Kerstin Günther is SVP Technology Europe for Deutsche Telekom. To hear her deliver more insights, come to the LTE World Summit, which is taking place on the 23 – 25 June 2014, at the RAI, Amsterdam. Hear her take part in a panel discussion with other leading CTOs discussing network innovations such as NFV and 5G.
What sort of changes have you seen on the network in terms of usage since you launched LTE?
When LTE networks were initially launched, the main target was to provide higher data throughput compared to HSPA+. At that point, initial bit rates were 75Mbps on the downlink with 10MHz channel spacing. Gradually, LTE networks have been upgraded to LTE+ providing 150Mbps downlink bit-rates, while last year we have seen the first introduction of carrier aggregation technologies with maximum downlink bitrates around 300Mbps and this year DTAG Group demonstrated in a live environment the introduction of 600Mbps downlink over-the-air achieving 580Mbps downlink bit-rate. Of course, the relevant terminal evolution is essential for the end-user to take advantage of this enhanced throughput.
What are the next steps you are focusing on in terms of network development and what impact will these steps have on your customers?
We are continuously investing in upgrading our LTE networks towards LTE-A and in this way we will provide our customers an enhanced user experience with adequate capacity to fulfill their needs. DT Group will keep investing to enhance bit-rates and increase the quality of experience to our customers. We are introducing LTE-A technology in the network and we are expanding LTE networks. Our target is leadership in all countries that DT is present in Europe.
How is cloud computing transforming your business?
Cloud computing is a key technology enabling a revolution in how we plan, build and operate our networks. The whole work on network function virtualization is built on this. Deutsche Telekom strongly believes in the benefits of NFV, therefore we are strongly pushing it forward. We expect it to deliver drastically improved flexibility, agility and time-to- market, with major operational simplifications as well as an extended supplier landscape.
How can you ensure network robustness to deliver on the promise of cloud computing?
Delivering the best possible customer experience continues to be at the top of DT’s agenda. Changing the way we ‘plan-build-operate’ our networks must not degrade this in any way. In the past a lot of proprietary, expensive hardware formed a key part of the overall solution, ensuring this high quality and availability. Standard commercial off-the-shelf hardware (COTS HW), as will be used in data-centres obviously will not have these special hardware functions and adding such functionality to COTS HW seems not to be an option. Nevertheless, we expect that the customer experience will stay at least at the same level as today. This has to be ensured by appropriate design of software components, utilising all the new possibilities and capabilities enabled by the infrastructure cloud platform. Most likely this requires a rather fundamental re-design of software components currently used together with legacy proprietary hardware. We call this “making the virtualized network functions cloud-ready”.
What is the biggest challenge you think you’ll face for the rest of 2014?
I would say setting up the scene for implementation of the pan-European IP approach within the EU footprint.
What are you most looking forward to with regard to the LTE World Summit?
It’s all about the networking!
The 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.