Peter Nas F5 Traffix

Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect, F5 Networks

People have often told me that I should share some of the content of my discussions with customers. So here goes: while speaking to a customer I begin to reflect on why DRAs (Diameter Routing Agents) usually interest core network signaling engineers; it’s because they are the ones who are building the Diameter signaling network and require a solution for optimal network scaling. Our conversation focuses on how much more efficient, smarter, flexible, cost effectively, and securely we can manage the signaling load for Diameter messages and other protocols.

Most people who are involved in mobile broadband or LTE are not that interested in Diameter signaling. At least I find this to be true when I address Diameter directly in pure technical language. However, when I speak about what great things we can do by using the information contained in every signaling message, you get a complete different conversation, and an interested audience. Typically, when discussing Diameter signaling the interest is in terms of what a DRA and DEA (Diameter Edge Agent) should be able to do according 3GPP and GSMA specifications. But as there are now more vendors claiming to have a DRA/DEA (although only a few are actually deployed) … customers are usually surprised at the possibilities of adding services, increasing security, and optimizing the network when deploying a DRA.

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Inna Ott, Director of Marketing, Polystar

Inna Ott, Director of Marketing, Polystar

The launch of LTE networks and the expected increased of data volume raises the possibility of unlocking greater returns for MNOs. The opportunity to use data that can be captured from mobile networks to inform business strategy and tactics, to improve customer experience and network efficiency and, ultimately drive new revenues, is too large to be ignored.

But things aren’t that simple. Data from LTE networks is useful and provides a potentially valuable resource, but on its own it is meaningless. Recent research counsels us to treat optimistic predictions of the value waiting to be uncovered with caution. Simply exposing increasing quantities of data doesn’t necessarily mean that we can secure insights that yield additional value. Of course, given the investments in LTE networks, MNOs need to maximise their returns. How can they begin to leverage this data and make it contribute to their future success? Read the rest of this entry »

Michel van Veen, Group Director, IPX, SAP

Michel van Veen, Group Director, IPX, SAP

With more than 200 LTE network deployments since 2010, the issue of isolated mobile networks is becoming more prevalent.

According to the GSMA, RCS (Rich Communication Services) adoption is also picking up pace with deployments in 11 countries, supported by 17 operators. This figure is expected to grow to 85 operators by next year.

Combining the Voice-over-IP capabilities of VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) with RCS enables operators to offer innovative multime­dia services with strong security and quality of service.

ROI

Combining both data and voice services on the same LTE data access network enables mobile operators to optimise network and service management, integrate network resources and simplify service delivery; this results in a significant reduction of operating expense.

This will make their operations easier and less expensive to manage. Operators will be able to pack more information into packets that go from consumer phones to operator cell towers—which is what enables consumers to send more data stream videos. This is vital at a time when the demand for data between consumers on mobile devices is accelerating at a phenomenal level.

The move to super-efficient networks means operators are able to offer new types of services such as video calling and high-definition content streaming. The benefit of offering VoLTE not only increases the possibility for mobile operators to offer better quality voice services, but also enables them to expand to other services such as rich communications. It also changes how they price and sell services to consumers.

RCS and VoLTE

Additionally, the evolution of RCS is about interconnecting operators over IPX to expand the consumer base. Regardless of network type, operators need to interoperate globally to offer quality services regardless of subscriber location.

Mobile operators will take advantage of the IPX and its IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) interconnect hubs to establish a global nextgen service.

Commitment

Over the past few years, just over half (56%) of operators have moved to connect with IPX networks in order to meet heavy demand for 4G/LTE connectivity around the world. This uptake means faster, higher quality roaming capabilities for consumers and greater access to networks’ LTE spectrum offerings.

We’re committed to expanding the LTE roaming and interconnect community, and supporting mobile operators in providing a seamless global roaming experience for mobile subscribers.  Just last year we were the first to announce a standards-compliant IMS roaming and interconnect hub for IP-based services, including VoLTE and RCS. This will help to establish a global community in which subscribers can communicate beyond traditional voice and messaging services across any device, network and geography.

LTE LATAM 2014 logo

Join Michel van Veen at 13h00 on 30 April at LTE LATAM to hear more of his take on IMS Roaming and Interoperability for VoLTE and RCS.

 

- Amit Jain, Vice President of Product Management, SpiderCloud Wireless

– Amit Jain, Vice President of Product Management, SpiderCloud Wireless

Deploying dense and scalable indoor small cell systems is not straightforward. SpiderCloud’s experience shows the indoor RF environment gets increasingly complex and challenging as the density of the deployment increases. This is particularly true in multi-story buildings where mobile devices experience a three-dimensional (3D) RF environment. A single handset is able to see a very large number of small cells, some on its own floor and others from floors above and below it. The radio signal inside buildings experiences flat fading, which means that even a stationary handset sees signal from small cells fluctuate by 6-8 dB. Despite such variation in signal quality, a small cell RAN should remain stable and not drop calls, or experience throughput degradation.

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Originally posted on ytd2525:

Infonetics Research projects that the VoLTE revenue is expected to reach around $3 billion by 2017, while VoLTE subscribers will be around $160 million during the period.

The number of global LTE subscribers is expected to more than quadruple to 755 million between 2013 and 2017, and the number of VoLTE subscribers to grow 17-fold during this same period, said Infonetics Research.

“The mobile broadband industry’s rapid migration to LTE has opened the door to malicious and non-malicious threats due to fundamental vulnerabilities in the all-IP LTE architecture. As the adoption of IPsec encryption for transporting LTE traffic continues to grow significantly, there is increasing need for security gateways,” said Stephane Teral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

VoLTE subscriber and revenue chart from Infonetics

Recently, Heavy Reading research revealed that more than 70 percent of operators believe their existing policy control systems will require additional features or upgrades to meet the stringent requirements…

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Originally posted on POTs and PANs:

Cell-Tower I am a statistic freak and I read any and all statistics I can find about the telecom industry. A lot of statistics are interesting but require a lot of heavy lifting to see what is going on beneath the numbers. But I ran across one set of statistics that sums up the problems of wireless 4G data in this country in a few simple numbers.

A company called OpenSignal has an app that people can use to measure the actual download speeds they see on LTE 4G networks. This app is used worldwide and so we can also compare the US to other parts of the world. In 2014 the comparisons were made from readings from 6 million users of the app.

The first interesting statistic is that the US came in 15th in the world in LTE speeds. In 2014 the US average download speed was a…

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Roman Lapszow, Senior Project Manager, Technical Strategy, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange Group

Roman Lapszow, Senior Project Manager, Technical Strategy, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange Group

Roman Lapszow, Senior Project Manager, Technical Strategy, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange Group is speaking on Day Two of the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show we speak to him about where the Orange network is heading in 2014 and where the focus is for upcoming developments.

How much impact will LTE-Advanced have on Orange’s networks in 2014?

The launch of LTE networks has brought a significant growth of data traffic and consumer interest. LTE is driving evolution in our networks and there is no doubt of the value of LTE. The only remaining question in markets where we have yet to launch is when and in what bands. As LTE-A is concerned, the majority of our efforts are focused on studies, evaluations and deployment of LTE-A. The major drivers for 2014 are carrier aggregation, the flagship feature of LTE-A, and to a lower extent coordinated multipoint processing (CoMP).

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Check out our preview video for the LTE World Summit 2014 from the halls of this year’s Mobile World Congress.

In this video we hear from:

  • Syniverse
  • Sub10 Systems
  • Etelm
  • Movius
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Genesis Technical Systems
  • Emotum
  • Ercom
Suzanne Rankine

Suzanne Rankine
Conference Researcher, LTE World Series,
Informa Telecoms & Media

Operators that leverage the power of data analytics have a chance to uncover hidden revenue opportunities.

With a phone in almost every person’s pocket, it’s no surprise that mobile operators have access to huge amounts of subscriber data. Rather than just sitting on it though, thanks to the power of data analytics operators can uncover important insights into consumer behaviour. These insights can then be turned into targeted monetization opportunities and new revenue streams for operators.

For example, operators can analyse the data to find out the more about the services consumers are using, such as discovering the most popular OTT services, how they are using them, and by whom? They can assess how consumer trends vary from device to device, accurately predict the services individuals are most likely to pay more for and then offer these premium services to consumers. They can also track new service rollouts and monitor consumer experience to make services even more successful.

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Originally posted on Gigaom:

Sprint(s s) has teamed up with the Competitive Carrier Association and the NetAmerica Alliance to form a kind of LTE cabal. Sprint and rural carriers are joining together to build broad coverage networks through roaming agreements, cooperation on devices and even spectrum sharing.

At the CCA’s conference in San Antonio, Sprint announced it is working with the rural carrier association to create low-cost reciprocal roaming agreements with and among its members. The idea is each carrier’s customers will be able to move on and off each other’s LTE networks without racking up big data roaming fees.

regional mobile carrier

Source: Shutterstock / Nneirda

No specific rural operators were announced in the deal, but if they choose to participate they’ll get access to Sprint’s growing LTE network in cities and towns. Meanwhile Sprint will be able to expand its footprint into parts of the country its mobile broadband network doesn’t touch.

Normally this…

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Marcel Della Negra, FOXMarcel Della Negra, Online Director at FOX International Channels is taking part in a panel discussion entitled, “Strategic Partnerships for the Market Development”, on Day Two of the LTE LATAM conference, taking place on the 28th-30th April 2014, at the Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

With the rise of mobile data, how are customer expectations of content changing?

Customers are now increasingly starting to watch full TV episodes on mobile and it is my expectation that this will increase even further with 4G.

What impact is the rise of LTE having on your decisions?

The rise of LTE is driving the move to video on demand, and watching live transmissions over IP.

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This post is by Jorgen Trank, signaling expert and product manager, Tieto

Most mobile operators world-wide are currently expanding their networks to provide 4G services and coverage. This includes building up a whole new set of infrastructure network elements that uses Diameter signaling to exchange information. Diameter signaling is replacing the legacy SS7 signaling that was the blood and veins of the 2G/3G systems.

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Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

This post is by Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

In the eyes of many consumers, 4G/LTE is no longer a next-gen technology. Numerous operators around the globe have rolled out their networks, are in the process of doing so or are planning to in the near future. Similarly, the latest and most desirable devices being launched boast 4G capability; something that will become less a feature, more of a standard as the year goes on.

But as more of the population migrate to 4G, taking advantage of the faster data speeds available to them, there is a risk networks will face similar bottlenecks to those of 3G. It is of the utmost importance operators can deliver the headline speeds that make 4G so attractive. Read the rest of this entry »

small cells infographic

This year’s LTE World Summit, which takes place at the RAI in Amsterdam, includes a dedicated small cells session on the 24th June, featuring presentations and panel discussions addressing the key opportunities and challenges around the technology. Taking part will be expert speakers from many companies such as Vodafone, Three, PT Telekomunikasi, Telus, SpiderCloud Wireless, Actix, Huawei, Gemalto and Comba Telecom International.

World Summit 2014

 

Ohad Ramot, F5

Ohad Ramot, Principal Software Engineer, F5

F5’s Ohad Ramot explains the challenges of translating signals between a 4G network using Diameter signaling and 3G networks using legacy SS7.

It’s widely known that LTE (4G) networks are spreading rapidly and are being deployed all over the globe. However, while 4G networks are growing, 2G/3G networks still serve most of the subscribers as they have been doing successfully for the last decades, and it seems these legacy networks are here to stay for a while. This requires operators and roaming mediators (IPX) to face the challenge of maintaining and interacting with both network architectures in parallel.

4G and 2G/3G network architectures differ in many aspects. One of the major differences is the signals mechanism that enables network nodes to interact with each other for authentication, billing, subscriber profile provisioning and more. While 2G/3G signaling mechanism is based on SS7 protocol stack, 4G networks use the relatively modern Diameter protocol on top of TCP/SCTP/IP stacks. Although both signaling methods provide solution to the same set of problems, they stem from different architectures and design philosophies.

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2-bad-traffic-in-spThis post is by Robert Morrison, Director, Product Management, CSG Internationa

 

On my last trip to Brazil I was surprised when my taxi driver fired up Waze to beat the Sao Paulo traffic and I immediately downloaded it to do the same for me in London’s heavy congestion. He proved to me that consumers there have developed an unquenchable thirst—like they have in every country—for fast mobile data speeds and services. CSPs in Brazil are working hard to satisfy that demand by rolling out 4G data services over LTE networks. And frankly they seem a long way ahead of the mobile data service that I experience at home.  On a recent two-hour train journey across the UK from the capital to Bristol—a major population centre—the best my provider could do was GPRS and iffy 3G at the stations.  GPRS is not very helpful with today’s bandwidth-hungry apps using pictures and video.  Believe me, having to constantly refresh apps can result in very sore thumbs!

 

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HTC unveiled its latest flagship phone at the Olympia in London at an event tonight that in terms of scale was reminiscent of Apple’s best handset launches. The AV presentation was certainly big, bold and brash, though with the best will in the world, HTC’s execs do not have quite the same flair as Apple’s.

IMG_0399

It has less to worry about with the handset itself though – the HTC One M8, is a fine device. HTC clearly has an obsession with metal and its global head of design Scott Croyle boasted that 90 per cent of the handset consisted a a unibody metal construction, up from 70 per cent on last year’s HTC One M7. The finish is certainly polished and refined, and very premium in feel. This makes it slightly ironic that the case that HTC is touting covers all of that up.

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Dominie Roberts

Senior Conference Researcher for the LTE World Summit, Informa Telecoms & Media

With more and more of us using our smartphone on the move, demand on LTE networks is growing rapidly and operators are coming under increasing pressure to both increase network capacity and ensure QoS.

MWC 2014 gave us a sneak-peek into the future possibilities of the mobile space with exhibitors showcasing their solutions and technologies, paving the way towards 5G, IoT, wearables, M2M, LTE Broadcast, VoLTE and so on.

Despite the future looking bright in terms of these advanced technologies, it is important that operators don’t run before they can walk and overlook the impact on the network from increasing consumer demand.

For consumers, the networks’ shortcomings become evident in densely-populated situations, such as sporting events, festivals and large conferences/exhibitions, where the networks experience huge challenges in providing fast and reliable mobile communications services.

These shortcomings need to be addressed before mobile network operators are able to move forwards and meet standards, and for MNOs, creating HetNets and implementing LTE Advanced are crucial steps towards increasing capacity in the networks, particularly at these busy locations.

HetNets are now perceived as key drivers in ensuring the ongoing success of LTE and LTE-A, and towards the development of 5G.

In the more advanced markets, building out the Heterogenous Networks will be high on many operators’ agenda for 2014. Vodafone has already deployed SpiderCloud’s enterprise small cells in the Netherlands and is now looking at rolling out small cells in the UK to support enhanced, in-building mobile coverage.

AT&T has spent 2013 trialling small cells to find the optimum locations and is planning to deploy these this year. AT&T is so serious about improving its network that it has even rolled out a new advertising campaign called “Better Network”, which illustrates exactly how AT&T is improving coverage and capacity.

HetNets will in the future play a pivotal role in addressing the capacity needs for high traffic surges and small cells will be an important focus for many operators in 2014.

At this year’s LTE World Summit, which takes place at the RAI in Amsterdam, we are including a dedicated small cells session on the 24th June featuring presentations and panel discussions addressing the key opportunities and challenges around the technology. With expert speakers from many companies such as Vodafone, Three, PT Telekomunikasi, Telus, SpiderCloud Wireless, Actix, Huawei, Gemalto and Comba Telecom International, this event is not to be missed and will provide a necessary platform showcasing the key developments in today’s HetNet’s ecosystem.

 

Prakash Sangam Director, Technical Marketing, Qualcomm

This post is by Prakash Sangam Director, Technical Marketing, Qualcomm

On March 1st and 2nd 2014, the eyes and ears of NASCAR fans were on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race being held at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona (PIR). While fans were nervously biting their nails during the race and cheering ecstatically when their favorite driver pulled off a pass, we at Qualcomm joined them. Admittedly, we were not there only to see the spectacle of NASCAR. Phoenix International Raceway was the venue for the joint trial among Sprint, NASCAR and Qualcomm Technologies. The companies were stress-testing and validating the “hyper-dense small cells” concept and our “UltraSON” suite of features. And when the results were in, we were as ecstatic—perhaps more so than the fans of the winning car and driver.

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Mobile World Congress may have ended a month ago but am only now getting ‘closure’ on the event. The reason – I’ve just been reunited with my iPhone that I thought had been stolen at the event. What happened, in case you were interested, is that I had placed my iPhone in one of the many charging lockers around the venue only to find that it wasn’t there when I returned. I couldn’t believe it. The locker was locked when I left it – but when I returned, to my amazement the phone wasn’t there.

A search using the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature did not help – as I had put the device in ‘Airplane mode’ before placing it in the locker in order for it to charge quicker. (A handy tip for you there – as long as you don’t need to try and locate your phone shortly after).

The incident rather put a damper of the show and I returned home rather forlornly.

lost-iphone

Happy days then when I got an email from staff at the venue saying that my phone had been found! While I was pleased, I was very confused by what had happened. Where had it gone? Had I done something stupid and simply looked in the wrong locker? As such, I decided I would keep it to myself and not tell anyone what happened. Apart from my colleagues. And my friends. And family. And this blog post.

After two weeks of some frustrating failed courier pickups later the phone was sent back to me safe and sound by regular post. 

What came of the experience is that for nearly three weeks I had to borrow a phone, kindly lent to me by a friend. It was a two-year old HTC One X. This was noteworthy as it would be the first time that I would be using an Android phone for any length of time since I reviewed the second Android phone ever released, in a previous job.

In those days Android and the iPhone were still light-years apart – can you believe that there was no multi-touch on Android, but these days it’s Android that’s ahead in terms of feature.

Initial impressions using the phone were good. Compared to last time I used it there’s an Android app for nearly everything – though my favourite iOS Podcast app Downcast isn’t there and the interface for BeyondPod, the Android equivalent had me scratching my head somewhat.

But widgets! That’s a feature that I really enjoyed that isn’t present in iOS. You can place a small version of your app on the phone ‘desktop’ – so you can, for example, play or pause a podcast with one tap, or see live train timetable information, without having to launch the app, and then search within in it. It’s great.

However, once past the widgets the experience soon palled. The phone felt very plastickly, apps were slow to respond, while the touch screen seem oversensitive.

Age-of-mobile_2539099b

The biggest issue though, was network speed. This was a 3G phone, and while I expected things to be less speedy compared to 4G I was surprised by how unresponsive everything felt. As Joni Mitchell once sang that: “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

What once seemed easy – checking Facebook or Twitter, downloading a podcast, or just reading a web page now was an almost painful experience. Apps didn’t seem to respond, and the spinning download circle was permanently on screen, either when checking web pages or waiting for the bike hire app to update with some useful information.

Speed tests revealed that despite the ‘H’ insisting I was in an HSDPA area most of the time I was getting less than half a meg of speed. Combined with the high latency inherent in 3G it all made for a frankly poor experience. Rubbish.

However all was finally restored to normal yesterday when I finally was reunited with my iPhone. It was something of process getting it back to working order – charging it up, backing it up, watching it automatically erase when it went online, restoring it from a backup, and then physically cutting down my replacement combi-SIM to an iPhone 5 friendly nano SIM – with all the attendant will it work drama that this entails. That was a fun evening.

Now I have it back to working order, it really struck home that 4G really does enable smartphones to live up to their billing as smart devices and I really appreciated being able to do the things I had taken for granted.

I’m now back at my desk streaming hi-res FLAC music files from my NAS box at home, something that would be completely impossible with standard 3G. But while that might be an extreme use, even for more conventional use 3G simply doesn’t cut it. Yes you can use smartphones at speed on Wi-Fi, but real mobility and freedom comes from being able to able to use the power in your device when and wherever you are.

4G then is now no longer to my mind a next-gen technology– it simply enables you to use your phone as it should be.

Now, where my 5G?

Benny Har-Even:

Some interesting thoughts here on what 5G could become. As is pointed out, spectrum, antenna design, proximity to the cell tower and device chipset size will all come into play.

Originally posted on POTs and PANs:

Cell-Tower We knew it was coming and the wireless industry is already bantering about the term 5G. Nobody knows exactly what it is going to be, but the consensus is that it’s going to be fast. The South Koreans are devoting $1.5 billion in research to develop the next generation wireless. And there are vendors like Samsung who are already starting to claim that the upgrades in their labs today are 5G.

And of course, all of this is hype. There is still not any broadband anywhere that complies to the original 4G specifications. This all got out of hand when the marketing groups started to tout 3G performance for networks that were not yet at the 3G specs. And then came 3.5 G and 4G, and now I guess 5G.

But let’s look at the one claim that it seems 5G is going to have, which is blistering fast speeds…

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Rohan-Dhamija

Rohan Dhamija, Partner, Head of India and South Asia, Analysys Mason

Rohan Dhamija, Partner, Head of India and South Asia, Analysys Mason is speaking on a panel discussion entitled, “Battleground of the Standards: TD-LTE vs FD-LTE”, at the TD-LTE summit taking place on the 8th-9th April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore.  

How do the challenges of the TD-LTE focussed operators differ from that of the FD-LTE?

I would say that the ecosystem challenges for TD operator are more significant than that of FD operators.

The TD-LTE eco-system grew significantly in 2013 but a disparity with FD LTE remains. Will TD-LTE always play ‘second fiddle’ to FDD?

I think it’s less about ‘second fiddle’ but rather the future would be one where both TD and FD LTE co-exist in a complimentary fashion (even potentially within the same network). So, for example, FD could be the coverage layer, whereas TD would play the role of the capacity layer.

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Adnan Imtiaz Halim Qubee Bangladesh

Adnan Imtiaz Halim, Head of Radio Access Network, Qubee Bangladesh

Adnan Imtiaz Halim, the head of the Radio Access Network for Qubee, Bangladesh, is speaking on Day One of the 2nd annual TD-LTE Summit is taking place on the 8th-9th April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Here we find out about the major challenges facing an operator trying to transition from WiMAX to LTE.

In what time-scale will it become absolutely necessary for you to have transitioned to LTE?

It has already become important to migrate to LTE but it will be mandatory by 2015 as the WiMAX eco-system will be broken up. Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) will not be available from the manufacturers and equipment vendors have already issued WiMAX product EOM notices.

Are you excited by the prospects of the TD-LTE eco-system?

Yes, obviously excited but it’s been delaying in meeting our threshold over time. However, we still believe that the exponential growth rate of TD-LTE that we are currently observing will push itself to the right track by end of this year.

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Kim Gibbons, Chief Marketing Officer, NetNumber

Kim Gibbons, Chief Marketing Officer, NetNumber

Signaling has become the hot buzzword in telecom networks. Managing signaling traffic, combined with the requirement for dynamic provisioning, is fast becoming one of the biggest challenges for operators – and one of the most written about topics by reporters, analysts and bloggers. That’s understandable given signaling control is critical to enabling user authentication and authorization, charging and billing.

Today, vendors and bloggers alike are touting the exponential growth rates of LTE Diameter signaling. One vendor has shared research showing Diameter signaling growing more than twice the rate of mobile data. What’s causing this signaling surge? Much has been written about the increasing number of smartphones and tablets joining the network, in addition to the increasing use of applications that require constant updates and authentications – Twitter, Facebook, Angry Birds and the like.

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Originally posted on Cloud News Asia:

China Unicom (NYSE:CHU; HKG:0762) punched above its weight in the 3G era, closely challenging the behemoth China Mobile in terms of 3G subscribers, But China Unicom has had a slower start to its 4G operations. Today Unicom rolled out 4G in 25 Chinese cities, a full three months after its rival. China Unicom unveiled its postpaid and prepaid 4G data plans today. Pay-as-you-go subscribers can get a 4G package for as low as RMB 78 (US$12.70) per month, which allows for 400MB of data. The price and (fairly measly) data allowance are in line with its 3G packages.

http://www.techinasia.com/china-unicom-rolls-out-4g/

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