Eduardo Duran, Head Innovation and Trends,ENTEL, Chile, is speaking on Day Two of the LTE LATAM conference, taking place on the 16th-17th April 2013 at the Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the latest LTE developments in the region and the difference LTE will make to its customers.
What major developments have there been with regards to the LTE industry in your region this past year?
The most important development has been the allocation of new frequency bands in the region, such as the 2.6GHz band and the future allocation of the 700 MHz band as part of the Tele Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) band plan. In Chile, the official journal of the technical standard for the 700 MHz band was published in February 2013, and the basis for the LTE auction will complete mid-2013. This will be welcome, as the exponential growth of mobile users in Chile will require the advent of new technologies such as LTE.
What effect can LTE have on the customer experience?
The low latency of LTE along with QoS management and speed make LTE key to the business sectors and enterprise. It enables a new range of high-speed mobile services that require QoS management with low latency, such as real-time video, video surveillance and M2M.
Where do small cells fit into your plans, and what benefits will they bring to you and to customers?
From a technological perspective, small cells are necessary to cover densely populated areas where data capacity is critical and where we are spectrum restricted, such as areas where we will only have access to the 2.6GHz band. Small cells can also open a lot of opportunities for high accuracy applications, such as location-based services.
The most important reasons to deploy small cells are to provide
• Increased coverage (indoor coverage)
• Fill-in coverage for areas of high-traffic
• Network off-load
LTE and smartphones make for a powerful combination. What new opportunities and innovations do you foresee in the next few years?
Further enhanced LTE mobile connectivity will not only provide more speed but also QoS and low latency. There will be an explosion of mobile connectivity not only in the number of people using devices, but also by “things” – [M2M]. The development of IPv6 will generate significant opportunities associated with mobility. An additional innovation that I think will gain traction in the next few years is that you will be able to use your smartphone as a secure and safe means of payment.
Is the raw speed of LTE enough to attract new customers or are value added services necessary to make packages attractive?
Definitely speed is not enough. In fact, speed itself has no intrinsic value to the user – it is the applications that create value around speed.
The LTE Latin America conference is taking place on the 16th-17th April 2013 Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Click here to find out more about the event.