Archive for the ‘Backhaul’ Category

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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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…)

Heterogeneous Networks – How complex can they get?

It’s no secret that mobile networks are under tremendous stress, and data capacity is at an all-time high. Consumers want and require constant connectivity and the standards have become very high, making operators play catch-up with the higher set of expectations from customers.

Take airport Wi-Fi as an example…just a few years ago it did not even exist, and today, customers are outraged when it is not available or it is of poor quality. The feeling has become that Wi-Fi, cellular connectivity and the ability to connect is no longer a service, but a common human right.

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Interview: Engineer, Sri Lanka Telecom: “I see fewer engineering challenges and more commercial and financial challenges.”

Anuradha Udunuwara, Engineer, Sri Lanka Telecom

Anuradha Udunuwara, Engineer, Sri Lanka Telecom

Anuradha Udunuwara, Engineer, Sri Lanka Telecom is speaking on Day One of the 9th annual LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 23rd-25th September 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

In this Q&A Udunuwara tells us about the challenges facing Sri Lanka Telecom’s network, and what the most important technologies to look at for enhancing the network.

What are the major network-related engineering challenges you expect to face over the next 12 months?

In terms of challenges, I see fewer engineering challenges and more commercial and financial challenges. While technology and engineering enables us to overcome most of the challenges, the real challenge for operators will be how to minimize CAPEX/OPEX/TCO and increase revenue/profits. That requires innovation, common sense, changing plans and taking risks.

On the network side, what’s important is supporting the increased bandwidth requirements and optimizing packet transport techniques. Major challenges will arise in supporting migrations from legacy [Circuit/TDM (Time Division Multiplexing)] to next generation [Packet/IP (Internet Protocol)/Ethernet]. On the financial side the challenge will be how to best make future-proof investments.

How are you using analytics on your networks to gain more subscriber knowledge?

Network analytics are important in order to gain knowledge about the behaviour of the traffic in the network. If you correctly translate this knowledge, you can gain a good understanding of how the subscriber/user/consumer/customer applications behave, and eventually, how the individuals behave. This knowledge helps operators to perform the required network and service optimizations, introduce or change products to suit that behaviour, and finally to take informed investment decisions. We are working on these lines and would like to focus more on this area in the future.

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Interview: Principle Member, Technical Staff, Verizon: “Verizon is pushing hard for VoLTE deployments.”

Michael Freiberger, Principle Member, Technical Staff, Verizon

Michael Freiberger, Principle Member, Technical Staff, Verizon

Michael Freiberger, Principle Member, Technical Staff, Verizon is speaking on the subject of LTE’s backhaul design on Day One of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. 

How is data usage continuing to develop on your network, and how much of your data usage now goes over LTE?

Verizon’s 4G LTE network now covers 95 per cent of the U.S. population with speeds in the 10 to 12 megabit range. At last count, we have close to 50 LTE-enabled smartphones, tablets and Internet devices. Considering that voice calls currently reside in a separate band, the 10-12 megabit capacity capability of LTE is being used for data and video. Verizon is pushing hard for VoLTE deployments.

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.

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Interview: Member, board of directors, Chunghwa Telecom & SVP, NCTU, Taiwan: “As the leading telecommunications operator in Taiwan, we are well prepared to develop LTE commercial services.”

Yi-Bing Lin, member, board of directors, Chungwha Telecom & SVP, NCTU, Taiwan

Yi-Bing Lin, member, board of directors, Chungwha Telecom & SVP, NCTU, Taiwan

Yi-Bing Lin, member, board of directors, Chungwha Telecom & SVP, NCTU, Taiwan, is speaking on the subject of Taiwan’s mobile broadband on Day One of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the challenges of deploying LTE in Taiwan.

What have been the main developments and major milestones for you over the last 12 months with regards to LTE?

As the leading telecommunications operator in Taiwan, we are well prepared to develop LTE commercial services once the license is awarded. Over the last 12 months, we have aggressively conducted LTE network and service planning. The Taiwan regulator announced that it will issue new mobile broadband licenses services by end of 2013 with the auction process starting on 3 September 2013. We are confident of getting new licenses to deploy LTE commercial services.

How much of a challenge do you feel monetising LTE will be?

Pricing and base station installations are the key challenges for LTE development in Taiwan. Users in Taiwan used to pay a flat-rate tariff for accessing Internet services via 3G. They enjoy mobile broadband to access Internet applications on a daily basis, but on the other hand, protest at base station installation frequently. Resolving these two issues will be one of the key challenges for monetising LTE.

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Interview: Division Head Network Quality Assurance for Indosat: “Carriers need to start to migrate from radio backhaul to fibre”.

Jeremiah Ratadhi, Division Head Network Quality Assurance for Indosat, Indonesia

Jeremiah Ratadhi, Division Head Network Quality Assurance for Indosat, Indonesia

Jeremiah Ratadhi, Division Head Network Quality Assurance for Indosat, Indonesia is speaking on the challenges of providing backhaul for rural areas, on Day Two of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show, we find out more about the challenges of providing backhaul for LTE in the region.  

What have been the main developments and major milestones for you over the last 12 months with regards to LTE?

Indosat plans to modernise 25,000 of our base stations to MSR BTS (Multi-Standards Radio Base Station) that already for LTE. It’s a major project and currently we have 50 per cent competed. However, Indosat is still waiting for the Indonesian government to issue licenses for LTE before we can launch our network.

How much of a challenge do you feel monetising LTE will be?

The challenge will be great since the amount of data traffic is set to increase significantly, while subscribers may not be willing to pay more for the higher speeds. At the same time, ever more OTT players will be able to sell their content thanks to the high-speed LTE networks.

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Interview: Deputy managing director of strategic planning for Nepal Telecom: “The success of RCS initiatives requires co-operative group work from all the related parties.”

Anoop Bhattarai is deputy managing director of strategic planning for Nepal Telecom

Anoop Bhattarai is deputy managing director of strategic planning for Nepal Telecom

Anoop Bhattarai is deputy managing director of strategic planning for Nepal Telecom and is speaking at the LTE Asia conference taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we find out more about what the state of play is for Nepal Telecom.

What have been the main developments and major milestones for you over the last 12 months with regards to LTE?

There have been two major milestones for us. Firstly, installation of GSM/WCDMA/LTE core equipment was completed and we await spectrum to begin offering commercial services. Secondly, there was the formation of a study team for countrywide network implementation of LTE-Advanced, beginning in 2015.

How much of a challenge do you feel monetising LTE will be?

It will be one of the most challenging aspects for developing a business plan for the LTE network. For the end-to-end LTE network readiness a huge sum needs to be spent just to guarantee sufficient bandwidth for every user in the coverage area. However, the OTT services will be the one exploiting all the investments. Developing the local content, services and getting the benefits from it will be the challenge. Furthermore, the availability of affordable/cheap terminals will also affect the growth of the LTE ecosystem and in turn the monetisation prospects.

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Interview: Access technology deployment plan manager at PT Telkomsel: “FTTH for backhaul is a must.”

Gunadi Dwi Hantoro, access technology deployment plan manager at PT Telkomsel

Gunadi Dwi Hantoro, access technology deployment plan manager at PT Telkomsel

Gunadi Dwi Hantoro, access technology deployment plan manager at PT Telkomsel, is speaking in the Mobile Backhaul & HetNets track on Day Two of the LTE Asia conference taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we find out about the milestones and challenges facing the Indonesian operator.

What have been the main developments and major milestones for you over the last 12 months with regards to LTE?

PT Telkomsel Indonesia has primarily focused on regulation issues. We have tried to propose the frequency we want to use via trials and have produced reports on these to the national regulator.

How much of a challenge do you feel monetising LTE will be?

It will be a challenge. LTE will create the growth of a data boom and the problem is how to monetise that data that is generated from an LTE infrastructure.

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Video

Video interview with Suresh Sidhu, Chief Corporate & Operations Officer, Celcom, Malaysia

Check out our interview with Suresh Sidhu, Chief Corporate & Operations Officer, Celcom, Malaysia at the LTE World Summit 2013

IP architect at Telefonica UK: “There will be organisational challenges as teams that previously worked separately are brought together in an IP-centric world.”

Andrew Davies, IP architect at Telefonica UK

Andrew Davies, IP architect at Telefonica UK

Andrew Davies, IP architect at Telefonica UK, is speaking on Day Two 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. Ahead of the show we find out what’s pressing most in his mind in terms of upcoming IP challenges.

What were the main technical challenges you face as you look to move from 2G/3G to 4G LTE?

As an IP Architect, from my perspective the issues are around the IP Infrastructure. The main concerns are how we can build sufficient capacity into the network. We are moving towards latest technology, such as 100Gbps, and in subsequent years, bundles of 100Gbps or alternatives. We need to build an IP infrastructure that supports potentially incompatible goals of both low latency for the user plane and physically separate paths for signalling traffic. We also need to secure our core IP infrastructure against as yet unknown threats from the all-IP enabled backhaul. The implementation of a shared LTE infrastructure with our partner operator Vodafone will also through up new challenges to us and our vendors. Finally, there will be organisational challenges as teams that previously worked separately are brought together as Radio, Access and Core collapse into one in an IP-centric world.

You’ve recently announced BT as your backhaul provider – what impact do you think LTE will have on your backhaul in the first six months after launch and then a year after launch?

The BT service gives us greater flexibility and resilience and for the first time will bring offer high availability, extending across the aggregation backhaul. We expect significant growth in our mobile backhaul, with it approximately doubling each year.

Is VoLTE on the roadmap, and what are the challenges in implementing it?

Voice over LTE will not be available for launch and will be carried using existing 2G and 3G networks. Voice over LTE will be considered as part of our roadmap of capability over the coming years.

Why is the LTE World Summit such an important event in your calendar?

The LTE World Summit is an opportunity to hear how other operators and experts in their fields are dealing with the challenges posed by LTE.

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.

IP transmission manager, Mobinnet, Iran: “Deploying a ubiquitous fibre network is a time and cost consuming project.”

IP transmission manager, Mobinnet, Iran

IP transmission manager, Mobinnet, Iran

Ali Tahmasebi, head of IP transmission manager, Mobinnet, Iran, is speaking on Day Two of the LTE Backhaul Summit, collocated with the LTE World Summit 2013, taking place on the 24th-26th June at the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we delve into details over backhaul technology choices and find out what he is looking forward at the LTE Backhaul Summit.

What challenges will the move to LTE have on your backhaul strategy?

Our main strategy to make our backhaul LTE-ready is to have a hierarchical structure with access, hub and metro levels. In this regard, the rollout of the network is very clear and straightforward. Nevertheless, it does raise a number of challenges, such as the number of metro and hub sites per city, and leasing and building those sites in a technically coordination fashion.

The major challenges are technical. The final decision on RAN strategy and use of either LTE-TDD or LTE-FDD has a direct impact on backhaul product type and features. Planning an optimum synchronisation strategy to handle 1588v2, defining the advanced QoS and traffic engineering features to handle congestion, end-to-end IPv6 network deployment, interoperability between different backhaul products and backhaul to core connection topology are the main challenges.

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.

Is fibre always the preferred solution over microwave backhaul?

As a fibre optic connection can handle a huge amount of traffic on a long distance, without a negligible loss, it is very interesting for backhaul scenarios. However, deploying a ubiquitous fibre network is a time and cost consuming project and most of the time is out of a mobile network operators’ scope. Most of the fibre optic networks belong to companies that are not MNOs, so it is not cost efficient to lease fibre pass or leased BW for all the sites. The traffic of an LTE site with normal configuration is around 100-300Mbps. Todays, it is easy to handle this amount of traffic with MW radios from different vendors. As a broadband backhaul deployment scenario, the connections at metro level could be based on fibre optic rings, in hub level on high capacity nodal MW radio links and in access level they would be based on P2P MW radio links.

Some analysts say that the dedicated backhaul required for small cells could destroy the economic benefits that they might bring in terms of offload. What’s your view?

I don’t believe any dedicated backhaul is required for small cells. Full outdoor E-band MW radios are the best choice to handle the traffic. The main point is to offload Internet traffic directly to Internet without passing through the mobile operator’s core network. However, the charging and pricing method here is a challenge.

What is the most exciting development in LTE that you expect in the next 12 months?

From my personal point of view, the most exciting developments will be the move towards LTE-Advanced, standardization and releasing the new frequency bands, VoLTE improvements, small cells concept improvements and IMS deployments at the core of mobile networks.

Why is the LTE World Summit such an important show for you to attend?

This year, the LTE World Summit 2013, has been co-located with the LTE Backhaul Summit. Referring back to our experience at the LTE Asia 2012 and LTE MENA 2013, the event gives access to the leading LTE operators, vendors and opportunity to learn from the success stories of handling of data explosion, mobile broadband and LTE networks deployment. As the biggest LTE event in the world, I expect it to address operator challenges in data monetisation, OTT services, VoLTE and small cells.

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