Archive for the ‘LTE’ Category

Managing Today’s Complex Radio Access Network

The RAN lifecycle typically goes through four phases: 1. Planning/Design/Rollout, 2. Performance Assessment, 3. Network Optimization, 4. Capacity and Small Cell Planning. In phase 1, it is standard practice to start with coverage priorities and then move to capacity.  In order to predict your network coverage with high confidence, it is imperative that accurate RF propagation models be used in the RF planning tool.  With accurate prediction, operators are able achieve tremendous cost savings while meeting network coverage goals.


This paradigm holds true in 4G rollouts as well.  However, as the coverage becomes more ubiquitous, the networks are mostly capacity limited.  The focus then shifts to capacity relief in later stages of RAN lifecycle.


The advent of small cell-centric 5G will usher in a plug-and-play era for cellular, not dissimilar from WiFi models.  Accordingly, the planning tools and support system will need to evolve and adjust to this new reality.


Phase 2 of the RAN lifecycle is about assessing network performance.  You need state-of-the-art tools to monitor the network, and we know how much operators really do rely on these tools. Drive testing used to be sufficient to understand network behavior, but that’s coming to an end, except for truly Greenfield network / radio access technology (RAT) launches.


Given that optimization and network expansion rely on it, operators understand the need for a reliable measurement solution.  Entire network.  Real-time.  Live.  24×7. End-to-end. Every single transaction across all services. These are critical in today’s multi-RAT, multi-layer, service-aware, multi-vendor heterogeneous networks.

Future of RAN map


The phase three of RAN lifecycle is network optimization.  Today’s state-of-the-art solutions, offer actionable recommendations so that operators do not have to always go look for places to optimize. SON optimization solutions now fully automate that final step.  You need closed-loop automation to detect and monitor, but also to change. Infrastructure is vital to knowing how your system is performing.


Phase four in the lifecycle focuses on capacity planning, for which there are two parts. First is the traditional exhaust prediction of each location, upon which usually a carrier add or a cell-splitting is carried out.  Second is small-cell planning?  For example, with Super Bowl 50 in the Bay Area, we saw mobile operators out in full force adding small cells and other solutions and monitoring around the clock. Should they split the macro network? Add small cells? Where? Will the small cells draw the traffic you want? What will it cost? These decisions must be based on data – network intelligence and tools like are indispensable assets to mobile operators.

Future of RAN


VoLTE is harbinger of things to come.  For the first time in the history of the mobile network, we have a mixed-QoS air interface. This is a subtle but an important paradigm shift.  Then there is the end-to-end bearer management challenge that did not exist before.  Thirdly, we now have dual control plane system thanks to SIP ‘out-of-band’ call/session control.  All these three fundamental changes require a fundamental re-think of support systems.


There are disruptions on the horizon. New spectrum will raise game-changing questions like, how do you plan for LTE on new spectrum? LTE-U and IoT are potential game changers, and many industry trends are pointing to small cells finally experiencing the surge predicted 4-5 years ago, but differently than expected. There are new business models entering the market, and we are all working to stay ahead of the curve and make a difference. Evolution is the key.


We invite you to visit NETSCOUT at Hall 1, booth 1C40 at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona to learn more about TrueCall® the industry-leading monitoring, visualization and optimization tool providing operators key functionality for all four phases of network evolution. The integration of TrueCall® with the Iris Session Analyzer (ISA) application, which analyzes calls and sessions, offers unparalleled troubleshooting capabilities to quickly isolate the root cause of RAN issues. Come see how our Iris and nGeniusOne service assurance solution suites offer proactive service triage and subscriber performance- level details.



Insight: Five Questions About 5G

Guest post by Mae Kowalke, Accedian

Amid all the hype over 5G, it’s good to periodically take a step back and ask some questions about where things are headed for future mobile broadband, and how to get there. Here are five things we’ve been pondering as part of some in-depth analysis into 5G, each with reference to a recently curated article that either attempts to answer the question, or adds depth to the inquiry.


5G Nervous System = Real-Time QoE

Guest post by Scott Sumner, Accedian

Emergence of the instrumentation layer in real-time, intelligent networks.

5G networks will support a diverse array of applications, from 4k video streaming to safety-critical IoT, autonomous cars and factories, and hosted transactional applications that let us work from anywhere.

The competition for limited spectrum and network resources collides with increased complexity as networks layer-in virtualization to increase agility, manage network slices, and dynamically allocate capacity (both bandwidth and compute) where required.


The Cost of 5G and the Next New Shiny Thing

Guest post by Iain Gillott, iGR Research

We in the mobile love to discuss ‘the next big thing’ – we are never happy living in the present and always want the next new shiny thing.  Perhaps this is because of the way the industry developed in the mid-1980s, from humble analog networks (really, they were not that good!) to digital networks and then to 3G and beyond.  Of course, along the way we never agree on a single network technology (2G was covered by at least four standards) and so even as the latest-and-greatest technology was always been promoted.

Now that we have got to LTE (which most of the world agrees on for ‘4G’), it is time for the next shiny thing: 5G.  The problem with 5G at present is that if you talk to five people about 5G and what it is, and you will get at least seven answers! What stands out more than any new 5G technology, air interface or spectrum is the general level of confusion and lack of definition.


Interview with Latif Ladid,Chair, 5G World Alliance & President, IPTV Forum



Latif Ladid

Latif Ladid, Chair of the 5G World Alliance

What are your thoughts on 5G, its requirement and services deployed over the network?


We are indeed in the middle of clearly defining the holistic 5G Requirements within the ETSI IP6 Industry Specification Group (ISG) that I chair:

We expect this work to take into consideration the many requirements published by liaison initiatives to this ETSI ISG. Expect a draft version by June 2016.



Reston, VA – 25 November, 2015- Ascom Network Testing announced today it had won the award for Best LTE Core Network Product at the recently concluded LTE North America 2015 conference in Dallas, Texas. The company’s winning entry centered around TEMS™ Monitor Master, its offering for performing active testing and monitoring of any IMS-based service being deployed in the core network.

Finalists’ applications were reviewed by an exclusive panel of leading experts from Senza Fili Consulting, iGR Research, Signals Research Group and Wireless 20/20, and winners were unveiled during a ceremony hosted by Vicky Livingston, Head of Communications and Analyst Relations for 4G Americas.


Building Customers through Skilling

Guest blog post written by Sanjeev Duggal, CEO & Executive Director, Centum Learning Ltd

Improved economic conditions have fueled unprecedented telecom growth in Africa. It is estimated that by 2016 the continent will have a billion mobile phones. According to a World Bank report, nearly 16% of adults and 31% of those with a formal bank account in Sub-Saharan Africa have reported using a mobile phone to pay bills or send / receive money in the last 12 months.

Africa’s status as being the second most mobile connected continent where about 15% of its billion inhabitants own a cell phone has ushered many African nations into a digital economy and changed lives of people for the better. The telecom revolution has touched people through better access to education and entertainment, helped in disaster management and better agricultural yields and brought people together through social media.


Guest post – Promoting economies of scale in device testing

Guest post by the Global Certification Forum

The extension of mobile phone and broadband services across the globe has been built on our industry’s adoption of global standards.  Verifying that new devices conform to those standards is of great importance to manufacturers and operator alike. As devices become more complex with the overlaying of new mobile technologies on legacy standards, there could be a danger that pre-launch testing becomes so cumbersome that the full economies of scale from standards can’t be realised.

That’s where GCF Certification comes into play.  Developed and maintained through the collaboration of experts from manufacturers, operators and the test industry, GCF Certification has become the global baseline for assessing interoperability between mobile devices and operators’ networks and services. Certification brings economies of scale to device testing.


LTE North America Awards 2015 Shortlist Announced

awards-logoThe LTE North America 2015 Awards shortlist has been announced today, ahead of the awards ceremony set to take place at LTE North America, in Dallas, on November 18th. Having received a record amount of entries, the judging panel had the tough job of identifying the strongest, and most innovative technologies and products in the market today.


Press Release: Public Safety at LTE North America 2015 Preview

With work already LTE North America 2015well under way to apply LTE to public safety and commercial critical communication scenarios, there are still many challenges and discussions to be had to ensure the rollout of reliable and resilient networks. LTE North America (17-19 November 2015) will dedicate an entire day’s programme and exhibition area to focus on LTE public safety solutions.

Endorsed by the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), the LTE public safety programme will explore how LTE can meet the needs of public safety professionals and critical communications systems to provide reliable broadband communications. George Rice, Executive Director of iCERT said “LTE networks will be crucial elements for the sharing and safeguarding of mission critical data for public safety professionals as they look to deliver life saving services to those in need. Knowledge and insight sharing events like this are important as commercial providers and public sector agencies consider the development of current and burgeoning communications technologies”.


Beyond data offload: Gemalto’s advanced Wi-Fi services put new revenue streams within easy reach

Guest post by Jean-François Gros, Marketing & Business Development Director, Gemalto

Guest post by Jean-François Gros, Marketing & Business Development Director, Gemalto

Among consumers, Wi-Fi is perhaps most commonly associated with the simple pleasures of a few minutes free surfing on the train or alongside a coffee. For mobile network operators, however, the stakes are rather higher. With pressure to build capacity and coverage combining with a fiercely competitive marketplace, the inexorable spread of Wi-Fi offers a compelling route to enhanced customer experience, differentiation, and new revenue streams.

Whilst much attention has focussed on the 4G roll-out, Wi-Fi’s contribution to the connectivity eco-system has largely flown under the radar. But the figures speak for themselves.  It is widely reported that, by 2018, there will be one hotspot for every 20 people on the planet; by 2017, seven billion devices will be Wi-Fi enabled1.


5 Ways IPX is making LTE a global success

This guest blog was written by Jay Jayasimha, Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Cataleya 

Jay Jaysimha

LTE needs IPX to be a truly global success. When domestic LTE deployments are supported by global IPX-enabled networks, it changes what is possible in the mobile market. Today, we’ve seen the development of LTE networks on a local level but for 4G services to mature and realise their full potential LTE needs to be supported with robust, reliable and intelligent IPX-enabled networks.

There will be 450 commercial LTE networks deployed by the end of 2015, according to The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). Close to 50% of subscribers in Q4 2014 were in Asia-Pacific with North America and Europe trailing close behind.


Exclusive interview – Steven K. Berry, President and CEO of CCA (Competitve Carriers Association)

Steven K Berry, President & CEO of CCA

Steven K Berry, President & CEO of CCA

Ahead of the 8th Annual LTE North America event in Dallas, TX this November 18th & 19th, we had the opportunity to interview Steven K. Berry, President & CEO of the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA).

In the interview Steven shares his thoughts on the key challenges being faced by competitive carriers throughout the U.S., the industry’s concerns looking forward to 2015, and the path towards a competitive landscape for all carriers.

Q. What are the key challenges faced by North American carriers today in the roll-out and upgrade of LTE networks?

A. Competitive carriers must have access to critical inputs including access to spectrum, access to the latest, most-advanced handsets, and reasonable roaming agreements to continue to improve and build out their networks.  Carriers in the most rural and hard to serve areas also need certainty regarding sufficient Universal Service Fund (USF) support.  Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) works each and every day to ensure our members, nearly every wireless carrier in the U.S. outside of AT&T and Verizon, have the opportunity to grow and thrive, and to do so, they must have access to these inputs to find a pathway toward the next generation of networks.  The wireless industry is, unfortunately, plagued by continued consolidation – a significant challenge for smaller carriers trying to compete with the two largest national carriers.  We have been working closely with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission), Congress and the Administration to ensure policies are in place that will allow our members to enhance their networks and serve their customers the best way possible.  Tim Donovan, VP of Legislative Affairs for CCA, is speaking at the LTE North America event and will address some of the critical policy issues for CCA members and how decisions made in Congress and at the FCC affect not only the carriers, but consumers and the economy as well.


Verizon will test insanely fast new wireless technology

Source: Verizon will test insanely fast new wireless technology

LTE Asia Awards 2015 – Shortlist Announced


Record numbers of entries received & shortlist announced!

Join us from 6.30pm on the 6th of October at the LTE Asia Awards to celebrate the triumphs and innovations of the LTE and 5G market in Asia. The winners will be announced directly after the close of day one of LTE Asia at the Suntec, all event attendees are cordially invited to the complimentary Awards Cocktail Ceremony!

If you are not currently attending contact for more details

With a variety of mobile broadband focussed award categories, the ceremony provides a unique opportunity for your products and services to earn a place in the spotlight! Bringing together key industry stakeholders, this evening celebrating LTE excellence is not to be missed!

Last year’s winners include: SK Telecom, Cisco, Samsung, Huawei, Mavenir, Gigamon, Polystar & SAP – see here

2015 Shortlist

Biggest Contribution to 5G Development

Shortlisted: Ericsson, Huawei

Best Test/Measurement Solution

Shortlisted: FalconSmart Technologies, Procera Networks, RAD, SIGOS, VIAVI SOLUTIONS

Best LTE Roaming Product

Shortlisted: BICS, IBasis, Oracle Communications, Syniverse, Uros

Most Innovative LTE Application/Service

Shortlisted: Elitecore, Mitel, Polystar, SpiderCloud Wireless & Intel, Telstra, Xura

Best NFV Innovation of the Year

Shortlisted: Ericsson, NetCracker, Procera Networks, Wind River

Best Innovation in Heterogeneous Networks

Shortlisted: Cisco, Huawei & Starhub, RAD, SpiderCloud Wireless, Telstra & Ericsson


Best LTE Core Network Product

Shortlisted: CA Technologies, Cisco, Dialogic, Huawei, Oracle Communications

Most Significant Development of a Commercial LTE Network

Shortlisted: Bolt Super 4G, Globe Telecom

Most Innovative Big Data Platform/Service

Shortlisted: BICS, Cisco

If you are not currently attending contact for more details

Bringing Accurate Synchronization to Small Cell Backhaul

This guest post was written by Alon Geva, Timing & Synchronization Expert, CTO Office at RAD

Delivering sub-microsecond time accuracy to cellular base stations is one of the major challenges facing cellular providers as they deploy their new LTE networks, creating unique challenges in the backhaul segment. This is exacerbated by LTE-A’s stringent synchronization requirements and, eventually, by 5G, now on the horizon.

Before the debut of 4G, the standard way to deliver a clock reference was to install Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) access at every cell site. A GNSS receiver is usually referred to as a Primary Reference Time Clock (PRTC).

The limitations of GNSS

This approach, however, is impractical in the 4G environment, since its network architecture is different. The most prominent change is that 4G accommodates large numbers of small cells to deliver higher capacities and data speeds. Stationing a GNSS antenna at every 4G cell site will be problematic due to cost. Apart from the unprecedented volume of antennas that would have to be bought, installed and maintained, the rapidly falling price of small cells will accelerate their deployment only further. Beyond all this, of course, is that every antenna requires an unobstructed sky view, a major problem for small cells, which, in many cases, are installed indoors, on building walls and closed spaces such as shopping malls, basements and traffic tunnels.

But that’s just the beginning.


LTE – beyond technology; a catalyst for value creation (Guest post by Wing K. Lee, CEO, YTL Communications)

Wing K. Lee is CEO at YTL Communications in Malaysia

Wing K. Lee is CEO at YTL Communications in Malaysia

The velocity in how the world creates value has hastened considerably. We spent millennia as an agrarian economy, then came the industrial age that refines these commodities into manufactured goods. We have since evolved into the service economy and most will agree that we are now onto the experiential economy.
To appreciate what that means to us in the telecommunications business, perhaps we can take a moment to follow the journey of the humble coffee beans.


Exclusive Interview with Thabet Mashlah, Global Sales Director, Polystar

Exclusive interview with Kobus Smit, Head of Voice and Messaging, Deutsche Telekom

Ahead of the 3rd annual LTE Voice Summit 2015, I interviewed Kobus Smit, Head of Voice and Messaging at Deutsche Telekom who gave us an insight on services VoLTE will offer + customer benefits it will bring- here is what Kobus say’s  in this exclusive interview

Ahead of the 3rd annual LTE Voice Summit 2015, I interviewed Kobus Smit, Head of Voice and Messaging at Deutsche Telekom who gave us an insight on services VoLTE will offer + customer benefits it will bring

Q. As we see the commercial launch, is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly live up to its promise?

A. VoLTE offers some clear customer benefits – especially around HD voice quality and faster call set-up times, which we believe customers will notice and appreciate. There are also further advantages, like high speed browsing during a call, but the usecases are still pretty limited. The largest benefit of VoLTE, however, is arguably for the Operator and not so much for the customer as it facilitates the necessary transfer of voice to IP. We therefore belief that from a customer perspective “plain” VoLTE alone will not necessarily be a very convincing proposition.

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

A. Yes indeed – and it is already being prepared. DT has developed an Enriched Calling proposition together with Sony, Vodafone and others, which we will be bringing to market soon. This enables customers to have a far richer calling experience by adding context and content before, during and after a call. The features include the setting of call importance, adding a subject, picture or location before the call; during a call, users can exchange, locations, draw on maps or pictures, share videos, images and files, and after the call customers have the possibility to leave a visual voicemail, a video or text message. All of this is delivered with very little incremental effort, by utilizing RCS functionality already available in the network and handsets to deliver a truly enhanced user experience.

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

A. We are deploying VoLTE on a local basis first and will then extend it to Roaming. We further plan to combine VoLTE with other voice services such as WiFi Calling and plan to establish Video Calling. With VoLTE as a basis for IP voice, it opens the possibility of further enhancement and service meshing in the IP domain.

Q. Network Function Virtualization for VoLTE- what does this to you and is the way forward for this service?

A. For us it is not about the virtualization of one single service, its more about the virtualization of the network infrastructure in order to be more efficient and offer better quality and service for our customers.

Q. What will be your key message at the LTE Voice Summit 2015?

A. Enriched Call builds an attractive proposition around VoLTE.

Meet Kobus and a host of senior executives from around the globe at this year’s LTE Voice Summit in London, on September 29th & 30th.  More information at

Going over the top: How to play nice with the vast and growing number of new players as a service provider

Andy Cocks, CTO, Dimension Data (Asia Pacific)

This guest post was written by Andy Cocks, CTO, Dimension Data (Asia Pacific)

This guest post was written by Andy Cocks, CTO, Dimension Data (Asia Pacific)

Over-the-top (OTT) content and service providers that monetise traditional service providers’ infrastructure — fixed and mobile infrastructure in which these operators have invested heavily — are shaking things up in an already competitive market.

OTTs are using software-defined networking and virtualisation to reap the benefits of the infrastructure and access networks of bigger players — with great success. The new forces in play are gaining a lot more awareness from traditional service providers.

Deploying LTE is the start of a journey – CSPs need to plan for the whole life-cycle

Inna Ott, Director of Marketing at Polystar Group

Inna Ott, Director of Marketing at Polystar Group

This guest post was written by Inna Ott, Director of Marketing at Polystar Group

CSPs are racing to launch LTE networks. The pace of deployment is accelerating around the world as CSPs embrace the latest network technology – innovations that promise to deliver more data to satisfy the ever growing needs of users, better quality of service, and more efficient use of valuable spectrum. Indeed, growth is surpassing expectations. As the GSA reports, nearly 400 CSPs in 138 countries have launched LTE network services, leading it to revise forecasts and predict that a total of 460 commercial LTE networks will be in service by the end of 2015. What’s more, CSPs with LTE networks are beginning to add VoLTE services in significant numbers.

As a result, CSPs are expecting to benefit by cutting operational costs and reducing subscriber churn by delivering a better experience. Besides, the addition of VoLTE will enable them to offer higher quality voice services to their subscribers, enabling them to further enhance customer experience and offer a compelling alternative to OTT voice services.


Optimizing the Mobile Network for Special Events

This is a Guest Blog written by Amdocs. Visit Amdocs at next week’s LTE World Summit in Amsterdam

Special events pose daunting challenges for service providers.  When tens of thousands of people congregate in a small setting, a significant load is obviously put on mobile networks. In fact, we’ve seen traffic surges of up to 10 gigabytes per hour at stadiums. In certain instances, the influx of a large number of subscribers into a city to attend live events, combined with a general rise in chatter from city inhabitants about the event, can increase network demand across the entire city by 20 percent. Service providers must be prepared to deal with the influx of mobile activity at these events and understand the best ways to ensure that their network is ready.

During the time period leading up to an event, voice and data traffic show patterns consistent with the number of subscribers arriving at the stadium and engaging with the mobile network. As the event begins, we start to see second screen behavior. This means that subscribers are not only viewing the event in-person, but are also using their mobile phone screens to view and interact with the event (tweeting about it, posting videos, engaging in social media interactions with friends watching the event, etc.). Voice traffic typically decreases by 50 percent during the live event, while data traffic continues to grow as subscribers increasingly turn to social media and streaming video to enhance their in-person experience.


The Capacity Hiding in Your LTE Macro Cell Sites

This blog post was written by Philip Sorrells, VP of Strategic Marketing, CommScope

Philip Sorrells, VP of Strategic Marketing, CommScope

Philip Sorrells, VP of Strategic Marketing, CommScope

A fact of modern day wireless networks is that operators have to continue adding capacity to meet subscriber demand. Cooper’s Law states that the maximum number of voice or data sessions that can be supported over a given area doubles every 30 months. Network operators face constant pressure to improve network capacity, i.e. the amount of traffic that can be handled at once, while also lowering their costs. The main question is how to most effectively do this.

The solution to adding capacity varies depending on the type of cell site, its location, the equipment and technologies supported and other factors. The fundamental challenge at any large macro site is adding new technology, frequency bands and/or equipment while not disrupting the current services. In Europe today that means putting 4G on top of 2G and 3G cell sites in a seamless, cost-efficient manner without hurting quality of service.


Bringing LTE Network Performance Monitoring to the Subscriber Level

his guest post was written by Affandy Johan, Senior Product Marketing Manager, InfoVista

This guest post was written by Affandy Johan, Senior Product Marketing Manager, InfoVista

As of March 2015, LTE network coverage is now available for 98% of Americans, up from just over half of the U.S. population in 2011. Worldwide, 124 countries now have LTE coverage, with another 18 scheduled to roll out LTE this year. That represents a huge investment from governments and leading operators, which have each poured billions into bringing the speed and bandwidth of LTE to subscribers.

 Most mobile operators would agree that there are gaps in their processes for maintaining a high quality of experience (QoE) throughout LTE networks, though. While their goal is to quickly identify and address LTE network performance issues before they impact subscribers, many lack the necessary insight into subscriber and network data to accomplish this. As a result, LTE network optimization can be very challenging, often leading to subscriber churn when QoE falls short.

But, what if mobile operators could proactively combat this by thinking about performance from the subscriber perspective? What if they could troubleshoot their LTE networks based on data about subscriber QoE, rather than on just network KPIs?


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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