Bernard HL Lee, R&D Director, SENKO Advanced Components and vice president, FTTH Council APAC is taking part in a panel discussion on effectively commercialising LTE Networks through policy control on Day One of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we get a few of this thoughts on the importance of policy control systems and whether fibre is a necessity for backhaul.
To what extent are policy control systems essential for enabling operators to offer points of differentiation?
In order to encourage operators to offer points of differentiation to the end consumers there need to be fair and healthy competition in the market. The policy control system should therefore encourage fair competition and opportunities for new and ‘innovative’ operators into the market place. One such policy that has been widely adopted is the common trenching or shared infrastructure policy by regulators or government, which not only lower the barrier for new operators to offer their services but also assist in proper and managed civil infrastructure planning and deployment.
Are network control systems effective enough to create QoS tiers that will enable customer choice between price and performance; and if so, is this sensible idea?
The answer is definitely ‘yes’ if one is referring to priority tiers, which has been a common practice in all types of communication services. Nevertheless, it would be more difficult if one is referring to a performance tiering system in terms of throughput, latency or packet loss since, unlike wired networks, the performance of wireless networks could be more susceptible to external interference and environmental conditions such as EMC, building structures and maybe coverage/range from the transceiver.
From a FTTH Council perspective, is fibre for backhaul an essential part of any LTE deployment?
Most definitely it is, if one is to exploit the advantages of 4G wireless communications. With the increase of multimedia services running over 4G systems, the strain is now at the backhaul links. Although point-to-point wireless backhaul is still being considered, the migration to fibre is inevitable. The question is therefore just a question of ‘when’. In Malaysia, the regulator (MCMC) has even mandated that all 4G LTE base stations must be fed by a fibre backhaul as a pre-requisite for any BTS applications.
Does a fibre backhaul roll-out pave the wall for full FTTH?
I think that they are both complementary, where fibre backhaul and FTTH is in fact a single and identical network. Both 4G wireless and FTTH are just applications that ride on the same fibre infrastructure. We have seen FTTH networks that paved the way for wireless fibre backhaul and also vice versa.
What is the key reason for attending the LTE Asia conference?
It is mainly for the exchange of ideas and knowledge and also I hope to encourage the adoption of FTTH as ‘the’ next generation backhaul technology.