Patrick Urgento, Senior Systems Engineer, Sprint

Patrick Urgento, Senior Systems Engineer, Sprint

Patrick Urgento, Senior Systems Engineer, Sprint is speaking in the “Future of LTE” track on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how its progressing with deploying LTE at three frequencies at once. 

What are the biggest challenges involved in integrating the Clearwire TD-LTE spectrum you recently acquired with Sprint’s existing LTE network?

There really hasn’t been a major challenge with Integrating Clearwire’s spectrum.  Before the acquisition, there was a plan in to integrate more than 5000 Clearwire TD-LTE sites by the end of the year, and that is on track to be completed. We are in the process of selecting several thousand more Clearwire sites for the first half of 2014. Clearwire had done an amazing job operating a low cost network and we have been working on interoperability with Clearwire site vendors and Sprint EPC core vendors for a while.  As these sites come online and customers access them, we expect they can see speeds in the tens of Mbps.

You have LTE spectrum at high, medium and low frequencies. Will all three be available in all territories and if not, how to you make the decision as to what to deploy?

1900MHz is our base LTE frequency and we plan on deploying 1900MHz LTE across the whole of the Network Vision Network. We have started to deploy 800MHz LTE and will initially focus on capacity strained markets where Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) service re-banding is complete. 2500MHz TD-LTE has also started deployment and will focus on high-density usage areas. The long term goal is to cover the majority of the network with wide channel TD-LTE, however it doesn’t make sense to put 2500 MHz in low density areas as two LTE frequencies will provide more than adequate throughput and capacity.

The LTE North America conference is taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Click here NOW to download a brochure for the event.

With so much radio spectrum coming online to what extent is providing adequate backhaul a challenge?

We are currently deploying Ethernet at our LTE sites and it has the scalability to grow as LTE spectrum gets added to our Network Vision sites. We are deploying Microwave Ethernet for the sites that cannot get fibre. Clearwire has years of experience at this as the majority of its sites are using Microwave Backhaul.

There are many buzzwords flying around such as NFV, SDN and small cells. To what extent will they play a part in your network deployment?

NFV and SDN are being evaluated today as a way to lower our operating costs.  A major point of our Network Vision upgrade was to lower our operating costs and if there is technology that can do that we will most likely adopt it.  We expect that small cells will be key to 2500MHz network densification.  Eventually we want most of customers on that frequency where it is deployed due to its capacity and anticipated throughput advantages over our competitors.

What is your timescale for implementing LTE-Advanced?

Sprint and Clearwire have been deploying LTE-Advanced ready equipment through out our deployments. We anticipate Intra-band Carrier Aggregation to be certified on Band Class 41 soon, which will enable us to combine two or more 20MHz channels depending on market licences.

How important a date in the diary is the LTE North America conference?

LTE North America is important to Sprint as it is our chance to let our customers and the world, know we are working hard toward our goal to create the world’s best LTE network.

The LTE North America conference is taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Click here NOW to download a brochure for the event.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: