband. Innovation in wireless is being driven by “upstream” specialists including global technology vendors, over-the-top mavericks and a plethora of applications developers in all shapes and sizes.

      • September 25, 2011
      • Wireless Week

      U.S. Serves as Crucible for Advancements in Mobile

      For decades, Silicon Valley has been the leading location globally for the most innovative and disruptive information technology companies. Frontrunners based there, including Apple and Google, were hardly associated with mobile communications until the launch of the iPhone and the announcement of Android mobile operating system distribution in 2007. Smartphones have revolutionized and significantly expanded the mobile ecosystem.

      • July 23, 2011
      • Wireless Week

      Consolidation = Improved Vertical Competition & Universal Service

      Carrier consolidation will help counterbalance the rising competitive strength of Apple and Google across the entire mobile ecosystem and extend mobile broadband universally.

      • March 8, 2011
      • Wireless Week

      OS Players Jockey for Position

      If the example of operating systems and ecosystems for PCs is anything to go by, the corresponding markets in smartphones and tablets are still rather immature, fragmented and set for significant consolidation within the next few years. My expectation is that at least a couple from among Microsoft, RIM, MeeGo and webOS will also either fold or join forces somehow.

      • January 16, 2011
      • Wireless Week

      Preserving the Open Internet in the U.S. and U.K.

      Transforming the fixed and mobile Internet to provide reliable 24×7 substitutes for voice and video delivery, including voice and content such as live sports, demands major investment and changes that must include discriminate pricing and traffic management. Universal service obligations make the need for flexibility on speeds, service levels and pricing by ISPs even more important.

      • November 24, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      Cheap Spectrum – But It Comes at a Price

      Doing something different involves distinct costs and risks. With cellular frequencies so expensive, it’s worth seeking to bend the rules by asking for special dispensation to reallocate spectrum from other uses. LightSquared follows a well-beaten path in its plans to redeploy L-band satellite spectrum for terrestrial cellular services using LTE.

      • September 25, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      Nokia: Born Again (in the USA)

      As if Nokia’s global challenges aren’t daunting enough, its U.S. predicament is particularly problematic. Nokia is reaffirming its determination to succeed here. What does Stephen Elop, the new CEO, need to prescribe for North America that will also help restore its global position?

      • July 17, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      Network Migration Commotions at Sprint

      The carrier has faced network migration issues in the past and could still be facing another big challenge in the future. Until 2005, with its acquisition of Nextel and its iDEN network, Sprint prided itself on the purity of its all digital PCS network using CDMA technology. Things have been muddled and inefficient ever since. Its 4G migration path is supposedly still through its 56 percent Clearwire shareholding and WiMAX network partnership.

      • July 6, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      A Free Trade Election Manifesto

      Protectionist sentiment is brewing. The nation has benefited enormously from globalization in development and supply of technologies. Nothing could be more harmful to technology-based companies and their U.S. customers than the erection of trade barriers. Instead, America should promote open competition, technology neutrality and sturdy intellectual property rights.

      • March 24, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      New Types of Devices Pose Disruption for Tech Incumbents (PDF)

      We are in the midst of a revolution in ownership and usage for mobile computing and Internet access devices. Whereas laptop and notebook PCs have become the primary personal computing platforms for the affluent in developed nations, smartphones typically complement these by providing benefits such as more pervasive Internet access on the go.

      • March 7, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      Software Business Model Prevails

      Maximizing global scale on device platforms and application stores is essential. Cost structures are changing – particularly for those products that increasingly resemble computers. Smartphones represent one of the most striking examples, with manufactured hardware costs typically accounting for around one-third of selling prices.

      • January 31, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      Expansion: It’s Not Just About Geography

      As carriers extend into new areas, they need to be mindful of their core assets and selective about diversification. Most fixed and wireless carriers worldwide are fearful of being little more than, so called, dumb bit pipes transporting public Internet-based content for free or monetized solely by others. But are carriers capable of becoming competitive publishers, applications store fronts and value-added service providers?

      • January 1, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      The Sweet Spot for Nokia

      Nokia is being squeezed at both ends. Nokia’s position is eroding at the top and bottom ends of the cell phone market. Its share in smartphones has been dramatically reduced by the advance of iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile in Samsung, LG and other OEMs’ phones. Android and Palm are also challenging.

      • November 29, 2009
      • Wireless Week

      IMS Gets Boost from Voice over LTE

      IMS has struggled to find its justification, whereas much of what end-users actually want is already being delivered with Web-based and proprietary technologies on fixed and wireless networks. Will providing voice and SMS over LTE justify IMS investments desperately needed for IMS to become a major basis for rich service delivery on mobile networks?

      • October 9, 2009
      • Wireless Week

      Needed: Content Revenues to Fund Broadband

      The social and economic benefits with billions of mobile phone users are enormous. The free Internet business model is very appealing to consumers, but it’s untenable if geographic and socioeconomic reach, speeds, capacity and frequency of use are all to be substantially increased. Increasing Internet capacity and speeds to tens of megabits per second and expanding its reach to half or more individuals worldwide via personal smart devices with pervasive access will be very costly.

      • September 30, 2009
      • Wireless Week

      Merger Prospects Grow in Prepaid

      The recession and looming mobile market saturation are taking their toll on unlimited voice and text pure-plays Leap Wireless International and MetroPCS Communications. The snag is prepaid unlimited is not a separate market from mainstream cellular. Distinctions are blurring as calling buckets get bigger and cheaper.

      • August 1, 2009
      • Wireless Week

      Less Is Still More in Messaging

      While demand for mobile broadband grows exponentially, requiring massive investments in the RAN and backhaul, humble SMS remains the mobile data services cash cow. But what’s the outlook for SMS with so many alternative methods of messaging?

      • May 30, 2009
      • Wireless Week

      Bandwidth Bonanza II

      The problem with 3G data services until a year or so ago was that they were hardly being used. U.S. carriers priced with flat-rate, all-you-can-eat data plans to stoke up demand. They succeeded, but in so doing created other problems – data traffic levels that threaten to outstrip supply and undermine profitability. This growth is a very positive development, but carriers must significantly adjust.

      • March 31, 2009
      • Wireless Week

      Global Leadership for LTE In My Backyard

      Verizon Wireless selected Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as its LTE radio access network suppliers. It was inevitable that one vendor would be an incumbent CDMA2000 supplier, given the engineering challenges in migrating and interworking between the two technologies.

      • February 28, 2009
      • Wireless Week

      Digital Dividend Bounty Can Close Digital Divide

      Governments worldwide should resist temptation to pocket the proceeds from the “Digital Dividend” – the spectrum freed with the switch from analog to digital TV. Instead, monies should be directed with competitive bidding to fund widespread mobile broadband across the Digital Divide to include people and places where the operator business case is weak.

      • January 31, 2009
      • Wireless Week

      Mobile Net Neutrality: What Gives?

      Obama’s proposed net neutrality conditions for the Internet should be dropped forthwith. It will not make America a world leader in delivering the Internet to its people. It makes no sense to ban higher prices for premium services. Pricing constraints discourage service providers from investing extra to provide the higher-performance services some customers crave and will happily pay for.

      • June 12, 2012
      • Open Standards: Open Opportunities. Flexibility and Efficiency in Government IT

      Open Standards: Open Opportunities. Flexibility and Efficiency in Government IT

      WiseHarbor response to Cabinet Office formal public consultation on the definition and mandation of open standards for software interoperability, data and document formats in government IT.

      • November 16, 2016
      • RCR Wireless

      Fair returns on R&D from SEP licensing with smartphone success and upcoming 5G

      Cellular technology pioneers are being marginalized with reduced financial returns on their R&D investments while leaders in devices and “over-the-top” services are flourishing. Calls to weaken the basis of licensing standard-essential technologies are misplaced. There is no evidence of profiteering or harm caused by licensors.

      • October 14, 2016
      • RCR Wireless

      Smartphone innovation will increase in the run-up to 5G introduction

      Whereas some smartphone innovations are very overt and revolutionary; others are not so apparent to consumers and are more evolutionary, but are at least as significant. In the last decade, rates have increased 1,000-fold – at hundreds of megabits per second in the downlink, tens of megabits per second in the uplink, and latencies have reduced from several hundred milliseconds to tens of milliseconds.

      • November 16, 2011
      • RCR Wireless

      No Consensus on Which Patents are Essential to LTE

      Mobile phone intellectual property rights (IPR) licensing significantly includes patents that are “essential” to implement various standards including GSM, CDMA, HSPA and LTE. Purported IPR valuations including those derived from essential patent ownership “determinations” are unreliable because they are subject to great uncertainties, inaccuracies and biases.

      • June 12, 2011
      • Industry and Market Analysis on Intellectual Property in Mobile Communications Standards

      WiseHarbor Response to the Federal Trade Commission’s Request for Comments on the Practical and Legal Issues Arising from Incorporation of Patented Technologies in Collaborative Standards

      WiseHarbor Response to the Federal Trade Commission’s Request for Comments on the Practical and Legal Issues Arising from Incorporation of Patented Technologies in Collaborative Standards

      • July 26, 2011
      • Industry and Market Analysis on Intellectual Property in Mobile Communications Standards

      Supplementary Response from WiseHarbor to the FTC on the Practical and Legal Issues Arising from Incorporation of Patented Technologies in Collaborative Standards

      WiseHarbor Supplementary Response to the Federal Trade Commission’s Request for Comments on the Practical and Legal Issues Arising from Incorporation of Patented Technologies in Collaborative Standards.

      • February 7, 2011
      • Enriching Communications, Alcatel-Lucent Business E-Zine

      Mobile Operators Respond to Global Trends

      English

      • February 7, 2011
      • Enriching Communications, Alcatel-Lucent Business E-Zine

      Los Operadores Móviles Responden a Tendencias Globales

      Español

      • February 7, 2011
      • Enriching Communications, Alcatel-Lucent Business E-Zine

      移动运营商应对全球之变

      • September 11, 2015
      • The Hill

      Competition agencies should beware of buy-side slant in patent fights

      The pursuit of profit by one industry faction at the expense of another should not be dictating policy, but that is what’s often happening at the nexus of intellectual property law and antitrust law.  That certain major vested interests at home and abroad have the common objective of undermining patent licensors is no justification for competition authorities to accede by intervening in the marketplace.

      • April 21, 2008
      • 2008 LTE World Summit, Berlin

      There’s no Free Lunch with IPR: Why Capping Aggregate IPR Charges is Bad for Innovation, Competition and Consumers.

      Keith Mallinson is moderator for a workshop on the topic of intellectual property at the May 2008 LTE World Summit in Berlin. He has contributed to the News & Comment section of the event’s web site. “Nobody’s suggesting handset or network equipment prices, wireless service fees or operating profits should be capped, so why pick on patented Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)?”

      • WiseHarbor

      Mobile Advertising for Dummies?

      It will be a while before the definitive idiot’s guide can be written. In the meantime, here’s some background on the advertising market, a brief primer on the potential and constraints in mobile advertising and some analysis on the state of play in its development.

      • May 19, 2015
      • GCR Live IP & Antitrust Asia-Pacific
      • Seoul, South Korea

      IPR & Standards – market failure or market success (FRAND commitments, obligations of licensors and licensee)

      Market Health Check for SEP-Intensive Mobile Communications
      including Smartphones

      • May 5, 2014
      • International Bar Association's 25th Annual Communications and Competition Law Conference
      • Prague, Czech Republic

      Interoperability, Standardisation and FRAND Licensing with SEPs

      • October 12, 2012
      • ITU Patent Roundtable
      • Geneva, Switzerland

      ITU Patent Roundtable

      • February 14, 2011
      • Mobile World Congress
      • Barcelona, Spain

      GSMA Mobile Broadband Seminar

      The GSMA hosted a seminar on Mobile Broadband that explored how operators can facilitate the demand for data and foster the emerging revenue streams this creates

      • December 8, 2016
      • IP Finance

      Patently Faulty and Discredited Smartphone Licensing Cost Figure in Commissioner Vestager’s Speech on Excessive Prices

      It was reprehensible and incorrect for the European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, to say in a speech about excessive prices that “[o]ne recent study shows that 120 dollars of the cost of each smartphone comes from paying royalties for the patents it contains.”

      • December 8, 2016
      • IP Finance

      EU Competition Commissioner Vestager is Wrong to Claim Smartphone Royalties are Excessive and Unjustified

      European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, was wrong to implicate SEPs in her speech about the need for antitrust agency control over alleged excessive prices.

      • January 18, 2017
      • RCR Wireless

      Another mobile technology revolution in cars including 5G, V2X and EVs

      Innovations in automotive information processing, communications, vehicle control and powertrain technologies will be as dramatic over the next decade as was the enormous advancement in smartphone technologies and consumer adoption for these over the last decade. Evolution from 4G to 5G provides cellular technology suppliers a leg up in competing in connected cars.

      • April 23, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Network neutrality dysfunctionality

      It is no longer politically acceptable for governments to pick winners with corporate national champions, but interventionists are still inclined to favour some business models over others. Only a market in which investors are free to pursue the business models and pricing they choose with clarity and stability in regulatory conditions can adequately and rapidly supply the urgently needed investment.

      • March 30, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      LTE to bridge wired Internet gaps in Europe

      The advent of LTE will help bridge the digital divide in Europe, where wireline Internet penetration has lagged mobile penetration. Broadband wireline, fiber and WLAN Internet access already exist and can be used to offload mobile network demands in dense urban areas. However, in rural areas wireless technologies will more easily provide the necessary network capacity.

      • April 26, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Net neutrality supporters are playing with fire

      Investors need clarity and stability in regulatory environments to be able to freely pursue the business models and pricing regimes needed to continue innovating.

      • March 5, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Facebook pays over-the-top for WhatsApp

      The acquisition is one of the preciously few opportunities that can even provide hope Facebook’s market value might be sustained in its desperate attempts to remain relevant and significant in mobile. These look like bubble valuations to me, but what were the alternatives for Facebook’s management?

      • January 24, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      2G is dead, long live 2G

      It’s astonishing to see how rapidly mobile broadband phones with HSDPA and EV-DO have almost entirely eliminated 2G and narrowband phone sales in developed nations including Western Europe and the US. However, 2G technologies will remain essential in most mobile phones until the end of the decade GSM is and will remain the most universal technology for international roaming.

      • March 23, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      EU competition authorities should not intervene

      The EU’s competition authority has recently indicated concerns with regard to technology standards on two separate fronts. Intervention would be unwise, with evidence indicating no consumer harm or market failure. Issues range from the harmonisation of technology platforms such as mobile payments to the challenges being posed by over-the-top (OTT) players and the alleged “surge in the strategic use of patents”.

      • November 23, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Operators should cut opex, not capex

      Current industry conditions with intense competition, significant spectrum costs, price regulation and weak economic conditions dictate that operators must tighten their belts with cost saving measures. However, whereas it is indispensable to increase efficiencies, operators also need to increase capital expenditures to facilitate growth and satisfy escalating demand for mobile broadband with 3G and 4G networks.

      • January 27, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Handling the coverage and capacity crunch

      Exponential data growth calls for revolutionary carrier service strategies. Expanding 3G footprint and capacity is only part of the solution. Next generation networks are as much about creating and integrating intelligent business systems as they are about deploying higher throughput. Telecoms and IT is, at last, converging.

      • January 4, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Looking back on the ‘noughties’

      Subscriber penetration growth in Europe has outpaced expectations, but usage growth was disappointing throughout the decade in voice and in data services–apart from SMS–until a couple of years ago. Prospects for operator revenue and earnings growth remain constrained due to perilous economics in mobile broadband with spectrum costs, weak strategic positions in mobile internet, an abundance of wireless operators and barriers to consolidation.

      • September 21, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      How should Stephen Elop Rebuild Nokia?

      The last thing the world needs is yet another new high-level OS, and yet operators might conspire to create another due to threats from Apple and Google. The iPhone and Android ecosystems are contrived to bypass mobile operators who so desperately wish to avoid disintermediation.

      • January 18, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      The future for multinational wireless operators

      Widely differing performance and other circumstances among mobile operators worldwide in tricky economic conditions is prompting a new phase of merger and acquisition activity, including cashing-out to repair balance sheets and finance acquisitive consolidation or growth in currently-owned operators, or new foreign forays to deploy surplus cash and maintain growth.

      • April 22, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Roaming charges are in terminal decline

      Mobile operators should stop profiteering by ensnaring those who inadvertently rack up disproportionately high roaming charges because they misunderstand tariffs, miscalculate data allocations or neglect to adjust their settings through ignorance or oversight. This is bad for business.

      • March 28, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Fixed-mobile convergence is back

      Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) is a popular proposition once again, but with better prospects than a decade or two ago. Increasing video consumption on both types of telecommunications networks, as distinct from traditional terrestrial, cable and satellite broadcasting, makes FMC more likely to succeed than it did with voice services, where mobile ended up significantly substituting for fixed communications.

      • July 26, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Extolling the benefits of market consolidation

      European competition authorities and their political masters need to obsess less about maximising or preserving numbers of mobile network-based competitors, and, instead, help maximize–or at least not impede–infrastructure and services investments and other developments by letting market forces prevail. Mergers and acquisitions among mobile network operators increases economic efficiencies, improves financial returns and creates the incentive for further capital investments.

      • May 22, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Doubling spectrum capacity is not enough

      With mobile broadband network traffic doubling every year and already dwarfing voice traffic, capacity growth must increase at a corresponding rate amounting to a 30-fold increase over five years. Improving radio technology, increasing cell site density (including small cells and Wi-Fi offload) and substantial amounts of additional spectrum are the three compounding supply factors that must all contribute to the required increase in network capacity.

      • December 14, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      LTE is bringing a mobile broadband revolution

      Upbeat forecasts for mobile broadband demand abound. However, these will only be realised with correspondingly large increases in capacity for radio access, backhaul and core networks. This requires major capital investments and rapid allocation of new spectrum. Mobile operator business models including cost structures and revenues are being disrupted by all these changes.

      • July 20, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Android’s midlife crisis comes early

      The long-term success of Apple and Google and others in smartphones and tablets significantly depends on ability to attract and hold third-party developer support. The more a platform provider can draw unique and superior content, the more appealing the platform is to end users. According to Flurry Analytics, developers have recently been switching a significant proportion of their efforts towards Apple’s iOS and away from Andriod.

      • March 29, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Working through mobile competition pipedreams

      Politicians and government agencies in the 1980s and 1990s led us to believe that harmonisation of standards, liberalisation for new entrants and privatisations would result in well-functioning competitive markets. Regulation was supposed to diminish or go away.  Instead, management of competition through regulation has persisted and seems to be on the rise.

      • June 20, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      The 2020 vision for LTE

      LTE has universal appeal and will soon predominate worldwide. LTE will provide the primary or only broadband access to billions of people in developing nations where fixed network alternatives are not available. LTE has become the target platform for machine-type communications (machine-to-machine), public safety use and proximity services (device-to-device). 

      • May 25, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      A golden age for mobile broadband and smartphones

      Mobile phones are the fastest-growing consumer product category ever. With ongoing price compression, eventual market saturation in devices and relatively slow replacement rates in high-growth markets such as India, the migration to new cellular is insufficient alone to create sustained revenue growth to 2020. Incumbents need to diversify if they are to deliver growth in the latter half of the decade following the current bonanza in smartphones and mobile broadband devices.

      • October 26, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      LTE overruns world of WiMAX in 4G land grab

      I was first to forecast and I maintain my May 2010 prediction that LTE will outpace WiMAX and force it into decline from 2015. If anything, developments since then, including results of the Indian broadband wireless auctions with some license winners preferring to deploy LTE over WiMAX in unpaired spectrum, reinforces my prediction.

      • November 20, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Spectrum refarming needs to be coordinated across borders

      It is not sufficient to refarm spectrum from broadcasting and other uses to cellular on a purely national basis. Global or at least regional coordination and harmonisation of spectrum band allocations are needed to minimise cross-border radio interference, maximise economies of scale for devices and facilitate roaming.

      • February 20, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Mobile broadband – thrice as much at half the price

      I said it two years ago, and I’m sure I’ll say again: mobile data traffic will grow one thousand-fold over 15 years to 2025; but that can only occur if per-gigabyte prices plummet. Charging a premium for LTE is unsustainable. Instead; stoking mobile broadband demand with lower and lower-priced LTE is most essential.

      • October 23, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Can European wireless vendors reclaim their past glory?

      Mobile communications and computing is growing apace, with smartphones and tablets displacing PCs, rollout of 4G LTE networks and prospects for many billions of connected devices. Can European companies re-establish leadership in core technology developments and platforms, or is their future mainly as applications developers and service providers riding on top of these?

      • August 23, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Pan-European mobile integration is just a pipedream

      Brussels bureaucrats are reportedly competing against each other in public with proposed initiatives to make telecoms more pan European and cheaper for consumers. There are many impediments to pan-European telecoms and rather fewer realisable benefits than might be hoped for. Operator services markets are inherently constrained by national borders (e.g., including language differences, overall consumption patterns including movement of customers and labour).

      • December 19, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      No signs of collateral damage in smartphone patent wars

      Yet again, industry analysts are forecasting blow-out holiday season sales for smartphones and tablets. How could this be the very same, allegedly broken industry sector that is set to suffer innovation-stifling harm, as various prophets of doom have scare-mongered, and with what the ITU also describes as “an unwelcome trend in today’s marketplace to use standards-essential patents to block markets?”

      • October 16, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Innovation, competition and choice flourishing with mobile standard patents

      Theories of harm arising from recent disputes with standards-essential patents (SEPs) are poorly substantiated and contradicted by market facts and figures. Pending smartphone patent litigation including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Motorola Mobility (acquired by Google) and others is causing a big stir; but previous settlements to high-profile litigation in this market sector have produced reassuringly benign results.

      • September 17, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Consumer interests should trump fairness in UK LTE launch

      The UK’s EE was apparently handed a massive tactical advantage over rival operators by being permitted to refarm its 2G 1800 MHz spectrum for 4G use with LTE. However, once again, consumer interests are being subordinated with the threat of legal challenges by rival operators to block EE. The UK is already nearly three years behind LTE frontrunners and cannot afford any more postponements.

      • February 21, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Displays are the unsung heroes in the smartphone revolution

      Mobile communications improvements include networks, operating systems, processors and communications platforms, and expanding ecosystems of applications developers. Advances in displays are also most significant with introduction of colour, increased gamut (i.e., more colours), higher resolution with greater pixel densities, faster response required for full motion video and graphics, and multi-touchscreen capabilities.

      • October 26, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      What is holding the UK back on LTE?

      Competition and choice are supposed to be good for consumers. Instead, market conditions and conflicts are causing the United Kingdom to suffer from one of the most lacklustre mobile broadband progressions in the developed world. Squabbling over the rules for spectrum allocation is repeatedly delaying the “4G spectrum” auctions including urgently needed 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands.

      • June 21, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Mobile broadband prices will hold firm as they tumble

      “Bucket” sizes and monthly data volumes used will grow enormously. Operator revenue yields and prices, when expressed in dollars per gigabyte, will fall dramatically. One of the reasons people increase their consumption and spend more is because bargains and lower prices stimulate demand.

      • April 19, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Why is LTE still delayed in most of Europe?

      Despite all the impediments, migration to LTE and LTE Advanced is inevitable. Most of the new spectrum bands, including 700MHz, 800MHz and various other bands earmarked for LTE will never be standardized for HSPA. It also seems most likely that LTE will prevail with refarming of the 1800MHz band that is currently used for GSM.

      • May 21, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Will fixed network operators disappear with 5G?

      The elephant in the room for fixed networks is the move to 5G. Technological advances and market growth make it logical to overhaul mobile and fixed network architectures and implementations from time to time. The current concept stage in formulating 5G mobile communications is also an ideal opportunity to reconsider the role of fixed networks, and how they should also be reengineered and operated in conjunction with mobile networks.

      • January 21, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Mobile operator growth from M2M and IoT requires diversification

      Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) will create growing demand for mobile network connectivity, but revenue potential is mostly in the broader ecosystem implementing entire solutions and in providing holistic application services, such as in security monitoring and home automation.

      • October 22, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      How to succeed in smartphones as ASPs decrease

      This article on smartphones is the first in a three-part series examining market growth in the face of what I expect will be declining global average selling prices (ASPs) for devices and mobile operator services. With smartphone saturation approaching in developed markets, global growth will continue at lower prices for smartphones in developing nations and with additional new types of devices including wearables, and those providing machine-to-machine connections.

      • January 21, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Carriers need to deploy LTE Advanced HetNets – and fast

      Heterogeneous networks, in which small cells are most tightly-coordinated with large cells, are vital to accommodate escalating data traffic demands. HetNets including LTE Advanced technologies spread traffic loads optimally, maintain performance and service quality at cell edges by managing radio interference, while reusing spectrum most efficiently.

      • December 18, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      ‘5G’ fortunes – what’s in store for Europe?

      Standardisation work is already well underway in 3GPP for technologies that will likely be used from around 2020. Technology makes so much possible. We are principally constrained by the limits to our imagination and reluctance to try doing things that are new and different.

      • September 18, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      European Commission shouldn’t change approach to standards-essential patents

      Key issues under consideration by the Commission’s DG Comp include the possibility to “hold-up” standards if companies seek, obtain or even threaten injunctions for the infringement of standard-essential patents, and are thereby able extract unreasonable royalties. There is so little evidence of hold-up, with abundant indications to the contrary, and because injunctions involving standard-essential patents are so rarely granted and are invariably short-lived.

      • May 22, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Nokia needs to stay the course with Windows Phone

      Nokia’s Lumia smartphones with Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform still have a sporting chance of seizing a substantial position among the top three manufacturers behind Samsung with Android and Apple iOS. Nokia cannot afford to lose its nerve now despite calls for a Plan B from some irate shareholders. It needs to keep its focus and not undermine its best efforts.

      • August 24, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      What will Google do with Motorola Mobility?

      Google’s proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility is ostensibly for the hoard of 17,000 issued patents and a further 7,500 pending, so why keep a handset manufacturer that is merely one among 40 Android licensees? Without special treatment by Google, it is unlikely to recover much more than its cost of capital due to brutal competition among Android licensees.

      • June 15, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Closing time for all-you-can-eat buffets

      Tiered pricing–instead of flat rates for unlimited data use–will stimulate low-end adoption and increase expenditures at the high end. The threatened network neutrality conditions on mobile services will be much less onerous for mobile operators with this usage-based pricing. Unlimited data offerings are being withdrawn. Instead, tiered pricing or throttling usage when plan ceilings are reached is becoming the norm.

      • November 26, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Licensing mobile technology will become even more essential

      The demise of vertical integration is forcing those who are developing standard-essential technologies for 4G and “5G” networks to monetise these efforts through patent licensing. Exiting the handset business, as have most of the original major technology suppliers, including former market leader Nokia, eliminates participation in the largest product market and the need for cross-licensed patent protection there.

      • November 20, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      European LTE demand driven by fixed-line replacement

      Europe includes some leading examples of LTE deployment, but overall it significantly lags major leaders such as South Korea and North America. This is problematic because European nations are significantly more dependent on mobile for broadband connections than fibre-rich South Korea and the widely-cabled United States. Europe cannot afford to wait for “5G.” It needs to accelerate its laggardly 3G and 4G deployments forthwith.

      • August 25, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Uncertain future in LTE patent pool licensing

      Patent pools can benefit both licensors and licensees but are no panacea for mobile technology licensing. Innovation and competition are as much about alternative business models as new technology. Patent pooling is just one of various ways of licensing. In fact, antitrust authorities recognise that such collective licensing arrangements can be abused to fix prices and harm competition.

      • July 17, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Spectrum licensing remains the key to LTE deployment

      Russia’s recent spectrum licensing wisely puts the objective of maximising mobile broadband deployment ahead of raising money for government coffers. Auctioning-off former TV broadcasting spectrum for mobile broadband with LTE offers the potential to raise billions in cash for every major nation. Maximising receipts would be a boon for cash-strapped governments, but expropriating money from the mobile operator sector in this way is counterproductive.

      • August 22, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Will the UK get it right with broadband deployment?

      The UK is belatedly edging closer to a future of widespread broadband with 4G network spectrum set for auction by yearend 2012. An obligation in one national license will wisely maximise coverage at the expense of auction proceeds.

      • December 15, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Green lights from government and BBC for premium rate iPlayer access

      The British Broadcasting Corporation’s iPlayer is extremely popular and the most network capacity-hungry Internet service in the UK. The government will allow ISPs to charge premium prices for guaranteed performance with iPlayer and its equivalents. The corporation’s intention to grade quality of service will promote this development.

      • April 12, 2016
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Brexit referendum affects EC decision on proposed Three/O2 UK merger

      The decision on whether or not the proposed merger of O2 and Three in the UK should be allowed has become very political. The Commission’s decision, announcement and its timing is now as much about managing the optics as it is about reconsidering the deal and potential remedies on the merits.

      • April 24, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent and the last of the network equipment mega-mergers

      Nokia’s integration of Alcatel-Lucent following the proposed acquisition of its rival will be difficult and messy. Some significant rewards will take many years to achieve, if ever. However, very large research and development demands with economies of scale and scope in 4G, 5G and with fixed-mobile network convergence make this kind of transaction inevitable and indispensable.

      • June 20, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Substituting capital for labour–LTE Advanced added and 1,500 jobs lost at Bouygues Telecom

      The need to reduce costs is as pressing in France at Bouygues Telecom as anywhere, and yet the company is forging ahead with its 4G investments including its recent launch of LTE Advanced (LTE-A) and will modernise its stores. Latest technologies improve productivity with increasing network speeds, capacity and cost-efficiencies.

      • March 19, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Spectrum auctions need to generate investment, not just government revenue

      The trick in auction design is to encourage sufficient competition among bidders while also ensuring that there are adequate incentives for the operators and their financial backers to build out networks rapidly and on a widespread basis. New infrastructure satisfies a public need that generates revenue and its construction creates a multiplier effect in the economy as equipment vendors and network constructors are paid and then also spend their earnings in the economy.

      • April 27, 2012
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Vodafone’s C&WW deal shows that fixed-mobile convergence is increasing

      Mobile operators are becoming increasingly dependent their fixed network counterparts. This is due to heavy and increasing traffic demands and shrinking cell sizes with mobile broadband. After many years as one of the world’s most mobile-focused telecoms companies, Vodafone is becoming more integrated with fixed communications.

      • February 23, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Embracing OTT: You can’t beat them so you might as well join them

      While many operators remain fearful of becoming disintermediated dumb pipes, operators in general will increasingly embrace OTT providers as they compete to be the preferred smart conduit. The good news is that mobile users in particular will pay a premium for superior network performance with those services that stream and chatter.

      • July 12, 2016
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Mast portfolio sales in Europe – value growth from co-location or financial engineering?

      Europe is awash with transactions financing and transferring ownership of physical network infrastructure including mast portfolios from MNOs to independents specialising in operation of these assets. But how much value creation will arise from these assets transfers: will lease-up from additional tenants under independent ownership with co-location make assets more valuable?

      • June 24, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Germany’s spectrum auction shows how monopoly power can be exploited – and hurt operators

      Monopoly pricing of a very scarce commodity was clearly demonstrated in last week’s German spectrum auction results. Around the world, cash-strapped governments, via their telecommunications regulation agencies, have proven themselves to be increasingly adept at creaming-off the economic surplus in mobile communications supply for themselves while various operators struggle to achieve adequate operating profits.

      • July 28, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      When it comes to roaming, mobile networks now beat Wi-Fi on a number of levels

      International roaming used to be a highly-profitable cash cow for mobile operators–generated by a niche of predominantly business users who were price-insensitive. One way or another, within the next few years, mobile data roaming will also become the norm for the majority travelling to most frequently visited nations.

      • June 21, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Cellular and Wi-Fi are complementary, but need for more licensed spectrum is urgent

      Long gone are the days when many cellular and Wi-Fi aficionados would largely shun each others’ technologies for accessing the Internet away from the home and office. Indeed, cellular technologies and operator services are highly complementary to those for Wi-Fi.

      • April 25, 2013
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      It’s time to flip the pricing models for voice and data

      A revolution in cellular service pricing was inevitable given the exponential growth in data in comparison to saturating voice minutes, with network capacity used by the former already exceeding the latter manifold, and with competition against operators from over-the-top service providers including Skype, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, WhatsApp and many others.

      • September 20, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Would Vodafone put Verizon Wireless’ free cash flow to better use?

      Verizon has probably done everyone a favour by making its subsidiary hang onto the cash for use stateside. Shareholder value is not enhanced by dividend payouts if management can find sufficiently good uses for cash generated. Nevertheless, Vodafone and many of its shareholders have been unhappy the company did not receive regular dividends since 2005 for its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless.

      • March 24, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Net neutrality could cut off new use cases in a 5G world

      Net neutrality rules resulting from the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband, including cellular communications, as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act in the U.S. could undermine what is being proposed for 5G networks by the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) Alliance and others.

      • July 21, 2015
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Why are there a lot of ‘not-spots’ in the UK despite mobile coverage obligations?

      The term “coverage” in mobile communications for voice and data needs to be carefully redefined and goals for it revised in light of rising expectations and the desire for ultra-reliable networks with the coming dawn of 5G networks.

      • November 22, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Technological partiality and political gains with broadband stimulus and spectrum auctions

      LTE will bridge the digital divide in most of the world because it will never be economic to pull fibre to around half the world’s population who are difficult to reach or very low-spending. Similarly, LTE is the most economic solution for broadband to a small but significant proportion of households in developed nations.

      • December 22, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      The wireless market – not to mention Barcelona – is overflowing thanks to M2M and IoT

      Market growth with machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be significantly enabled by mobile technologies, but much of the value and income will be accrued in adjacent verticals such as automotive, medical electronics and home automation.

      • September 24, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Nokia, BlackBerry left behind amid untold disruption of the smartphone revolution

      It is remarkable how dramatically and rapidly the fortunes of so many mobile handset vendors have turned with the advance of smartphones. Former leaders Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola have exited by divesting their handset divisions.

      • August 18, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      LTE Advanced is bringing more than just carrier aggregation in 3GPP Release 12

      Carrier aggregation multiplies maximum user speeds several-fold and significantly improves capacity utilisation by increasing trunking efficiency as more spectrum blocks are added, but LTE Advanced can deliver so much more, including heterogeneous network capabilities in particular.

      • May 21, 2014
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Political tide turns against antitrust authorities blocking mobile operator mergers

      The question of whether or not to allow mobile network operator consolidation remains highly contentious and is coming to a head with ongoing competition investigations into acquisition bids and recent statements from public leaders.

      • May 18, 2011
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Long-term forecasting for mobile broadband with HSPA and LTE

      Challenges in getting users to significantly increase spending–in support of major spectrum and network infrastructure investments, as they demand much more network capacity with exponential growth in mobile data–are uncannily reminiscent of what happened a decade ago on fixed networks.

      • October 21, 2010
      • Wireless Week

      Vodafone divestitures, including Verizon Wireless, should be pursued at sensible prices

      Activist shareholders threaten making a bad situation worse at Vodafone. Under CEO Vittorio Colao’s leadership since July 2008, Vodafone is pursuing a radically different strategy to the empire-building of his flamboyant predecessor, Arun Sarin.

      • February 24, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Piecing together Mobile World Congress

      The MWC’s worldwide popularity and diverse participation ensures a fair representation of what is going on in the mobile industry. American poet John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887) based his well-known poem about misconceptions on an old tale from India. Here is my alignment of the fabled blind men’s perceptions on the elephant’s body parts to key aspects of Barcelona 2010.
      (For second page go to http://www.fiercewireless.com/europe/mobile-reformation-piecing-together-mobile-world-congress-aeu-page-2)

      • September 29, 2009
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      UK ripe for mobile network consolidation

      The UK is crying out for mobile network operator consolidation. The market is mature and nowhere is as brutally competitive for all participants. In the 3rd and 4th positions out of five, Orange and T-Mobile are desperate to improve their competitive positions and financial performance.

      • November 24, 2009
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      First in GSM, second in WCDMA: Where will Europe be with LTE?

      Most European operators will trail significantly behind major commercial LTE deployments elsewhere. Transition to the mainstream 3GPP technology track for non-HSPA operators and new spectrum availability are the driving forces for LTE front-runners in America, Asia and Scandinavia.

      • February 24, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Mobile reformation: Piecing together Mobile World Congress

      Mobile operators are suffering from an identity crisis. While seeking expanded roles for themselves, they are somewhat constrained. Mobile has been massively successful in voice and text with its global diffusion unsurpassed by any other product or service. The iPhone and the unbridled data demand growth that followed have shown a way forward.

      • October 27, 2009
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      Smartphone revolution tests established players

      With smartphones set to account for most handset sales by 2013–in terms of value if not also in terms of volumes worldwide–these devices, their operating systems and mobile Internet service delivery environments are crucial competitive elements for manufacturers and mobile operators alike.

      • March 29, 2010
      • FierceWireless and FierceWireless Europe

      LTE will bridge the digital divide

      Mobile technology is making broadband Internet access personal and pervasive. By the end of this year there will be more broadband Internet connections globally with HSPA and EV-DO Rev. A than with all wired, fibred and fixed wireless technologies combined.

      • September 13, 2006
      • Wireless Week

      Mobile Entertainment Shifts into High Gear

      Mobile entertainment and its mobile information services and mobile advertising kin are quickly emerging as mainstream markets. U.S. infotainment revenues are set to quadruple to $7.3 billion in 2009. Mobile advertising, including search with no revenue in 2005, also will go multi-billion dollar this decade. A diverse group of specialists is making the market.

      • September 13, 2006
      • Wireless Week

      Getting the Mobile Workforce Better Connected

      U.S. workforce mobility is extensive, but corporate IT management falls short in providing mobile workers access to the range of corporate applications they need. A holistic approach to delivering mobile application access will give corporate management more control.

      • May 15, 2007
      • Wireless Week

      Hitting the Wall

      Since 2000, top wireless operators have competed largely on the basis of subscriber acquisition and retention, minutes of use growth and consolidating properties. As the U.S. market nears saturation, growth will be mostly achieved through multiple device adoption and increasing non-voice usage.

      • June 15, 2007
      • Wireless Week

      Tide Turns in Telecom Consolidation

      AT&T’s merger with BellSouth was a high water mark for telecom consolidation. The tide is now on the ebb with the announced $27.5 billion private equity purchase of Alltel by TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs. Private equity sets strong management incentives and creates a unique financial performance benchmark with this pure-play wireless operator.

      • August 15, 2007
      • Wireless Week

      Intellectual Properties Undone

      Qualcomm’s challenge to the vertically integrated handset vendors’ business model is being fiercely resisted by dominant players. Cross-licensing, with minimal royalty out-payments, enjoyed by leading GSM IP-holders created a cozy oligopoly including Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson with significant commercial barriers for other handset vendors. Dominant players take most of their IP profits in sales of complete handsets.

      • September 1, 2007
      • Wireless Week

      Home from Xohm?

      Xohm may offer impressive data speeds, but will Sprint and Clearwire be able to match the speed in building out coverage? Sprint says that speed is everything. However, speed is zero where there is no coverage. Users will not be be willing to pay a premium price for Xohm service over fixed broadband prices until it provides the coverage and mobility of the prevailing 3GPP and 3GPP2 technologies.

      • October 1, 2007
      • Wireless Week

      Open Access Comparisons

      Transatlantic wireless comparisons are fashionable: Experts from both sides of the pond are weighing in on the open access debate with some misunderstandings, over-simplifications and mischaracterizations. Nobody is stopping Google, Xohm and others from pursuing their intended open and Internet-oriented strategies, but there is no reason to force others to follow suit.

      • November 1, 2007
      • Wireless Week

      Advertising Will Set Mobile Free

      Demand for advertising-supported mobile content will soar: Wireless carriers will benefit without burdening publishers with large revenue shares or soaking consumers with exorbitant usage charges. Access to content at no incremental cost to consumers stokes up demand by orders of magnitude.

      • December 1, 2007
      • Wireless Week

      Varied & Glamorous Beats Androgynous

      Competition – still dominated by carriers providing voice services – is under pressure from disparate disruptive forces. The new competitive challenge is from disaggregated suppliers. The battle cry from these wannabes is openness.

      • January 14, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      A Letter to Sprint Nextel’s New CEO

      Sprint must improve operational discipline and simplify things for customers, as Acting CEO Paul Saleh admits, but success demands more. Merely improving existing strategies is insufficient: Sprint has lost significant ground to AT&T and Verizon over the last couple of years, whereas T-Mobile USA benefits from the global purchasing scale of its parent in GSM/WCDMA.

      • April 9, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Openness is Only Skin Deep

      Open software platforms on handsets enable development of many new applications while handset vendors and wireless carriers continue to be customer gatekeepers. Proprietary platforms such as RIM and iPhone are challenging market dominance. Open software platforms are a boon for developers and consumers on PCs and mobile phones. They provide foundations for numerous applications running on a wide variety of hardware.

      • April 14, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Technology Neutrality or a Monoculture in Networks?

      Open standards will energize the industry. Mobile technologies are subject to massive economies of scale in development, manufacturing and network deployment, including roaming at home and abroad. In addition, mandatory standards for licensing in key geographies have given the GSM technology family an unassailable lead. It is, however, also vital that the market remains open for alternatives such as WiMAX, TD-CDMA, EV-DO and UMB.

      • May 2, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Alternatives in LTE

      Long Term Evolution (LTE) announcements from AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless are accelerating the competitive outlook for 3G and 4G. Verizon Wireless trumped AT&T with its more aggressive plans for the first commercial deployments of LTE in 2010. NTT DoCoMo also is expected to be a front-runner with LTE. WiMAX is nominally ahead in 4G with various small deployments around the world.

      • June 1, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Seamless Mobility with NGN

      Customer expectations exceed what a simple overlay implementation of IEEE 802.16e – the mobile version of WiMAX – can deliver. Dual- or multi-mode devices that interwork with and hand off to and from established 3G technologies are crucial. To achieve this, WiMAX urgently needs a capability such as the soon-to-be-completed IEEE 802.21 standard for Media Independent Handoff (MIH).

      • July 2, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Restructured iPhone Pricing Isn’t Cheaper

      Contrary to most news reports, the new 3G iPhone from Apple is no cheaper than its predecessor. Higher monthly service fees and a significantly lower manufacturing cost will lift overall profitability per subscriber. AT&T will just have to wait longer and face more credit risk before payback. The lower sticker price together with higher network performance will substantially stimulate adoption, usage and increase total returns for both companies.

      • July 31, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      ARPU Déjà Vu

      As mobile data ARPU increases, look for similar demands on networks as voice presented in the 1990s The long-awaited “hockey stick” growth effect on mobile data is finally happening. The demands on carrier infrastructure will be profound with major increases in the number of radio carriers, towers, additional cell sites and backhaul.

      • August 31, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Disruptive Innovation

      PC industry be warned. Mobile devices are taking computing to everyone, everywhere and all of the time. PC market leaders are being threatened by a new computing paradigm, as were their predecessors in minicomputers and their predecessors’ parents in mainframes. Mobile devices are set to dominate personal computing.

      • October 2, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Tip of the Iceberg

      Like the rest of the real economy, the wireless sector will be profoundly affected by the troubles in the financial and insurance sectors. The wireless industry appears oblivious or in denial about what’s happening on Wall Street. It’s business as usual with upbeat investment and demand growth expectations.

      • November 1, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Finnishing TOUCH?

      Nokia has adjusted its strategy for the enterprise, but this is not enough for North America. Nokia has made an expedient u-turn in its global enterprise strategy. The new device-focused approach will penetrate enterprises across most of the world where brand and distribution are strong. This is insufficient for success in North America where the brand is weak, low-end and nobody – let alone CIOs – uses Symbian S60.

      • December 3, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Fishy Chip Shares in Basebands

      Different counts on baseband chips can be misleading. Texas Instruments (TI), supposedly the market leader in cellular baseband chips with about 40% unit share, reportedly is looking to sell its business. Recent market exit announcements cast doubt on how much more value TI and Freescale offer in basebands than do silicon foundries such as TSMC and Chartered.

      • December 25, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Hard Times for Some, Free Lunches for Others

      The recession is reducing handset sales. Declining handset churn is bad news for manufacturers and a mixed blessing for carriers. Outside developing nations, handset sales are almost entirely replacements. Component suppliers have it even worse as inventory levels are being slashed throughout the supply chain.

      • February 20, 2008
      • Wireless Week

      Softbank’s Yahoo! Model

      Many carriers are enthusiastically investing in mobile broadband networks, with 174 commercial deployments of HSDPA worldwide and 36 of these delivering 7.2 Mbps download speeds. However, most carriers are paranoid and indecisive in their partnering strategies for mobile Internet services.

      • March 22, 2017
      • RCR Wireless

      Another next-gen mobile technology revolution – in voice with VoLTE and digital assistants

      Data was most the glamorous and preeminent mobile network service over the last decade, but voice calling remains as crucially important. It still accounts for around half of operator revenues and its legacy is at least as important as data’s in determining how and when previous generation networks can be retired and fully replaced with LTE and upcoming “5G.” Only then can next-generation network transformations be deemed complete.

      • May 12, 2017
      • IP Finance

      Do not Count on Accuracy in Third-Party Patent-Essentiality Determinations

      DG Growth’s Roadmap on Standard Essential Patents for a European Digitalised Economy sets out how it believes increasing transparency on standard-essential patents and its other objectives with SEPs and FRAND licensing might be achieved. However, third-party assessments of patent portfolio essentiality are too subjective and unreliable to be imposed through intervention.

      • May 17, 2017
      • RCR Wireless

      Massive growth in IoT leveraged by fulcrum of 4G and 5G technologies

      The utility of communications technologies, including those already in 4G and new innovations being developed for upcoming 5G, are increasingly leveraged in the higher levels of the IoT value chain. Costs in networks, communications chips and technology licensing generate much larger revenues and productivity gains in services and in the broader economy. These are worth one thousand times more and are predicted to rise to between $3.9 trillion and 11.1 trillion by 2025 with IoT.

      • May 19, 2017
      • IP Finance

      Adjusting the Balance in SEP Evaluations and Licensing

      A European Commission DG Growth initiative described in its Roadmap on Standard Essential Patents for a European digitalised economy aims to increase information on SEPs so implementers can get a better idea about which of these they might be infringing. It also seeks guidance on core valuation and enforcement in FRAND licensing.

      • July 12, 2017
      • RCR Wireless

      Gigabit LTE is a milestone on the road to 5G

      Recent new technology deployments with gigabit LTE at Telstra in Australia, Sprint in the U.S. and EE in the UK highlight how much mobile communications technologies have improved with a 10,000-fold data speed increase in 20 years. Enormous advances are largely the result of major endeavours by several leading firms. Key innovations include the LTE OFDMA waveform, (up to 4×4) MIMO, (up to 256) QAM and (up to 4 x) carrier aggregation. Those that create in R&D and then prove new technologies in technical testing and in market development need and deserve adequate rewards in compensation for major investments and significant risks.

      • September 1, 2007
      • WiseHarbor Spotlight Reports

      Intellectual Capitalism: Promoting Innovation by Defending Its Value

      Owners need the strength to defend their intellectual property (IP) from those at home and abroad who steal it, seek to undermine its value or get hold of it on the cheap. Creating IP, including R&D-based innovation is costly and risky. Explicit recognition of value through licensing is increasing innovation, competition and customer choice. Many initiatives fail and some are burdened with significant legal costs in protecting the fruits of IP development from infringement or product liability claims. Major investments are also required in bringing products to market. Profits from successes must make up for the time taken and for all the failures along the way.

      • July 21, 2017
      • IP Finance

      Yet another article on the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone

      The latest iPhone models look rather like the first one in 2007 with thin form factors, rounded corners and relatively large displays (providing multi-touch operation) in comparison to featurephones. But superficial appearances are very misleading: technological capabilities in mobile phones have improved massively with numerous innovations from various contributors over the last decade.

      • April 24, 2017
      • BerkeleyHaas: Tusher Center for the Management of Intellectual Capital; Working Paper 21

      Maintaining Ecosystem Innovation by Rewarding Technology Developers: FRAND, Ex Ante Rates and Inherent Value

      Proposals for setting FRAND licensing rates include the ex ante and inherent value methods. These set rates that might be agreed before standards adoption based only on the “inherent” contribution of the technology, typically compared to alternatives. Proponents argue that after standardization, rates may reflect unearned bargaining power due to “hold-up.” Although these methods have been accepted in several quarters, we believe this is unwarranted, as they fail two basic requirements for reasonable royalties: (a) they do not reflect the full contribution of the IP to the value of the relevant products including standardization, belittling the value of the technology; and (b) they have little resemblance to how technology is developed and standardized in the real world.

      • September 20, 2017
      • RCR Wireless

      5G investment threatened by tech titans snatching financial growth from mobile operators

      Technology innovation by chip, device and equipment vendors plus intense competition among national oligopolies of mobile network operators has improved cellular performance and reduced costs to the enormous benefit of consumers. Meanwhile, recent financial gains in the mobile ecosystem are largely accruing to Silicon Valley’s tech titans including Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Netflix. The massive network investments required for 5G may not be forthcoming if this imbalance persists.

      • September 20, 2017
      • 4iP Council

      Development of innovative new standards jeopardised by IEEE patent policy

      This paper assesses the practical impact of changes made by the IEEE to its patent policy in March 2015. According to the IEEE, these changes were aimed at protecting implementers from potential ‘patent holdup’. The paper makes an empirical assessment of the most recent available data and demonstrates that a large proportion of technology contributors to IEEE standards are unwilling to provide ‘positive’ Letters of Assurance to grant access to patented technology under the terms of the IEEE’s new patent policy. As a result, delays in adopting or implementing IEEE standards and litigation are foreseen, unless clarity and certainty around licensing terms are restored.

      • September 27, 2017
      • IP Finance

      Development of innovative new standards jeopardised by IEEE patent policy

      I recently wrote a paper for 4iP Council about the adverse effect of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) 2015 patent patent policy change on submissions of Letters of Assurance (LOAs) indicating whether patents are pledged to the new policy. In this, I have reviewed some third-party analysis on adoption of the new patent policy and LOAs. And, I have also included my own analysis of LOA data available from IEEE. The summary of my paper is reproduced in the IP Finance blog with some updated figures from one third-party analyst and with the addition of an IEEE logo. Research shows that a large proportion of technology contributors to IEEE standard is are unwilling to provide ‘positive’ LOAs to grant access to patented technology under the terms of the IEEE’s new patent policy. As a result, delays in adopting or implementing IEEE standards and litigation are foreseen, unless clarity and certainty around licensing terms are restored.

      • November 16, 2017
      • RCR Wireless

      Innovation in the 5G communications platform and the IoT

      Major research and development investments are being made in communications technologies and standards to satisfy the anticipated demands of 5G and IoT. These investments, with significant innovations resulting already, are largely a leap of faith in advance of hoped-for IoT applications development and proof of demand for these. While technology developers seek adequate returns on their financial investments in R&D, implementers want transparency and certainty in their patent licensing costs.

      • December 2, 2017
      • The Criterion Journal on Innovation

      Putting Economists in Their Place in Patents in Telecoms and the Internet of Things

      This article is substantially Keith Mallinson’s remarks in a conference panel session entitled, “Economists: Do They Have a Place?,” at the Patents in Telecoms and the Internet of Things conference at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on November 10, 2017.

      Those who use economists should beware of opinions that extend beyond the expert’s specialization. Economists need to take responsibility for what their own economic analysis relies upon. We need economists to publish, and as expert witnesses, but we need to flush out inapplicable theories, biases, and nonsense with more empirical testing, public debate including academic peer review, and rebuttal in litigation according to the applicable rules of evidence.

      • December 5, 2017
      • IP Finance

      Tide turns in US and EU agencies’ policies on SEP licensing

      The new head of the US DoJ antitrust division is reinforcing a trend that shifts the balance between IP rights and antitrust restrictions. Patent owners should be allowed to decide how they want to exercise their property rights: “under the antitrust laws, a unilateral refusal to license a valid patent should be per se legal.” New European Commission guidelines on SEP licensing respect patent owners’ rights to benefit from “fair and adequate return” from “value added of patented technology.” The guidelines do not oblige SEP owners to license to anyone who asks for a license. But significant harm has already also been done internationally with contagion from prospective or actual policy positions that were previously more hostile or equivocal on IP owners’ rights.

      • January 15, 2018
      • RCR Wireless

      How to provide Gigabit LTE cheaply when you don’t have the spectrum?

      Consumers are only beginning to use LTE in unlicensed spectrum. So far chatter has mostly been about operator trials, commercial chipsets and sales of devices to seed the market before anyone is to be able to use the new service feature. Nevertheless, the commercial impact will be quite dramatic within a few years. Trends in traffic growth and price declines will not abate when a major supply constraint in the industry is significantly lifted as more than 100 MHz of additional free spectrum is unleashed upon the market with LTE-LAA.

      • March 13, 2018
      • RCR Wireless

      Many will truly cut the cord with 4G and 5G

      The broadband performance and economics of cellular with 4G and 5G is making it possible for many of us to do without any wired connection at all — already including those who, on average, stream up to an hour of video per day. Nevertheless, most homes will continue to need fixed connections; but 5G fixed-wireless access will serve many of these.

      • March 23, 2018
      • IP Finance

      Better late than never to do the right thing for SEP owners

      At last, American authorities are beginning to do the right thing for owners of standard-essential patents. Under the previous administration of President Barack Obama, America’s agencies did the wrong thing by seriously undermining standard-essential patents in various ways. President Trump’s blocking of Broadcom’s attempted hostile acquisition of Qualcomm brought allegations of protectionism and some discontent among shareholders; but no such intervention would ever have been called for if Qualcomm’s licensing business model had not been so wantonly attacked at home and abroad by antitrust actions including large fines and by royalty payments being withheld by Apple.

      • March 26, 2018
      • IP Finance

      Where is 5G communications technology IP coming from?

      5G is a new standard that significantly embodies cumulative technology developments from previous cellular standards including 3G UMTS and 4G LTE. Many more innovative new technologies will also be added to 5G over the next decade or so. The value of standard-essential technologies in these standards is largely a function of patent quality—particularly including seminal and foundational contributions—rather than of the raw numbers of patents filed, issued or declared essential to the standards.

    • Unreasonably-low royalties in top-down FRAND-rate determinations for TCL v. Ericsson

      While Ericsson is a leading contributor to mobile communications standards, a US District Court in California has significantly undervalued Ericsson’s standard-essential patents (SEPs) by relying heavily on flawed “top-down” valuation analysis that prorates royalties by company for 2G, 3G and 4G based on SEP counting. This analysis applies a series of inaccurate assumptions which whittle down royalty rates from an understated notional maximum in a succession of unreliable steps. The resulting rates derived are a lot lower than those found in a European court’s FRAND determination for the same company in the same year (2017) and for the same 2G, 3G, and 4G patent portfolios. The differences between these US and European determinations are irreconcilable.

    • Complementary spectrum allocations and technologies maximize coverage and capacity for all

      Radio spectrum is the lifeblood of wireless networks. Traditional methods of doling out spectrum have somewhat hindered rather than helped maximize the availability of affordable Internet access, even if this was not the case with voice and text. Instead of seeking to aggrandize auction proceeds by creating scarcity, more flexible allocations including shared as well as traditional licensed and unlicensed assignments are required. Spectrum-sharing will lower barriers to entry for service providers, reduce their break-even points and lower the cost of broadband Internet access to end users. The biggest opportunity in spectrum sharing it to bridge the digital divide by connecting to people where most spectrum is lying unused, and where other network costs and consumer price sensitivity are highest due to remote locations, low population densities, and low incomes. Elsewhere, it provides the opportunity for challengers to stir things up with a bit more competition.

      • June 15, 2018
      • IP Finance

      Independent judiciary requires reliability and factual credibility in economic analysis

      In a major ruling that underscores judicial independence, federal judge Richard J. Leon has just unconditionally approved the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, rebuffing the US government’s effort to stop the $85.4 billion deal. Judge Leon made headlines during the trial when he questioned whether a key Justice Department theory, backed by a well-known testifying-expert economist, was a Rube Goldberg contraption: “a machine intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and over-complicated fashion.”  According the the judge’s Decision, evidence at trial showed that this expert’s model lacks both ‘reliability and factual credibility,’ and thus fails to generate probative predictions of future harm associated with the Government’s increased-leverage theory. This expert’s patent hold-up allegations have similar failings. Government agencies pursuing policy objectives must be more diligent in their deliberations. Academics and other experts should also be more principled when publishing academic articles and giving speeches.

      • June 29, 2018
      • RCR Wireless

      Cellular inventions trigger avalanche of activities among companies

      Major innovations in cellular technologies arise largely from the substantial Research and Development (R&D) investments and inventions of relatively few companies, followed by widespread collaborations including many more in the process of standard setting. The disproportionately large amounts of value created by those with most of the inspiration and perspiration in technology development are not reflected in simplistic and often-inflated metrics that are increasingly being used in patent-licensing rate apportionments, including by the courts in Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing disputes. These metrics include the numbers of contributions to the standards and the numbers of patents declared-essential or cursorily judged to be essential to the standards. Thousands of negotiated and executed licensing agreements, including cross-licenses, with various terms in addition to royalty rates—all underpinned by billions of dollars paid annually over many years—much better reflect how patent-protected value is generated and exchanged.

      • September 27, 2018
      • RCR Wireless

      5G introduction checklist

      The outlook for 5G is promising because growing mobile broadband data demand will saturate LTE capacity from around 2020. Only 5G can access the higher frequencies above 6GHz, including mmWave bands where spectrum bandwidth is most abundant. 5G’s great potential in various additional services including IoT is predicated on network deployments that will only be made economically viable by large-scale eMBB demand.

      Previous introductions of next-generation standards have been broadly beneficial in the long term, but the shift to 3G WCDMA was quite problematic for several years. There was insufficient initial demand for what 3G inadequately provided, and spectrum costs were too high. The 4G transition went rather better from the outset because MBB demand was already booming or congested by then and because LTE was desperately needed to accommodate growth.

      As with previous upgrades, key factors that will drive or inhibit the transition to upcoming 5G are in consumer demand, network capacity including spectrum supply, and devices.

      • June 30, 2018
      • IP Finance

      Cellular inventions trigger avalanche of activities among companies

      Major innovations in cellular technologies arise largely from the substantial Research and Development (R&D) investments and inventions of relatively few companies, followed by widespread collaborations including many more in the process of standard setting. The disproportionately large amounts of value created by those with most of the inspiration and perspiration in technology development are not reflected in simplistic and often-inflated metrics that are increasingly being used in patent-licensing rate apportionments, including by the courts, in Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing disputes. These metrics include the numbers of contributions to the standards and the numbers of patents declared-essential or cursorily judged to be essential to the standards. Thousands of negotiated and executed licensing agreements, including cross-licenses, with various terms in addition to royalty rates—all underpinned by billions of dollars paid annually over many years—much better reflect how patent-protected value is generated and exchanged

      • November 13, 2018
      • RCR Wireless

      US and China lead while regulation and competition policy impede Europe in 5G

      US, China, Japan and Korea are seizing global leadership in 5G with support of coherent and helpful industrial policies in those nations across the entire mobile ecosystem including technology development, spectrum licensing, site acquisition and operator consolidation. All these nations will launch 3GPP standard-compliant 5G services in 1Q 2019, except for the US, that might start sooner, and Japan, where the first launches are expected before yearend 2019. The first 5G smartphones will probably be sold to consumers in 2Q 2019.

      Digital Single Market policy initiatives, including the 5G public-private partnership (5G-PPP), sought “to put Europe in the lead of the 5G technology race,” but the region is significantly hampered by adverse regulation and competition policy with nationally fragmented markets for mobile operators.

    • Maintaining cellular growth until large-scale 5G IoT adoption in the mid 2020s

      The notion of “peak smartphone” is widely discussed of late.  Revenues are flattening with longer replacement cycles, saturating markets, resistance to Apple’s price increases, decreasing prices among Android’s fiercely competitive OEMs and allegedly diminishing technical improvements in successive new device models. 5G holds massive growth potential, but much of that is in industrial and IoT markets that will take at least several years to establish themselves and grow to levels that will have substantial impact on overall device and service revenues.  So where is demand growth going to come from while large up-front 5G investments in networks and devices are made in the interim until the mid 2020s?

      • March 7, 2019
      • RCR Wireless

      Securing our 5G future

      National security issues have come to the fore with 5G equipment vendor selection for network deployments and upcoming service launches over the next year or two. Cyber security threats of many kinds are real and significant; but debate about this has become deeply entwined with those on international trade including sanctions busting, industrial policy and protectionism. There is a perceived threat from China including Huawei on all these fronts.  But merely blacklisting selected companies based on nationality and alleged obligations to leak private and confidential information to foreign authorities could lull us into a false sense of security because multifarious security threats come from many different directions, can appear in various places and be perpetrated by numerous different actors.

    • Making America great in 5G

      The US has all the key ingredients for leadership in the technological development and implementation of 5G, as well as for the applications and services that will ride on top with the inevitable innovations that will follow from Silicon Valley in general.

      America is becoming more joined up in its pursuit of global 5G leadership, with presidential vision and objectives, complementary corporate strategies and the FCC’s plans to Facilitate America’s Superiority in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST Plan).

      In the interests of maximizing international competitiveness and national security, public policy makers and enforcers should do more to help and not hinder American success.

      • May 15, 2019
      • RCR Wireless

      Large differences in cellular patent royalty rates and payments are legitimate and pro-competitive

      Cellular technology companies with substantial device businesses — including Huawei and Samsung today, and Nokia until it sold its handset business in 2014 — generate no more than modest net licensing revenues, despite the significant Standard-Essential Patent (SEP) portfolio sizes they have declared. Crucially, they must also cross license their manufactures against infringement of other companies’ patents.  Companies without significant device businesses, including Qualcomm and InterDigital, have no such overriding need to barter their intellectual property. Instead, they are focused on licensing cellular and smartphone patents for cash, upon which their technology developments crucially depend.

      FRAND licensing must accommodate a wide variety of factors. Rates and payments can vary substantially among different pairs of licensors and licensees – even for the same patent portfolios — because other contractual terms and trade flows for licensing vary so much (i.e. how many handsets manufactured and at what prices sold by each party).

      • May 15, 2019
      • IP Finance

      Large differences in FRAND rates and royalty payments are legitimate and pro-competitive

      Cellular technology companies with substantial device businesses — including Huawei and Samsung today, and Nokia until it sold its handset business in 2014 — generate no more than modest net licensing revenues, despite the significant Standard-Essential Patent (SEP) portfolio sizes they have declared. Crucially, they must also cross license their manufactures against infringement of other companies’ patents.  Companies without significant device businesses, including Qualcomm and InterDigital, have no such overriding need to barter their intellectual property. Instead, they are focused on licensing cellular and smartphone patents for cash, upon which their technology developments crucially depend.

      FRAND licensing must accommodate a wide variety of factors. Rates and payments can vary substantially among different pairs of licensors and licensees – even for the same patent portfolios — because other contractual terms and trade flows for licensing vary so much (i.e. how many handsets manufactured and at what prices sold by each party).

      • July 16, 2019
      • RCR Wireless

      While low-band spectrum is “beachfront property,” mid-bands offer higher capacities needed for 5G

      And some mid-bands are more accessible with better ecosystem support

      Rather like with real estate, while beachfront properties are coveted, properties elsewhere providing more space and better access can be the most useful.

      Cellular technologies have improved to utilize the greater capacity in the larger bandwidths—including in mmWave bands with 5G—that is needed to satisfy the massive growth in mobile data. Much of the radio spectrum—including frequencies between 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz—that used to be deemed less than ideal for cellular and which were termed “high-band” are now very highly sought-after and defined as “mid-band.”

      • October 2, 2019
      • RCR Wireless

      Must MVNOs be more than that to turn out large and successful?

      While mobile virtual network operators may appear to be back in fashion, none of them are significant players among US wireless carriers.  The largest of what are commonly—but incorrectly—called MVNOs, including Boost and Metro in the US, have long since ceased to be MVNOs, or never were.  The market segment of “true” MVNOs, that is, those that are owned and run independently of their MNO hosts, is small and highly fragmented.

      New “hybrid” wireless carriers—sharing some characteristics of both MVNOs and MNOs—face a tough and risky path.  They intend to operate like MVNOs, while at the same time rolling out their own network infrastructure and services.  On the MNO side, they must make large up-front capital investments in radio spectrum and network equipment while building up sufficiently large subscriber bases to make this business financially viable.  On both the MNO and MVNO sides, they are dwarfed by the much larger and more firmly-established MNOs, including their network hosts, with whom they must compete for retail customers. They will be beholden to their MNO hosts for many years—or indefinitely.

      • December 17, 2019
      • RCR Wireless

      Biting the hands that feed you SEP technologies

      Longstanding and economically efficient balance in Standard-Essential Patent licensing is being destabilized by misinformation and manipulation of commercial practices and of benchmarks in Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory licensing. This is epitomized in litigation between Apple and Qualcomm, commencing January 2017, until settlement in April 2019 and in the US Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust action against Qualcomm also commencing around the same time and now on appeal. Many in the cellular industry—who unsurprisingly like the idea of lower prices for something they assimilate and must pay for rather than that they create or sell—have lapped this up. But that does not justify the disingenuity or negate the resulting harmful effects that undermine incentives for ongoing and long-term technology development in the mobile communication sector including 5G and the emerging Internet of Things.

      • December 18, 2019
      • IP Finance

      Biting the hands that feed you SEP technologies

      Longstanding and economically efficient balance in Standard-Essential Patent licensing is being destabilized by misinformation and manipulation of commercial practices and of benchmarks in Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory licensing. This is epitomized in litigation between Apple and Qualcomm, commencing January 2017, until settlement in April 2019 and in the US Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust action against Qualcomm also commencing around the same time and now on appeal. Many in the cellular industry—who unsurprisingly like the idea of lower prices for something they assimilate and must pay for rather than that they create or sell—have lapped this up. But that does not justify the disingenuity or negate the resulting harmful effects that undermine incentives for ongoing and long-term technology development in the mobile communication sector including 5G and the emerging Internet of Things.

      • January 7, 2020
      • RCR Wireless

      How innovative, competitive and well adopted was LTE— implications for outlook in 5G?

      LTE’s introduction a decade ago and its development as the definitive 4G mobile communications standard which predominates in smartphones is an outstanding accomplishment. Competition has served technology innovators, manufacturers, mobile network operators, over-the-top service providers and end-users extremely well.  Markets have functioned and advanced superbly with a vibrant supply ecosystem and providing 4.1 billion LTE connections out of 9.4 billion in total worldwide.

      Despite overwhelming evidence of this extraordinary and widespread success, some allege that illegal and anticompetitive practices have caused significant harms including suppressed innovation, market exclusion and excessive pricing. While there is no evidence of those negative effects, there is proof of commercial failure by the alleged principal injured party, Intel, due to its poor strategic judgment and inability to keep up with the exacting technical pace of a most fiercely competitive marketplace in smartphone chips.

      • January 8, 2020
      • IP Finance

      How innovative, competitive and well adopted was 4G LTE in mobile communications— implications for outlook in 5G?

      LTE’s introduction a decade ago and its development as the definitive 4G mobile communications standard which predominates in smartphones is an outstanding accomplishment. Competition has served technology innovators, manufacturers, mobile network operators, over-the-top service providers and end-users extremely well.  Markets have functioned and advanced superbly with a vibrant supply ecosystem and providing 4.1 billion LTE connections out of 9.4 billion in total worldwide.

      Despite overwhelming evidence of this extraordinary and widespread success, some allege that illegal and anticompetitive practices have caused significant harms including suppressed innovation, market exclusion and excessive pricing. While there is no evidence of those negative effects, there is proof of commercial failure by the alleged principal injured party, Intel, due to its poor strategic judgment and inability to keep up with the exacting technical pace of a most fiercely competitive marketplace in smartphone chips.

      • January 31, 2020
      • IP Finance

      Valuing SEP portfolios and determining FRAND rates: How, and who should “get it done”?

      While there is much uncertainty about the outlook for standard-essential patent royalty rates in court determinations, there are plenty of solid benchmarks in well-established comparable licenses (“comps”). The former rates are thin on the ground and have been made up based on some dubious and fiercely contested tenets as judges scrabble to set figures that are fair, reasonable and on-discriminatory. The latter rates have been agreed in droves through negotiation in licensing programs with dozens of licensors, hundreds of licensees and many thousands of patents.

      Vacating the District Court Judge Selna’s bench trial decision in TCL v. Ericsson on appeal, the Federal Circuit has prescribed a retrial with a jury. This will recalibrate awards based on the subjective judgement of randomly selected non-experts. It will likely include consideration of bottom-up valuation methodologies reflecting consumers’ purchasing preferences, price sensitivities and the perceived value for smartphone features and performance improvements.

      • February 6, 2020
      • RCR Wireless

      How C-V2X in 5G will transform cars and save lives

      Technological improvements in cars over the decades have generally reduced costs or increased performance and safety. “Analog” technologies including collapsible steering columns, crumple zones and seatbelts have saved car occupants from death or serious injury. Many digital technologies have also improved our in-car experience with entertainment, mobile communications and navigation; but in some cases, safety has reduced as drivers are distracted by operating these features.

      We are on the brink of an automotive revolution in which 5G technologies will dramatically increase safety as well as well as utility and performance. The key enabler for this is C-V2X, which is being implemented in conjunction with various sensor technologies and AI software. This will completely transform the connected car. It will make existing capabilities better and enable many new ones.

      • May 28, 2020
      • RCR Wireless

      Outlook for 4G and 5G with COVID-19 and climate change

      The long-term growth trajectories, to 2025 and beyond, for all telecommunications, including mobile and 5G, are significantly elevated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming climate change crisis, that will also make us stop traveling around so much in motorized transport.

      While the coronavirus crisis is causing some short-term reductions in supply and demand for mobile devices, preliminary indications are that mobile device usage has increased, while fixed networks and WiFi connections to them, where available, have accommodated most of the traffic growth, including smartphone data offload while people have stayed home. Mobile broadband data traffic—typically over 4G—has grown substantially where large proportions of populations have no fixed Internet access, but nothing like so much, if at all, elsewhere in developed nations where they do.  So long as economic output is not too severely suppressed, overall effects of COVID-19, on increasing demand for communications, will persist after the virus crisis is over.

      • July 14, 2020
      • RCR Wireless

      Polarization in 5G technology supply

      The U.K. government has banished Huawei’s 5G network kit. Supply must cease before 2021 and operators must rip out and replace all installed equipment by 2027.

      This is another major step in bifurcation of the technology supply ecosystems between the U.S. and China. These new U.S. sanctions will encourage further development of a rival end-to-end supply ecosystem orchestrated by China and over which the U.S. will no longer have any sway.

      For now, global standardization in technologies remains at a high-water mark, despite some manipulation by China.

      • September 16, 2020
      • IP Finance

      Curing contagion and harm from previous changes in IP policy and law for SEP licensing

      Following IEEE’s purported “clarification” and “update” of its Patent Policy in 2015, with a non-objecting Business Review Letter from the U.S. Department of Justice at that time, the Department has now “supplement[ed], update[d] and amend[ed]” its 2015 BRL with a new BRL.

      The Department complains in its new BRL that its 2015 BRL was “frequently and incorrectly” cited as “an endorsement of the IEEE Policy.” The new BRL emphatically and with mettle renounces Standard Setting Organization patent policy changes that were proposed by the former head of the Department’s Antitrust Division, Assistant Attorney General, Renate Hesse, together with those that were detailed in IEEE’s 2015 Patent Policy.

      This Patent Policy change was damaging to IP owners and their incentives to contribute to the standard setting and development process. Misinterpretation of the BRL, including by foreign authorities, has resulted in harmful policy developments and legal overreach in Standard-Essential Patent disputes.

      • October 1, 2020
      • RCR Wireless

      One-stop-shopping with segmented offerings is most appealing for SEP licensing in IoT including 5G

      Patent pooling is increasingly attractive for licensing cellular technologies with emerging IoT including 5G because it can provide greater transparency, predictability, and various efficiencies such as lower transaction costs at scale in standard-essential patent licensing with multiple dimensions and complexities including:

      • Scores of patent jurisdictions, but with a handful of these most significant by far;
      • Hundreds of patent owners, while most SEPs are owned by a very small proportion of these;
      • Thousands of implementers, with the vast majority of these in IoT outside of the cellular industry vertical; and
      • Hundreds of thousands of patents declared essential to the cellular standards, while large proportions of these are not actually essential.
      • October 2, 2020
      • IP Finance

      One-stop-shopping with segmented offerings is most appealing for SEP licensing in IoT including 5G

      Patent pooling is increasingly attractive for licensing cellular technologies with emerging IoT including 5G because it can provide greater transparency, predictability, and various efficiencies such as lower transaction costs at scale in standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing with multiple dimensions and complexities including:

      • Scores of patent jurisdictions, but with a handful of these most significant by far;
      • Hundreds of patent owners, while most SEPs are owned by a very small proportion of these;
      • Thousands of implementers, with the vast majority of these in IoT outside of the cellular industry vertical; and
      • Hundreds of thousands of patents declared essential to the cellular standards, while large proportions of these are not actually essential.
      • October 9, 2020
      • RCR Wireless

      Right-pricing cellular patent licensing in 4G and 5G connected vehicles

      While litigation is bogging down the licensing of cellular standard essential patents (SEPs) in vehicles with disputes about where in the production supply chain licensing may or must occur—from chip, to module, to telematic control unit (TCU), to entire vehicle—this is also delaying payment of Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) royalty charges in these cases and causing confusion about licensing value. This is a pity because clarity is in everyone’s urgent interest.

      Well-established mobile phone licensing benchmarks conservatively imply a total value of at least around $30 per vehicle for patents essential to the 2G, 3G and 4G standards.

      • October 12, 2020
      • IP Finance

      Right-pricing cellular patent licensing in 4G and 5G connected vehicles

      While litigation is bogging down the licensing of cellular standard essential patents (SEPs) in vehicles with disputes about where in the production supply chain licensing may or must occur—from chip, to module, to telematic control unit (TCU), to entire vehicle—this is also delaying payment of Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) royalty charges in these cases and causing confusion about licensing value. This is a pity because clarity is in everyone’s urgent interest.

      Well-established mobile phone licensing benchmarks conservatively imply a total value of at least around $30 per vehicle for patents essential to the 2G, 3G and 4G standards.

      • March 11, 2021
      • RCR Wireless

      Harmful dominance in 5G computing if NVIDIA is allowed to acquire Arm

      SoftBank’s proposed sale of Arm to NVIDIA should be blocked. While there are major UK national interest concerns about this transaction, the threat and likelihood of severe anticompetitive effects are global and more fundamental. NVIDIA’s control over Arm will throttle the advance of other Arm licensees in cloud datacentres. NVIDIA will extend its ascendancy there into edge computing—as is essential in emerging 5G networks and applications like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)—and stifle the potential for heterogeneous computing—including Central Processing Unit (CPU), Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and Digital Signal Processor (DSP)—in the wider ecosystem including smartphones and IoT devices.

      While antitrust authorities including the Federal Trade Commission, European Union’s DG Comp and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority will now assess the harms this transaction will bring, the UK government will also consider national interest issues.

      • February 5, 2021
      • IP Economy

      TCL诉爱立信案FRAND费率确定方法评析

      虽然爱立信是移动通信标准的主要贡献者之一,但美国加利福尼亚州地区法院因过度依赖存在缺陷的“自上而下”估值分析方法,严重低估了爱立信的标准必要专利(SEP)的价值。该分析方法的特征是以拥有标准必要专利的数量为依据,按比例确定各公司的2G、3G和4G许可费率,采用了一系列不准确的假设,通过多个不可靠的计算步骤,以一个保守的最大估算值为总数,依次计算出各公司的许可费率。由此得出的费率远低于欧洲法院在同一年度(2017年)针对同一公司及相同2G、3G和4G专利组合采用的FRAND确定方式得出的费率。美国和欧洲法院判决之间存在的分歧是无法调和的。

      本文指出了基于专利计数进行自上而下分析存在的固有问题,同时将该方法与Unwired Planet诉华为案使用的类似方法进行了比较,指明了在TCL诉爱立信案中使用该方法确定许可费率导致的各种额外错误和不准确性。

      • July 12, 2021
      • RCR Wireless

      Long live the revolution in 5G: With SA, 5G-Advanced, 6G, virtualization, O-RAN and competition among industry standard computer hardware platforms

      An upcoming mobile communications metamorphosis—delivered by 5G standalone (SA) mode, 5G-Advanced and 6G—is being facilitated by complementary innovations and transformations in computing architectures and their supply. Change will be huge but gradual over the next decade. With 5G yet to make its mark beyond eMBB, a second wave of growth including widespread implementation of IoT using 5G SA, and with mMTC and eURLLC including enterprise deployments, will have major impact commencing around 2025.

      Mobile edge computing in operator networks and on customer premises is expected to grow enormously in the provision of secure, reliable and low latency networks. Edge computing is also where a plethora of new latency-sensitive applications will run, in concert with centralized data center computing and ever richer and more varied devices that can also process demanding computer workloads such as in AI. Competition among technologies, business models and suppliers will decide how such workloads are controlled and allocated.

      • September 3, 2021
      • RCR Wireless

      Modest SEP royalties on smartphones have declined and licensing is stabilizing

      Aggregate royalty payments for licensing cellular technology standard-essential patents (SEPs) in smartphones have remained in modest single-digit percentages and have declined since 2013.

      This defies purported concerns that the stacking of patent royalties paid to multiple licensors has led to or would lead to unreasonably high aggregate rates on mobile devices. It also counters the claims of some OEMs and others that various SEP owners demand licensing fees in excess of what is fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND).

      • September 7, 2021
      • IP Finance

      Modest SEP royalties on smartphones have declined and licensing is stabilizing

      Aggregate royalty payments for licensing cellular technology standard-essential patents (SEPs) in smartphones have remained in modest single-digit percentages and have declined since 2013.

      This defies purported concerns that the stacking of patent royalties paid to multiple licensors has led to or would lead to unreasonably high aggregate rates on mobile devices. It also counters the claims of some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and others that various SEP owners demand licensing fees in excess of what is fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND).

      • September 30, 2021
      • IP Finance

      Essentiality Rate Inflation and Random Variability in SEP Counts with Sampling and Essentiality Checking for Top-Down FRAND Royalty Rate Setting

      Fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) royalty rates for licensing standard-essential patents (SEPs) are increasingly derived “top-down” by dividing a notional aggregate royalty percentage (e.g., 10% of a smartphone’s selling price for 4G LTE) among patent owners based on the proportions of patents they own that are deemed to be standard essential. Other rate-setting methods include use of comparable licenses and measuring value derived from SEPs. However, as stated by Justice Birss in Unwired Planet: “In assessing a FRAND rate counting patents is inevitable.”

      Institutionalising use of patent counting—with or without sampling—is an under-researched and impetuous leap of faith. Different assessors come up with wildly different patent counts. Comparison of two separate assessors determining essentiality on the same sample of patents indicates that assessors tend to inflate true essentiality rates. This posting and my full research article hyperlinked there include extensive statistical analysis on essentiality determinations and patent counting.

      • October 11, 2021
      • RCR Wireless

      Spectrum auctions: Okay for some, but not for others

      A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and former President of the World Bank, controversially suggests that auctioning spectrum for 5G is detrimental to the U.S. and helps Huawei. While spectrum allocation is an important issue in industrial and economic policy, high auction fees do not appear to have impaired U.S. development and deployment of 4G or 5G. Furthermore, Huawei is currently banned from supplying in the U.S.

      While the U.S. approach has worked well for the U.S., results elsewhere are not so good. While it may be very tempting to take Uncle Sam’s lead in other nations—maximizing auction receipts to shore up the public finances—the money would be better left in the cellular sector in many cases. High spectrum fees there will tend to drive cash-strapped operators into the arms of Huawei.

      • May 9, 2021
      • IP Finance

      It is simplistic and short-sighted to undermine Covid-19 patent rights

      President Biden’s administration is making a major mistake by its top trade advisor, Katherine Tai, advocating a waiver of patent rights for Covid-19 vaccines.

      While all who are involved, or would like to be, should move heaven and earth to increase Covid-19 vaccine supply until everybody worldwide who wants to be vaccinated has been vaccinated, undermining patent rights will not help but only hinder achieving that objective.

      • December 21, 2021
      • RCR Wireless

      Royalty pricing dichotomy in 5G SEP patent pool for Open RAN Radio Units

      MPEG LA and Unified Patents have just launched their Alium patent pool program that seeks to license 4G LTE and 5G standard-essential patents (SEPs) for a minimum charge of $10 per Open RAN Radio Unit (RU). Royalties on a percentage basis for incremental sales will be in the wide and unexplained range of a maximum of 0.56% on macro cell units to a minimum of 5.2% on indoor small cell units.

      Previously, attention to licensing and royalty charges for cellular SEPs has been overwhelmingly on devices, including mobile phones and recently in IoT. Alium’s stated objectives are to “help accelerate 5G” by providing suppliers of these functional units in network equipment with SEP licensing and to establish Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) royalty rates for them. It has not yet been disclosed which or how many owners of patents declared essential to the above standards have agreed to join the pool, if any, or are likely to do so.

      • December 23, 2021
      • IP Finance

      Royalty pricing dichotomy in 5G SEP patent pool for Open RAN Radio Units

      MPEG LA and Unified Patents have just launched their Alium patent pool program that seeks to license 4G LTE and 5G standard-essential patents (SEPs) for a minimum charge of $10 per Open RAN Radio Unit (RU). Royalties on a percentage basis for incremental sales will be in the wide and unexplained range of a maximum of 0.56% on macro cell units to a minimum of 5.2% on indoor small cell units.

      Previously, attention to licensing and royalty charges for cellular SEPs has been overwhelmingly on devices, including mobile phones and recently in IoT. Alium’s stated objectives are to “help accelerate 5G” by providing suppliers of these functional units in network equipment with SEP licensing and to establish Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) royalty rates for them. It has not yet been disclosed which or how many owners of patents declared essential to the above standards have agreed to join the pool, if any, or are likely to do so.

      • January 24, 2022
      • RCR Wireless

      Sharp – not weak or late enforcement is required against recalcitrant SEP implementers

      Public comments on SEPs and FRAND licensing sought for the US Department of Justice’s Draft Policy Statement and the UK Intellectual Property Office’s Call for Views.

      It is vital that the fundamental sanction in patent law—of the temporary right to exclude—along with other remedies, including enhanced damages, are readily available against infringers when Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (F/RAND) licensing has been offered, but is rejected, evaded or unreasonably delayed.

      Technical standards confer enormous value to implementers and consumers. For example, cellular standard-essential technologies enable annual revenues exceeding a trillion dollars in operator services, several hundred billion dollars in smartphone sales and hundreds of billions more in over-the-top applications and services on those devices. Undermining the fundamental patent rights of organizations that commit large R&D resources to develop those technologies and contribute them to the standards would unfairly short-change those innovators and jeopardize ongoing investments in 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

      • February 20, 2022

      Confusing allegations of various “behaviors” are a red herring—not evidence of anything illegal, bad-faith or discriminatory—while SEP owners earnestly attempt to obtain FRAND licensing

      As previously remarked in IP Finance, I recently submitted my individual comments, and commented along with other scholars of law, business and economics, among hundreds of consultation submissions in response to the US Department of Justice’s ‘Draft Policy Statement on Licensing Negotiations and Remedies for Standard-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary F/RAND Licensing Commitments’ (”DoJ Draft Revised Statement).

      Comments on the DoJ Draft Revised Statement by academics Christian Helmers and Brian Love misleadingly imply that many measures taken by a standard-essential patent holder in seeking to obtain a FRAND license are abusive. They state there that ’we present empirical evidence of “hold-up”—i.e., evidence of opportunistic behavior by SEP enforcers that is intended to unreasonably inflate royalties.’ However, elsewhere in a supposedly supporting research paper they co-authored and cite in their comments, they admit that their analysis of these behaviors does not constitute proof of holdup: ’while these behaviors have all been associated with holdup, we stress at the outset that many are not per se unlawful and none are, standing alone, conclusive proof of holdup.’ They ’do not claim that the presence of any of these behaviors constitutes, in itself, empirical proof of holdup.’

      • March 14, 2022
      • RCR Wireless

      Global standard setting at 3GPP endangered with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

      While the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and long-standing concerns about cyber threats and national security are splitting markets and disrupting supply chains for network equipment and devices geographically, use of global technical standards and their underlying intellectual property are largely continuing unabated. It is impossible to stop that if someone supplies standard-compliant product.

      Standards setting has also continued with technical contributions from firms blacklisted—as a threat to U.S. national security—from trading in products with U.S. firms. However, as war sanctions are applied with numerous firms including Ericsson and Nokia refusing to supply to Russia, those that continue to supply equipment there may find the former reluctant or unwilling to work with them in standard setting.

      • March 2, 2022
      • IAM

      The smartphone royalty stack: a long-term look

      Keith Mallinson was interviewed by IAM for its Special Report 2022 Q1: Patent Dealmaking https://www.iam-media.com/report/special-reports/q1-2022/article/the-smartphone-royalty-stack-long-term-look

      Even though device makers often bemoan the substantial burden of patent licensing, research shows that the value returned to major patent owners has declined over time.

      You may not know it from coverage of the wireless patent world, but the overall level of SEP royalties shouldered by mobile device makers is modest and currently in the midst of long-term decline.

      • April 28, 2022
      • 4iP Council

      How Europe can build on strengths in SEPs to reclaim leadership in cellular with 5G and 6G

      Europe was once preeminent in cellular communications with 2G GSM—including standard-essential technology innovation, product developments and sales, network deployments, and operator services adoption by consumers. Since its heyday in the in the late 1990s, Europe has declined through a succession of falls from various leading positions in cellular.

      The European Commission’s initiatives to regulate standard essential patents (SEPs)—most significantly in cellular technologies and ostensibly for the benefit of SMEs and other technology implementers—are oblivious to this bigger picture. It is vital for all Europeans that the region’s remaining major players in the cellular ecosystem can flourish profitably and are able to continue investing in R&D for innovation, new products, network deployments and services growth. That means ensuring standard-essential technology developers including the European Union’s Ericsson and Nokia can make fair and adequate returns on their SEP investments. The SEP licensing system needs to be reinforced, not weakened with prospective interventions that are inconsistent, contradictory or that have weak factual justification and would jeopardise Europe’s competitiveness.

      • May 4, 2022
      • RCR Wireless

      How Europe can build on strengths in SEPs to reclaim leadership in cellular with 5G and 6G

      The EU is in grave danger of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” in its prospective attempts to reform SEP licensing with interventions for the purported benefit of European Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in IoT.

      Europe was once preeminent in cellular communications with 2G GSM—including standard-essential technology innovation, product developments and sales, network deployments, and operator services adoption by consumers. Since its heyday in the in the late 1990s, Europe has declined through a succession of falls from various leading positions in cellular.

      While the European Commission threatens to meddle with SEP licensing, virtually all the $14 billion in SEP royalties to Europe’s world-leading innovators Ericsson and Nokia over the last 5 years— that were vital to fund their R&D at a total cost of around $10 billion in 2021—were export revenues generated on smartphone sales by Apple and Asian OEMs. Royalties generated from SEPs in Europe are tiny in comparison: most IoT modules are produced by a top five manufacturers that are Chinese, and there is no requirement for software application developers to take SEP licenses.

      • May 29, 2022
      • IP Finance

      Practicalities and Problems in Comparing and Setting FRAND Royalties for SEPs

      I was a speaker at the Patents in Telecoms & the Internet of Things conference in London on 27th May 2022. This is an excellent biennial event, organized this year by Professor Sir Robin Jacob of UCL Laws and James Marshall of Taylor Wessing. It focuses on the topic of licensing Standard-essential Patents (SEPs) on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory terms. I was on a panel among economists Jorge Padilla, Avantika Chowdbury, Tim Pohlman and Mark Schankerman in one of two sessions on FRAND Determination Methodologies: Principles, procedures and problems. The other session focused on comparable licenses. Our session also considered top-down and value-based methods as well as the economics in bargaining agreements.

      In response to requests from some conference attendees, I am posting my panel session talking points here for access by all. My spoken remarks were slightly different, so as not to duplicate what had been said earlier at the event and to save some time. I have added several hyperlinks —mostly to articles of mine—to provide support to some of my assertions.

      • June 17, 2022
      • RCR Wireless

      How to stifle innovation by impeding competition among technologies, companies and business models

      The European Union has declared that USB Type-C standard connectors will be required for charging various devices sold from 2024. Fifteen categories of products will be covered by this mandatory charging connector standard, notably including Apple’s iPhones which currently use the firm’s own proprietary Lightning connectors. USB-C is the prevalent standard for electrically connecting and powering small devices. Android-based smartphones, Apple’s MacBooks and various other devices already use USB-C connectors.

      Competition among technologies, companies and business models generally brings out the best. Even though there are some obvious potential benefits in harmonization of power charging and that this appears to be a relatively minor place for the EU to intervene, the sclerosis that will likely ensue from this decision sets a troubling precedent in this otherwise dynamic marketplace. If other major nations do not adopt the EU’s chosen standardization, product market fragmentation may increase rather than decrease on a global basis.

      • August 1, 2022
      • RCR Wireless

      Revenue boost for automotive industry from cellular connectivity outweighs SEP licensing costs

      The automotive industry is being revolutionized by continuous cloud connectivity, autonomous driving technologies, drive train electrification and shared mobility. These transformations are being facilitated in part by the standardized cellular technologies now commonly implemented in “connected vehicles” or “CVs”. The proportion of vehicles shipped worldwide with cellular connectivity embedded is forecast to rise from 46% in 2020 to 76% in 2026.

      With increasing adoption and value of connectivity in vehicles, there is consensus with acceptance now that the modest SEP royalty charges being widely paid are fair and reasonable. Manufacturers and users of CVs are deriving enormous value from cellular technologies including those developed specifically for automotive use.

      • August 4, 2022
      • IP Finance

      Revenue boost for automotive industry from cellular connectivity outweighs SEP licensing costs

      The automotive industry is being revolutionized by continuous cloud connectivity, autonomous driving technologies, drive train electrification and shared mobility. These transformations are being facilitated in part by the standardized cellular technologies now commonly implemented in “connected vehicles” or “CVs”. The proportion of vehicles shipped worldwide with cellular connectivity embedded is forecast to rise from 46% in 2020 to 76% in 2026.

      With increasing adoption and value of connectivity in vehicles, there is consensus with acceptance now that the modest SEP royalty charges being widely paid are fair and reasonable. Manufacturers and users of CVs are deriving enormous value from cellular technologies including those developed specifically for automotive use.

      • December 5, 2022
      • IP Finance

      Gaming the System: A Scatter-Gun Approach to 5G Declarations

      Quantitative research on 5G patent declarations demonstrates that the number of patents declared as potentially essential to technical standards should not be used for any purpose, including to evaluate technological leadership.

      Participants in standards setting organizations (SSOs) are obliged to disclose their patents that are potentially essential to the standards. SSOs expect those companies to make their essentiality determinations and declarations in good faith. However, some companies make significantly more and broader declarations than are cautiously needed to meet SSO disclosure requirements, protect their patent rights and shield them from charges of anticompetitive patent ambush. Some companies are “gaming” the system to feign technology leadership by “over-declaring” where individual patents are essential as well as how many of them are essential. Declaration practices differ among participating companies, but with all of them reasonably declaring some patents that would never actually be found standard essential if tried in litigation by courts of law.

      However, with the increasing use of patent counts as a measure of companies’ respective patent strengths, some companies are making much broader and more numerous declarations than others. Companies making declarations to large numbers of standards specifications may be performing a less rigorous analysis of which patents are essential to which particular standards specifications.

      • November 16, 2022
      • IP Finance

      Essentiality checks might foster SEP licensing, but they won’t stop over-declarations from inflating patent counts and making them unreliable measure

      We await a new policy framework from the European Commission (EC) with its Impact Statement regarding the Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). The EC is considering instigating checks on patents disclosed—to Standard Setting Organization (SSO) Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) databases as being possibly standard essential— to establish whether they are actually essential to the implementation of standards such as 5G. Objectives for essentiality checking are to:

      1. enable prospective licensees to determine with whom they need to be licensed
      2. correct for over-declaration and only count patents deemed essential; and
      3. use such figures in FRAND royalty determinations.

      If clutches of selected patents are independently and reliably checked to establish that prospective licensors each have at least one patent that would likely be found essential by a court, these results might be used by several or many prospective licensees to determine with whom they need to be licensed.  But such checks would be of limited and questionable additional use to existent court determinations.

      My empirical analysis also shows that declared essential patents are too numerous, and bias in checking and random errors in sampling are too great to provide even the modest precision expected and that should be required for patent counts to determine FRAND royalties without very thorough and highly accurate checks on thousands of patents per standard.

      • January 3, 2023
      • RCR Wireless

      Singularities in cellular

      While cellular has undergone and brought about rapid and continuous change in human communication over the 40 years since the industry’s inception, we can identify a certain few developments that were profound and revolutionary. These include digitization of voice in 2G, text messaging, smartphones and high-speed packet data in 3G and 4G. It typically took a decade or more for winning innovations to displace rival technologies and transform consumer behavior with widespread or near universal consumer adoption. 5G will also revolutionize in various ways and more broadly.

      So far, with 5G services since 2019, as expected, this latest new standard has helped further expand capacity and occasionally wow us with some increased headline speeds in eMBB; but 5G has yet to deliver its own defining singularity— “a hypothesized future era or event when exponential improvements in computer intelligence and advances in technology will result in an acute change in human society and evolution.

      • March 16, 2023
      • IP Watchdog

      Where AI Works Well and Where it Doesn’t in Predicting Standard Essentiality for Patents

      Artificial Intelligence (AI) is providing enormous productivity and increased value in many applications. Introduction of the chatbot ChatGPT has taken the interpretation of text to a much higher level. ChatGPT can understand complex instructions and provide sophisticated responses, such as essays good enough to pass university exams. The “digital twin” AI predictions of an aircraft in flight based on physics equations and mathematical models can be continuously recalibrated with accurate measurements of position, altitude, velocity, acceleration, temperature and airframe strain.

      But AI is no panacea and is not yet sufficiently well developed to be precise or dependable everywhere. For example, much better AI training data is required to reliably estimate patent essentiality to standards such as 4G and 5G, where AI is being advocated by various experts and has already been adopted by one patent pool.

      • March 15, 2023
      • 中国知识产权杂志 (China IP Magazine )

      必要性检查(essentiality check)可以帮助实施人确定他们需要得到哪一位权利人的专利许可。但是,必要性检查并不能很好地纠正标准必要专利的过度声明,反而会鼓励更多的虚假声明。

      我们在等待欧盟委员会 (EC) 的新政策框架及其关于标准必要专利 (SEP) 的公平、合理和非歧视 (FRAND) 许可的影响报告。欧盟委员会正在考虑对标准制定组织(SSO)知识产权数据库中披露的可能是标准必要的专利进行审查,以确定它们对5G等标准的实施是否真的必要。

      如果对选定的专利进行独立和可靠的检查,以确定每个潜在许可人持有可能至少一件会被法院判定为标准必要的专利,那么这些结果可能被几个或许多潜在的被许可人用来确定他们需要与谁进行许可。[1]  但这种检查对现有法院裁决的额外作用有限且值得怀疑。多年来,在大量标准必要专利诉讼案件中,已经审查过所有主要许可人和许多其他许可人的部分专利。许多专利被判定为标准必要、被侵权且是有效的,这些法院判决在法律上带来了更大的确定性

      本文重点讨论对在标准必要专利数量统计中,必要性检查和抽样的更广泛使用。由于声明的标准必要专利数量太多而无法严格地全部审查,人们希望通过仔细核查随机抽取出的已声明标准必要专利来推断出准确的标准必要专利数量。但是,必要性检查并不能解决而只能减弱由于过度申报而导致的专利数量的夸大。例如,如果真实的必要性比率(essentiality rate)低于10%,那么除非至少90%的认定是正确的,否则错误地认定为标准必要专利的比率将会虚高,也就是说错误的比率超出了真正的必要性认定比率。[2] 不充分的必要性检查可能让许多人对标准必要专利认定的精确性产生错误的安全感,同时鼓励他人更多地过度声明标准必要专利,从而进一步有误导性地夸大其专利的数量和必要性比率。

      • March 27, 2023
      • RCR Wireless

      Grace and peril in AI

      Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly taking hold in many places to provide enormous benefits with improved utility and efficiency in various cellular capabilities. It is significantly affecting how networks are designed and operated. But some applications of AI are much more straightforward and less controversial than others. Where decisions are highly expert and subjective AI can be inaccurate, biased and unaccountable.

      • April 5, 2023
      • IAM, then republished in IP Finance on 4th May 2023

      DG GROW seeks to replace established FRAND valuation and licensing practices with top-down rate setting

      In case you missed it or were unable to access my paywalled article in IAM on 5th April 2023, here it is with my analysis of the draft Proposal for Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for transparent licensing of standard essential patents, including an associated Impact Assessment report (IA) that were leaked ahead of their anticipated public launch on 26 April.

      DG GROW is proposing various ill-conceived interventions — processes that have not yet even been designed or properly budgeted, let alone tested. These will upset a standards development and patent licensing system that has been effective in enabling the world’s fastest growing and largest ever technology ecosystem serving more than five billion people and 16 billion connections with cellular worldwide.

      I have feared but anticipated in my publications that the EC might try to build some kind of Ministry of Patent Counting with the purported aim of helping SEP implementers including SMEs in particular in Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing. DG GROW now proposes to do that in spades by building a large “competence centre” bureaucracy at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

      • June 14, 2023
      • IP Finance

      European Commission is recklessly replacing established and effective FRAND valuation and licensing practices with dubious top-down rate setting

      I have already made various public comments on a draft Proposal for Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for transparent licensing of standard essential patents, including the associated draft Impact Assessment report that were leaked ahead of their public launch on 27 April 2023. These comments were first published in IAM (paywalled) and then republished in IP Finance

      Among numerous legal and other issues in these proposals, I am focusing my feedback to the European Commission, in a new consultation running 27th April 2023 to 9th August  2023, on the anticipated methodologies for setting aggregate and individual SEP royalty charges by the new competence centre at an expanded EUIPO.

      The proposed regulation largely ignores and seemingly abandons comparable license valuation of patent portfolios—that predominates in licensing negotiations and court decisions—and implicitly replaces this with the dubious top-down approach that is antithetical to patent law and is repeatedly rejected by the courts worldwide.

       

      • June 29, 2023
      • RCR Wireless

      Stellar data traffic growth forecast to persist with 5G and FWA until at least 2028

      The prediction I made in May 2011 — for 1,000-fold cellular data traffic growth over 15 years to 2025 — will most probably turn out correct. I was not the first to anticipate 1,000x growth, but was the only one to publicly state how long that would take in a published forecast. High exponential growth rates now seem likely to persist until at least 2028.

      In making my forecast, I gauged that the combination of additional spectrum, improving spectral efficiency and densification in the RAN would enable network capacity to increase at at 58% CAGR for many years, driven by a corresponding exponential decay in costs and end-user prices per bit hauled in the downlinks and uplinks.

      • January 27, 2022

      Comments on USPTO, DoJ and NIST Draft Policy Statement on Licensing Negotiations and Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject To Voluntary F/RAND Commitments

      • August 8, 2023
      • IP Finance

      How to derive and apply aggregate royalty rates for SEP FRAND determinations

      Among numerous legal, economic and commercial concerns about the European Commission’s proposed legislation for Standard Essential Patent (SEP) licensing, its plans for aggregate rate setting and mandatory Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) rate determinations in various technology standards raises all kinds of issues and alarms.

      I have previously argued in general against the Commission’s apparent intention to abandon the established approach of using comparable licensing agreements directly as benchmarks in FRAND rate determinations, and instead apportion aggregate rates among SEP owners based on their respective shares of total SEPs using the top-down approach, with some critical analysis of patent counting methods. This article is complementary with focus its on aggregate rate setting.

      • September 27, 2023
      • RCR Wireless

      European policies for competition and growth in ICT through regulation of Big Tech, network operators and standard-essential technology licensing

      Big Tech companies have profited greatly from dominant market positions while riding largely for free over the top of fixed and mobile telecom networks and devices. The entire Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) ecosystem is enabled by a variety of interoperability technologies including 5G cellular, WiFi and HEVC/H.265 video compression that are openly available in published standards and embedded in components and end-products. How much, if anything, should beneficiaries pay for the capabilities upon which their standard-based implementations are built.

      Two major EU interventions have been conceived to reign-in the dominance of Big Tech companies over others with whom they compete or depend.  A third intervention—with the pretext of protecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) from abusive patent licensing—will perversely have the opposite effect.

      • September 28, 2023
      • IP Finance

      European policies for competition and growth in ICT through regulation of Big Tech, network operators and standard-essential technology licensing

      Big Tech companies have profited greatly from dominant market positions while riding largely for free over the top of fixed and mobile telecom networks and devices. The entire Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) ecosystem is enabled by a variety of interoperability technologies including 5G cellular, WiFi and HEVC/H.265 video compression that are openly available in published standards and embedded in components and end-products. How much, if anything, should beneficiaries pay for the capabilities upon which their standard-based implementations are built.

      Two major EU interventions have been conceived to reign-in the dominance of Big Tech companies over others with whom they compete or depend.  A third intervention—with the pretext of protecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) from abusive patent licensing—will perversely have the opposite effect.

      • November 6, 2023
      • IP Finance

      US leadership through promoting what works best for International Standards

      The International Trade Administration (ITA), The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have asked a dozen questions in their request for public comments on The United States Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology. I responded with my in-depth submission.

      In this, my focus is on technical standards providing interoperability in communications and networking technologies. These have been most significant technically, economically and in improving consumer welfare in the US and globally over several decades.

      • December 5, 2023
      • RCR Wireless

      5G AI for the nerds and herds

      Various forms of AI are pivotal for an upcoming surge in mobile ecosystem development and revenue growth over the next couple of years. The quest is on for new for generative AI applications running on mobile devices, as well as in cloud data centers.

      • November 6, 2023

      Call for comments on US Standards Strategy by ITA, NIST and USPTO

      My comments respond to most of the dozen questions posed by The International Trade Administration (ITA), The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in their request for public comments  the United States Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology.

      Comments on US Standards Strategy by Keith Mallinson, WiseHarbor.

      • February 28, 2024
      • IP Finance

      Discovering or Setting Aggregate Royalties and FRAND Rates for SEP Portfolios?

      The European Parliament (EP) voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposed legislation for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of Standard-Essential Patents (SEPs) in February 2024. Stated objectives include increasing transparency and predictability while reducing transaction costs. Measures include (1) the setting up of a mandatory register for SEPs with essentiality checks of selected and representative random samples of SEPs, (2) a process for determining a non-binding aggregate royalty rate, and (3) a mandatory pre-litigation conciliation procedure for FRAND royalty determination, combined with (4) voluntary guidance on SEP licensing. A new competence centre within the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) will be responsible for these tasks.

      The US and Europe are heading in different directions on how to determine FRAND licensing charges for SEPs. While the US has shunned rate-setting regulation by withdrawing guidance from government agencies including the USPTO, NIST and DoJ and is diminishing proposed law-making, the Commission’s interventionist approach prescribes a valuation methodology which a Chinese court has recently used to drastically and defectively undercut established rates.

      • February 28, 2024
      • Journal of Law, Economics, & Policy, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

      Discovering or Setting Aggregate Royalties and FRAND Rates for SEP Portfolios?

      The European Parliament (EP) voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposed legislation for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of Standard-Essential Patents (SEPs) in February 2024. Stated objectives include increasing transparency and predictability while reducing transaction costs. Measures include (1) the setting up of a mandatory register for SEPs with essentiality checks of selected and representative random samples of SEPs, (2) a process for determining a non-binding aggregate royalty rate, and (3) a mandatory pre-litigation conciliation procedure for FRAND royalty determination, combined with (4) voluntary guidance on SEP licensing. A new competence centre within the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) will be responsible for these tasks.

      The US and Europe are heading in different directions on how to determine FRAND licensing charges for SEPs. While the US has shunned rate-setting regulation by withdrawing guidance from government agencies including the USPTO, NIST and DoJ and is diminishing proposed law-making, the Commission’s interventionist approach prescribes a valuation methodology which a Chinese court has recently used to drastically and defectively undercut established rates.

      • January 23, 2024
      • IAM

      Race to the bottom with top-down approach in FRAND rate setting for SEPs

      The US and Europe are heading in different directions on how SEP royalties are determined in FRAND licensing disputes. US authorities are increasingly hands off while proposed EU legislation constrains SEP enforcement and prescribes a valuation methodology which a Chinese court has recently used to drastically and defectively undercut established rates. How different regions approach this question has global ramifications.

      By October last year, EU state representatives asked the European Commission to explain how measures the EU believes China “should refrain from adopting… that restrict, or seek to restrict, the exercise by patent owners of their exclusive rights in the territories of other [WTO] Members” would violate WTO Article 28.1 TRIPS, while the limitation of enforcement under the EU’s proposed regulation is not a violation of that article?

      • April 5, 2023
      • IAM

      DG GROW seeks to replace established FRAND valuation and licensing practices with top-down rate setting

      DG GROW is proposing various ill-conceived interventions — processes that have not yet even been designed or properly budgeted, let alone tested. These will upset a standards development and patent licensing system that has been effective in enabling the world’s fastest growing and largest ever technology ecosystem serving more than five billion people and 16 billion connections with cellular worldwide.

      I have feared but anticipated in my publications that the EC might try to build some kind of Ministry of Patent Counting with the purported aim of helping SEP implementers including SMEs in particular in Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing. DG GROW now proposes to do that in spades by building a large “competence centre” bureaucracy at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

      • April 26, 2024
      • RCR Wireless

      Implications for DISH’s big win in jury trial verdict against its primary tower collocation provider Crown Castle

      New entrant 5G facilities-based national mobile network operator (MNO) DISH Wireless selected Crown Castle to provide up to 20,000 tower collocation cell sites for a fixed monthly rental fee in a lease agreement signed November 2020. In addition to space on the towers for radios and antennas, the lease provides five-by-seven feet of ground space at each site. Crown claimed that DISH should pay additional rent for National Electrical Code working space (an electrical safety requirement) outside that footprint. DISH counterclaimed for damages resulting from unexcused delays by Crown in completing tower preconstruction services with design and planning of individual sites.

      A Denver jury’s April 11, 2024 verdict rejected both Crown’s claim for more than $22 million in disputed additional rent so far and DISH’s $35 million counterclaim for damages due to the alleged delays. However, this verdict also most significantly means that DISH is not on the hook for this disputed additional rent in future.

      • May 9, 2024
      • RCR Wireless

      AI capabilities we don’t need—or are unable to use fully, just yet, ahead of an upcoming third revolution in mobile communications?

      Apple has just shown its new lineup of iPads including Pro models with “outrageously powerful AI chips.”  Meanwhile, Qualcomm has recently launched its AI Hub—”a gateway for developers to enable at-scale commercialization of on-device AI applications.” Qualcomm also believes it is well positioned to capitalize on growth in AI as that expands from the cloud to devices employing its Snapdragon 8 series processors.

      How and when all that neural processing horsepower will actually be employed on devices remains unclear. AI processing—including most compute-intensive training, as well as inferencing—is already very entrenched in cloud data centers. Nevertheless, demand for that on-device AI will likely increase enormously as the rest of the mobile supply ecosystem including software developers recognizes and is tooled up to harnesses its benefits.

       

      • May 28, 2024
      • IP Finance

      Measuring value and royalty costs in standards and SEPs passed along the value chain to consumers

      An economist in the audience asked my panel on “transparency” at the Patents in Telecoms and the Internet of Things conference in London recently about achieving this by demanding detailed company financial disclosures.

      Companies are generally unwilling to reveal such accounting figures that would help show how royalty costs are passed on and where profits are generated. Furthermore, some major value transfers are non-monetary and would not show up in these measures. Nevertheless, it is possible to surmise where most economic value is generated, captured or passed through, and where royalty costs are passed on in supply chains to customers.

      Aggregate royalties paid of around five percent of handset revenues are very modest in comparison to total value in standards and the consumer welfare derived by several billion people using devices such as smartphones for many useful purposes. Most of the value created in technology standards such as 4G and 5G is passed through to consumers. How much and where the rest of it is harvested across the supply chain and in the broader ecosystem is more complex and subtle. Royalties paid and passed on can have a significant bearing on the financial performance of individual companies where competitors are paying and absorbing different amounts.

      • June 7, 2024
      • IP Finance

      Fool’s errand with fallacies in administrative essentiality checking

      The European Commission’s proposed essentiality checking and patent counting at the EUIPO is troubling. While parties are entitled to present whatever methods and studies they wish to imply standard-essential patent portfolio strength in licensing negotiations or to the courts in litigation, the proposed registry with mandatory essentiality checking on random samples of patents will give a false sense of security on the applicability, accuracy and reliability of such checks, measures and any royalty charges derived from them.  My second article on topics discussed at at the Patents in Telecoms and the Internet of Things conference in London recently is all about this.