Archive for May, 2015

Bringing Accurate Synchronization to Small Cell Backhaul

This guest post was written by Alon Geva,Timing & Synchronization Expert, CTO Office, RAD Member of the ITU-T SG15/Q13 Sync Standardization Group

This guest post was written by Alon Geva,Timing & Synchronization Expert, CTO Office, RAD & Member of the ITU-T SG15/Q13 Sync Standardization Group

Delivering sub-microsecond time accuracy to the cellular base stations is one of the major challenges facing cellular providers as they deploy their new LTE networks. This is exacerbated by LTE-A’s stringent synchronization requirements and the growing use of small cells in 4G networks, which create unique challenges in the backhaul segment.

Before the debut of 4G, the standard way to deliver a time reference was to install a Global Navigation Satellite System, or GNSS (e.g., GPS) at every cell site. A GNSS receiver is usually referred to as a Primary Reference Time Clock (PRTC). This approach is impractical in 4G, however, given the far greater number of cell sites, the intended indoor location of part of the antennas (e.g. shopping malls), as well as the growing concern about possible jamming and spoofing. Furthermore, considerations of CapEx and OpEx render this approach highly ineffective.

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Visualise your mobile sites, grow your network

This guest blog was written by Christain Knitterscheidt, Head of Product Management at Tarantula Global

This guest blog was written by Christian Knitterscheidt, Head of Product Management at Tarantula Global

The biggest driving factor for telecom operators is the ever increasing consumer demand for and faster data speeds from their mobile devices. This expansion of mobile usage presents a major growth opportunity to achieve greater revenue for telecom operators. However, this also means finding and securing a variety of sites and installing and managing complex combinations of equipment at these mobile sites.

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Quick-fire Interview with Lee Lin Liew, Senior Manager LE Mobile Pre & Post-Paid Marketing, Du

What do you see as the biggest opportunities to increase revenues from LTE in 2015?

Indoor LTE, VoLTE, M2M and Enterprise.

What are the new services that you think will bring the greatest revenue increases to the operator?

Enterprise market, M2M/IoT and Location based services.

How has the customer experience on LTE improved in the last 12 months? What effect is this having on subscriber numbers?

We have migrated customers from UMTS to LTE which resulted quite some MBB traffic offload to LTE. This translates to improved experience with higher throughput, lower latency and better quality of service.

How do you think Virtualisation can improve the LTE network? Are you planning to invest in such technologies?

I see virtualization as a potential network optimization. It will not only bring financial benefits but also time to market will be greatly reduced. We are already working on incorporating this technology.

What is your opinion on 5G? Is it something you are already beginning to think about at du?

To my understanding, there’s no consensus on air interface, architecture etc. within 3GPP at this point. Different players have different approaches. Having said that, I’m looking forward to the 3GPP’s announcement on Rel13& R14 technologies within this month. As an operator, we are always up to date about the progress of 5G and work very closely with vendors to ensure we are ready for this transition.

Learn more from Du and 150+ opreator companies at this year’s LTE World Summit 2015.

Speaker Interview – Nemanja Ognjanovic, Manager of Network and Services Planning Department at Telekom Srbija

Nemanja Ognjanovic, Manager of Network and Services Planning Department at Telekom Srbija

Nemanja Ognjanovic, Manager of Network and Services Planning Department at Telekom Srbija

Ahead of the LTE World Summit next month I spoke with Nemanja Ognjanovic, Manager of Network and Services Planning Department at Telekom Srbija and one of our Operator Mindshare Leaders at the show. Nemanja told me how Telekom Srbija are innovating their network to handle the increasing demand in capacity today, and as they begin the evolution towards 5G.

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Exclusive Interview: VoLTE is Here but What is next?- Pierre-Francois Dubois, VP at Orange

Voice over LTE Is becoming a reality for most leading operators, but what is next?

Here is what Pierre-Francois, VP of Product Development from Orange say’s in an exclusive interview:

Pierre-Francois Dubois          1. As we approach commercial launch, is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly compete or just complement OTT services?

Customers expect voice to come with network access and for 800MHz frequency bands, circuit switch fall back is not always available. VoLTE solves this problem. It also provides customers with a better experience (better quality, lower call set up time, less drop calls…). We don’t plan any “commercial launch” for VoLTE as it is not a new service, but we’ll probably communicate when we’ll have enough positive customers’ feedback, as we often do when we improve the quality of our network.

On the opposite we plan a real commercial launch in each country  where VoWiFi is implemented as it solves quite an old issue for some customers who have no GSM coverage at home. We know that being able to make and receive mobile calls at home is a strong expectation and customers may switch to another MNO  who provides them with a better coverage.

As long as nearly 100% of customers expect MNOs to provide them with a native and unlimited voice service, I don’t see VoLTE and OTT services competing. Both services will coexist as people communicate more and more through different media.

  1. Can we expect to see new and innovative services built on top of plain audio VoLTE?

Once VoLTE and VoWiFi are rolled out, we’ll be able to launch Enriched Calling, leveraging our investment in RCS. VoLTE is not necessary to launch Enriched Calling as it also works on Circuit Switch, but as we want to secure a full native experience, and not only rely on apps, we decided that EC would come after VoLTE. We are also considering Video over LTE as it is well standardized.

  1. What is the future, beyond VoLTE? What are the next steps in network development?

IMS/RCS/VoLTE plus additional services like Enriched Calling will take some time to be rolled out across our footprint and interconnected between MNOs. As investments are high, our main challenge in the network, will be to identify how to deliver a roadmap, which is today clear enough, as quickly as possible while removing unnecessary costs. As we operate in AMEA, this is a critical question for some of our affiliates where ARPU is low.

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5G Requirements- A view from Mikio Iwamura, Director NTT DoCoMo & NGMN Work Stream lead

Ahead of the 5G World Summit 2015, taking place on 24-25th June in Amsterdam, Mikio Iwamura, Director NTT DoCoMo & NGMN Work Stream lead, gives us his current views on the requirements of 5G networks and the services enabled by it!

Here is what Mikio says  ““5G” seems to encompass different aspects and you will probably get ten different answers if you talk to ten different people. “5G” is a convenient term and everyone wants to talk about it, but after all, it will just be a marketing term. Companies will use the term “5G” to encompass whatever they want to call “5G” when the time comes.

I think it is about time the industry needs to define concrete terms that represent different components of “5G”. For example, 3GPP will need to define a term that represents a new radio access technology, that will potentially have access to the IMT-2020 spectrum, once approved by ITU-R. This will be a 5G equivalent of “LTE” or “E-UTRA/ E-UTRAN”. 3GPP may also need to think what they will call LTE enhancements, beyond Rel-13. Another aspect is the future core network. Including NGMN, various consortia and companies are promoting the “network slicing” concept, that brings along more cost efficient and agile ways of provisioning services with disparate requirements by use of NFV and SDN technologies. The industry will need a new name to address the system that has this capability. This will be like “EPC” or “EPS”, but I think “packet” will not be the keyword here. Something along the lines of “poly-morphic system” seems to better describe the concept.

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LTE – A Step towards the Future

Guest post written by Tarek Saadi, Vice President and Head of Sales, Ericsson Region Middle East and East Africa, Ericsson

Mobile operators around the world are implementing Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in order to support their existing 3G networks and offer uninterrupted mobile broadband services to their customers. According to Ericsson’s Mobility Report 2014 there were approximately 500 million mobile subscriptions to LTE, this is estimated to increase to 3.1 billion by 2020, globally. HSPA/GSM will continue to play an important role in providing complementary coverage in all markets, in addition to LTE which will be available in all regions.

The number of mobile subscriptions is growing globally, increasing by 6.9 billion in Q3 2014 alone, 375 million of this increase can be attributed to the Middle East (109% penetration). One of the main reasons for the rapid growth in smartphone subscriptions is that subscribers in the Middle East and Africa are exchanging their basic phones for smartphones. This is partly due to the increased availability of lower cost smartphones. At the end of 2014, mobile subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa were mainly GSM/EDGE only; however, with the rapid global growth of LTE, it is predicted that by 2020 85% of Middle East and Africa mobile subscriptions will be 3G/4G.

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How to get a Net Promoter Score for all your subscribers

This guest blog post was written by Matthew Tworney, Head of Product Marketing, IBM Now Factory, IBM

NPS (Net Promoter Score) as a concept started in 2003. It was developed by Fred Reicheld as part of Bain and Company and Sametrix, and now is a registered trademark. After initial adoption, the main reason why NPS became so important is that it has, in many studies, been directly correlated with business growth. If satisfaction among using services is improved, then revenue grows, which of course makes intuitive sense.

A key difference between Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) indexes and NPS is the way that the questions are phrased. CSAT scores tend to work on questions such as “how do you feel now about the service you just had?” This question is good for judging how satisfaction for services varies over short time periods—think of satisfaction cards in restaurants that people fill out. However, NPS bridges a gap in which NPS looks at how the subscriber feels holistically about the service. This approach is a broader metric to identify those who are happy, those who are thinking of leaving and those who may not do business with you again.

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