Archive for the ‘Global’ Category

The Most Important LTE Markets in the World…

The pocket sized Bolt! streams 4G to smartphones, tablets or laptops – making high speed LTE accessible on the move.

The pocket sized Bolt! streams 4G to smartphones, tablets or laptops – making high speed LTE accessible on the move.

The emerging markets of Asia (EMAP) could soon be the most important LTE markets in the World.

All eyes are on the emerging markets of Asia Pacific; countries including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam among others, as they begin to deploy and expand their LTE networks.

Studies show that EMAP is set to outstrip the developing markets of Asia Pacific (Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia) in terms of LTE subscribers by 2017, creating a tremendous opportunity for LTE players across the region. As demand grows, users will require connectivity throughout the region, meaning more complex networks, better service and competitive rates across the board. (more…)

Indoor Mobile Locationing: Beyond Pick and Pay

This guest post was written by Ofer Talmor, VP Products, Saguna

Ofer Talmor, VP Products, Saguna

Ofer Talmor, VP Products, Saguna

With the high usage of mobile devices in almost every aspect of our lives, mobile retail revenue stats are hardly a surprise: In Q1 of 2014, retail revenue generated via a mobile device was up 35 percent over first quarter of last year, with mobile owning 13.7 per cent of total e-commerce orders in Q1 2013 compared to 18.5 percent during the first quarter of this year.

But while a lot of data is aggregated about online shopping habits, a big piece of the puzzle is still missing – how do you track brick and mortar customers to identify the optimal point of conversion in-store? How can you identify when a shopper walks in the store, and offer him the best retail experience?  Can the experience that can be amplified by mobile usage?

At the same time, the human need to ‘touch the merchandise’ is still a dominant one. So is the desire to get it immediately, rather than browse online, and wait Combining mobile and in-store engagement for retail success

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Enriching the LTE Experience in Qatar – Interview with Ooredoo Qatar’s Cody Postier

Cody Postier, Senior Manager Mobile Data Services, Ooredoo

Cody Postier, Senior Manager Mobile Data Services, Ooredoo

Ooredoo is working hard to build bigger, faster networks across all their markets and in particular in their home market of Qatar. Ahead of the LTE MENA conference in Dubai, we caught up with Cody Carver Postier, Senior Manager Mobile Data Services at Ooredoo Qatar to find out how Ooredoo’s LTE networks will be enriching the lives of their consumers in 2015 and beyond.

“We’re giving them access to the best content and apps, providing the fastest upload and download times” he said “We believe the key to encouraging customers is to introduce new devices, offer incentives to upgrade and to make it as easy as possible for customers to move to 4G.”

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LTE Deployments in Emerging Markets – Interview with Marc Zirka, Head of Corporate Strategy, Bakcell

Marc Zirka, Head of Corporate Strategy, Bakcell

Marc Zirka, Head of Corporate Strategy, Bakcell

Some of the discussions at LTE MENA 2015 will examine the challenges of deploying LTE in the emerging markets in the region. One of the key questions at the event will be what does it take to rollout a successful commercial LTE network?

To help us understand the challenges of LTE rollout, we caught up with keynote speaker Marc Zirka, Head of Corporate Strategy at Bakcell, ahead of their commercial LTE launch. He gave us a breakdown of the challenges they faced preparing to deploy their network and key insights into the strategy and thought process behind their decision to deploy LTE.

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The Promise of Voice over LTE: Overcoming Today’s Challenges

Femi Adeyemi, PhD LTE Solutions Architect, Fujitsu Network Communications

Femi Adeyemi, PhD
LTE Solutions Architect, Fujitsu Network Communications

This post was written by Dr. Femi Adeyemi, LTE Solutions Architect at Fujitsu Network Communications

 

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is considered by many to be a revolutionary application, for both mobile operators and their subscribers:  Operators, once they establish VoLTE networks, will no longer have to maintain separate networks—circuit-switched for voice and packet-switched for data. As a result, they will see savings in both operational and capital expenses.  Subscribers who use VoLTE will be able to use high quality voice and data applications simultaneously, while enjoying greater clarity in voice calls.

However, VoLTE deployment has been slower than anticipated due to several challenges…

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Why do you need a Diameter Routing Agent in a VoLTE deployment? (Part II)

This is Part II of Peter Nas’ Blog Entry: Other DRA added-value in VoLTE

There’s additional value to the fundamental session binding functionality of a DRA. A DRA can enable optimal call management ensuring higher quality-of-service VoLTE calls. For instance, think of all the different vendors’ equipment that is needed to exchange Diameter Gx and Rx signaling. One example is when the LTE PGW has a different Gx implementation than the PCRF. In turn that PCRF can have a different Diameter Rx implementation than the IMS’s P-CSCF node. Typically inside an operator’s network, there will be various vendors for LTE, PCRF and IMS core network elements. And this is the norm in roaming use cases where the visited LTE network is out of control (meaning a different vendor) than the home IMS network, where the P-CSCF (and other elements) will be involved.

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Why do you need a Diameter Routing Agent in a VoLTE deployment? (Part I)

Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect, F5 Networks

Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect, F5 Networks

This article was written by Peter Nas, Senior Solution Architect for the Traffix SDC, F5 Networks

Operators have begun to get more and more serious around deploying VoLTE (Voice over LTE) in their networks. Since the announcements of VoLTE services from some Korean and US operators, others, particularly in Asia, North America and EMEA, have launched or are about to launch VoLTE (see GSA announcement of 17th Sep 2014: 71 operators in 36 countries investing in VoLTE deployments, studies or trials, 10 operators commercially launched HD voice using VoLTE). More often than not, operators use a Diameter Routing Agent (DRA) to support correct routing and control of the Diameter signaling related to VoLTE.

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How can you measure Customer Experience in the Data Tsunami?

This post is by Neil McKinlay, Senior Manager – Product Management, Anritsu

The market is changing rapidly, with new applications and usage models appearing daily. LTE is a major driving force in this change by providing reliable high bandwidth to mobile devices.

The cost of that ubiquitous bandwidth is falling with the realizing of NFV and SDN technology, further pushing down the cost per megabit delivered to the end customer.

This is all great news for the industry, more bandwidth, more users, more apps, new devices, higher quality connections, video support. What’s not to like?

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If You Can Scale Small Cells Inside, then Service IT: Small Cell Services at the Enterprise Edge

Ronny Haraldsvik, CMO/SVP, SpiderCloud Wireless

Ronny Haraldsvik, SVP/CMO, SpiderCloud Wireless

At the heart of SpiderCloud’s scalable 3G/4G small cell system is the Services Node (SCSN), a “local” control point for the small cell network deployed inside the enterprise over existing Ethernet. It’s also where the enterprise edge meets the mobile operators edge network. The small-cell system can provide cellular capacity and coverage to over 1.5 million sq.ft. of space and support for 10,000 voice and data subscribers.

Beyond coverage and capacity, after credibility has been established with the IT department, the Services Node is a strategic point of entry into the enterprise IT environment for mobile operators and business partners to service IT, and a potential great revenue opportunity.

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Where, when and how does LTE for Fixed-line make sense..?

Sonal Ghelani

Conference Researcher, Informa Telecoms & Media

With the growing demand for higher bandwidth and the desire in today’s world to be ‘always connected’, the topic of delivering LTE as a replacement for fixed services is still up for debate. Can LTE be an effective alternative for fixed-line services and if so, is that limited to the last mile for homes and businesses?

Even if it can be effective, according to Rupert Wood, principal analyst for Analysys Mason, it’s pretty much only true for rural areas. “The case for fixed-line LTE is weakening in developed cities”, he told me. “The problem is the limited role of the use case – LTE simply does not have the capacity to meet demand for data as fixed broadband,” said Wood.  

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Saint Zuckerberg out to connect the world

20140225-004310.jpg

Mark Zuckerberg, the ever baby-faced creator of Facebook, the world’s biggest communication product, took to the stage of this this year’s MWC keynote stage, to explain his vision of “connecting the world”.

After Facebook reached the milestone of one billion users, he said, the company “took a step back”. As you would. And asked itself, “What is it we want to do? What problem can we solve next?”. This led to Zuckerberg’s plan to create Internet.org – a partnership between Facebook and a number of eco-system partners, to create what he referred to as a “911 service for the Internet”, offering basic services such as weather, food prices, Wikipedia, messaging and, naturally, basic social networking. Facebook, if you hadn’t guessed.

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The Top Five LTE interviews of the year

One of the most popular features of the LTE conference blog are the interviews that we regularly conduct with many of the key speakers that come to the event.

As we come to the end of the year then we take a look at the Top 5 interviews of the year – run down in order of popularity.

kpn

1. Topping the chart for the year, was this discussion was this interview with Erik Vercouteren, program director LTE Program, for KPN, Netherlands, which took place just ahead of the LTE World Summit in June. Vercouteren focused on KPN’s aims to roll out 4G to as wide an areas as possible in the Netherlands.

Top quote: “We believe that 4G should be available everywhere – that’s why we roll the 4G service out like an “oil stain” covering the entire country, rather than building coverage in busy hot spots only. If you really want to enjoy the benefits of 4G, it should be available in the entire country – in urban and rural areas!”

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Are you ready to move to Voice over LTE?

volte6This post is by Catherine Lalanne, Product Manager, The Now Factory

LTE is being deployed all over the world at breakneck speed to cover the vastly increasing demands for data from people and their machines. LTE is primarily being sold as a data technology, but many people still tend to see their smartphone as a voice device first with data capabilities added on. When these oh-so-smart smartphones fall down on the job and have a hard time fulfilling their primary function as a voice phone, it becomes a bit of a joke.

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is designed to enable voice calls over a 4G LTE network, but a strange thing has happened: hardly anywhere in the word is Voice over LTE commercially deployed. Why is that?

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Apple iPhone 5s launch underwhelming, but rounds off global LTE support nicely

colourfulAs the furore settles down over yesterday’s Apple iPhone 5s/iPhone 5c update we can take a quick look at the news and specifically what it means from an LTE perspective.

Two new phones were launched and while are clearly very solid offerings, no wheels were reinvented, and as such, it was a little underwhelming, at least from an iPhone 5 owner’s perspective.

The iPhone 5C is essentially an iPhone 5 in a plastic shell, available in more colours and the 5S is essentially a faster version of the iPhone 5, thanks to a new 64-bit chip capable of taking advantage of the 64-bit iOS7.

The ‘budget’ iPhone angle that analysts were predicting also failed to come true. The 5c is still a £469 phone SIM free – which hardly makes it likely to appeal to developing markets.

The good news though is that both phones though are capable of taking advantage of more LTE bands that any other smartphone in the world right now. There are five models of each to choose from depending on region.

This is essentially as Apple has to make a choice as to which LTE frequencies to support, as with 40 LTE bands currently employed round the world supporting them all at once would mean a battery life of around five minutes.

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Australia debuts calls over combined LTE spectrum bands

This guest post is by Edwin Feldmann, a freelance journalist and blogger who is passionate about technology and the internet…

The Australian operator Telstra has successfully used LTE-Advanced by combining live traffic over the 1800MHz and the 900MHz spectrum bands. According to the operator it was the world’s first call on the two combined spectrum bands.

The LTE-Advanced test was carried out on July 31, when Telstra transferred data across its live network on a number of sites in Queensland carrying commercial traffic. Telstra was supported by Ericsson.

Håkan Eriksson, Head of Ericsson Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, thinks that many operators will be watching the Australian deployment of LTE-Advanced on multiple spectrum bands. “Because many operators have spectrum available in the 1800MHz and 900MHz bands as they migrate subscribers from 2G to 3G or 4G.”

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Preparing for VoLTE

LTE_VoiceSummit_2013At the end of last year, one of our top 5 predictions for LTE in 2013 was ‘VoLTE: Only fools rush in’ as we saw a couple operators push back their VoLTE deployment plans. Over halfway through the year, it seems operators are still taking their time with the technology but voice services have certainly started to gain traction and the industry at large is solidly behind VoLTE.

VoLTE has been filling up our news feeds recently; with Verizon revealing its plans to launch its first VoLTE handsets sometime this year and AT&T announcing its VoLTE service will go live in 2013. The technology is undoubtedly maturing but we’ve also seen a range of mixed messages such as ‘VoLTE is set to break out’ and ‘VoLTE off to a slow start’.  Despite growing interest and investment in the technology, there is clearly still much uncertainty and many issues to be addressed.  

The demand for clarity and collaboration in the market is evident and the LTE Voice Summit on 1st-2nd October 2013 in London plans to provide just that, bringing together the greatest minds in voice services to realise the opportunities and manage the challenges of next generation voice offerings.

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Interview: VP, networks and systems, Communications Research Centre, Canada: “We are going to learn a lot about small cells and SON (self-organizing heterogeneous networks) from LTE.”

Dr. Alex Vukovic, vice-president, networks and systems, for Communications Research Centre (CRC), Canada

Dr. Alex Vukovic, vice-president, networks and systems, for Communications Research Centre (CRC), Canada

The Communications Research Centre (CRC) is Canada’s federal centre of excellence for wireless telecommunications R&D and a leading contributor to solutions for wireless demand in a modern economy. Dr. Alex Vukovic, vice-president, networks & systems, for CRC, is appearing on Day One of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013 at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.

With so many bands already being used for LTE, can it truly be considered a worldwide standard?

Although there are many bands in which LTE can operate, LTE is considered a worldwide standard. According to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), 163 commercial networks are already launched in 67 countries, with 415 operators in 124 countries now investing in LTE. The same source forecasts that there will be 248 commercial LTE networks in 87 countries by the end of 2013.

What are the best frequencies for operators to focus on if they wish to have a roaming capable band?

This is a real challenge facing service operators. The bands are so fragmented and diverse and often tied to legacy systems. Having globally available bands, which will enable worldwide roaming and interoperability using compatible end-user devices, is currently difficult due to the lack of global harmonisation of spectrum. Moreover, it would be very difficult to render any existing bands due to regulatory and policy challenges presented in each specific administration. To ensure true global roaming, administrations need to adopt directives and spectrum-use policies that support globally harmonised bands for LTE.

It is obvious that there would be many benefits from having global spectrum harmonisation, such as enabling of roaming capabilities, economy of scale, cross-border operation and coordination, interoperability and efficient use of available spectrum. To me, from both technological and practical standpoints, there are several bands of interests for potential solutions to global roaming. For example, the 2.6 GHz band is widely available for LTE systems in both FDD and TDD formats. In the future, we may see the 3.5GHz band and bands in the 600MHz range become home to a collection of LTE systems.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Are there any good economic reasons for operators to make LTE roaming more affordable or will lower charges only come through regulatory moves?

Operators have to respect economic conditions. If they see their source of revenue derived from roaming diminishing due to competition, they will be enticed to reduce roaming rates. The bottom line is that mobile network operators always have to look to maintain revenue streams and profitability. However, competition is probably the most viable economic reason for operators to make roaming more affordable.

Nowadays, we have moved into a world of feature-rich content provided over mobile networks, and much of this content is generated by sources other than mobile network operators (from Google, Apple, YouTube, etc.). This poses additional challenges to operators.

Regulatory decisions could indeed impact the affordability of roaming, although the fiscal health of operators would need to be considered before such decisions are made.

Should operators talk to each other on a one-to-one basis or is there a more open way of discussing roaming needs?

Given the type of roaming/equipment commonality problems being faced, I believe that finding a global solution requires more than just service providers discussing amongst themselves. Service providers can easily come up with roaming agreements if their customers’ smart phones and tablets operate on the same bands. This is a complex issue which requires dialog between network equipment manufacturers, end-user device producers, regulatory bodies and service providers.

Traditionally, operators from region to region or country to country establish roaming agreements between themselves. Normally, a clearinghouse is used to transfer billing records and/or perform financial clearing functions among mobile network operators consistent with their roaming agreements.

What lessons do you think can be learned for the technology beyond LTE?

LTE is just in its infancy and all of the features that it can deliver have yet to be fully exploited. We are going to learn a lot about small cells and SON (self-organizing heterogeneous networks) from LTE and its advances. LTE will also teach us about implementing more sophisticated antenna platform technology for smart pads.

We may also make interesting discoveries related to cross-layer communications and to handoff between macro/micro cell systems, such as LTE-to-WiFi handover. This last technology piece will be exciting as it has the potential of devising new kinds of service provisioning concepts that may do much to change the service-provider landscape. The evolutionary development to watch over the next 5-10 years involves the adaptations and evolutions that occur as Wi-Fi and LTE search to find applications niches beyond what they are today.

However, one of the biggest findings so far is that technology interoperability alone, as delivered by LTE, cannot solve the global roaming challenge – a level of global spectrum harmonisation in emerging spectrum allocations is also necessary.

What do you think will be the most exciting development in telecoms in the next two years?

The near future will be very interesting for the global build-out of LTE. Due to the explosive growth of traffic and non-homogeneous nature of traffic in a service area, development of wireless heterogeneous networks will be considered a viable possibility.  This will evolve to wireless heterogeneous networks that add to the macro cell capacity by using small cells (microcell, femtocell, handover to Wi-Fi, etc.) as an underlay to the macro coverage. However, the successful implementation of heterogeneous networks faces many challenges in using small cells (e.g. complex interoperation, media-independent handover, billing, interference mitigation, etc.).

Another exciting development will be the emergence of higher-capacity short-range offloading technologies following in the line of Wi-Fi offloading. Unlike heterogeneous networks mentioned above, short-range offloading will focus on the home, office and public hotspot environments by providing hundreds of Mbps over ranges of up to 100 metres.

LTE launch strategies webinar – What’s working and what isn’t

webinar

Informa Telecoms & Media, of which we are a part, regularly conducts Webinar’s conducted by its analysts.

This link is to a recent webinar entitled “LTE launch strategies – What’s working and what isn’t” led by Paul Lambert, Senior Analyst Operator Strategy, and Thomas Wehmeier, Principal Analyst, Operator Strategy.

If you want to listen to it in full, get yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit and strap in as it’s an hour long, or if you’re time starved you can just take a look at the slides.

Highlights include a look at which operators have had the most success, what are some of the lessons learned by those that have launched, what new services have been used to indicate the benefits of LTE, and what the prospects are for revenue generation.

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