Heavy data users are gobbling up the network

Mesaplexx is an interesting company. It is relatively new but is already challenging the large players like Ericsson in an effort to free up spectrum, worldwide.

3G spectrum allocation is a hot topic in any country, not least India where it has been turned into a scandal. The lines are packed and, Mesaplexx tells TechEye, the data explosion is causing more than some trouble. A small percentage of heavy data users with their iPads, iPhones and others are eating up the networks, and this – though operators don’t want to discuss it – is reducing voice call quality.

The answer isn’t building more. In fact it’s a multi pronged approach where there are a lot of factors to making sure networks are up and running smoothly, not least deep packet inspection or good backhauls. Mesaplexx is turning 2G into 3G.

Mesaplexx tells TechEye that what it’s doing can be viewed as an optimist or pessimist. The cup half full approach is that by turning allocated 2G into 3G its technology, found in boxes and licensed out, is making call quality markedly better. The glass empty approach? It’s returning call quality to what it was before there was a heavy increase in data usage.

Mesaplexx got commercial funding and status about three years ago. It has taken the IP out of superconductors and put it into traditional products with more commercially reasonable prices. Price points haven’t quite met the market yet, but its time will come. In the meantime it’s focused on two key areas. Firstly, refarming. That’s when operators are responding to data demands by redeploying 3G over 2G spectrum. If it gets approved by the government – and why wouldn’t it? – roll-outs can start. Mesaplexx does work with a number of operators across Europe and the contracts are adding up, with a large announcement expected in the coming weeks.

Mesaplexx’s team are also RF filter specialists.

According to Mesaplexx, companies are simply throwing away a lot of spectrum. “They could be doing much more with what they have today – part of our work is to make the best of what they have before they invest in the new,” Mesaplexx’s CEO, Mark Bole,  tells us.

The Western European market, where phones tend to have a short life cycle and there are plenty of new contracts drawn up by consumers daily, is ripe for the picking. Operators need to know their customers, says Mesaplexx, and must ask if they have a good percentage of them on multi-tech handsets. In Western Europe, we’re way over the 20 percent line on multi technology handsets, and so refarming GSM to 3G makes clear sense.

For Mesaplexx, being vendor agnostic helps. “We can put our equipment in front of Huawei or Alcatel, and we enable them not to be locked into any particular vendor. They mix and match. We are typically asked to customise products to deal with interference between base stations.”

The future of the industry? At the moment, everyone is talking about optimising networks and spectrum like it’s the answer. It’s not an answer, it’s a necessity.

“If you talk about the data and the stats we’ve heard – the total mobile data traffic, the definition being literallly the data bits carried over mobile networks, across europe, is over a thousand terabytes.

“The global mobile data  in 5 years will be a zeta byte. Carried over mobile networks. We were chatting with Ericcson’s European CTO. They have had research commissioned, and it’s a defendable forecast.

“By 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices in the world. Nobody is seeing the demands on the network and managing interference tailing off. There is a real need to continue optimising.

“Everyone is talking about it now but in a few years it’ll phase away – because everything will be about optimising networks.”