Nima PourNejatian, CTO, MobinNet, Iran is speaking on Day One of the inaugural TD-LTE Summit taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him on the subject of what advantages TD-LTE brings to operators and what MobinNet’s plans are for the technology.
What have been the latest developments in terms of TD-LTE in your region?
There are two major operators in the region which employ WiMAX broadband technology. In order to plan a reasonable migration from WiMAX to a more advanced technology, both operators are going to secure an LTE license. As one of the two major WiMAX operators and the only nationwide wireless broadband provider, MobinNet is going to apply for TD-LTE. The other operator may select the same path. Moreover, recently the WiMAX Forum announced an updated industry roadmap supporting the continued evolution of the WiMAX ecosystem. The WiMAX Forum embraces a network evolution path to accommodate harmonisation and coexistence across multiple broadband wireless access technologies within a WiMAX Advanced network. Therefore, MobinNet’s plan is compliant with the WiMAX Forum’s roadmap.
Why do you believe the TD-LTE is a better choice for delivering mobile data than FDD LTE?
According to my personal experience working with both FDD and TDD technologies TDD deliver higher throughput per sector. This makes for a better user experience for data services and increases the capacity per base station, which lowers investment costs. Therefore TD-LTE is a better choice for delivering mobile data than FDD LTE.
Is the release of an iPhone that supports TD-LTE critical for the long term success of the technology?
It will definitely help but I would prefer the release of a device that is less voice centric. iPad users usually consume more data bandwidth than those of iPhone so perhaps a new iPad/iPod would be more helpful.
Some reports suggest that TD-LTE will account for 23 per cent of all LTE users by 2016. What has been difference this time between TD-LTE and previous time-division telecom technology flavours? (WiMAX and TD-SCDMA)
Firstly, data traffic demand now is not comparable with that of three or five years ago. This motivates more investment in TDD technologies. Secondly, nowadays spectrum is more congested, which means that the remaining spectrum must be used as efficiently as possible. Also the global minutes of voice services per user is decreasing. As a result, by selecting TDD technology, operators can utilise spectrum more efficiently, while addressing the demands of today’s customers. Thirdly, vendors production rates for TD-LTE equipment is much higher that older TDD technologies. This will help to keep prices low and consequently more TD-LTE networks will be built.
Are you concerned by increasing amounts of wifi offload reducing the need for TD-LTE?
One of the main motivations of wifi offload for users is to lower their costs. The severity of this threat for FDD LTE is higher than that of TD-LTE. Price per megabyte in TD-LTE is inherently cheaper than that in FDD LTE.
Does TD-LTE offer up any specific challenges around backhaul?
It depends on the type of the backhaul network. Any broadband service provider which holds a classic microwave backhaul network will suffer from the booming data traffic phenomena. It is expected a TD-LTE operator will need to carry heavy traffic over its microwave backhaul network. If that comes true, microwave backhaul will be a challenge.
What plans do you have for carrier aggregation?
Carrier aggregation depends on the frequency band and available bandwidth. Considering our spectrum limitations, we are not able to activate the intra-band contiguous or non-contiguous carrier aggregation.
What would you say to any operators considering the move to TD-LTE?
To select a technology, the availability of user terminals is the key decision factor. I suggest that operators first check the forecast of production rates of terminals per technology and for each frequency band.
Nima PourNejatian, CTO, MobinNet, Iran is speaking on the subject of “WiMAX to TD-LTE Migration: How and When?” on Day one of the inaugural TD-LTE Summit taking place 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure