UmTRX marketing. Was: Selectivity improvement solutions proposal for UmTRX

Alexander Chemeris alexander.chemeris at
Sun Mar 18 17:11:34 UTC 2012

Jean-Samuel, thank you for the detailed answer.

I agree that 2 weeks of delay is ok, but 2 months is definitely not.
We should optimize our processes as much as we can.

Regarding the need for the preselector, I have no other option as to
trust you and Andrey that we need it even for the mid-range BTS.

Could we start updating UmTRX and manufacturing the next prototype
batch while still discussing the mezzanine board? This would allow us
to get to the result faster.

2012/3/18 Jean-Samuel Najnudel - BJT PARTNERS SARL <jsn at>:
> Hi Alexander,
> I fully agree with your vision. Especially that "the best is an enemy to a
> good". Moreover, it is also very important for me to deploy the UmTRX in
> Mayotte ASAP as my local partners would pressure me quite a lot in the near
> future.
> However, I really belive this preselector is not just for scoring the best
> performances as possible as an RF geek, cool and fun challenge. We really
> need a preselector, not only to pass the GSM specs. I do not care that much
> about the GSM specs, especially the hard to pass macro BTS specs. However,
> as I mentioned you in Berlin in last december, I really think sampling the
> whole 1.5 MHz band would be a real problem. The preselector is good to pass
> the spec but it is also the only reasonable solution to lower the sampling
> band down to about 200 KHz. Actually, I would really need this. Even for my
> experiment network in Mayotte, this would not be realistic to deploy the
> network and provide reliable services without this preselector.
> I really think this preselector is mandatory, in practice, even if we do not
> care about the GSM specs. Without this, I would not even be able to deploy
> the UmTRX in Mayotte.
> I agree with you when you mention some markets would still not need this
> preselector.
> First market is lab equipments. However, I am not sure volumes would be that
> high, especially as even a basic low cost SSRP is good enough for many lab
> use cases.
> Second market is the femtocell market. However, for this market, the UmTRX
> would anyway be too expensive for most business cases. Except ip.access who
> can sell much more than everybody else because of their first mover
> advantage, most of the femtocell vendors target list prices around 300 Euros
> (eg: HSL) and even lower (most 3G femto vendors). Considering this
> competition, I believe it would be really difficult to succeed in the
> femtocell market with the current UmTRX design. We would need something even
> more low cost orienteed and probably also more embedded.
> The market I relly believe in is the mid-range mid-capacity BTS market.
> There are many high performance macro BTS vendors. There are many simple,
> cheap and reliable femtocell vendors. There are not much mid-range BTS
> vendors. If we want something than can cover a few kilometers range, that is
> energy efficient and which use IP standards, you only have something like 3
> vendors: Vanu, VNL and IP.access. These guys are really expensive. Offering
> a better value product would not be that difficult, at least compared to the
> other markets.
> Moreover, this mid-range mid-capacity BTS market is potentially huge. This
> is the most suitable system we would need to cover most of the next 2.5
> billion guys who do not have a reliable and affordable phone service
> (sometimes just no service at all).
> Again, I agree with you, Time To Market is very important. However, I do not
> think a few weeks delay would make you miss the opportunity.
> Also, the customers on this market (mainly rural and local carriers) would
> have very similar needs as mine. Most of them would probably need to get a
> narrow sampling band (< 1.5 MHz) to avoid problems with interferences (1st
> TRX to the other, other existing carrier...) causing, among other issues,
> ADC saturation. As me, these customers would need the preselector.
> The preselector would anyway need a VCO/PLL, a mixer and an IF SAW filter,
> even if we do not expect to pass the GSM spec. Why not trying to select good
> performance components to try (not guarantee but just try) to pass this
> spec. This would not need much more research and development efforts and
> total BOM will not be that much more expensive. Moreover, we can really
> expect some of your customers would not agree to deploy a system that does
> not pass the GSM spec. A mid-range BTS would need a Tx power around 5 to 10
> Watts. Above 2 Watts, the hardware is considered as a macro BTS. Considering
> this, I really think we should try (not take one year delay for this but
> just try) to pass the GSM macro BTS spec.
> Honestly, I may be wrong but I do not believe Andrey will take that much
> time to design the preselector. For the BOM extra cost, we talk about 60 USD
> per UmTRX board. I agree with you, this is not nothing but this really worth
> the money. I actually believe value would be really good with this. Even
> with my very tight budget, this would not be able problem for me to pay
> this. The extra cost would be much lower than all the worries and time spent
> on frequency planning, interferences and blockers problem solving on the
> field.
> Anyway, I also really think, even with the high performance preselector, the
> UmTRX system is still really cost effective compared to the competitors. I
> really feel confident about this.
> Best regards.
> Jean-Samuel.
> :-)
> On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 8:45 AM, Alexander Chemeris
> <alexander.chemeris at> wrote:
>> Andrey and all,
>> 18.03.2012 2:31 пользователь "Andrey Sviyazov" <andreysviyaz at>
>> написал:
>> >> Regarding the GSM spec, I believe these blocker tests are hard to pass
>> >> and not that useful in most practical situations. However, I do not care
>> >> that much about passing this spec for my network deployment in Mayotte but I
>> >> really believe passing the spec will be very important for you if you wish
>> >> to sell your hardware solution to some major operators. Moreover, as we
>> >> would anyway need a superheterodyne selective filtering to get a reasonably
>> >> narrow Rx sampling band (< 1.5 MHz LMS band), it does not cost that much
>> >> more to try to pass the GSM spec.
>> >
>> > You right, it is important for us and may be it is really important for
>> > systems with high channel dencity.
>> I completely support everything which could make our product better
>> without increasing its cost. But we also must ensure to release UmTRX in
>> time. What we all should keep on mind is that "the best is an enemy to a
>> good". We should focus on those 10% of simple tweaks which bring us 90% of
>> improvement. Otherwise we'll be swamped with the other 90% of tweaks and
>> will miss the market opportunity. I can't stress it more - we MUST release
>> UmTRX ASAP. Even if it doesn't meet macro-BTS requirements. We'll be able to
>> fix this in the next version if ever needed - we can't know the real demand
>> until we release the first version.
>> I would be glad of what I've just said is obvious and already lives in
>> your heart. Otherwise it's extremely important you understand this deeply,
>> not formally. Please let me know if you don't, I'll explain in more details.
>> > Furthermore, it is very easy to lose the reputation of the product, but
>> > it is very difficult then to fix it back.
>> This is true. And the best way to keep the reputation is to realistically
>> understand UmTRX capabilities and avoid overmarketing. In other words, with
>> just reasonable product quality, our reputation depends solely on the right
>> marketing. E.g. we might explicitly warn customers that it's not suitable
>> for macro-BTS installations and they could do so on their own risk only.
>> > I think, low cost doesn't sign low quality, so we must to have good
>> > hardware on market for good sales and promote OpenHW :)
>> This is very true. Just keep in mind that "good hardware" means "minimally
>> viable hardware at low price" and doesn't mean "super high quality mumbo
>> jumbo with many zeros in the price". Our customers value simplicity and low
>> cost over complexity and golden plates.
>> That said, I can't help with decisions on the RF side and here I rely on
>> you, guys. That's why it is so important for you to understand all these
>> "abstract" marketing ideas.
>> Sent from my Android device.
>> --
>> Regards,
>> Alexander Chemeris
>> CEO, Fairwaves LLC

Alexander Chemeris.
CEO, Fairwaves LLC / ООО УмРадио

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