Ali Tahmasebi, IP Transmission Senior Manager, MobinNet is speaking on mobile broadband strategies on Day One of the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 13th-14th May 2013 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show he tells us more about the pressures on networks and how LTE is helping operators deal with the traffic growth.
Most markets have seen exponential data traffic growth. What are the patterns you are seeing in your region?
The mobile broadband networks in the region have continued to explode and traffic has increased exponentially. This increase has been related to an increasing number of broadband users and their demand for high-speed services due to a proliferation of end-user devices such as tablets.
The enabling factor has been the broadband technologies that have evolved to address the exploding amount of data traffic. This has been through several means such as improved spectral efficiency and enhancements such as dual-carrier, MIMO and smart antennas that have increased the number of bits per second and Hertz, of which LTE is the most impressive example.
As the Middle-East’s largest WiMax operator, here in MobinNet, the traffic pattern has increase exponentially as well. Fortunately the traffic-speed slope has increased a bit more than that of traffic volume.
What steps can operators take to mitigate the effect of ‘chatty apps’ placing too much signaling pressure on a network?
Today, mobile broadband is a foundation not only of how people work but how they live – they communicate in a mobile oriented world. As the many different types of smartphone are increasing daily, the impact of ‘chatty apps’ is becoming ever more evident.
One of the way to resolve this to offload through wifi networks in order to route data traffic directly to the internet without passing through the mobile operator’s network. Considerations have to be made to address pricing and charging issues for this such as a flat/fixed monthly rate.
What are the challenges around maintaining customer satisfaction under increasing pressure on the network?
Customer satisfaction is a core concept and in a very competitive market it is one of the key areas of focus for mobile operators. The main parameters in this regard are users’ connection speeds, network performance and availability and pricing methods. Multiple access technology in the network, wifi offload, flexible quality of service (QoS) and policy based charging are the methods to deliver the desired service to the end users.
Despite the growth and opportunity around data, will monetisation of LTE be difficult?
I don’t believe it will be difficult; it is feasible. We have enough experience on mobile broadband networks such as 3G and WiMax and with its features such as flat architecture and spectral efficiency LTE has further decreased the overall cost for operators to deliver data.
How are you going about predicting what is required in terms of network expansion over the next 2-5 years.
Trends show mobile broadband traffic increasing at an exponential pattern in both traffic speed and traffic volume. From a technical and commercial point of view it is possible to calculate and predict the slope of the traffic growth curve for the next 2-3 years. The existing 3G networks will adopt with the latest HSPA+ release to enable users to enjoy high-speed services. Most operators are looking to trace in detail the success story of the big operators that have already deployed LTE. Wifi offload and roll-out more new sites play the main role during this transition time.
In terms of backhaul the aim is to provide more flexibility in order to handle the surge of data traffic generated by HSPA+/ LTE networks. As such it is necessary to define a hierarchical topology including access, hub and metro sites. The backhaul dimensioning should be based on the theoretical peak data rate of access technologies and consider statistical multiplexing in aggregation nodes. As a deployment scenario, the main backbone connections and backhaul to backbone interfaces should be 10G ports. The backhaul will also depend on the location of the sites.
The LTE MENA conference is taking place on the 13th-14th May 2013 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, UAE. Click here to find out more about the event