Adnan Imtiaz Halim, the head of the Radio Access Network for Qubee, Bangladesh, is speaking on Day One of the 2nd annual TD-LTE Summit is taking place on the 8th-9th April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Here we find out about the major challenges facing an operator trying to transition from WiMAX to LTE.
In what time-scale will it become absolutely necessary for you to have transitioned to LTE?
It has already become important to migrate to LTE but it will be mandatory by 2015 as the WiMAX eco-system will be broken up. Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) will not be available from the manufacturers and equipment vendors have already issued WiMAX product EOM notices.
Are you excited by the prospects of the TD-LTE eco-system?
Yes, obviously excited but it’s been delaying in meeting our threshold over time. However, we still believe that the exponential growth rate of TD-LTE that we are currently observing will push itself to the right track by end of this year.
What are the major topics that you feel will dominate the TD-LTE agenda in 2014?
I believe, the transition between WiMAX and LTE, and the eco-system development will be the major topics but few other topics might pop up as important, i.e. the readiness of LTE Advanced, Voice over TD-LTE, TD-LTE vs. FDD-LTE etc.
What are the main challenges of transitioning between WiMAX and TD-LTE?
The major challenge is terminal (UE) price. It has to be reduced faster and significantly to make our business case feasible, especially for the countries like us in South Asian region.
Apart from this, the transition process is another big challenge for us as we don’t have any additional spectrum. If we swap WiMAX for LTE directly, then we have to heavily subsidise the terminal costs. Or as an alternative, we can activate dual-mode solutions (the co-existence of WiMAX and TD-LTE by sharing spectrum) during the transition period, so that consumers can migrate smoothly, but this solution is not mature enough and only very few vendors could support this. Moreover, enabling dual mode will significantly reduce cell capacity.
The 2nd annual TD-LTE Summit is taking place on the 8th-9th April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure.
As a data-only player currently, could VoLTE be part of your proposition in future?
No, we are not thinking about VoLTE for next few years. We have a license agreement with the regulator for voice over IP service but not VoLTE, but we will continue to provide VoIP and might active CSFB with one of the existing voice operators in the near feature.
Why is the TD-LTE conference an important date in your diary?
This is the only place where we meet with others having the same goal. This summit will help us to learn more about this new technology, to tune our business case to make it more viable. Moreover, we get touch with a good number of case studies, which will help us to handle the upcoming challenges and finally it’s inspire us all to keep continuing our journey and to come again at next year.