Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Interview: SVP Standardisation and Ecosystems Development, Orange: “Our intent is that VoLTE will drive adoption of enriched communication services.”

Philippe Lucas, SVP Standardisation and Ecosystems Development, Orange

Philippe Lucas, SVP Standardisation and Ecosystems Development, Orange

Philippe Lucas, SVP Standardisation and Ecosystems Development, Orange is speaking on Day One of of the 2nd annual LTE Voice Summit, taking place on October 7th-8th 2014 at the Royal Garden Hotel, London.

What are you expecting and hoping for from the commercial launch on VoLTE?

I’m expecting a rapid take-off and a large terminal offering. Our intent is that VoLTE will drive adoption of enriched communication services. Therefore operators will have to quickly move to all-IP so that we can collectively provide a universal interoperable service offering with much richer capabilities that before, e.g. messaging, video etc.

As we approach commercial launch is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly compete or just complement OTT services?

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Interview: Head of Core Mobile Networks Research, BT: “I expect the mobile industry to develop innovative services beyond plain voice.”

Maria Cuevas, Head of Core Mobile Networks Research, BT

Maria Cuevas, Head of Core Mobile Networks Research, BT

Maria Cuevas, Head of Core Mobile Networks Research, BT is taking part in a panel discussion on Day Two of the 2nd annual LTE Voice Summit, taking place on October 7th-8th 2014 at the Royal Garden Hotel, London.

In this interview she presents some of her personal views on VoLTE – please note, these do not reflect the official views of BT.

As we approach commercial launch of VoLTE services in the IUK is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly compete or just complement OTT services? 

My personal view is that VoLTE will be positioned and seen by the customers as an enhanced primary voice service and therefore will continue to be the main choice for of reliable voice communications for customers, complemented by OTT voice for certain scenarios. (more…)

LTE data roaming becomes affordable for everyone

Torbjorn Pettersson, Technical Sales Manager, Mobile Services, Telenor, Sweden

Torbjorn Pettersson, Technical Sales Manager, Mobile Services, Telenor, Sweden

This post is byTorbjörn A Pettersson, Manager Technical Sales and IPX Solutions

Telenor Global ServicesOver the past few years I have experienced a number of examples where customers have experienced “bill shock” after returning home from travelling abroad. The good news in Europe is that since July this year additional EU regulations have made data roaming more affordable, and this is a trend that is about to go global.

What is the catalyst for this new trend? There are so many data-hungry apps on smartphones and tablets being used by people of all ages. In a workshop during the last LTE World Summit in Amsterdam several operators gave similar observations from different segments—not only SME customers. This means that data retail prices are bundled (daily or weekly bundling for example), which make the data roaming much cheaper, and at the same time increase the operators roaming data revenues worldwide.

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Director of the LTE EPC Programme, Orange: “The next challenge will be the deployment of roaming for VoLTE.“

Rémi Thomas, Director of the LTE EPC Programme, Orange Group

Rémi Thomas, Director of the LTE EPC Programme, Orange Group

Rémi Thomas, Director of the LTE EPC Programme, Orange is speaking at the LTE World Summit on roaming challenges at the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.

You’re speaking on roaming issues. What are the main challenges to bringing making LTE roaming a reality?

Orange has launched 4G roaming for data services since February this year for customers in France travelling to the UK, Spain, Portugal and South Korea. Further to this, technical readiness to deliver 4G roaming has been achieved in a further five markets including the UK (through EE), Spain, Romania, Portugal and Moldova. We anticipate 4G roaming will be fully available across Orange’s European footprint by the end of 2014, including major destinations outside of Europe.

The primary challenge for all operators however has been the mastering of new protocols because this requires complete testing. There are complexities to do with diameter signalling, especially internationally, and Orange is paying special attention to this. It is also being addressed by mobile operators via the GSMA and is on the agenda of the i3Forum as far as the carrier community is concerned.

Today CSFB is used to provide voice services to LTE roamers. As a consequence the voice services for LTE roamers rely on the present 2G/3G roaming agreements. In order to improve the voice experience (lowering setup delay, additional services), Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology will be deployed in our networks. Then the next challenge will be the deployment of roaming for VoLTE.

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Interview: EVP Strategy, Bouygues Telecom: “The French market is not in a situation favourable to sophisticated pricing strategies.”

Frédéric Ruciak, EVP of strategy for Bouygues Telecom

Frédéric Ruciak, EVP of strategy for Bouygues Telecom

The LTE World Summit is the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry and is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Frédéric Ruciak, EVP of strategy for Bouygues Telecom will be speaking on a panel dedicated to maximizing revenue from LTE, taking place on one of the conference.

To what extent have you virtualised your network and how important will NFV be in the future?

We have not yet implemented NFV in our network but we think it may be an opportunity in the future. The main benefits will be to reduce costs in our core network and to improve time to market. We think robust and powerful solutions may go live within a three- to five-year timeframe. We’ll be cautious in terms of operations and QoS, because we may potentially move from single vendor platforms, with clear commitment, to layered environments, where we may have interoperability issues and multiple responsibilities.

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Interview: CTO, Zain, Jordan: “5G will bring a transformation of lifestyle for users and enterprises.”

yousef zain

Yousef Abu-Mutawe , CTO, Zain, Jordan

As Zain in Jordan prepares to launch LTE, its CTO Yousef Abu-Mutawe is already considering the impact that 5G will have in the future. To hear more from Abu-Mutawe be sure to attend the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. At the conference he will be speaking in a keynote panel session discussing the path to 5G on Day One of the conference.

Zain is launching LTE later this year. What have been the main challenges leading up to this?

Growing the data network is a necessity in order to maintain revenues. Maintaining the value of the company require us to move to LTE. While voice revenues are shrinking, demand for data is increasing. In fact, data is becoming the main selling point and customer retention factor. Additionally, there is the need to eliminate infrastructure bottlenecks to ensure massive capacity and massive connectivity.

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Interview: VP Marketing Mobile Services Development, Telecom Italia: “Mobile apps are really a disruptive phenomenon in the Internet world.”

Cozzolino Sergio

Mobile apps are making a huge difference to the fortunes of Telecom Italia says Sergio Cozzolino, VP Marketing Mobile Services Development of the Italian operator in this interview ahead of the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. To hear more from him come to on Day Two of the event where he is speaking on the subject, “Examining the Mobile App opportunities and Cloud Solutions”

How would you summarise what have you learned about the power of cloud apps for generating revenue for operators?

Mobile apps are really a disruptive phenomenon in the Internet world. They are growing so fast and are so pervasive in both business and consumers fields. The growing number of apps available on all the different app stores and the increasing number of downloads is not comparable with any other digital good—music, books, films. This enabler is facilitating access to content in the cloud, and they are boosting mobility and the increased consumption of data. LTE is completing the scenario as mobile broadband is guaranteeing access to content with the same level of reliability as fixed networks.

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Interview: Head of Network Strategy, EE: “NFV is an enabler for service evolution including some ideas being discussed for 5G.”

Paul Ceely, head of network strategy, EE

Paul Ceely, head of network strategy, EE

Want to find out more about what comes after 4G? Paul Ceely, head of network strategy at EE is speaking on the subject of evolving beyond LTE on Day One of the 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. In this interview we find out his views on the impact new technology such as NFV will make and how the carrier plans to maintain its 4G leadership.

Do you feel any pressure for EE to be leaders in terms of network technology?

Our ambition and vision is to build the best network and best service so our customers trust us with their digital lives.  And to this end we see network technology and more specifically LTE and LTE-A as a way to maintain network leadership.  Technology is evolving increasingly quickly, both on the user device side and the network, and so to maintain network leadership we must maintain technology leadership.

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Interview: SVP Technology Europe for Deutsche Telekom: “Deutsche Telekom strongly believes in the benefits of NFV, therefore we are strongly pushing it forward.”

Kerstin Günther is SVP Technology Europe for Deutsche Telekom.

Kerstin Günther is SVP Technology Europe for Deutsche Telekom.

Kerstin Günther is SVP Technology Europe for Deutsche Telekom. To hear her deliver more insights, come to the LTE World Summit, which is taking place on the 23 – 25 June 2014, at the RAI, Amsterdam. Hear her take part in a panel discussion with other leading CTOs discussing network innovations such as NFV and 5G.

What sort of changes have you seen on the network in terms of usage since you launched LTE?

When LTE networks were initially launched, the main target was to provide higher data throughput compared to HSPA+. At that point, initial bit rates were 75Mbps on the downlink with 10MHz channel spacing. Gradually, LTE networks have been upgraded to LTE+ providing 150Mbps downlink bit-rates, while last year we have seen the first introduction of carrier aggregation technologies with maximum downlink bitrates around 300Mbps and this year DTAG Group demonstrated in a live environment the introduction of 600Mbps downlink over-the-air achieving 580Mbps downlink bit-rate. Of course, the relevant terminal evolution is essential for the end-user to take advantage of this enhanced throughput.

What are the next steps you are focusing on in terms of network development and what impact will these steps have on your customers?
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Interview: Transmission Senior Manager, Mobinnet Telecom Company: “LTE-A shows a secure and future-proof investment path for LTE.”

Senior IP Transmission Manager, Mobinnet, Iran

Senior IP Transmission Manager, Mobinnet, Iran

Mobinnet, Iran’s countries only national broadband operator, has started the pilot phase of its TD-LTE deployment. Come and hear more from Ali Tahmasebi, its Transmission Senior Manager, who is speaking on how Mobinnet is handling the coming data explosion on Day Two of the 10th annual LTE World Summit, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.

Please give us an overview of what stage your LTE deployment is at?

Mobinnet Telecom Co. (MTC) is the only nationwide wireless broadband (4G-WiMAX) operator in the country with services ranging from broadband internet access, VoIP, and VPN. The company is the largest WiMAX Operator in the Middle East. While we at Mobinnet are planning to upgrade the network to new technology, at the same time we are expanding the existing network to cover new locations and add new capacity to congested areas.

Regarding the future broadband experience for Mobinnet’s customers, a peer review of subscriber demand and an analysis of global deployment of LTE led us to select TD-LTE technology. We have finalised all the technical considerations for both LTE and the EPC domain. Most of the jobs in the network planning domain is done and we have started the pilot phase.

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How LTE is stepping in to fill the rural bandwidth gap in Portugal

vitor-pereira

Vitor Pereira is a Portuguese-based journalist and blogger with a focus on smart cities.

Vitor Pereira, a journalist and blogger, takes a look at how mobile broadband is helping solve traditional connectivity problems in rural Portugal. 

For decades, the remote and less populated regions of the most varied parts of the world have tried to keep pace with the spread of Broadband and high speed Internet. These naturally, first arrived in the big cities and most populated regions for several reasons. Firstly, and essentially, due to the business models of major telecommunications operators and, secondly, due to the lack of serious public policies promoting the development of infrastructure for areas of low population density.

In other words, for companies operating in an open, free and competitive market it is a matter of numbers and economic viability (or the lack thereof) and objectively we can all understand this.

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Interview: International Affairs and Policy Coordinator, Türk Telekom “Changes in roaming… will place considerable burden on the already troubled EU telecoms sector.”

Dr. Mustafa Aykut, International Affairs and Policy Coordinator for Türk Telekom

Dr. Mustafa Aykut, International Affairs and Policy Coordinator for Türk Telekom

Turkey has yet to roll out LTE as it awaits spectrum allocation. Dr. Mustafa Aykut, International Affairs and Policy Coordinator for Türk Telekom talks us through some of the complex issues and explains his objections to the EU banning roaming charges.

Dr. Aykut, is taking part in a panel discussion entitled: “Assessing successful and innovative deployment strategies”, taking place on Day Two of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.

What are the main challenges of rolling out LTE in Turkey?

Currently, there is no roadmap regarding spectrum related actions for LTE roll-out as 800 MHz band will not be cleared until June 2015. Furthermore, problems associated with the unfair allocation of GSM bands continue to have an impact. The fair allocation of existing bands is a prerequisite for LTE launch and technology-neutral use of spectrum.

Internet security is an issue that is always high on the agenda. Do you think that operators should be doing more to protect their customers?

In Turkey, all ISPs operate in accordance with the regulations set by the regulation authority, ICTA, with regards to internet security related issues. However, it is important for operators to raise awareness among users about internet security to ensure the safety of their customers and their information.

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Interview: manager of network and services planning department, Telekom Srbija: “In general, the key challenge for LTE implementation is not on the technical side, but on the commercial side.”

Nemanja Ognjanovic, manager of network and services planning department, Telekom Srbija

Nemanja Ognjanovic, manager of network and services planning department, Telekom Srbija

LTE might be mature as a technology but it’s still yet to be deployed in many networks. We speak to Nemanja Ognjanovic, manager of network and services planning department, Telekom Srbija about the challenges that remain for operators looking to deploy. Ognjanovic is one of the discussion leaders of the Service Innovation track for Voice, Video and Roaming at the Operator Mindshare, taking place on the 23rd June at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.

At what stage are your LTE deployment plans and what are the key challenges that you expect to face?

LTE is not deployed by any operator in Serbia yet, but Telekom Srbija is committed to implement it as soon as all the technical and regulatory requirements are met. The network has already been in the process of modernization towards LTE for several years through the introduction of “single RAN” base station cabinets that allow for the co-location of 2G/3G/4G equipment in the same cabinet. Furthermore, the upgrade of core network and necessary backhaul links to meet traffic requirements is ongoing, while waiting for regulatory issues to be solved.

In general, the key challenge for LTE implementation is not on the technical side, but on the commercial side, since the required significant investment cannot be easily monetized through service subscription and mobile data plans. The technical deployment should be followed by a proper marketing campaign aimed at attracting subscribers and creating of relevant LTE customer database.

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Interview: Senior advisor, FCC: “Spectrum sharing has great potential.”

Kamran Etemad, Senior advisor, FCC

Kamran Etemad, Senior advisor, FCC

Kamran Etemad, Senior advisor, FCC is speaking at the inaugural 5G World Summit, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Here we find out about his views on making the best use of spectrum and the challenges and opportunities therein. 

Unlicensed LTE: surely a contradiction in terms? How does this work and how what problems could it solve?

LTE-U is not a contradiction but a different way of using a technology that is primarily designed to be controlled/managed, in order to leverage the significant amount of unlicensed spectrum, to address exploding demand for mobile data capacity. Depending on how the solution is approached the added complexity may be limited, or large.

Perhaps the simplest and least intrusive way to allow LTE-U operation is to use it as a supplementary carrier to opportunistically expand the effective user plane bandwidth of a licensed primary LTE carrier, which may more predictably carry control plane signaling. The LTE-U supplementary carrier may be configured/activated dynamically through primary carrier for use as a downlink only, uplink only and TDD mode, in an unlicensed or shared spectrum. Some companies are proposing concepts aligned with this approach, while some may be considering a more Wi-Fi-like operation, which requires more changes.

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Is Sector Sculpting the Answer for Wireless Capacity?

Philip Sorrells, vice president of strategic marketing, Wireless, CommScope

Philip Sorrells, vice president of strategic marketing, Wireless, CommScope

Wireless networks today are facing a massive capacity crunch. With a data hungry mobile society and its love for bandwidth-hungry applications, networks are constantly under pressure and struggling to keep pace, especially in LTE environments.

An effective way to solve the capacity problem is through sector sculpting. It is an ingenious approach to antenna pattern shaping that enables operators to carve out more capacity, improve coverage and limit interference.

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Senior Project Manager, Orange Group: “The major drivers for 2014 are carrier aggregation, the flagship feature of LTE-A.”

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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Video

LTE World Summit – Preview video

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

Data Analytics in LTE Monetization

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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Diameter–SS7 IWF: Bridging the Signals between New and Old Worlds

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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Saving Thumbs with Charging Offload for LTE

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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Update: Classy HTC One M8 impresses but eschews VoLTE and LTE-A

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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The pain of living without 4G

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?

Kazam bringing LTE down a peg or two

Heard of Kazam? Until recently, neither had we – but there’s a chance that this handset brand could be make a big splash in 2014.

Kazam offers three different ranges in its handsets – the Trooper at the bottom, the Tornado at the top, and the Thunder in the middle, and each is differentiated by the number of processor cores it uses, two (Trooper), four (Thunder) and eight (Tornado). Within that each model is differentiated by screen size, as indicated in the name. Simples.

IMG_0357[1]

Right now LTE handset support is limited in the main to top-of-the-range models, but with the new Thunder2 4.5L, newcomer’s Kazam is taking a different approach.

Kazam is the offspring of two ex-HTC execs and in a briefing last week they were keen to extol the virtues of this anti ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, though conversely it could be accused of taking a throwing everything out there and see what sticks approach.

The selling point of the brand is not the technology, but rather the service and support – with a one-year, one-time replacement programme for a smashed screen, (avoiding people using smashed screens for months on end) and ‘Kazam Rescue’, where one of its support staff will remote access your phone when requested to help fix problems.

Thunder 2 4.5L front

Curiously, the Thunder2 4.5L is the only LTE handset in the range – but the reason for this is simple. Kazam is a Mediatek chipset shop, but MT LTE chipsets are only now being readied. As such, the Thunder2 LTE is the only one in the range to use Qualcomm – a Snapdragon 400. The 4.5in screen has an unexceptional 854 x 480p resolution, a basic 8GB of internal memory and 1GB of RAM – all John Smith’s no nonsense stuff, enlivened purely by the tri-band 800MHz, 1800MHz, 2.6GHz LTE support.

Thunder 2 4.5L side

This though is exactly what could make it a winner. Aside from LTE the specs might be far from headline grabbing, and from our hands on, ‘thinnest and lightest’ will not be troubling the marketing campaign either – but what we have here is a phone that will do everything anyone could need to do right now – browse the web, take pictures and engage with social media, at a very low price (TBC).

LTE will make it all work smoothly and attractively so for anyone moving up form a feature phone, this will be a revelation, without the expense, and that has to be a good thing.

“Calling all LTE Start-ups! Accelerate Innovation at the LTE World Summit”

Suzanne Rankine

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

The GSA recently reaffirmed LTE technology as the fastest developing mobile technology system ever. They noted that there was growth of more than 76 per cent for commercially launched LTE services on networks worldwide in the last year, with a total of 200 million LTE subscribers at the end of 2013.

It’s fair to say that the worldwide adoption and growth of LTE technologies has been phenomenal; but now is not the time to take our feet off the gas pedal. If we are to see continued growth of LTE and the development of more advanced services made possible by LTE-A and 5G, innovation is key.

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