Discussion Papers

Daniel Tewes

Entwicklungsstand und Märkte funkgestützter Ortsnetztechnologien
Nr. 171 / März 1997


Along with the full liberalization of the German telecommunications market on January 1, 1998 the subject of access network technologies moves into the centre of attention. In this context radio based solutions are more and more intensively discussed. The aim of this discussion paper is to render an overview of the current technical, commercial and regulatory status of radio based technologies in the access network.

In regard to the term and definition of radio based access networks no consensus has yet emerged among the experts. Very often the structure of the already existing wireline access network is used as point of reference. However, this might bear the danger of excluding changes of possible access technologies due to technical progress. Therefore, an extensive definition of radio based access technologies is used in this discussion paper to circumvent the problem.

Radio based access systems are classified by a range of technical features. After a general explanation of these features a description of 44 radio based access network products is rendered. Furthermore, a worldwide overview of the current adoption of radio based access technologies is given with special regard to the countries of the EU (including Norway and Switzerland). Because of the long lasting experiences with these technologies the situation in Finland and UK is described in greater detail.

Due to EU integration German telecommunications policy has to obey the corresponding rules and directives. Furthermore, there are technical and economic constraints that make a coordinated approach on European level recommendable. Therefore, the discussion paper illuminates the development at the relevant European institutions. Additionally, the current regulatory situation in Germany concerning radio based access networks is described.

The evolution of radio based access technologies has extended the technology portfolio of network operators which up to date mainly consisted of wireline based access technologies. The decision-making of network operators in regard to this extended technology portfolio which bases on the fundamental strategic aims of the individual company is made transparent.

Only German language version available.

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