Archive for the ‘Small cells’ 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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Adding Capacity Is a “Small Cell” Matter

Philip Sorrells, Vice president of strategic marketing, Commscope

Philip Sorrells, Vice president of Strategic Marketing, CommScope

This Guest Post was written by Philip Sorrells, VP of Strategic Marketing, CommScope

Everybody’s talking about them, but what exactly is a small cell? In many people’s minds, a small cell is a very low power femto cell, installed in a home or office. It’s a radio device. In my mind (and in many others, too), a small cell is anything that is not a typical macro site, deployed to solve a network capacity problem.

Small cells can be indoor or outdoor. They can vary in power level. Some are carrier grade, some are for consumers. But what defines a small cell is not one of these characteristics, but rather what a small cell is trying to do-add capacity in some manner besides a standard macro site.

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The Do’s & Don’ts of the Enterprise Small Cells Lifecycle

This Guest Post was written by Art King, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies at SpiderCloud Wireless

Art King, SpiderCloud Wireless, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies

Art King, SpiderCloud Wireless, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies

In our work with mobile operators to accelerate small cell systems inside medium to large enterprises, we have learned much over the last five years to create win-win formulas for enterprise IT and our mobile operator customers. It is hard-earned knowledge that only a seasoned executive team could have anticipated and managed by an experienced field team.

So, in the spirit of sharing our knowledge, here are “5 Small Cell System Do’s and Don’ts of Enterprise.”

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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…)

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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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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Cost Optimised Indoor Coverage

Andrew Mackay, Manager Mobile Solutions, Cisco Systems

Andrew Mackay, Manager Mobile Solutions, Cisco Systems

This post is by Andrew Mackay, Manager Mobile Solutions, Cisco Systems

In my last post Bringing LTE Indoors, I discussed the compelling need to address LTE coverage indoors to enable service migration off 3G, particularly for Voice. We know there is a variety of options for MNOs to address indoor coverage, either from outside in with more outdoor sites, or from inside with wider use of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), repeaters or small cells. The “outdoor in” approach would mean even more BTS sites, but site acquisition challenges and build costs generally mean this is no longer an option in urban areas. Addressing coverage from indoors makes sense, but what is the optimal solution?

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LTE World Summit 2014 – Day One Round-Up

Once again the LTE World Summit returned to the sunny streets on Amsterdam, or at least to the interior of the RAI exhibition centre, which is nearly as good. This time up on stage a live Twitter feed was visible behind the speakers, providing an opportunity for those in the audience to get their Tweet up on the big screen in real-time – always a thrill.

Proceedings were kicked off by Erik Hoving, CTO of KPN. Hoving reiterated a theme that he has expressed before from this platform – that operators need to move away from specifications and become more people centric.

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“We need to figure out the role of the smartphone,” he said. “The future isn’t about LTE or 5G, it’s about users. If we don’t understand users, we don’t have a role to play. We need to move to a user centric world.”

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The Benefits of OSS to Mitigate Operational Impacts from LTE

This post is by Regis Lerbour,  Tech Director, InfoVista

Regis Lerbour,  Tech Director, I, InfoVista

Regis Lerbour, Tech Director, InfoVista

LTE networks offer great benefits for mobile operators and their subscribers. For one, they are designed to easily and efficiently meet consumers’ growing demand for mobile data, which will be a crucial factor in ensuring an optimum customer experience. Plus, LTE simplifies the backhaul network, removes the need for complex and expensive network control functions, and reduces CAPEX and OPEX by using cheaper transport technology like IP and Ethernet.

However, despite these benefits, we’ve also seen a number of operational impacts arise for mobile operators deploying LTE. What many mobile operators don’t realize is that they need to dramatically change their Operations Support Systems (OSS) to plan, launch, optimize and manage these LTE networks. Here are a few tips to get the most out of LTE deployments:

Invest in mobile network planning

With higher frequencies of small cells and femtocells, a greater rate of change within the mobile network and higher expectations from subscribers, mobile operators will need to focus on their mobile network planning efforts. This particularly applies to backhaul planning, which will need to be very closely linked to the radio planning process in order to coordinate cell capacity with backhaul capability. Mobile operators will also benefit from tying in network performance data to this process in order to ensure they are able to continuously optimize LTE networks and ensure optimal performance.

Extend fault performance tools to the access network

As mobile operators scale their LTE access networks, they will need enhanced fault and performance tools to support the growing volume of connected devices. This will be accelerated as mobile operators are relied upon to manage quality of service (QoS) for more and more applications and services, such as VoLTE. With this shift, there will also be a need for trend and predictive functions that can pre-warn mobile operators of issues that require troubleshooting.

Maximize service value while supporting cost reduction

In addition to making these OSS changes, mobile operators must improve other internal processes so that they can not only deliver a great customer experience to subscribers but also realize the business benefits of LTE. This includes aligning network planning, network performance management and network optimization in order to optimize LTE functionality.

Be sure to join me at LTE World Summit for my presentation on this topic on June 25th at 2:40 p.m. During this talk, I will dive further into potential LTE stumbling blocks, and explain how the combination of LTE networks and targeted OSS changes can improve subscriber QoS and benefit mobile operators’ businesses.

Blurring the Lines between Enterprise and Mobile Networks with LTE+ 3G

This post is by Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO of SpiderCloud

This post is by Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO of SpiderCloud

Deploying dense and scalable indoor small cell systems is not straightforward, especially when it comes do serving large enterprise customers. Our experience shows the indoor RF environment gets increasingly complex and challenging as the density of the deployment increases. This is particularly true in multi-story buildings where mobile devices experience a three-dimensional (3D) RF environment. A single handset is able to see a very large number of small cells, some on its own floor and others from floors above and below it. The radio signal inside buildings experiences flat fading, which means that even a stationary handset sees signal from small cells fluctuate by 6-8 dB. Despite such variation in signal quality, a small cell RAN should remain stable and not drop calls, or experience throughput degradation.

fig1

Figure 1: Indoor radio environment is more challenging in dense small cell deployments than macro networks.

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Deploying Small Cell Systems with 3-D in Mind

- Amit Jain, Vice President of Product Management, SpiderCloud Wireless

– Amit Jain, Vice President of Product Management, SpiderCloud Wireless

Deploying dense and scalable indoor small cell systems is not straightforward. SpiderCloud’s experience shows the indoor RF environment gets increasingly complex and challenging as the density of the deployment increases. This is particularly true in multi-story buildings where mobile devices experience a three-dimensional (3D) RF environment. A single handset is able to see a very large number of small cells, some on its own floor and others from floors above and below it. The radio signal inside buildings experiences flat fading, which means that even a stationary handset sees signal from small cells fluctuate by 6-8 dB. Despite such variation in signal quality, a small cell RAN should remain stable and not drop calls, or experience throughput degradation.

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Being Streetwise – Urban Small Cells for LTE

Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

This post is by Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

In the eyes of many consumers, 4G/LTE is no longer a next-gen technology. Numerous operators around the globe have rolled out their networks, are in the process of doing so or are planning to in the near future. Similarly, the latest and most desirable devices being launched boast 4G capability; something that will become less a feature, more of a standard as the year goes on.

But as more of the population migrate to 4G, taking advantage of the faster data speeds available to them, there is a risk networks will face similar bottlenecks to those of 3G. It is of the utmost importance operators can deliver the headline speeds that make 4G so attractive. (more…)

Hyper-dense small cells – If they can work here, they can work anywhere!

Prakash Sangam Director, Technical Marketing, Qualcomm

This post is by Prakash Sangam Director, Technical Marketing, Qualcomm

On March 1st and 2nd 2014, the eyes and ears of NASCAR fans were on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race being held at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona (PIR). While fans were nervously biting their nails during the race and cheering ecstatically when their favorite driver pulled off a pass, we at Qualcomm joined them. Admittedly, we were not there only to see the spectacle of NASCAR. Phoenix International Raceway was the venue for the joint trial among Sprint, NASCAR and Qualcomm Technologies. The companies were stress-testing and validating the “hyper-dense small cells” concept and our “UltraSON” suite of features. And when the results were in, we were as ecstatic—perhaps more so than the fans of the winning car and driver.

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LTE: Long Term “Extreme” behavior

Dr Michael Flanagan, JDSU

Dr Michael Flanagan – CTO Mobility, JDSU

This post is by Dr Michael Flanagan – CTO Mobility, JDSU

The presence of “extreme” data users is well-known in the industry and past reports have shown that as little as one per cent of the hungriest UMTS users consume half of all downlink data. The advent of LTE has introduced unprecedented downlink data rates in the wireless mass market.  It has been postulated that the combination of extreme users and high data rates would result in a perfect storm where the hungriest users consume even more due to a high-speed delivery mechanism.  Recent analyses confirm this prediction and show that LTE users are ten times more extreme than their UMTS predecessors.

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Interview: Technology consultant, Oi Brazil: “Oi considers small cells as important tools for improving customer experience by increasing coverage and capacity.”

Alberto Boaventura

Alberto Boaventura, technology consultant for Oi Brazil

Oi Brasil is the brand name of Telemar, one of the four large carriers operating in Brazil, with over 50 million subscribers as of December 2013, according to Informa’s WCIS statistics. LTE deployment and uptake is in its early stages, but Alberto Boaventura, technology consultant for Oi, describes how delivering capacity rather than speed is the focus for its network deployment.

Boaventura is speaking at the fifth annual LTE LATAM conference, taking place on the 28th-30th April 2014, at the Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where you can catch him speaking on Day Two describing a case study focusing on how 4G is providing a new level of experience for customers.

How big an opportunity is the forthcoming World Cup for Oi Brasil?

Oi is as official sponsor of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and our focus is to accomplish this important mission.

How important will LTE roaming be in time for the World Cup next year?

Currently, the infrastructure and interconnection agreements are on course to provide LTE Roaming in 2014.

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The Top 5 4G predictions for 2014

Top five.As we hit the end of the calendar year, we take a look into the crystal ball to see what’s ahead for LTE in 2014.

  1. lte-advanced-logo-rgb-lLTE-A (Wide commercial LTE Advanced deployment)
    The number one prediction for LTE in 2014 is something of a ‘no brainer’, as Kevin Bacon would say. – LTE Advanced will become a commercial reality in several networks. LTE Advanced consists of several improvements over standard LTE, but the key one is carrier aggregation, enabling different frequencies to be combined and treated as one channel of bandwidth, delivering great performance. Demos have shown speeds of up to 300Mbps – doubling existing speeds.Not surprisingly, the South Korean’s are ahead of the game and deployed LTE Advanced back in June, with a special variant of the Galaxy S4 as the supported handset.In the UK, EE is trialling LTE-A in ‘Tech City’ in central London, with an aim to wider deployment in mid-2014. In Australia Telstra is also trialling, as is its sister company CSL in Hong Kong. US networks have been more coy about revealing an LTE Advanced timetable, but progress is to be certainly to be expected next year. In the world where there’s an ever increasing insatiable demand for data, LTE Advanced will provide a timely performance boost for networks.

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Adding Capacity Is a “Small Cell” Matter

This post is by Philip Sorrells, Vice President, Site Solutions, CommScope

This post is by Philip Sorrells, Vice President, Site Solutions, CommScope

Everybody’s talking about them, but what exactly is a small cell? In many people’s minds, a small cell is a very low power femto cell, installed in a home or office. It’s a radio device. In my mind (and in many others, too), a small cell is anything that is not a typical macro site, deployed to solve a network capacity problem.

Small cells can be indoor or outdoor. They can vary in power level. Some are carrier grade, some are for consumers. But what defines a small cell is not one of these characteristics, but rather what a small cell is trying to do—add capacity in some manner besides a standard macro site.

With that definition in mind, I see four viable “small cell” paths for wireless operators to explore for expanding wireless capacity:

  • Distributed antenna system (DAS) – the original small cell. DAS has proven itself in the field for around for 25 years or so. DAS networks often are multi-operator, multi-technology, high capacity solutions. As Infonetics’ recent research predicts, the DAS market will continue to grow as DAS has already established itself in the operators’ toolkits.
  • Pico cells or mini remote radio heads. These solutions are targeted at adding capacity in medium to large buildings, for one operator only.
  • Multibeam antennas and sector splitting. Certain sectors in macro sites, or whole sites themselves, can be in locations that see tons of data traffic. Such hot sectors need new solutions for adding capacity, increasing gain to penetrate buildings better and/or cover more outdoor space. Splitting a sector in two about doubles the capacity, and with twin beam or multibeam antennas, one antenna can handle the job.
  • Concealed, integrated metro cells. These are basically mini macro sites, designed to address the common problems of site acquisition and licensing in congested areas. The remote radio unit, antenna and other RF path equipment are concealed in one monopole type structure.

All of these four solutions need to address the challenges of site acquisition, power, backhaul and network performance to meet operators’ needs.

What do you think of these small cell approaches? What advice can you give about deploying them in the field?

I will be talking more about them in my presentation at LTE North America on November 21 at 12:15 p.m. titled “So You Want to Go Small? – Practical Considerations for Adding Capacity in a Small Cell Approach.” (Quite a long title for a “small” subject, I know.)

Interview: Senior Technology Architect, Telus: “operators should look towards policy management solutions to ensure subscribers get a consistent QoE.”

Ricky Gill, Senior Technology Architect, Telus

Ricky Gill, Senior Technology Architect, Telus

Ricky Gill, Senior Technology Architect, Telus is speaking in the “Handling the Mobile Data Explosion” track on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Here, we get a sense of the opportunities and challenges that the data explosion represents.

How has LTE impacted the Canadian telecoms market?

LTE has provided a limited impact on the overall market but hard trends have emerged that are adding disruption to the status quo. Roughly 50 per cent of Canadians have a smartphone, so there is room for the penetration rate to grow and help to counter balance the decline in voice/messaging revenue due to OTT IP voice and messaging services. That line will cross and operators will rely on VoLTE to decommission their legacy networks to manage costs. In addition, investment in RCS services will increase in an attempt to compete or co-operate as required. The big three Canadian operators will refocus their traditional TV service offerings as well, as the uptake of paid-for OTT services continues to increase at a higher than projected rate.

 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: Chairman, Small Cells Forum and AVP Small Cell Solutions, AT&T (USA): “Small cells represent a critical tool in any operator’s arsenal.”

Gordon Mansfield, Chairman, Small Cells Forum and AVP Small Cell Solutions, AT&T (USA)

Gordon Mansfield, Chairman, Small Cells Forum and AVP Small Cell Solutions, AT&T (USA)

Gordon Mansfield, Chairman, Small Cells Forum and AVP Small Cell Solutions, AT&T (USA), is delivering a keynote on Day Two of the of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we find out how and why small cells are going to become a critical part of every operator’s network.

How would you sell the benefits of using small cells in a network?

It’s a well-publicised fact mobile data usage is continuing to grow with no sign of this abating; as such, carriers need to increase network capacity. While there are a number of means of bolstering capacity – moving to 4G, improving spectrum efficiency, Wi-Fi offload – nothing comes close to frequency reuse through increased numbers of cell sites which improve capacity by up to 1600x. In addition, small cells yield noticeable benefits for the macro network; a 2012 Forum study showed that by placing four small cells within one macro, not only is data offload of over 50 per cent achieved, the macro network performance is improved by 315 per cent. Small cells give operators a relatively low-cost means of augmenting their networks where improvements are needed, whether it’s a busy urban area or remote village with poor coverage. This isn’t to say small cells will supersede macro cells or that they overcome all spectrum limitations, but they do now represent a critical tool in any operator’s arsenal.

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: 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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The 3G/LTE Enterprise Opportunity Beyond Basic Coverage and Capacity

This post is by Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO of SpiderCloud

This post is by Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO of SpiderCloud

Small cells and enterprise are hot topics that inspire many well-known industry analysts. One of them, Joe Madden with Mobile Experts with Mobile Experts, sees the implications: “The in-building wireless market is the next frontier. That’s where data traffic happens, and the variety of building types and enterprise types will create a very dynamic market.”

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Interview: Senior Systems Engineer, Sprint: “We expect that small cells will be key to 2500MHz network densification.”

Patrick Urgento, Senior Systems Engineer, Sprint

Patrick Urgento, Senior Systems Engineer, Sprint

Patrick Urgento, Senior Systems Engineer, Sprint is speaking in the “Future of LTE” track on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how its progressing with deploying LTE at three frequencies at once. 

What are the biggest challenges involved in integrating the Clearwire TD-LTE spectrum you recently acquired with Sprint’s existing LTE network?

There really hasn’t been a major challenge with Integrating Clearwire’s spectrum.  Before the acquisition, there was a plan in to integrate more than 5000 Clearwire TD-LTE sites by the end of the year, and that is on track to be completed. We are in the process of selecting several thousand more Clearwire sites for the first half of 2014. Clearwire had done an amazing job operating a low cost network and we have been working on interoperability with Clearwire site vendors and Sprint EPC core vendors for a while.  As these sites come online and customers access them, we expect they can see speeds in the tens of Mbps.

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Interview: VP Americas, Small Cell Forum: “The benefits of small cells is the ease of deployment”.

Andy Germano, VP Americas, Small Cell Forum

Andy Germano, VP Americas, Small Cell Forum

Andy Germano, VP Americas, Small Cell Forum is taking part in a panel discussion: “Small Cells and SON” in the Hetnets track on Day One of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the latest in small cells and how he they will be deployed.

What do you think are the biggest challenges in dealing with the implementation of small cells into a network?

As small cells migrate into HetNets and open access to outdoor applications, frequency coordination with macro cellular networks becomes more important.  Another area of importance is backhaul.   One of the benefits of small cells is the ease of deployment. Selecting the right backhaul connection including scalability for future growth potential is also important.

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Interview: CTO, PT. Bakrie Telecom: “I believe small cells will play an important and key role in the LTE access network.”

Thatha Rao, CTO, PT. Bakrie Telecom, Indonesia

Thatha Rao, CTO, PT. Bakrie Telecom, Indonesia

Thatha Rao, CTO, PT. Bakrie Telecom, Indonesia is speaking in the Network Optimisation track on Day One of the LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about his the various challenges of deploying LTE in a developing country.

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

Currently we are preparing various 4G deployment options as the Indonesian government has not yet decided on the exact spectrum and license mechanism for LTE deployment. It is expected to announce this during 2014.

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

It’s definitely going to be a big challenge, especially in Indonesia. This is a key developing country in the region but on the positive side it has lots of growth prospects over the next few years. The traditional model of deploying LTE for high spending customers and later extending the service to other segments may not work this time, simply because the revenues generated by this niche segment can’t justify what we need to spend for CAPEX and OPEX. However, if we choose the mass subscriber approach, price becomes the predominant factor compared to service quality and high speed.

The LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Tell me about the fresh challenges that LTE brings with regard to backhaul?

I believe small cells will play an important and key role in the LTE access network in order to create better coverage and speeds. To reach these small cells with optical fibre though is definitely not an economical option and would also be very tedious, so we need a strategy that uses point-to multi-point radio backhaul technologies using short wave, which offers high bandwidth within short distances.

Where is LTE Advanced on your roadmap? Will you implementing it all at once or gradually introducing key features?

We preferred to take a gradual approach, based on demand and customer needs.

Why is attending the LTE Asia conference such an important date in your diary?

Frankly, I don’t want do make many mistakes in my LTE deployment, so  learning from the struggles and success stories of other LTE operators is the prime reason for me to attend this conference.

Managing the interaction between 2G, 3G and LTE within Heterogeneous Networks

Neil Coleman, director global marketing, Actix

Neil Coleman, director global marketing, Actix

This post is by Neil Coleman, director global marketing, Actix.

As networks become increasingly complex and demands from subscribers soar, mobile operators face common issues when they lack a reliable, consistent and accurate view of the network. 

Mobile data services are undergoing tremendous growth. As a result operators are busily knitting together a Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) of access technologies from cellular towers, rooftop antennas, metrocells, femtocells, and Wi-Fi to Distributed Antenna Systems. This development is being driven by subscriber demand for consistent wireless broadband coverage and capacity, with the result that the mobile network is moving increasingly ‘closer’ to the consumer.

LTE offers a step change in mobile data performance, setting new expectations for customer experience. LTE will increase interaction with the network, increasing the demand for mobile multimedia services – online television, video streaming, social networking, and interactive gaming.

Considering the huge variations in performance, range and capacity between different access technologies and spectrum bands, operators will need to carefully control the interactions to provide a consistent subscriber experience. Simply put: customer experience in HetNets will be defined by the poorest network performance the subscriber typically receives during normal day to day usage.

If operators get this wrong, subscribers could experience catastrophic drop-offs when handed over from relatively under-utilised LTE networks to congested 3G/2G networks.  Similarly as subscribers leave Wi-Fi or small cell hotspots and re-join macro networks speed bumps will impact the always connected data experience new services rely on.

All of this requires operators to get the initial coverage mix right and ensure handovers and interactions occur at the right places at the right time. Critical to this is an understanding of how subscribers and data traffic flow across the network and the geography. This type of information can be obtained from systems that deliver increased network and subscriber intelligence. Software platforms such as ActixOne are designed to deliver real-time geo-located subscriber insights to drive everything from long term planning through to optimisation and SON.

This intelligence then enables the operator to shape and manage bandwidth to deliver the required quality of service, improving and optimising network efficiency so that the transition across the HetNet is a smooth, invisible and painless experience for the subscriber.

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