Archive for the ‘TD-LTE’ Category

Founding director Packet One, GTI Steering Committee: “2014 has being a defining year for TD-LTE.”

Pen San Tang, founding director of Packet One and on the GTI Steering Committee

Pen San Tang, founding director of Packet One and on the GTI Steering Committee

Could the TD-LTE eco-system match or even outpace that of FDD? Pen San Tang, founding director of Packet One and on the GTI Steering Committee, certainly think so. To hear more from Tang come to hear him speak in the TD-LTE track on Day One of the 9th annual LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 23rd-25th September 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. 

How is P1 progressing with the launch of LTE-based services?

P1 is in the midst of completing a strategic investment agreement and joint collaboration between Malaysia’s leading broadband player, Telekom Malaysia Berhad and its existing stakeholders; founder Green Packet Berhad and South Korea’s SK Telecom for the rollout of LTE. The transaction is anticipated to be completed by Q3, and the teams have come together to do extensive planning.

What is your strategy to move from WiMAX to TD-LTE?

P1’s WiMAX network will continue to provide broadband services to customers as a parallel LTE network is built out. Once WiMAX customers have migrated out over a number of years, P1 expects to use the 2.3Ghz spectrum as an additional capacity band to meet the growing data demands of customers. However, the use of the spectrum would be subject to local regulatory approval.

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Interview: Transmission Senior Manager, Mobinnet Telecom Company: “LTE-A shows a secure and future-proof investment path for LTE.”

Senior IP Transmission Manager, Mobinnet, Iran

Senior IP Transmission Manager, Mobinnet, Iran

Mobinnet, Iran’s countries only national broadband operator, has started the pilot phase of its TD-LTE deployment. Come and hear more from Ali Tahmasebi, its Transmission Senior Manager, who is speaking on how Mobinnet is handling the coming data explosion on Day Two of the 10th annual LTE World Summit, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.

Please give us an overview of what stage your LTE deployment is at?

Mobinnet Telecom Co. (MTC) is the only nationwide wireless broadband (4G-WiMAX) operator in the country with services ranging from broadband internet access, VoIP, and VPN. The company is the largest WiMAX Operator in the Middle East. While we at Mobinnet are planning to upgrade the network to new technology, at the same time we are expanding the existing network to cover new locations and add new capacity to congested areas.

Regarding the future broadband experience for Mobinnet’s customers, a peer review of subscriber demand and an analysis of global deployment of LTE led us to select TD-LTE technology. We have finalised all the technical considerations for both LTE and the EPC domain. Most of the jobs in the network planning domain is done and we have started the pilot phase.

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Where next for LTE?

Keith Dyer is Editor of The Mobile Network

Keith Dyer is Editor of The Mobile Network

For understandable reasons, most attention regarding LTE progression tends to focus on the sort of technical features that will boost capacities and decrease latencies across the network. I’m thinking of those items that are about enabling Carrier Aggregation, interference cancellation, HetNet co-ordination, increased antenna arrays and so on.

But LTE as a technology is also travelling in another direction. If the “more features enabling more bandwidth” path represents a vertical deepening of LTE’s capabilities, you might call this other direction a horizontal expansion. That is because this direction of travel sees LTE radio technology being used for something other than increased cellular capacities, but instead utilises (in the proper meaning of that word) LTE for a wider range of applications. Although these may be niche use cases, I think they are interesting to keep an eye on for three main reasons.

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Update: Classy HTC One M8 impresses but eschews VoLTE and LTE-A

HTC unveiled its latest flagship phone at the Olympia in London at an event tonight that in terms of scale was reminiscent of Apple’s best handset launches. The AV presentation was certainly big, bold and brash, though with the best will in the world, HTC’s execs do not have quite the same flair as Apple’s.

IMG_0399

It has less to worry about with the handset itself though – the HTC One M8, is a fine device. HTC clearly has an obsession with metal and its global head of design Scott Croyle boasted that 90 per cent of the handset consisted a a unibody metal construction, up from 70 per cent on last year’s HTC One M7. The finish is certainly polished and refined, and very premium in feel. This makes it slightly ironic that the case that HTC is touting covers all of that up.

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Interview: Partner, Head of India and South Asia, Analysys Mason: “Rather the future would be one where both TD and FD LTE co-exist in a complimentary fashion.”

Rohan-Dhamija

Rohan Dhamija, Partner, Head of India and South Asia, Analysys Mason

Rohan Dhamija, Partner, Head of India and South Asia, Analysys Mason is speaking on a panel discussion entitled, “Battleground of the Standards: TD-LTE vs FD-LTE”, at the TD-LTE summit taking place on the 8th-9th April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore.  

How do the challenges of the TD-LTE focussed operators differ from that of the FD-LTE?

I would say that the ecosystem challenges for TD operator are more significant than that of FD operators.

The TD-LTE eco-system grew significantly in 2013 but a disparity with FD LTE remains. Will TD-LTE always play ‘second fiddle’ to FDD?

I think it’s less about ‘second fiddle’ but rather the future would be one where both TD and FD LTE co-exist in a complimentary fashion (even potentially within the same network). So, for example, FD could be the coverage layer, whereas TD would play the role of the capacity layer.

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Interview: Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, Indosat, Indonesia: “The eco-system for [TD-LTE] smartphone devices still has a way to go.”

Prashant-Gokarn

Prashant Gokarn, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer for Indosat

It’s clear from this interview with Prashant Gokarn, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer for Indosat, that TD-LTE device availability is a big concern in the Indonesian market and Gokarn will be speaking on the subject of “Operator expectations from vendors and from device OEMs” at the 2nd annual TD-LTE Summit, taking place on the 8th-9th April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore.

How is Indosat’s LTE roll-out progressing?

Indosat has TD-LTE spectrum at 2.3GHz in the Western part of Indonesia (West Java) and has 20MHz of (GSM) spectrum in the 1800MHz band.

On the FD-LTE side of things, our network has been recently modernised and is LTE-ready;  we need a simple upgrade to launch FD-LTE on 1800MHz band on our modernised network. We are now looking at the price points for FD-LTE compatible handsets and we continually monitor our device portfolio for the number of LTE compatible handsets on our network.

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Interview: Founding Director, Packet One, Malaysia: “Innovative services and applications in the M2M market will create the Internet of Things, with cost-effective inter-connection for ubiquitous wireless broadband.”

Pen San Tang

Pen San Tang , Founding Director, Packet One, Malaysia

Packet One is the main alternative to the local incumbent for mobile broadband in Malaysia and in this interview we with its founding director Pen San Tang we find more about P1’s transition to from WiMAX to LTE and his views on the potential of the TD-LTE eco-system in 2014.

Pen San Tang will be taking part in a panel discussion entitled “Why TD-LTE? Assessing the Key TD-LTE Drivers” at the TD-LTE conference, taking place on the 8-9 April 2014 at the Fairmont Singapore.

Please tell us the latest state-of-play for P1’s LTE deployment

P1 is planning to deploy TD-LTE using 20MHz in the 2.5GHz band and is finalising its financing arrangement for the deployment.

What are the prospects for the TD-LTE eco-system in 2014?

With China Mobile deploying on a very large scale after the release of commercial TD-LTE license and the Softbank acquisition of Sprint/Clearwire, the eco-system is expected to grow very significantly in 2014.

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Interview: CEO of Sazz, Azerbaijan: “We expect the most significant development of 2014 to be the maturity of LTE-Advanced technology and its features”.

Jayhun Mollazande, Sazz

Jayhun Mollazade is CEO of WiMAX carrier Sazz

Jayhun Mollazade is the CEO of Sazz, the Azerbaijani broadband provider owned by local telecoms operator Azqtel. He is delivering a case study on the operators Wimax to LTE migration strategy on Day Two of the 4th annual LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE. In the interview we get an update on Sazz’s plans, and Mollazade’s view of the TD-LTE eco-system, and what he thinks will have an impact on the LTE industry in 2014.

What’s the latest update on your deployment of an LTE network?

We have recently spent time attending seminars, technical presentations and webinars to gain deep knowledge about the LTE technology, its technical applications and benefits and how we can apply it to our company and customers. We have also spent some time planning the possible deployment of LTE and our migration path from Wimax. Have completed discussions with several vendors and we expect to make a selection sometime soon.

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Sprint looking to live up to its name with 1.3GHz TD-LTE demo

1300MHz_Sprint_TDDLTE

Sprint has demoed speeds of over 1.3Gbps in tests with its infrastructure partner NSN

Despite its name, Sprint, the US carrier, was for the past couple of years, left in the slow lane for data as it saw its rivals Verizon Wirelesss, and AT&T streak ahead and launch LTE. However, in recent months it has gone through a large amount of network evolution, retiring its iDEN network, and acquiring Clearwire, giving it access to a large swathe of spectrum, enabling it to complete with the big guys.

Recently it announced Sprint Spark, which it dubs an ‘ultra-fast’ LTE service delivering speeds of 50-60Mbps. In a recent interview with the LTE World Series, Dr. John Saw, SVP, Technical Architecture, of Sprint said it plans to do this using a bunch of LTE Advanced technologies, specifically carrier aggregation to make 40, 60 and 80MHz bandwidth pipes, and MIMO techniques.

It hasn’t happened quite yet though, and according to this test in early November 2013 from the Wall Street Times, Walt Mossberg, who performed LTE 20 speed tests in three locations, AT&T is the fastest overall network. However, it does vary greatly by region, and if you look at 2min 54 in the video on the page you’ll see that in Silicon Valley, the heartland of all things tech, Sprint easily wins with average speeds of over 20Mbps, nearly double of AT&T.

However, it’s not content with stopping there. As demonstrated in the video below it has conducted tests with its new partner NSN, where, in test conditions, it has achieved a heady 1.3Gbps on the downlink in a single sector, around 10 times the throughput of today’s commercial networks. This is using its TDD spectrum on 2.5GHz band. TD-LTE is of course particularly efficient use of spectrum and the high frequency enables the faster speeds.

As impressive as that sounds, it’s worth stepping back and observing that this is only slightly faster than the speeds that up until just a few years ago, the ITU officially designated at 4G. True 4G was originally only meant to be used for networks that could deliver 100Mbps on the move, and 1Gbps when stationary. Anything below that was really an enhancement of 3G, until the US networks starting marketing 4G as basically anything. Anyway, semantics aside, it’s impressive that LTE is moving forward at a rapid pace.

The video is presented by Steven Bye, Chief Technical Officer for Sprint. While Steven is a regular at Informa’s LTE events he isn’t at LTE North America, but the aforementioned John Saw, SVP, Technical Architecture is appearing, and will be giving a keynote speech on Day One of the LTE North America 2013 conference, taking place on Thursday 21st November 2013.

Interview: SVP, Technical Architecture, Sprint: “We have the ability to build a bigger pipe than the competition because of our spectrum position.”

Dr. John Saw, SVP, Technical Architecture, Sprint

Dr. John Saw, SVP, Technical Architecture, Sprint

Dr. John Saw, SVP, Technical Architecture, Sprint is delivering a keynote address on “Analyzing the LTE Opportunity”, 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 he tells us more about how Sprint is differentiating itself from the competition and gives us the low down on its Spark brand. 

It’s a crowded market out there. How is your network differentiated from the competition?

How we’re different is pretty simple. We have the ability to build a bigger pipe than the competition because of our spectrum position, especially in the top 100 markets. We have a lot of contiguous spectrum at 2.5GHz, and this allows for carrier aggregation to build the big pipes we need to ultimately offer better performance, faster speeds, and unlimited data. We actually want customers to use our LTE network because we will have the capacity to support the demand for high speed data. Where it’s really coming together (how we’re different) can be seen in Sprint SparkSM – an effort that we expect to bring together some of the most advanced technologies in wireless to deliver unprecedented speeds.

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: Vice president of Sprint Technology development and corporate strategy: “The three largest economies in the world all embrace Band 41 and represent nearly two billion potential subscribers.”

Ron Marquardt, vice president of Sprint Technology development and corporate strategy

Ron Marquardt, vice president of Sprint Technology development and corporate strategy

Ron Marquardt, vice president of Sprint Technology development and corporate strategy is delivering a keynote address of Day Two of the Broadband World Forum, taking place on the 22nd – 24th October 2013 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how China’s adoption of Band 41 affects the TD-LTE eco-system, and find out how Sprint responds to rival claims that its support of unlimited data is untenable.

What is the current road map for competing with the LTE network of the other major telcos in the US?

All major carriers in the US have been deploying LTE aggressively across multiple frequency bands. We have been and continue to deploy LTE across three different frequency bands within the Sprint network, including 800MHz, 1900MHz and 2.5GHz. This provides customers with a great combination of 4G coverage and capacity.  We are deploying both FDD-LTE and TDD-LTE, and with the combination of the bands provide a benefit which is greater than the sum of the parts.

Last year China chose Band 41 for TD-LTE.  What impact did that news have on the TD-LTE eco-system and specifically for Clearwire?

The Chinese government indeed adopted Band 41, specifying the 2.5 GHz spectrum allocation via the MIIT, the Chinese equivalent of the U.S. FCC, and this was announced by the MIIT’s vice minister at the ITU meeting in Dubai, October, 2012.  Sprint, SoftBank and Clearwire have all been very strong advocates for TDD-LTE for some time and now the three largest economies in the world all embrace Band 41 and represent nearly two billion potential subscribers.   We are working very closely with SoftBank to drive the ecosystem.

You have a lot of high frequency capacity spectrum. How will you be using other technologies, such as small cells, to supplement the network to enable greater coverage?

Small cells are just one tool, which we have as part of our network deployment and we will use whatever tools are available and cost effective to meet the needs of our customers. We have been deploying small cells for some time, ranging from residential femto-cells, enterprise femto-cells and pico-cells. The primary focus has been to address in-door coverage and capacity needs.

The Broadband World Forum is taking place on the 22nd – 24th October 2013 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Click here to download a brochure for the event and here to register for a conference pass.

You have shut down iDEN to reduce network complexity but now operate both TD-LTE and FDD LTE networks.  To what extent does that increase complexity once again, and what is your roadmap for CDMA?

Having both FDD and TDD LTE does not complicate Sprint’s network the way iDEN did.  iDEN was a completely separate network with duplicate costs and management needs. We are repurposing the 800MHz spectrum that was being used for the Nextel Network to support CDMA and LTE.

How do you respond to rival’s claims that sticking with unlimited data plans will impact quality of experience?

Some people believe the ability to support unlimited is somehow related to physics. It is not clear which school of physics they believe is related to offering customers a better experience.  However, it is very clear our competitors are setting up toll booths and charging customers for their usage, while watching the meter and their cash registers turn over. I guess as their customer you can always choose to avoid the LTE toll roads they are building and stay on Wi-Fi. We take a very different approach.  We are focused on the needs of our customers and we listen to our customers. We actually encourage our customers to use our LTE network – unlimited is all about simplicity and convenience.

Interview: CEO of Malaysian communications provider YTL: “we believe the ecosystem for TD-LTE will soon cross the tipping point.”

Wing Lee, CEO of Malaysian communications provider YTL

Wing Lee, CEO of Malaysian communications provider YTL

Wing Lee, CEO of Malaysian communications provider YTL is speaking on the subject of Managed Service and Cloud Platforms on Day Two of the LTE 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 state of YTL’s 4G networks and Lee’s view on TD-LTE technology.

What the current situation with regards LTE in terms of spectrum allocation and launch plans?

We have been a good steward of the spectrum allocated to us by the government and have used that to build the largest 4G footprint in Malaysia. With the addition of LTE to our 4G network, that will only serve to give us additional competitive advantage. We are actively working toward that and will be ready to make announcements when the time is right. Granted, having more spectrum allocation will only enable us to do more for the benefit of our customers.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the TD-LTE eco-system?

We like TD spectrum as it is more flexible and efficient compared to FD spectrum and we are particularly pleased that our spectrum holding positions us very well for that. We think TD-LTE is tracking to be an important global standard. With China and India both preparing toward TD-LTE launches, we believe the ecosystem for TD-LTE will soon cross the tipping point.

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Interview: Senior manager, Packet One, Malaysia: “For P1, LTE is critical… to capture the high growth segment of smartphone and tablet users.”

Mariappan Chanachayai, senior manager, Packet One, Malaysia

Mariappan Chanachayai, senior manager, Packet One, Malaysia

Mariappan Chanachayai, senior manager, Packet One, Malaysia is speaking in the LTE Evolution 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 how the transition to LTE is progressing for P1 and learn his thoughts in monetisation, Joyn, VoLTE and LTE handsets.

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

P1 was awarded 20MHz on the 2.6GHz spectrum band to roll out TD-LTE in December 2012. We have issued a request for proposal (RFP) and are in the process of selecting a vendor. As P1’s WiMAX platform on the 2.3GHz band is hardware and software upgradeable to offer TD-LTE it is important for us to ensure our TD-LTE network carries new features and has a higher capability system.  P1 has been active since 2011 to trial and showcase the technology and has showcased ease of transitioning between WiMAX and TDD LTE alongside ZTE Corporation. The demonstration, performed on the 2.3GHz spectrum, achieved 130Mbps on a 20MHz band during the peak downlink throughput in a cell.

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Interview: CTO, Sprint: “Interoperability between FDD and TDD offers exciting new opportunities.”

Stephen Bye, CTO, Sprint

Stephen Bye, CTO, Sprint

Stephen Bye, CTO at leading US operator Sprint is speaking on Day One of the TD-LTE conference, taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about Sprint’s role is leading the TD-LTE charge.

How is the progress of your LTE rollout going in the US?

We are very excited about 2013.  We continue to make solid progress and we have strong momentum. We have been launching five to ten LTE markets each month since July 2012. For the rest of 2013 – we plan to launch in more and more markets. As of early February, we have launched LTE in 58 cities and announced nearly 170 more where LTE is coming soon. We have well over 200 markets where we already have one or more sites on air for 3G enhancements and/or LTE.

Why you believe that TD-LTE is a better choice for delivering mobile data than FDD LTE?

We support the use of both. Their use is linked to specific spectrum allocations. We are using FDD-LTE with Band 25 and Band 26, while we are also working very closely with Clearwire on support for Band 41 TDD-LTE.

There are big changes afoot for Sprint – you have announced plans to acquire Clearwire, and in turn Softbank has announced its intention to buy 70% of Sprint. Assuming these go ahead could you summarise how this will reposition Sprint in the US market in terms of spectrum and economy of scale?

Even as a standalone business, our wholesale relationship with Clearwire provides us with access to additional LTE capacity to support the data needs of our Sprint customers.  Our Network Vision architecture allows for better strategic alignment and the full utilisation and integration of additional spectrum bands, while achieving operational efficiencies and improved service for customers as the spectrum and network is migrated to LTE standards.

Sprint spent heavily to get the iPhone. What impact is this having on Sprint and how critical is it for you that the next version will offer support for TD-LTE?

The iPhone has been an important device in our portfolio and, with our competitive ‘Truly Unlimited’ plans we have been able to win over new customers to Sprint. For the last reported quarter, 4Q 2012, we sold nearly 2.2 million iPhones in the quarter, with 38 per cent of the activations being new customers to Sprint.

Will Sprint continue with its unlimited data strategy for LTE?

We continue to offer our customers simplicity with our unlimited data plans and they offer a great value to new and existing customers. These plans have been very successful for Sprint, and we plan to continue to offer them to customers.

With both FDD and TDD spectrum what are the challenges around interoperability?

Interoperability between FDD and TDD offers exciting new opportunities.  Significant progress has already been made to ensure that users can operate between these two duplex modes. Working with our key suppliers and other operators, Sprint continues to work on evolving the interoperability specification to enhance the already existing solutions. The continued work in 3GPP, defining the test specifications and developing interoperability specifications, are critical to achieving economies of scale and broad adoption.

Does TD-LTE offer up any specific challenges around backhaul?

No, operators have the same challenges for backhaul regardless if it is a TD-LTE system or an FDD system. The bigger issue is having a more competitive backhaul market in the US.

What plans do you have for carrier aggregation?

Carrier aggregation is something we are studying but do not have anything to share at this time.

Where do small cells fit into your strategy?

We remain on the same strategic path shared last year. Small cells and heterogeneous networks are just one piece of a larger solution. In theory it looks great. The challenge is the cost of large-scale small-cell physical deployment.

What do you think will be the most exciting new development in the TD-LTE market in 2013?

2013 represents a year where we are seeing more wide-scale deployment and adoption of TD-LTE technology. This is important to achieve the necessary economies of scale and we look forward to helping build the ecosystem for TD-LTE.

The inaugural TD-LTE Summit is taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Click here to download a flyer.

LTE at MWC 2013 round-up

Not so long ago LTE related news at MWC used to be something of a stand-out feature, but with the technology now mainstream in many leading markets round the world it’s now mainstream. Nevertheless there was still plenty of interesting LTE related things happening.

News wise there was an announcement from vendor Ericsson that it was still the number one in 4G and highlighted a major infrastructure deal with Telefonica UK, which operates under the brand O2. O2 has won 2x 10MHz of 800MHz spectrum, and has the taken on the UK regulator Ofcom’s requirement that it provide 98 per cent coverage of 4G in the country by 2017. Which gives Ericsson lots to do.

Small cells are going to soon play an increasingly important part of the LTE landscape. At MWC Aricent and Mindspeed announced that they have joined forces to create a small cell reference design. It features the Transcede T3300 Baseband Processor that supports 20MHz LTE FDD and throughput up to 150Mbps.

Sequans announced its LTE-Advanced chip: the SQN3220. This is part of Sequans’s Cassiopeia platform and adheres to Release 10 of 3GPP specifications, and as such meets the requirements to be considered ‘true’ 4G by the 3GPP.

The Novatel Mifi 2 to be launched first on Bell's LTE  network in Canada.

The Novatel Mifi 2 to be launched first on Bell’s LTE network in Canada.

On the device side Novatel Wireless, the company that introduced the original wireless hotspot device announced the Mifi 2. it features a funky touch-screen display and it will launch first in Canada on Bell’s 4G LTE network in March where it will be known as the Mifi Liberate. Having recently had to use the original, very dated, unit, a screen that enables you to see what it’s doing easily would be much appreciated especially as claims an 11 hour battery life.

Huawei launched a global flagship phone the Ascend P2. As an A.N Other flagship Android phone it’s not that interesting really, but what is interesting is that according to Huawei it can support speeds of up to 150Mbit/s, which makes it faster than other major LTE phones such as the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy SIII. That said, you’d have to have that whole base station to yourself to get that kind of speed and if you do, you’d be spoiling it for everybody else. The other downside is that if that does that person would be pretty easy to spot – they’d be the ones holding the Huawei Ascend P2. How to win friends etc…

The Huawei Ascent P2 is fast. This is not your grandma's LTE phone.

The Huawei Ascent P2 is fast. This is not your grandma’s LTE phone.

In terms of future technology SK Telecom, the South Korean operator and one of the world leaders for LTE demonstrated LTE Advanced at the show. It used carrier aggregation techniques to reach speeds double that of current LTE, which is impressive. Unless you’re already using an Huawei Ascend P2 of course.

TD-LTE also seemed to gain real traction at MWC this year, showing that it is a technology that will be a force to be reckoned with. The GTI summit, which took place at MWC was packed out and there were keynote speech from members Bharti Airtel, Clearwire, China Mobile and the GSMA. Notably on the handset side there was support announced by Samsung and Nokia as well as from chip vendors Qualcomm and Marvell. Ericsson and NSN made up the vendors present.

Packed out at the TDD-LTe GTI summit at MWC 2013

Packed out at the TDD-LTe GTI summit at MWC 2013

At the event, the GTI said that new testing had been done between operators globally. Of note was a completed trial between China Mobile in Hong Kong and KT in Korea and with Clearwire in Hong Kong and in China

At MWC China Mobile revealed a multi-mode, multi-band TD-LTE devices, while LG demoed an Optimus G, it’s first TD-LTE ready handset.

All good news for TD-LTE. But will there be one device to rule them all. There will be according to Qualcomm.

Qualcommm announced the RF360 chip, which it says will be the first in the world able to handle every LTE frequency out there, making a handset using it a one-world LTE roaming phone. In total it support LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE. The press release also says it contains, “the industry’s first envelope power tracker for 3G/4G LTE mobile devices, a dynamic antenna matching tuner, an integrated power amplifier-antenna switch, and an innovative 3D-RF packaging solution incorporating key front end components.” To be honest I’m not sure what any of those things are, but it certainly seems as if progress is being made. Even more than the Huawei Ascend P2.

We can expect the RF360 to appear in devices towards the end of 2013, hopefully bringing an end to the pain of LTE spectrum fragmentation.

CSO, Interview: Indosat: “Look to develop the TD-LTE device ecosystem quickly”

Prashant-Gokarn

Prashant Gokarn, Chief Strategy Officer of Indosat is speaking at the TD-LTE conference in April

Prashant Gokarn, is Chief Strategy Officer of Indosat the second largest operator in Indonesia with over 60 million subscribers. He is speaking on Day One of the The inaugural TD-LTE Summit, taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about where Indosat is with LTE, and more specifically TD-LTE….

You have recently received approval to deploy LTE services. Why is it so important for Indosat to deploy LTE?

Our intention is to differentiate ourselves as an operator on the strength of our high-end wireless broadband. A key way to achieve that is by using our spectrum assets more effectively – which means LTE.

What will the impact of LTE be in Indonesia? What will the key benefits be?

At present, the quality and availability of fixed-line broadband in the country is poor. LTE enables us to offer our customers a high-speed option, which will make video and rich media applications much more accessible to customers.

Why are you selecting TD-LTE? Do you believe the TD-LTE is a better choice for delivering mobile data than FDD LTE?

On the technology aspects, TDD has the advantage in that it can allocate bandwidth to downlink on-the-fly making it more spectrum efficient. However, the ecosystem of TD-LTE is still nascent and under-developed compared to FD-LTE, which today at least, places it at a big disadvantage.

Is there are role for both FDD and TD-LTE in your region? Will they have different use cases?

There is a role for both FDD and TDD LTE. The use cases may be different in the short term as the ecosystem for FDD is better tuned to smartphones while TDD-LTE is still dongle focused

Does TD-LTE offer up any specific challenges around backhaul?

The link budgets and spread mean you need a fairly dense network at 2.3GHz TD-LTE in order to be able to deliver the performance.

What would you say to any operators considering the move to TD-LTE?

Look to develop the TD-LTE device ecosystem, and do it quickly!

Prashant Gokarn, CSO of Indosat will be speaking on Day One of the TD-LTE Summit 2013, presenting ‘TD-LTE in Emerging Markets: An Opportunity for Achieving Sustainable and Economically-Viable Broadband?’ Prashant Gokarn is also participating in the panel discussion: ‘Monetising TD-LTE Deployment: Evaluating the Key Monetary Considerations’ on Day Two of the conference.

The inaugural TD-LTE Summit is taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Click here to download the brochure

Asian operators pushing the envelope with LTE Advanced

pushing_the_envelope_posterWhile many parts of the world are awaiting LTE, Asian carriers are already moving ahead leaps and bounds by testing LTE Advanced.

Current LTE rollouts are based on Release 8 of the 3GPP standards, while LTE Advanced is based on Release 10, which was standardised in April 2011. Since then, some companies have been working on pre-release equipment, looking to get a jump on the rest of the industry.

Chief of these are equipment vendor Ericsson and SK Telecom, the biggest operator in South Korea with just under 50% market share. The two have got together to test a specific feature of core LTE Advanced technology called Transmission Mode 9. TM-9 is designed to help reduce interference between base stations to maximise signal stability and boost performance.

TM-9 is particularly smart though. It can detect when a mobile device is being used and send a different type of signal that is optimal for a mobile device (variable DM-RS – demodulation reference signals). This maximises the efficient use of the base station and guarantee’s a decent data rate for users. Early results are positive with a claimed 10-15% increase in data rates in locations where there was known inter-cell interference.

One of the best known improvements that LTE Advanced will bring is Carrier Aggregation and here ZTE have been taking strides with the world’s first use of it in a commercial network. This was the Guangdong arm of China Mobile using 20MHz of spectrum and interestingly was performed on a TD-LTE network. Peak download rate? A massive 223Mbps, more than double the peak rates quoted for Release 8 LTE.

TD-LTE also once again comes to the fore in China, having been used for a live TV broadcast – the Xiamen International Marathon beamed to the TV centres of China Central TV and Xiamen TV. The vendor here was NSN, using its SingleRAN platform with Liquid Core EPC.

It all points to a bright future for LTE.

This next evolution of LTE technology is significant as it will meet the speed requirements of what the 3GPP originally dubbed 4G. LTE Release 8 was of course not originally considered to be 4G, but the 3GPP were forced to acknowledge ‘the realities on the ground’ where even DC HSPA 3G was being dubbed 4G by some US carriers. This time round, there’s no doubt, though I suspect it will simply give some the licence to go to market with ‘True 4G’ or some such exaggeration.

If you want to hear more about the latest advances in TD-LTE then be sure to get to the inaugural TD-LTE Summit taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Click here to download the brochure

 

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