Real Wireless bolsters independent expertise with raft of new appointments

Independent wireless advisory firm Real Wireless today announces the appointment of several new experts. These experts strengthen the company’s ability to analyse and advise on both the commercial and technical opportunities and challenges of wireless technologies and networks.

Professor William Webb is an independent expert specialising in wireless technology and regulatory matters, and his experience brings valuable insight to Real Wireless. William isa former director of Ofcom, where he led major reviews including the Spectrum Framework Review and the development of Spectrum Usage Rights.

Professor Webb commented: “Real Wireless is one of the most technically competent and experienced independent wireless firms around. Real Wireless has played a key role in the evolution of cellular technology and is now at the heart of the 5G debate, taking part in key studies such as the European Commission’s 5G socioeconomic benefits report. Given my experience at Ofcom and roles advising Government and others, the fact that Real Wireless is heavily involved in 5G research and development was particularly appealing.”

Rethink Technology Research co-founder Caroline Gabriel, MA, joins Real Wireless as a market research and telecoms industry analyst. Caroline has been researching and analysing the telecoms and technology industries for many years with an emphasis on wireless and broadband technologies, business models and operator deployment plans.

Ian Miller joins following his departure from Telefónica earlier this year where he worked for over 25 years. As director of mobile access networks at Telefónica he reported to the global CTO and was responsible for mobile radio network development and strategy across the group. His vast knowledge and experience in mobile network innovation, design, architecture, implementation and systems engineering is a great asset for Real Wireless to be able to offer its clients.

In addition to these appointments, Real Wireless has also enhanced its team with the arrival of Dr Mike Smith, an expert in mobile networks, Dr Ilya Averin, a systems analyst and Daniel Bradford a communications and signal-processing expert.

Real Wireless CEO Mark Keenan said: “As these appointments demonstrate, Real Wireless is continuing to go from strength to strength. We’ve been working on a variety of wireless projects across the world, including leading edge 5G projects such as the recently published European Commission 5G Socio-economic study and the ongoing 5G NORMA project. We’re committed to remaining one of the UK’s leading independent wireless advisories, and these appointments will help us deliver even more benefits to our clients.”

Public Wi-Fi presents a great opportunity for Virgin

Last month, Virgin announced a major expansion of its Wi-Fi hotspot network, with the investment intended to challenge BT’s dominance of the Wi-Fi space. In this blog post, Real Wireless Expert Ade Ajibulu looks at how Virgin could be taking advantage of the latest Wi-Fi technologies to offer a game-changing service.

With BT boasting more than five million hotspots, most of them via home routers, Virgin has some catching up to do. Cost is certainly a key part of the decision, with network capacity only getting more expensive at the same time as mobile data use goes through the roof.Public WiFi

This move could however be a complete game-changer, opening up new revenue streams taking multi-play offers to the next level, disrupting the plans of the traditional MNOs and maintaining customer loyalty in the face of competition from disruptive players such as Sky and TalkTalk.

The key is in taking advantage of cloud-based Wi-Fi cellular integration tools coming to the market, which promise to deliver cellular-like quality of experience on hybrid networks and which, unlike bespoke software solutions, scale with the size of the Wi-Fi network.

Video services are an integral part of the offering, and any expanded Wi-Fi network will need to deliver the same quality of experience and reliability as the cellular network.

For this to work, the network requires performance optimisation and automated fault recovery techniques, plus seamless handover and full integration between cellular and Wi-Fi. This means that subscribers can experience the same content and services over any device, regardless of location and on the move, and that it is immaterial whether a user is on the cellular or Wi-Fi hotspot network.

Up until now this has been technically difficult and expensive.

However, with emerging technologies such as Hotspot2.0/Passpoint, this is set to change. These can support seamless handover along with a new generation of cloud based services, providing a full range of cellular and Wi-Fi integration and performance management techniques.XCellAir is one of a number of companies currently providing such a service.

It would reduce reliance on the EE network, without having to acquire spectrum or having to acquire all the mobile network engineering expertise to operate carrier grade networks. It would also bring significant revenue opportunities at a time when a number of issues are being thrown up by BT’s proposed acquisition of EE.

In order to make the most of the proposed move, now is the time for Virgin to be considering these services.

Telecom industry and European academia join forces to develop a multiservice mobile network architecture for the 5G era


  • 5G NORMA project, part of the 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (5GPPP) initiative, will define the overall 5G mobile network architecture, including radio and core networks, to meet the demanding 5G multiservice requirements
  • Consortium composed of 13 partners among leading industry vendors, operators, IT companies, small- and medium-sized enterprises and academic institutions

Industry vendors, operators, IT companies, small- to medium-sized enterprises and academia in Europe have joined forces to develop a novel, adaptive and futureproof mobile network architecture for the 5G era. As part of the 5GPPP initiative, 5G NORMA (5G Novel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture) will propose an end-to-end architecture that takes into consideration radio access network (RAN) and core network aspects. The consortium will be working over a period of 30 months, beginning in July 2015, to meet the key objectives of creating and disseminating innovative concepts on the mobile network architecture for the 5G era.

Real Wireless is responsible for the socioeconomic assessment of 5G NORMA innovations, translating technical KPIs into business KPIs that hold relevance to each sector.

Real Wireless will identify changing market drivers in a range of industries from public safety (PPDR), to transportation, energy generation and distribution. Its work will also assess shortcomings in the expected capabilities of 4G LTE by 2020, based on the requirements of the expected future service demands.

Professor Simon Saunders, director of technology at Real Wireless, said: “Our work will bridge the technical, social and commercial domains, enabling the consortium to identify the relative value of each planned 5G NORMA innovation. This will in turn direct the technical work to focus on the innovations with the most opportunity to create overall value.”

5G networks need to meet a wide array of diverse and extreme requirements

There will be a need for super-fast and reliable connectivity with virtually zero latency for use cases such as remote control robots, and support for billions of sensors and things. 5G will also need to provide consistent and high-quality connectivity for people and things. In addition, 5G networks will combine revolutionary technologies and existing mobile radio generations, as well as Wi-Fi, into a new system. A new mobile network architecture is required to manage these complex multi-layer and multi-technology networks, and to build in flexibility even for applications that are yet to be envisioned.

5G NORMA: a novel, multiservice mobile network architecture

With the 5G NORMA project, leading players in the mobile ecosystem aim to underpin Europe’s leadership position in 5G. The NORMA approach breaks away from the rigid legacy network paradigm. It will on-demand adapt the use of the mobile network (RAN and core network) resources to the service requirements, the variations of the traffic demands over time and location, and the network topology, which include the available front/backhaul capacity.

The consortium envisions the architecture will enable unprecedented levels of network customisability to ensure that stringent performance, security, cost and energy requirements are met. It will also provide an API-driven architectural openness, fueling economic growth through over-the-top innovation.

The technical approach is based on the innovative concept of adaptive (de)composition and allocation of network functions, which flexibly decomposes the network functions and places the resulting functions in the most appropriate location. By doing so, access and core functions may no longer reside in different locations, which is exploited to jointly optimise their operation whenever possible. The adaptability of the architecture is further strengthened by the innovative software-defined mobile network control and mobile multi-tenancy concepts and underpinned by corroborating demonstrations.

A socioeconomic analysis of the benefits of 5G NORMA innovations will also be conducted. This will determine the value to the wireless industry, the users in society and the public sphere of enhanced services enabled by the proposed architecture.

Dr. Werner Mohr, Chairman of the 5GPPP Association, said: “5G is not only about new radio access technology — network architecture will play an important role as well. 5G networks will have to be programmable, software driven and managed holistically to enable a diverse range of services in a profitable way. With 5G NORMA, the consortium aims to ensure economic sustainability of the network operation and open opportunities for new players, while leveraging a futureproof architecture in a cost- and energy-effective way.”

5G NORMA deliverables

The consortium will be working over a period of 30 months, beginning in July 2015. Key objectives include the creation and dissemination of innovative concepts on the 5G mobile network architecture for the 5G era. Some of these may be captured in products or patents, while others may emerge from the process and working engagements. Emphasis will also be placed on commercialisation, including partnerships and start-up creation.


Industry players included in the consortium

Vendors and IT: Alcatel-Lucent, NEC, Nokia Networks, ATOS

Operators: Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica

Small to medium-sized enterprises: Azcom Technology, Nomor Research, Real Wireless

Academia: University Kaiserslautern in Germany, Kings College London, University Carlos III Madrid

European 5G socioeconomic study to evaluate the wider benefits of the next generation of wireless

Real Wireless, Tech4i2, InterDigital Europe and Trinity College Dublin to assess socioeconomic impact of 5G in Europe

London, UK – 9th June 2015 – A new study into the socioeconomic impact of 5G in Europe commenced on May 22nd, led by a group of industry experts and academics.

Undertaken in partnership with the European Commission, the main focus of the study is to develop a better understanding of the potential economic impact of 5G networks in new areas such as health and transport.  Research will examine the potential social benefits of the next generation of wireless technology and identify where 5G will make a difference.

The project will determine the key use cases for 5G, identifying their relative potential in terms of social and economic benefits in the European context. It will test the proposition that 5G can offer specific additional value over 4G to particular vertical user sectors, via work which will be fully informed by and consistent with the 5G PPP initiatives while offering a fresh and independent perspective.

The consortium was selected by the European Commission to bring its independent approach and wide knowledge of both commercial and technical aspects of wireless technology. The study will be carried out over 12 months by a consortium comprising:

  • Applied economic research consultancy Tech4i2
  • Independent wireless advisors Real Wireless
  • Wireless research and development company InterDigital Europe
  • The national telecommunications research centre in Ireland, CONNECT headquartered at Trinity College Dublin

The work will shed light on the journey to future deployment of 5G and its impact on economies across Europe, allowing stakeholders to plan effectively. The study will allow the European Commission to work closely with regulators to plan future policy in areas such as spectrum allocation planning and future market regulation.

“After working with the European Commission on several other key projects, Real Wireless is proud to be an integral part of realising 5G and its impact in Europe,” comments Professor Simon Saunders, Project Director. “The socioeconomic effects of this new generation of wireless will be unprecedented, and understanding these will be crucial in securing Europe as a global leader in 5G. The consortium we have assembled to work on this project offers a uniquely informed yet independent perspective on these issues.”

The study will be informed by inputs from stakeholders via a series of stakeholder hearings which will be held on 22nd September and via a workshop which will be held on 19th October, both in Brussels. To find out more about these events and follow project progress, join the project’s dedicated LinkedIn group at

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About Tech4i2

Tech4i2 is a UK based global applied research consultancy operating in the areas of innovation and inclusion.  Tech4i2 supports local and national governments and global organisations in strategic decision-making and service delivery improvement. The tech4i2 team and network of international experts operating in over 50 countries offers research excellence enabling the provision of incisive advice.

In the last five years Tech4i2 has undertaken more than 60 technology development projects with the European Commission, OECD, IOC and government organisations in Eire, Italy, Poland, Spain, UK and US.

To find out more about Tech4i2’s work on bandwidth and spectrum strategy and policymaking visit the Tech4i2 website.


About Real Wireless
Real Wireless delivers independent, informed and innovative advisory services in every aspect of wireless, from the technical to the commercial. It works with mobile operators, governments, venues, building owners and regulators to bridge technical and commercial domains to help its clients get the best from wireless. With experts in every aspect of wireless and a proven track record, Real Wireless is one of the world’s leading wireless advisory firms.

Its clients include Ofcom, Wembley Stadium, The ECB, BAA, The European Commission, major network operators and many others.

To find out more about Real Wireless and its work in 5G and wireless strategy and policy visit the Real Wireless site.

For more information visit

Twitter: @real_wireless


About InterDigital®
InterDigital develops technologies that are at the core of mobile devices, networks, and services worldwide. We solve many of the industry’s most critical and complex technical challenges, inventing solutions for more efficient broadband networks and a richer multimedia experience years ahead of market deployment. InterDigital has licenses and strategic relationships with many of the world’s leading wireless companies. Founded in 1972, InterDigital is listed on NASDAQ and is included in the S&P MidCap 400® index.

InterDigital is a registered trademark of InterDigital, Inc.

For more information on InterDigital’s work in 5G, please visit the InterDigital vault.


About CONNECT at Trinity College Dublin
CONNECT is Ireland’s national research centre for Future Networks and Communications. We are focussed on three major areas of research; Network-aware services, Service-aware networks and The Internet of Things. CONNECT is headquartered at Trinity College Dublin. It is jointly funded by Science Foundation Ireland and by industry. Today, CONNECT engages with over 35 companies including large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. CONNECT brings together world-class expertise from 10 Irish academic institutes to create a one-stop-shop for telecommunications research & development and innovation.

Real Wireless bolsters transport expertise with new consultant

15-year veteran Oliver Bosshard brings a variety of technical, practical and management skills

Independent wireless advisory service Real Wireless has recruited Oliver Bosshard as a managing consultant. Oliver brings a range of expertise, particularly in delivering wireless to transport environments and into venues.

One of his key strengths lies in combining his practical knowledge of the engineering and operational requirements for designing and maintaining cellular and multi-point networks, with his extensive knowledge of mobile technologies and how to practically implement solutions in specialist locations.

“Oliver is a great addition to the Real Wireless team and we’re thrilled to be welcoming him to the business,” said Professor Simon Saunders, Director of Technology at Real Wireless. “His experience leading teams in the installation of national wireless infrastructure will make him a valuable asset in the planning and management of wireless projects for our clients. We’re also particularly interested in his knowledge of specialist wireless solutions, bolstering our ability to offer wireless solutions for difficult venues and environments.”

“It feels like there was a perfect opportunity for myself at Real Wireless,” said Oliver. “DAS and transport are real growth areas for the business and projects are becoming ever more complex and technical in their requirements. Having extensive personal experience of working on specialist DAS and transport solutions that incorporated multiple wireless technologies, coverage techniques and business considerations, it was clear that I could bring a valuable skill set to the business.”

Oliver is a 15 year veteran of the wireless telecoms industry, having started his career working on RF planning and optimization for Orange Switzerland. During his tenure, he took on the lead role of the national special projects team, using DAS to deliver multi-operator coverage to shopping malls, airports, trains and railway tunnels.

In 2004 he founded his own technical consultancy company, specializing in network design, rollout and management with project in Africa and various Caribbean islands, before becoming the head of ‘Wireless Innovations Group UK & Ireland’, where he purpose built a team for the design, deployment, management and monitoring of wireless solutions to Wembley Stadium and the O2 Arena.

Real Wireless joins UK Spectrum Policy Forum as funding partner

Wireless experts’ contribution reflects the importance of spectrum policy to the UK economy and telecoms industry 

Real Wireless has joined the UK Spectrum Policy Forum as a funding partner. Acting as a sounding board for the Government and Ofcom, The Forum is at the centre of UK Spectrum Policy and closely aligned with the work Real Wireless carries out for many of its clients.

Professor Simon Saunders, Real Wireless co-founder and Director of Technology, has been working with the Forum since its inception last year, where he examines spectrum applications and demand as chair of Cluster 1.

Launched in September 2013 by Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum is chaired by Professor Jim Norton. With the involvement of a full range of spectrum-using companies and organisations, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum is the industry sounding board to the Government and Ofcom on future spectrum management and regulatory policy, with a view to maximising the benefits of spectrum in the UK.

“Spectrum is a scarce resource but it’s also one that is valued at £52 Billion per year to the UK economy. Therefore it’s an area that needs to be properly managed and supported,” said Prof. Saunders. “The work of the Spectrum Policy Forum is essential if the UK is to get the most of this valuable asset and it’s an initiative that Real Wireless is perfectly placed to support.”

“Simon’s work with us over the last nine months has been invaluable and we’re delighted that Real Wireless has now become a funding partner of the Forum through Steering Board membership,” said Professor Jim Norton, Chair of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum. “Real Wireless has an incredible wealth of expertise and experience in spectrum policy and management and this makes them an excellent partner.”

Small Cells: It’s all about the business case

At Small Cell World Summit this week, the Small Cell Forum announced Release Four. One particularly interesting part of CEO Sue Monahan’s presentation looked at the results of a recent survey into what it was that operators really want from the Forum’s Release Programme – and what documents they find the most valuable.

Carried out by Maravedis-Rethink, the research asked operators to consider what content from the Release Programme had proved the most valuable content and to provide their top three responses.

The overwhelming winner was the business case. Over half of operators surveyed are actively using the documents within their small cell business planning.

This probably won’t come as a surprise to many. For all the talk of technical challenges, offload and capacity, if there isn’t a strong commercial case for deployments then nothing will happen.

Real Wireless was commissioned to develop both the Enterprise small cell business case for Release Two and Urban small cell business case for Release Three. These are both areas which we often work on with our clients both within the wireless industry and in our work with wireless users such as cities, sports venues and transportation authorities.

In the wireless industry it’s easy to get distracted by the technology and we’ve heard of plenty of projects where things were going well until someone had to justify the commercial benefit. The work we carried out for Small Cell Forum modelled the comprehensive business case aspects, identifying the key reasons an operator would deploy small cells, the likely cost of deployment and under what circumstances it becomes profitable.

It’s this aspect that we all need to pay more attention to, as wireless becomes something that is integral to almost every location or business. Some building owners and management may ‘get’ the need for good wireless connectivity, or see the positive effect it can have on customer experience, but there are many who don’t – and even those that do may still have a difficult time justifying the expenditure. Similarly, some operators have yet to grasp the opportunities arising from widespread small cell deployments. It is for these people that proper business case analysis is a vital tool.

Fools rush in….

Newcastle City Council today announced that they have struck a deal with GOWEX to install free Wi-Fi across key public areas.

Real Wireless were contracted to act as expert advisors in the process, assessing what the requirements for the tender process should be, comparing bids and, assisting in the assessment of bids against the requirements.

Part of Go Digital Newcastle, the scheme received Government funding via Broadband Delivery UK, and aims to deliver superfast broadband to 97% of the city by summer 2015. 

A key objective of our work with the council was to ensure that the chosen solution provided the best return for this money. After all, local councils are not experts in wireless technology and solutions and nor should they be expected to be. 

However many will still go ahead with implementing their own solution, despite the obvious technical and financial risks involved.

With the Go Digital Newcastle scheme operating on such a tight timeframe, Newcastle Council needed to take a more considered approach to ensure the best return for their money – hence seeking out Real Wireless for independent, expert advice. 

After considering all the bids, Newcastle City Council decided on the solution proposed by GOWEX.

Based around the use of small cells mounted on existing public assets, it meant Newcastle council could minimise installation costs, whilst ensuring the maximum coverage possible.

As mobile data continues to boom, it is no surprise that more congested urban regions are starting to look to Wi-Fi offload as a solution to their worries. The reality is that, whilst it offers some respite, it is not the quick-fix panacea that they are looking for. Rushing to install a new solution without consulting any kind of industry expert could prove to be an increasingly expensive white elephant.

To find out more get in touch


Slovenia’s 4G auction sets example for rural broadband

As the Slovenian regulator announce the results of its 4G spectrum auction, there are lessons for the rest of Europe in how we deliver broadband  - both mobile and fixed – to remote communities.

Real Wireless worked with the Slovenian regulator AKOS  to help judge the impact that coverage obligations would have on the auction. From our experience working with Ofcom on the UK auctions, we were able to advise on how the potential costs would vary depending upon a number of factors, including the specifics of the Slovenian population distribution and geography, the current situation of existing operators and the capabilities of the network technologies involved. 

Part of the EU’s Digital Agenda sees countries aiming to provide broadband at up to 30Mbps to citizens by 2020 – an ambitious target and one made particularly challenging by the cost of fixed-line service provision to remote communities.

An integral condition of the auction was that one operator would be obliged to provide rural mobile broadband coverage to a high proportion of the population. Building on this, we found there was an opportunity to further reach specific remote communities who are currently missing out on fixed broadband services via in-home wireless gateways, at little incremental cost. As a country where a number of communities are based in radio-unfriendly, mountainous environments, using small cells to provide 4G coverage was an ideal alternative to expensive fibre. 

While other countries such as Germany have seen the potential for enhancing rural services via a mobile broadband coverage obligation, the explicit linkage between specific underserved communities in this project for Slovenia bodes well for joined-up fixed and mobile policies in other nations.

To find out more get in touch