Archive for May, 2012

Strong signals from the LTE World Summit 2012

Following on from a successful LTE World Summit conference we present a guest post from Susan Becker, director product marketing for F5 Traffix.

I’d like to share a few observations while on my way home from Informa’s LTE World Summit that just concluded in Barcelona. There was a wider range of operators attending the two day event than I expected. From our customers, I know that top tier carriers in North America are rolling out LTE, some in the Far East and others in Europe. But during the show it became clear to me that in every part of the world operators are in some planning stage towards their LTE deployment.

From every continent and then some, operators are thinking about an LTE strategy. And the ones already in the more advanced stages are approaching experienced core network infrastructure vendors such as F5 Traffix to enable them to provide advanced services in this increasingly competitive market. With smart phones already a mass market commodity, the range and quality of services are utmost in their minds. Unfortunately, there was much premature hype about LTE leading people to believe that it is a simple, fast roll out.

And that has proven to be exactly the opposite. As LTE is more of an evolution and not a revolution, most operators will experience pains in LTE deployment. The questions remain as to what extent and when these pains will happen, and most importantly how much will it cost them. Will it result in significant churn or can the churn be abated with the lure of attractive services like family data plans, and selected real-time prepaid options like optimised video upon demand for postpaid subscribers?

There are many questions that revolve around the dozens of unprecedented cases that will be analysed and planned by the industry’s best network architects and engineers. One thing is for sure, that a special focus day on signalling like the one that preceded the LTE Summit this year attracting close to 200 people to sit and listen to Diameter experts, would not have happened last year. We were overwhelmed by the positive responses we received following presentations by F5 Traffix Diameter experts Ben Volkow and Peter Nas on “Approaching Diameter as the Nervous System of the Network” and “Diameter Use Cases for the Signaling Explosion”.

The word on Diameter solutions’ ability to solve, or rather to enable, all the promises of better and faster service in LTE is out there. Mentioning signalling to industry analysts covering mobile broadband today more often than not triggers a serious conversation. Even journalists without a technical background approach F5 Traffix to write on the topic of the signaling surge in LTE. We can’t take these facts for granted as they were NOT happening last year. So yes, things are changing, and definitely for the better.

LTE everywhere, but not a drop to drink

The LTE World Summit 2012 finished earlier this week, and by and large it was a great success – with the great and the good of the mobile industry interested in LTE (which is pretty much everyone), attending in some form or another.

While it was a success an issue did crop up was that while wifi was available in the exhibition hall, it was not freely available in he Plenary. For anyone who enjoys tweeting this is something of an issue. Tweeting is a spontaneous art form, and once you’ve memorised what you want to say, left the room, gone down two floors, gone into the exhibition hall and waiting for your phone, your tweet may well have gone stale.

Fundamentally, the root cause of the issue is one that strikes at the heart of the issues that the conference was addressing – that I could not tweet as I refused to turn on my data connection for fear of the outrageous roaming charges. There has been movement in this area – the EU has recommended caps on reducing charges and O2 has responded by announcing rates much lower than there – but they won’t kick on until July this year. (I’m on Giffgaff, an o2 (Telefonica) MNVO, so we’ll see if this gets passed on).

Wifi offload was also one of the big topics of conversation at the conference and while interference from multiple hotspots was not an issue, congestion from too many requests was – highlighting one of that technology’s drawbacks.

What we’re all dreaming of is to be able to use our phones abroad as we would at home – on fast, effective LTE networks. That’s the vision we’re all driving towards. Of course if we were already there – living the dream, or at least, tweeting the dream, they’d probably be no need for an LTE conference in the first place, which would just not do at all. As such, I’m looking forward to great LTE coverage at affordable prices – at the 5G conference coming your way soon.

Telecoms.com LTE Awards 2012 Winners Announced!

Earlier this week, the LTE industry leaders came together for the 3rd annual Telecoms.com LTE Awards in Barcelona to celebrate innovation and recognise excellence in the global LTE community.

The evening was a great success, paying tribute to the exciting and innovative work that is being done across the industry. All of the categories were very closely fought and the quality of the entries was extremely high. It was the perfect evening to reward everyone for their hard work after a busy first day at LTE World Summit 2012 on 23rd May.

The night started with relaxed drinks and networking on the terrace where attendees enjoyed spectacular views of Barcelona as the sun set. Later followed a three course meal and the main ceremony presented by TV presenter Rob Curling.

Take a look at the 2012 Roll of Honour below…


2012 Roll of Honour

  • Best LTE Device/Handset- ZTE Corporation
  • Best Test/Measurement Product- Actix
  •  Most Significant Development for Commercial LTE Network- by an Operator- KT Corporation
  • Most Significant Development for Commercial LTE Network by a Vendor- Huawei
  • Most Innovative LTE Commercial Launch- Samsung
  • Best LTE Core Network Element- Huawei
  • Best LTE RAN Product- Alcatel Lucent
  • Best Contribution to R&D for LTE- Gemalto
  • Best LTE Traffic Management Product- Bytemobile
  • Best Chipset/Processor Product- Freescale


Congratulations to all our winners and we look forward to hearing about further LTE developments and achievements in 2013!  www.lteawards.com



       

The road ahead

As Day 0 draws to a close the overriding impression is that there are many issues facing operators: the data crunch, signalling, devices shortages, device battery life etc. However, listening to operators from all over the world and from every continent it’s clear that the issues are common all over the world. Apart from relatively minor geographical variations it’s not that different if you’re in London, New York or Hawaii – apart from better weather.

What was also consistent is that though there are many technical issues still to resolve if there’s one thing that operators do well, it’s being technical. The issue is that they are less good at pricing models and marketing – nobody’s truly confident that they can effectively monetise LTE.

Over the next two days I’m sure that we’ll hear from the key speakers a reiteration of the many issues and challenges ahead, but are we going to hear answers and solutions that are as convincing?

LTE World Summit: Thoughts from Day 0

It’s been a long time coming but the LTE World Summit has finally kicked off! Having survived an unexpectedly eventful flight involving major turbulence the Informa team was relieved for the plane to touch down on the second attempt at landing. Well done pilot.

The hope was that the rest of the conference caused fewer scares, and so far, that’s proved to be the case. Ahead of the start of the LTE World Summit proper, the event started with a Signaling day, which by all accounts was very well attended. It also showcased a new format – the LTE Operator Mind Share.

This involves a series of concurrent round-table discussions led by an operator executive on key topics that are affecting the future of LTE, such as debating pricing strategies around LTE and the roll of Small Cells and Het-Nets. It proved to be a major success, with each topic generating a large number of points. The idea was for a relaxed environment to kick around ideas and generate discussion, so anything recorded here is certainly not the official view of the company’s in question.

My table was led by Simon Best, head of consumer mobile strategy at Orange and the discussion was based on LTE pricing strategies. Will LTE create new services to drive new revenues? The consensus was that due to its faster bandwidth and reliability it might in certain areas such as online games and video surveillance, but otherwise, no – there would be no killer app for LTE. Best referenced the mistaken pushing of video calling as a marketing driver for 3G that most certainly did not work, and it sounded as if he was haunted by this. However, a lower cost per bit and quality of service would be the weapons to attract customers to LTE.

As for Voice over LTE, it also seemed likely that this could not be used to attract new revenue as customers are looking to pay less for voice and not more. However, delivering carrier grade quality could potentially help retain customers over the ‘best effort’ services from the OTTs. Eventually there will be no need to attract customers with minutes – as it will all be data it will be a matter of offering a simple data bundle.

It was agreed by most that charging the same for LTE as 3G was the only realistic way to go, but it would lead to more ARPU simply by the fact that customers will use more data and then move up to a higher tier.

The final thought was the subsidising handsets too heavily would not be a good strategy, another lesson learnt from 3G.

All in all, this was just one of many great discussions and conversations happening in the day: not bad considering we’ve still got the main event to look forward to.

Circuit Switched Fallback: Could it be holding your 4G network back?

This is a guest post from Warren Dumanski, vice president of sales and marketing at Newfield Wireless.

Most people in the wireless ecosystem understand the inherent value proposition of LTE: more efficient spectrum utilisation and better end-to-end QoS capabilities due to its new internet protocol (IP) network architecture. What many don’t understand is that the initial deployments of LTE, which consider all sessions as data, do not support voice calls “as data”.  Note: We are excluding over-the-top (OTT) calls made through Skype, Google Talk and others as these would be seen as any data application by the network, but are also typically understood to be best-effort services as opposed to “toll-quality” voice expected by most  mobile subscribers.

Until an operator deploys VoLTE, LTE voice calls are supported in the 3G network through an implementation known as Circuit Switched Fallback (CS Fallback) in 3GPP networks. While CS Fallback is an interim measure via core network upgrades until a more robust VoLTE implementation is deployed, operators currently employing the strategy in their initial LTE networks are often unaware of the unintended consequences on their LTE and 3G network.

When a subscriber on the LTE network makes or receives a voice call, the network redirects the device to the 3G network where the voice call is attempted. Upon completion of the voice call and any active data session, the device must reselect the LTE network. An unintended consequence of this standardised approach to call completion is that if an LTE subscriber is using an application (e.g., Facebook) on the 4G network at the time of the call, both the voice and data session are moved back to the 3G network. Perhaps even more troubling to the network operator, until the data session is completed or the user equipment (UE) is reset, the subscriber will camp on the 3G network.

This has a whole host of ramifications to the LTE operator employing CS Fallback, including:

–          Underutilisation of their LTE network, represented by islands of unused capacity

–          Poor data network performance with UEs unknowingly camped on 3G networks

–          Subscriber perception that 4G data experience is no better than that offered by 3G

Until recently, operators were “in the dark” about the real performance of their LTE network. However, applications such as TrueCall LTE from Newfield Wireless, provide network operators with a harmonised view of their 4G/3G networks. These types of applications will enable an LTE operator to:

–         Understand the critical handoff zones in and out of 4G

–          Know where LTE subscribers are camping on 3G networks

–          Evaluate how much data capacity is really being provided by its LTE network for any given area

Like any new technology, there are bound to be challenges in initial LTE network deployments. Thankfully, the shortcomings of CS Fallback can be addressed by network engineers enabled with a complete understanding of their LTE subscriber experience through advanced visualisation and optimisation solutions.

Get Connected at #LTWS: Introducing the Twitter Wall

There is plenty of buzz in the run up to LTE World Summit 2012 with only one week to go until the global LTE industry meets in Barcelona on 22-24 May! Capturing the hype during the event will be our Twitter Wall on display in the exhibition hall. Presenting all the LTE chatter during the show, the Twitter Wall will be a key feature worth visiting for event updates and exclusive news!

Twitter Prize Draw

To see your tweets broadcast on our big screens and be in with a chance of winning a bottle of champagne at the event include the #LTEWS hashtag in all your tweets!

There are many creative ways you can use the hashtag at LTE World Summit 2012. Here are a few TWEET TIPS:

  • Tweet about your event experience using #LTEWS
  • Share a photo of the event via twitter including #LTEWS
  • Ask a question to one of our speakers using #LTEWS

Tweet the speakers! 

Why wait until the event? Here are a few of our speakers Twitter handles to get you started…
Neal Lachman
Founder & Special Advisor
iUHBA Networks
@neallachman 

Karim Lesina,
Executive Director of International External Affairs,
AT&T
@karimlesina

Amit Nagpal
Partner
Aetha Consulting Ltd
@amitnagpaltweet

Mark Newman
Chief Research Officer
Informa Telecoms & Media
@marknewman

Bengt Nordström
CEO
Northstream
@Bnorthstream

Patrick Steemers
Vice President
Capgemini
@patricksteemers

Harry Wang
Director, Health & Mobile Product Research
Park Associates
@HarryatParks

Dan Warren
Senior Director of Technology
GSMA
@tmgb

Doug Miller
GM for Mobile Solutions
Nominum
@dns_doug

Keith Mallinson
Founder
Wiseharbor
@WiseHarbor 

 



Engage with the Global LTE industry 

TWEET #LTEWS
Follow us @LTEWorldSeries 

One week until the LTE industry leaders meet in Barcelona!

The LTE World Summit is only 7 days away and we cannot wait to see you there! In the final countdown to the show here is a little teaser of what you can expect to see from some of our sponsors and exhibitors at the event…

Tekelec

Tekelec invites you to discover the New Diameter Network, the foundation for a successful mobile data business. It will help you:

  • Generate revenues from over-the-top applications and cloud services
  • Manage the signaling storm

Come see demonstrations of how the market-leading Diameter Signaling Router, the core of the New Diameter Network, can help you successfully monetize data services and manage the rapid growth in signaling and data traffic.

Learn how easy it is to create, deploy and evolve services using next-generation policy, analytics, and subscriber data management. Next-generation policy and subscriber data management, critical components of the New Diameter Network, allow operators to personalize cloud, machine-to-machine and over-the-top services for enterprises and consumers.

Polystar

Meet Polystar – a leading supplier of Service Assurance, Network Monitoring and Test Solutions – to explore its innovative Business Intelligence approach. Learn from the Polystar’ experts how the true end-to-end visibility into subscribers’ behavior, device usage, service quality and performance of the mobile data networks, can help operators to more persistently manage the effectiveness and profitability of their LTE investments. Find out how Polystar solutions help operators turn large volumes of data into actionable information, by gaining access to all possible perspectives, from a helicopter view to unmatched drill-down possibilities for in-depth data analysis. Meet us on Stand 96.

NIKSUN 

At LTE World Summit, ’12, NIKSUN will showcase its state-of-the-art LTE network monitoring, performance and cybersecurity technology. NIKSUN’s NetMobility monitors multiple aspects of the LTE network with the industry’s most comprehensive network insight, including in-depth visibility to all end user activities, enabling operators to optimize critical spectrum utilization. NetMobility seamlessly integrates with NIKSUN’s uniquely powerful, highly scalable cybersecurity and network performance solution, combining real time and deep forensic analytics to deliver unprecedented ROI. Visit NIKSUN at Pod #13 to watch the live demos.

Mindspeed 

Mindspeed Technologies (NASDAQ: MSPD) is a leading provider of network infrastructure semiconductor solutions to the communications industry delivering the most broadly deployed solutions for small cell base stations on the market. Our low-power system-on-chip (SoC) products drive video, voice and data in worldwide fiber-optic networks and enable advanced processing for 3G and LTE mobile broadband networks. Our high-performance analog products are used in optical, enterprise, industrial and video transport systems. Mindspeed is the only SoC company with commercially proven 3G and 4G technology, supporting all GPP standards and with both LTE-FDD and TD-LTE shipping to operators today.
Room # 220

www.mindspeed.com

EXFO 

Experience EXFO’s Complete Solution for LTE Testing & Monitoring
on stand 49 :

  • Measure QoS, Ensure QoE, minimize churn with our Advanced 4G/LTE testing and monitoring solutions for network service optimization
  • Discover our QA805/813 – the only solution capable of simulating the load of a converged LTE and IMS network on a single platform. Simulate up to 12 million subscribers!
  • Complete Backhaul Turn-up in 15 minutes with EXFO’s Mobile Backhaul Tri-Pak: End-to-end Mobile Backhaul testing and monitoring solution
  • BrixNGN – scalable and cost-effective Mobile Backhaul monitoring of service quality, performance and availability

Celcite 

Celcite delivers optimisation solutions for all wireless technologies including GSM/GPRS/EDGE BSS, UTRAN (WCDMA/HSPA + HSUPA PH) and E-UTRAN (LTE). Through automatic centric network maintenance and optimization, COPS(TM) continues to help our clients achieve better than 70% improvement in engineering resource efficiencies, better network performance, enhanced customer satisfaction, and a higher ROI. With our automation centric network maintenance and optimisation, Celcite Management Solutions delivers optimisation solutions for all wireless technologies.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from our CTO, Ajay Khanna, during Masterclass Day 1 at 14:00 where he will present Multi-technology/Multi-vendor SON – Simplifying Network Management for Today’s Complex Networks. Visit booth # 8 to learn more about how Celcite is making multi-technology SON a reality.

Anite Finland 

Anite Finland Ltd offers a comprehensive range of network measurement solutions with leading technology and a competitive price range. The exact and detailed data recorded with our Nemo tools is optimal for network roll-out, tuning, verification, maintenance, optimization, troubleshooting, and benchmarking. Our global customer base covers more than 300 mobile operators, network manufacturers, service providers, and network equipment vendors from over 100 countries worldwide.

Visit our stand where we showcase our complete product portfolio for LTE measurements:

  • Nemo Handy-A
  • Nemo Outdoor
  • Nemo Invex
  • Nemo FSR1
  • Nemo Analyze
  • New releases of spring 2012: Nemo Walker and Nemo Analyze Snapshot

To meet the world’s leading LTE companies, attend free learning sessions and network with 3,000+ LTE decision makers, register for your FREE exhibition and masterclass ticket to LTE World Summit 2012 here

New iPad no longer called iPad + 4G in the UK

After a long, drawn out saga, Apple has finally been made to change how it promotes the new iPad on its UK web store. After complaints to the UK advertising authority, ASA, from this week, the word 4G does not appear on its UK web site. Instead, the SIM equipped device is now just referred to as ‘Wi-Fi + Cellular’. No more confused UK punters.

To be honest, I’m not particularly keen on the term ‘Cellular’ as iIt has a distinctly US flavour to it. We don’t call our networks ‘Cellular’ any more than we spell flavour without the letter ‘u’.  But it is a more realistic description of the devices capabilities in this country and as such a reasonable conclusion. Can we move on now?

Apple explained the move in a statement that said “Carriers do not all refer to their high speed networks with the same terminology, therefore we’ve decided to use “Wi-Fi + Cellular” as a simple term which describes all the high speed networks supported by the new iPad.  The advanced wireless features of the new iPad have not changed.”

It got into this mess though because it was happy to label its device as 4G, even though it’s only works as 4G in the US and Canada. While LTE/4G is edging ever closer in the UK, this new iPad won’t do the 4G thing – its frequencies are just not compatible. One would hope and suspect, that next year’s model will offer an integrated LTE chipset that is friendlier to European frequencies, but that is of course dependant on the progress made by the chipset providers, which in all likelihood means Qualcomm. By the time the next iPad comes out there should be a large addressable market across Europe for a multi frequency chipset to be produced in enough numbers to ensure economies of scale kick in. Bring it on.

Meet customer expectations with your LTE offering

Thomas Nilsson, CTO, Polystar

This is a guest post from Thomas Nilsson, CTO, Polystar, on the challenges of an LTE rollout.

When a new technology is introduced on the market, it is essential that the service quality that is experienced by the subscribers is not negatively affected in any way. “First impressions last”—there is truth in that old saying. So far, we have seen some early adopters of LTE, but now we are starting to see the transmitted LTE data volumes doubling every month.  LTE introduces a set of new network elements, and with the increased data load and more active subscribers those elements will now come under stress. We know from history that many problems are first discovered when network elements are subjected to real traffic load. Consequently, it will be very important to follow the performance of the network elements that provide the LTE infrastructure.

Lower latency and higher uplink and downlink throughput are key technical arguments for moving to LTE. However, this opens up the possibility of more bandwidth-hungry real-time services. The subscribers that will migrate to LTE are most likely the ones that today use good performing and well-functioning data services in 3G. Moving to LTE, those subscribers’ expectations will increase even more. Apart from super-fast browsing, they will expect services that take advantage of the lower latency, such as voice and video.

Today, voice is provided through CS fallback or VoLTE, with CSFB the choice when a legacy 3GPP network is available. I see 2013 as the year where VoLTE, delivered under an IMS umbrella, will move beyond the early adopters and grow a larger commercial footprint. Even though voice will represent only a small portion of all data transmitted in an LTE network, it will remain a key service with high-performance expectations.  To meet these expectations, it will be essential to keep track of the delivered voice quality.

One more challenge with moving to LTE is understanding the impact new applications and devices will have on the network infrastructure and user experience.  For example, we saw the introduction of smartphones and tablets in 3G completely changing the traffic profile, with a significant signalling overhead that caused overload of some network elements. The LTE networks will be much better prepared to handle such an eventuality, but it will still be crucial to understand how new devices and new software versions of existing devices will impact the end user experience.

The key to a successful LTE rollout is to keep the subscriber experience in focus, coupled with closely following the performance of new network elements and interfaces being introduced as part of the LTE deployment.

Polystar helps you keep the customer experience quality in focus. Meet us at the LTE World Summit on 22-24 May 2012 in Barcelona (stand 96) to continue this discussion.

Thomas Nilsson, CTO, Polystar

Preparing for LTE World Summit 2012!

LTE World Summit has moved to Barcelona this year, one of the world’s most modern and cosmopolitan cities, a centre of world-renowned cuisine and cultural heritage!

The event will take place on 22-24 May in Barcelona’s International Convention Centre (CCIB). The CCIB integrates into Barcelona’s new seafront area, Diagonal Mar, and forms part of the new technological and business district, one of the city’s best developed urban areas. Modern installations, architectural beauty and a seaside location make CCIB truly unique as one of the largest convention centres in Southern Europe.

In order to help your preparations for the event, we have answered some of the most common questions below…


How do I get to the event venue, CCIB?

The CCIB is easily accessible with excellent transport links:

  • TRAIN- There is a good train service running every half hour from the airport to the city centre.  The journey takes about 25 minutes. From the train station Paseo de Gracia you can access the yellow line (line 4) of the metro. The nearest station to the CCIB is Maresme-Forum.
  • AIRBUS- There is a bus service between the airport and the city center (Plaza Cataluña) every 10-12 minutes.  The journey takes 30 minutes.  Next to Plaza Cataluña station is Urquinaona the yellow line (line 4) of the underground line leading directly to the CCIB (Maresme-Forum station).
  • TAXI- A taxi takes about 20 minutes. The rates change based on the time. There is a charge for entry / exit of the airport and carrying luggage.
  • METRO- Maresme-Forum, on the yellow line, L4 is just a few minutes walk from the CCIB


What should I bring with me?

If you have pre-registered for the event, don’t forget to bring the official registration confirmation containing a barcode. This enables you to Fast Track registration and speeds up the process for you.

If you don’t have registration with a barcode, having your confirmation number with you will shorten retrieval of your registration information.

Bring a good supply of business cards- with an expected 3,000 attendees you are likely to have many people you will want to share it with!

How do I keep up-to-date with what’s going on at the event?

The best way to keep up with the goings on at the show is via our Twitter hashtag #LTEWS! There will be a Twitter Wall on display in the exhibition and registration areas showing all the event updates and exclusive news. Be sure to check out the Twitter Wall and get involved in the event by tweeting your thoughts #LTEWS.

For more information on the event please visit www.lteconference.com/world 

To find out more about the city of Barcelona, its tourist attractions, places to eat and practical information please visit www.barcelonaturisme.com/

Voicing our fears over data: the iPhone, the app and the police.

A remarkable story caught my eye yesterday. It’s not specifically LTE related but nevertheless I thought I’d flag it, as it’s data related. As reported in depth here by The Next Web, the founder of VoIP app Viber was met at the airport by police after using his app on the in-flight wifi on a Delta Airlines flight in the US. Viber is an smartphone app that lets you make calls, send video or texts to another device that also has it installed – but crucially doesn’t require any login, making it ‘always-on’  It has just launched beta apps for Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry, joining iPhone and Android, so it’s going to get real big, real soon.

It seems Talmon was chatting away when a flight attendant told him that it was against the rules to use VoIP on the air. He immediately ended the call, but when he was told it was against FAA rules he challenged this. Then he was told it was against the terms of service of the GoGo wifi service – which he again disputed. He was then handed an FAA brochure and when he took a picture of this the flight attendant felt he was being difficult, made quite a leap, and informed him that he would be met at the airport by the police. Remarkably, he actually was.

Fortunately the police realised that he had done little wrong and did not charge him.

Talmon states in an email response to comments on The Next Web article that he ended the call immediately when requested and that he was, “very polite, no raising my voice, no cursing, no abuse whatsoever.”

It does seem something of an overreaction by Delta to have called the cops on him. I have an iPhone with Viber installed. I might easily have done the same

Of interest here is that the supplying of an affordable data connection on a flight is what led to this. These services have been available for a while so it’s perhaps surprising that this hasn’t actually happened before. VoLTE will of course be treat voice as data, but it will still require network coverage to operate so that won’t be an issue. However, as more and more people become used to using apps they will realise that they can make calls when they have no network coverage but do have internet access.

The FAA is actually clear that it is not its policy to block VoIP calls but does not have a policy on this, and states clearly:  “This is not an FAA restriction; they are simply responding to the overwhelming majority of their customers, who prefer silent communications to the public nature of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) calls.”

In fact, Talmon had actually broken the GoGo terms of service. The question is then, why is that restriction there? Is GoGo worried about bandwidth? Presumably it’s fine to watch, or at least try and watch, a YouTube video on GoGo, so a compressed audio only call should not be an issue.

It could be purely a social etiquette issue then – people will not want other barking loudly into their phones in a confined area on a plane. Fair enough. If that’s the case then, then why has the company that runs GoGo introduced a Android smartphone designed specifically for use on its service? That seems a little contradictory.

Clearly it’s still early days for VoIP and the boundaries between safety, social etiquette and commercial concerns still need to be worked out. Let’s hope it can be done soon and hopefully without involving the police.

LTE Spectrum bands foxing networks and devices alike

Paul Beaver, products director at Anite

This is a guest blog post from Paul Beaver, products director at Anite. Anite has been shortlisted at the LTE Awards 2012 in the Best Test/Measurement LTE Product category. 

There will be one billion HSPA and LTE connections by the end of March and that number will double in two years, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. But the roll-out of LTE is not without its challenges. As carriers and handset providers navigate the path to 4G mobile services, not only do they have to cope with multi-technology networks, but also multiple frequency bands. Global LTE frequency allocation will differ because of diverse national regulatory positions on the issue. Current 3GPP specifications for LTE define over 30 potential bands for the technology. This is an inheritance of the different allocations issued by regulators and the ability of LTE to be deployed in a much wider range of frequencies than prior mobile standards.

Incorporating technology to cope with multiple LTE frequencies and supported bandwidths presents a major challenge to operators and manufacturers. One example of the complex problems that LTE brings is the ability to roam onto different international LTE networks, each with their own varied make-up and performance nuances. For instance, French incumbent operators are in the process of bidding for 4G spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, whereas networks in the USA have deployed LTE in the 700MHz–800MHz frequencies. Networks utilising 2.6GHz or 700MHz-800MHz frequencies for LTE could mean that subscribers may have problems connecting to the network when roaming.

Operators and manufacturers will be able to overcome the challenges of supporting multiple LTE frequency bands by developing a comprehensive quality assurance system, based on laboratory based device testing. However, I believe that field testing LTE devices alone is not a practical solution, as it requires a significant amount of time, prohibitively high cost levels and is not repeatable. Imagine replicating a real-life scenario in which a business user is downloading a file on their device, while making an essential voice call, but moving from a 3G coverage area to a 2G cell. Test engineers are not able to fully control such field tests, repeat them exactly or account for changes in RF conditions and network configurations.

Fortunately lab-based LTE device testing does not rely on any live network dependency, and can be optimised to match the profile of an LTE environment and the range of different LTE frequencies. Live LTE device tests can be reproduced in the laboratory from roaming through to data throughput and specific user scenarios, plus many more. Precise examinations can be undertaken at any time, with no actual impact on network subscribers or service, not to mention the lower costs and significant testing ease that the lab environment unlocks.

The LTE World Summit is taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. Click here to register your http://ws.lteconference.com/interest.

Meet the industry leaders at LTE World Summit 2012!

As excitement for LTE World Summit 2012 builds with only two weeks to go, here is a sneak preview of what some of our sponsors and exhibitors are doing at the show…..


Acme Packet, Stand 50 

Acme Packet invites you to discover how we are helping service providers build session delivery networks for the LTE era. Join Acme Packet at booth 50 at LTE World Summit to explore:

  • How to simplify IMS for rapid VoLTE ROI
  • MS service delivery solutions for VoLTE, RCS and VoWiFi
  • Requirements for a scalable next generation signaling core for SIP and Diameter
  • Seamless SIP interconnect and LTE roaming

Be sure to catch Acme Packet’s presentation Simplifying IMS and Improving VoLTE ROI from Kevin Klett, Vice President of Product Management in the VoLTE track on May 23rd at 15:10. We welcome the opportunity to hear from you and exchange ideas at LTE World Summit.

Actix, Stand 51 

Discover how to reduce LTE rollout risk. Visit Actix, stand 51 for a demonstration of our LTE Acceptance solution. Safe and assured, it has already been deployed by over 50 operators and network equipment providers and has been shortlisted for ‘Best Test/Measurement LTE Product’ in the Telecoms.com LTE Awards. Actix’s network acceptance solution enables you to:

  • Take the risk out of LTE rollout
  • Prioritize LTE deployment
  • Assure day one network quality
  • Reduce disputes with vendors

Drawing upon our real world experiences, Actix will also deliver an illuminating free masterclass “Best practices for ensuring LTE rollout success”. Don’t miss it!

Ercom, Stand 9 

Do you want to “Get the best performance from your LTE network”?

If you are an Operator concerned about:

  • eNodeB performance benchmarking
  • eNodeB capacity testing
  • Scheduler testing
  • VoLTE end-to-end testing
  • QoE testing
  • Please come to see Ercom’s Mobipass demo.

Mobipass, the unparallel solution in LTE Multi-UEs emulation filling the gap between lab testing and field testing with its Advanced Multi-UE RF channel emulator.

We will be pleased to welcome you at our Booth #9 on May 23rd & 24th at LTE World Summit in Barcelona.

Intel, Meeting Room 7 

Intel is becoming a key player in the mobile marketand will be onsite as a thought leader in the session Track called “Devices / Smartphone Development”.

We will talk about the challenges LTE band fragmentation presents for platform manufacturers and showing Intel’s approach to address these challenges.

Interesting insights will be provided on:

  • LTE devices within a high fragmented frequency band landscape
  • Roaming capabilities and carrier aggregation to address issues resulting from these band fragmentation
  • Flexible system architectures and dedicated configurations of mobile platforms

Mesaplexx, Stand 10 

Mesaplexx will be at stand 10, showcasing their compact, high performance filter technology for active antennas and next generation networks. Advanced filters enable better base station radios and active antenna systems, leading to better mobile networks.
Mesaplexx CEO, Mark Bole, will be speaking at the ‘What does the future hold for the Femtocell/Small Cell Market’ panel session at 16.50 on Wednesday 23 May.

Come and see us at stand 10, to understand how our xCube filter technology is enabling telecoms vendors to rapidly deliver next generation technology evolutions and deliver increased network capacity.

Mosaik Solutions, Pod Zone 

Mosaik Solutions, formerly American Roamer, is the global source for geospatial network intelligence. The company maintains the largest mobile network coverage catalog in the world, includes all common mobile technologies, and is updated quarterly. Mosaik Solutions’ data also includes telecommunications coverage patterns, wireless spectrum depth, network configurations, and licensing data through geospatial, analytical, creative and web solutions tailored to meet client needs. Whether you require better intelligence for consumer marketing, network branding, mobile roaming or strategic planning, Mosaik Solutions will deliver. We would enjoy the opportunity to meet. Visit us at Pod Zone #9.

Simulcraft-Omnest, Stand 70 

Simulcraft is launching a full-fledged LTE Simulator this year.

SimuLTE™ handles the full User Plane of LTE technologies, enabling a wide variety of useful studies, performance evaluations, tests and tuning experiments.

SimuLTE™ is extensively configurable, extensible and can be customized to requirements. The simulator comes with full source code to provide you with full information and complete control.

  • Evaluate the technical impact of business and market strategies: differentiated pricing, impact of new services.
  • Evaluate what-if scenarios: network dimensioning studies, network tuning on users’ applications traffic patterns, performance evaluation of specific networks configurations and testing of new user plane related algorithms.
  • More info on http://www.ltesimulator.com

Symena, Pod Zone

SYMENA is the leading supplier of Automatic Cell Planning (ACP) for LTE. The LTE World Summit is a great chance to find out why.

All major LTE OEM vendors are using Symena’s tools for planning LTE networks. Capesso™ is the proven, fully-featured, tightly integrated ACP tool for your planning tool. Capesso™ delivers measurably better and proven results faster. Capesso™ is unique in providing simultaneous, multiple network, multiple band optimisation. So it’s the best tool for planning LTE overlays.

Speaker: Dr Thomas Neubauer, Managing Director, on the panel for, “Delivering an improved network performance with SON” on Day 2, 4:50pm, Track 9, “Handling the Mobile Data Explosion.”

Location: Pod Zone, P1.

SYMENA. Smart Up Your Network!

 

 
Join us at LTE World Summit 2012 exhibition on 23-24 May in Barcelona to meet the world’s leading LTE companies, attend free learning sessions and network with 3,000+ LTE decision makers; an ideal opportunity to discuss strategies, build partnerships and widen your LTE knowledge! To register for your free exhibition pass click here

LTE’s virtuous circle: LTE to go mass market in 2012?

Arne Schälicke, LTE Product Marketing, Nokia Siemens Networks

This is a guest post from Arne Schälicke, LTE Product Marketing, Nokia Siemens Networks on the growth of the LTE eco-system and the work that NSN is putting it to make it happen.

That fact that the annual LTE World Summit has recently established itself among the top events in the sector has really underlined the importance of LTE in our industry. It’s also a good opportunity to reflect about the LTE market development that we have seen over the recent years.

By April 2012 there were 64 commercially launched LTE networks, 70 per cent more than a year earlier. The last year has also seen the commercial launches of the first TD-LTE networks. The global adoption of both FDD LTE and TD-LTE is not a vision anymore, it’s a fact. Global scale fosters the development of the device ecosystem, which in turn drives subscriber figures. The LTE virtuous circle has accelerated.

The arrival of multiband/multimode USB dongles has enabled operators to migrate their mobile broadband large screen customers to LTE. Subscribers benefit from faster average throughputs and shorter latency times, while the operators can offload their 3G networks, apply new tariffs and hence optimise their ARPU.

For all the aforementioned reasons, LTE data services have started to expand from the premium high-price segment to mid- and entry-level segments, with some operators having already introduced prepaid packages. Also, some international data roaming packages have been introduced, e.g. by TeliaSonera, who launched commercial LTE services more than three years and now provides LTE in many Northern European and Baltic countries.

The launch of LTE smartphones and tablets has since then accelerated subscriber growth tremendously. The publicly available data from NTT DoCoMo, Japan, shows an acceleration of roughly 300 per cent in monthly subscriber uptake following the introduction of LTE smartphones and tablets in autumn 2011. By April 2012, three operators in the US, Japan and Korea had reported more than two million LTE subscribers. LG U+ in Korea has reached an LTE penetration of more than 20 per cent of its total subscriber base.

In short, in 2012 LTE is becoming mass market.

What does the market success of LTE mean for Nokia Siemens Networks? As specialist in mobile broadband, we have been at the forefront of the LTE and TD-LTE commercialisation since the very beginning. Through our partnerships with the leading LTE operators in advanced markets like Northern Europe, Japan and Korea, we have continuously evolved our commercial LTE network systems to deliver superior throughput and lowest latency times in networks.

With a TD-LTE end-to-end solution, including the complete network infrastructure, services and TD-LTE data devices, we have enabled SKY, the largest satellite pay-TV operator in Brazil, to not only enter the local wireless broadband market, but to also be the first to launch commercial 4G services in Latin America. For operators with existing 1800MHz GSM networks we have commercially introduced concurrent operation of GSM and LTE on the same base station hardware module. Telia Denmark uses our concurrent-mode GSM/LTE technology nationwide and has repeatedly been praised for having the best 4G network in the country.

As the LTE market evolves further so are the LTE offerings of Nokia Siemens Networks. Pushing speeds ever higher we have demonstrated LTE-Advanced with data rates exceeding 1.4Gbps using aggregated spectrum of 100MHz on the commercial Flexi Multiradio 10 base station platform.

With increasing LTE smartphone penetration rates and growing LTE network coverage 2012 is also a significant year of VoLTE, with operators like LG U+, Korea, having already announced their VoLTE plans for this year.

And then, as the LTE World Summit 2012 agenda underlines nicely, small cells will play a key role in complementing macro networks to bring better coverage and capacity boost to areas of high demands. Clusters of small cells can provide the capacity needed in mobile broadband network hot zones. With our highly acclaimed Flexi Zone small cell solution, we are proposing a revolutionary new small cell cluster architecture that ensures  small cell capacity really adds to the macro network and does not “tax” the operator’s TCO.

LTE MENA Event Highlights from the Twittersphere!

This week’s LTE MENA event proved a major success, attracting 420+ attendees across the two days!  Check out all the action from the show floor from that appeared through the Twittersphere:

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
#Yahoo #Google #AlJazeera #du #Etisalat – keynote panel session #LTEMENA #LTE http://twitpic.com/9ficke

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
#Yahoo #LTEMENA #LTE “We want to work with ecosystem to grow the pipe… to naturally monetise content…”

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
#Google “we want to work more closely with operators in the region”#LTE #LTEMENA

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
#Etisalat in demand #LTEMENA #LTE http://twitpic.com/9fi96c

Matthew Reed ‏ @mattreed1
There are 170 million views on YouTube every day in the MENA region – Mohamad Mourad, Google MD for the Gulf #LTEMENA

Matthew Reed ‏ @mattreed1
“We are strong believers in net neutrality”, as prioritising wld disadvantage small players that drive the net – Google’s Mourad #LTEMENA

Ronald Gruia ‏ @rgruia
Huawei flexes #LTE assets with ambitions for enhancing wireless broadband across MENA region http://j.mp/JEuQnR

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
Networking @ #LTE MENA http://twitpic.com/9f49cx

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
Saeed Al Zarooni #Etisalat exec keynote interview session #LTE MENA http://twitpic.com/9f48in

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
#STC #LTE MENA keynote interview http://twitpic.com/9f47uu

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
Busy Exhibition #LTE MENA #Huawei http://twitpic.com/9f46qi

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
Conference room @ #LTE MENA day 1 http://twitpic.com/9f465d

LTE World Series ‏ @LTEWorldSeries
Speed networking at #LTE MENA http://twitpic.com/9f45e4

Matthew Reed ‏ @mattreed1
“We are strong believers in net neutrality”, as prioritising wld disadvantage small players that drive the net – Google’s Mourad#LTEMENA

Alexis Mikula ‏ @AlexisMikulaCom
Congratulation to #LTE MENA event team. Well oragnised event, full conference room & plenty of operators/OTT players to network with.

Jawad J. Abbassi ‏ @JawadAbbassi
Live from #ltemena ! Happy to share my presentation slides . Just tweet / email me. Follow me and get bonus slides! 🙂


LTE World Summit Speaker Interview – Orange

Jean-Pierre Bienaimé, is the senior vice president of strategy & communications for Orange and chairman of the UMTS Forum. Ahead of the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 at the CCIB, Barcelona, Spain, we caught up with him to get his views on the future of the mobile industry.

Orange has recently put down its LTE marker by pledging that it will bring LTE to Europe across the countries of France, Spain, Belgium, Luxemburg, Armenia, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. In light of the 2015 coverage date some have viewed the move as a little sluggish but Jean-Pierre Bienaimé, senior vice president of strategy & communications for Orange and chairman of the UMTS Forum, is keen to defend Orange’s here. “Orange’s philosophy has always been ‘not always first, but first time right, with the best quality of experience for the customer with the best coverage and terminals for the customers.”

Terminals. The availability of these is often the blight of the industry and it has been no different for LTE. However, Bienaimé is satisfied that it will not be a problem for Orange in Europe. “The terminal market has grown quicker than expected from one year ago, and probably the US launches have played a role as an accelerator for 4G. It has helped mature the ecosystem. I’m sure by December we will have some 30 smartphones that will have LTE capability. You’ll have also tablets, notebooks and within one year I’m sure this number will multiply. In Japan, DoComo has just announced two million LTE customers it will be also quick in the Japanese market.”

A bigger problem he believes is the spectrum situation, which, as chairman of the UMTS Forum has long been one of his concerns. “It has been our job for a long time in the UMTS forum to fight for frequency spectrum for mobile. We have been active at worldwide conferences with regard to the digital dividend and C band and also harmonisation.” The latter is directly tied into the success of the LTE eco-system he explains. “In the coming years, with the digital dividend at 700 and 800MHz we should have harmonised bands, so that there will be enough economy of scale.”

Bienaimé is looking forward to the launch of LTE, particularly in his native France. “In France we have just done the auction process at the end of the previous year, so as was in the case in Germany, at 800Mhz, mainly for rural, and 2.6GHz for urban areas.” He is also happy with the way the auction went for Orange. “[We] obtained the best compromise in terms of quantity of MHz and price – it was a good calculation. But I expect that there will be refarming of 1800MHz.”

This reflects what Orange is trying to do in the UK with its partnership with T-Mobile under the Everything Everywhere brand, a move that has raised the ire of its UK competitors and threatens to spill over into the courts. Naturally Bienaimé is hopeful it will happen. “In the UK it could be an advantage, before the other ones [operators]. It could be a good differentiator.”

One of the benefits of LTE over UMTS is that it is able to operate over a wide band of frequencies, but at the same time it is this that causes issues in terms of the lack of harmonisation. However, he is confident that technology will be able to overcome this. “We have seen encouraging signs at the recent Mobile World Congress with some interesting announcements in terms of LTE launches, particularly from chipset vendors: notably from Qualcomm who showed 3G/LTE multimode and multi-band chips, supporting 2G/3G/LTE with 14 LTE bands. So I think it’s quite encouraging.”
However, he still insists that that a combination of talented multi-frequency chipsets and limited spectrum fragmentation is what is required to encourage roaming.  “With LTE, more so than with previous generations, if you want to have international roaming you need to add several LTE bands, so you must have GSM, UMTS, CDMA2000 and LTE- both high and low frequencies.”

Most of the attention of roaming recently has been around cost issues, with the EU in particular recently making moves to lower these for consumers. On the costs issues Bienaimé comments that, “there are some discussions at European level for roaming trends in terms of tariffs and we will soon see the result of those discussions. We can say that for the customers it will be more and more interesting.”

What excites Bienaimé about LTE is its potential to transform connected devices of all types. “We think that at mobile broadband and consumer electronics are two worlds that will meet very rapidly. I don’t know if it will be the 50 billion connected devices predicted by Ericsson by 2020 – we more moderately predicted, in addition to traditional smartphones, one billion real consumer electronics devices by 2016.  These will be divided into four categories: home, portable, car and health. We foresee that broadband LTE will favour low latency activities such as real-time streaming, video conferencing and interactive gaming.”

M2M however will take a good while to enter the TLE fold he says. “Concerning the real traditional M2M, we will think it will come a bit later. Many M2M communications are happy with not such high-speed [connections], such as smart metering. But definitely for video, and in-car applications we are sure that LTE will accelerate the phenomenon. The promise of in-car entertainment and telematics will finally be fulfilled with new generation networks. One forecast has more than 200 million cars connected to mobile broadband networks by 2016.”

In his role at Orange, Bienaimé also has his eye on the wholesale market, and he believes that the limitations behind LTE spectrum will enable this business model to grow in France. “The limited bandwidth available for LTE will encourage networks sharing to develop. Concerning wholesale, there are interesting initiatives. We know that in the US Clearwire announced at MWC that it will move for LTE and LTE-A and will turn themselves to the wholesale model. I think we see a lot of development in this.”

Bienaimé focuses in on the case of Three entering the French market and putting price pressure on Orange, while at the same time using Orange for its network.“On the one hand, Orange’s consumer retail brand is challenged by the tariffs of Three mobile, but on the other hand Orange is earning some wholesale revenues. I think more and more we will see the appearance of these data MVNOs. I think the operators will have to look at new sources of growth, particularly in Europe where the growth rate is not the same as in emerging markets. In terms of new territories, data MNVO’s present new opportunities for the operators with strong partnerships”.

The LTE World Summit is taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain.

To download the event brochure click here

To register for your FREE exhibition visitor pass click here

LTE World Summit Speaker Interview – UK Broadband

Philip Marnick, CTO of UK Broadband is speaking at the LTE World Summit 2012, taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. UKB will be the first operator to launch a commercial LTE service in the UK. Ahead of the conference we speak to him about why UK Broadband’s extensive spectrum holdings and wholesale model will make it significant player in the UK LTE market.

Tell us a bit about UK Broadband and what are you about.

UK Broadband (UKB) is a subsidiary of PCCW Hong Kong. We are the largest holders of commercial spectrum in the UK with 124MHz of LTE spectrum in TDD bands 42 and 43 at 3.5GHz and 3.6GHz. We’ve got 6 x 20MHz channels there; which makes us one of the largest holders in the world. We have started to switch on our networks in London in Southwark on the South Bank and in Reading, where we are providing TD-LTE. We thought these were a good mix of buildings and customer demographic that could really show what this technology could deliver. We will offer commercial services in May of this year (2012).

How were you able to acquire that much spectrum?

We first acquired the spectrum in 2003, and we were able to gain some more in 2010 when we acquired another company. We’ve been offering WiMAX services in various parts of the country since 2003 and since then we’ve been doing lots of R&D for our parent company in Hong Kong because we had lot of spectrum here. We’ve been seeing how the technologies performed.

You’re operating LTE at different frequencies to the rest of Europe. Are you concerned about your eco-system?

We been recently established as part of the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) group to further enhance and push the ecosystem for 3.5/3.6. As you may know there is an awful lot of TD-LTE spectrum held across the world:  operators from Canada, in Europe the Middle East and Asia. Up until now it’s been used for WiMAX and various other things but now it’s part of the LTE bands which were put in release 10.

There’s now an emphasis to push forward [with TD-LTE] and we were the first to do it. We already have some devices here and we’re expecting mobile devices to come later this year. As we go into next year we’re expecting mobile phones too. We are expecting a MiFi device available to us in September of this year that will be commercially available. The MiFi device is quite interesting as it effectively enables people to get the full benefit of high speed broadband without having to change out all their devices. Most devices people have today have wifi in them, from cameras to computers, to tablets. The use of wifi means that they can use mobile services wherever they happen to be. It gives the people the ability to use almost any device they’ve got and use it on a 4G network.

What will be the primary customers for your network?

That’s one of the things that we’re looking to do so to make sure that we can offer wholesale services to [operators, so] when they have got capacity hotspots, [they can] offload traffic to us. One of the devices we have is a home modem device – a fixed line replacement. In London I think its 1.5million people who don’t use fixed line broadband but use broadband at home by other means. There’s students, those who come to the UK for a short time, and don’t want to pay for fixed broadband. There will be customers available through a variety of channels. [The first announced is its deal with Swindon council]. And one the things we could offer them are home broadband services provided by very, very high-speed mobile. And the speeds we’re achieving are higher than you’ll get from your typical ADSL2 line.

What sorts of speeds are you seeing?

The system can connect at up to 100Mb/s and that’s the sorts of things that you see in marketing. In reality, when we’ve been testing in buildings we’re seeing speeds of 50Mb/s. On drive tests we’re sustaining average speeds of over 30Mb/s across the cell.

How are you achieving these speeds compared to the US operators operating on lower frequencies?

In the real world they’ve not actually got much spectrum. They are using 10Mz channels, whereas I’m using 20MHz channels. And my cell sites are actually using 20MHz per sector. So each of my cell sites is actually using three 20MHz channels. Other operators have interference issues or other limitations with regard to spectrum, but because of the amount of spectrum we have we can deliver these sorts of speeds.

So what you’re saying amount of spectrum rather frequency is more important

As data demand increases the effective size of the cell site decreases anyway. If you look in places like London cells are going to have to be smaller. For indoor penetration yes, low frequencies are very good but when you get smaller cell sites the higher frequencies are actually no disadvantage. And in fact, if you want to have fewer interference issues with their neighbours, you’ll get more out of higher frequencies. It is really enabling us to deliver the sort of promise that people talk about for LTE Advanced. Effectively LTE Advanced is using 20MHz channels, which is effectively what we’re doing.

Why have the big four operators not gone for TD-LTE spectrum?

Most operators are based on voice networks so they’ve gone for FDD. But in a world of data people will always download more than they upload. We’re going to see ratios of 9:1 which is where TDD will come into its own. I think the world is in a transition phase where we’re moving from a voice world into a voice of data. You’ll see both TDD and FDD being used to service the markets that they are most appropriate for. For me, it’s about designing networks for tomorrow, not yesterday’s network. We have to design networks that are designed for data, not for voice.

Why do you feel your wholesale model will be successful?

We are moving into a world where people need to collaborate. If you look at the forecasts, data is growing rapidly. Ofcom has suggested by 2016 the UK will have spectrum limits even after the auction. So there’s a requirement to use more spectrum bands to deliver what they customers are starting to expect; and that is high speed [mobile broadband]. We are moving to a world that when you are moving from inside to outside, wherever you happen to be, there has to be the capacity to be able to deliver the user experience that people have come to expect.

What’s your view on unlimited data and bandwidth caps?

What we need to do is deliver package that meets user expectations and does not make them feel uncomfortable using data. The problem today is that a lot of users feel that if they use too much it costs them too much. We’ve been pushing for years for people to start using data and now we’re saying, please don’t use so much of it – it’s seems a bit odd doesn’t it. For us it will be a case of optimising the packages as they go along, making sure that the price is right for the data usage.

The LTE World Summit is taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain.

To download the event brochure click here

To register for your FREE exhibition visitor pass click here

iPad 3 still not 4G UK punters discover

Why does everything in the UK take so long? We have the worst trains, the slowest 3G and as we should know by now, no ‘4G’ of any kind at all – at the moment. We even take longer than everyone to complain. Yet, isn’t that what we’re good at? Let me explain.

Soon after the new iPad was released I pointed out that though it was heavily pushed by Apple as ‘4G’, the LTE frequencies supported meant that it would only work on ‘4G’ networks in the US and Canada.

A few days, and a lot of iPad sales later, some Australian purchasers of said new iPad realised this and when they realised they’d been sold a 4G pup got rather irate. (Australia does have a ‘4G’ LTE network with Telstra, but it operates at 1800MHz – the iPad + 4G does not). Cue throwing of iPad’s on barbies and hurling abuse via the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), actions that have led to refunds.

It’s taken quite a while, but the UK has finally woken up to the same fact, and as Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC Technology journalist explains, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has also received some complaints. Only 40 of them though, which considering it sold three million in three days, doesn’t seem that many.

Of course, as the UK doesn’t have any live LTE ‘4G’ networks the issue isn’t as acute as in Australia, though in fact, as you can tell from this Which? conversation page, I was asked to contribute to, many UK punters thought that if Apple was selling a 4G iPad, there must be a 4G network.

At first I thought that this was as silly as the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, who famously thought that if you can’t see it, it couldn’t see you.

Then again, that’s probably a bit harsh. For punters who don’t want, or don’t care to pay attention to the finer details of mobile broadband technology, it’s not an totally unreasonable assumption to make. (Clearly, Joe Bloggs should be paying more attention to the finer details of mobile broadband technology).

Even for those that do know that the UK doesn’t have LTE now, the information that it won’t support the UK’s LTE  when it comes online next year, comes very much as news to them.

It’s a problem.

As such, it seems that Apple has promised to remove all references to 4G from the UK website – though as it stands, they are still there.

It’s a 4G quagmire out there.

On the upside, it’s stopped raining here in London. It’s not all bad.

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