Posts tagged ‘AT&T’

Driving VoLTE innovation in Middle East and North Africa – Interview with Aslam Hasan, VoLTE/HD Consulting Program Manager, AT&T Mobility

Aslam Hasan, VoLTE/HD Consulting Program Manager, AT&T Mobility

Aslam Hasan, VoLTE/HD Consulting Program Manager, AT&T Mobility

What is the current status of VoLTE deployments globally and how do operators see this long awaited service impacting the market? To find out I spoke to LTE MENA speaker and VoLTE/HD Consulting Program Manager for AT&T Mobility, Aslam Hasan.

“VoLTE deployments are now picking up around the globe” he said “and South East Asia is leading the way. Countries like Korea and Japan have had VoLTE deployed for almost a year; whereas in North America all the major carriers introduced the service in summer last year. Carriers in Latin and South America are still yet to announce the introduction of the service. However, with the launch of iPhone 6 and more VoLTE devices we will be expecting more deployments this year and beyond in almost all regions.”

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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: Senior Manager Antenna Solutions Group, AT&T: “Small cells offer operators a system that is potentially more cost effective than other solutions.”

Jim Parker, Senior Manager Antenna Solutions Group, AT&T

Jim Parker, Senior Manager Antenna Solutions Group, AT&T

Jim Parker, Senior Manager Antenna Solutions Group, AT&T is speaking on the subject of, “Challenges of deploying high density venues: From DAS to 4G”, in the HetNets track on Day One of the The LTE North America conference is taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the AT&T Antenna group and its focus for the next year.

What is the core function of the AT&T Antenna solutions group?

In order to provide our customers with the best mobile broadband experience, AT&T established the Antenna Solutions Group (ASG) in order to extend the capabilities of our macro network in large public venues. ASG deploys a wide range of technologies including: neutral-host Distributed Antenna System (DAS), small cells, and Wi-Fi. Neutral host DAS and small cells provide a coverage and capacity solution for cellular voice and data traffic. In venues where Wi-Fi is deployed, it is primarily a data-only solution that can be used to offload traffic from the macro network.

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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iOS 5.1 magically boosts AT&T iPhones to 4G

ImageiPhone users on AT&T that have upgraded to the iOS5.1 release will be delighted to note that the network icon at the top of the screen will now display ‘4G’ rather than ‘3G’, when it suitable coverage. Just like that. As upgrades go, that’s quite impressive. Yes, with a simple software upgrade, Apple has managed to upgrade the innards of every AT&T iPhone so that it now supports ‘true’ 4G speeds, which are 45,683 faster than standard 3G. Honest guvnor.

Of course, it’s not actually Apple’s fault, It’s AT&Ts, who clearly have told Apple that it wants everyone to think that its entire network is 4G, even though on an iPhone the fastest network it can connect to is HSDPA 14.4. So more FauxG that 4G.

As most will know, it all stems from the ITU’s capitulation last year in allowing anyone that has a network that offers, “a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed,” to call it a 4G network. When you consider that initial 3G networks offered data speeds of 384Kbps, that’s not saying much. The original requirement for 4G from the ITU was networks that could deliver 1GB/sec when stationary and 100Mb/s on the move. That’s not possible from LTE – that’s LTE Advanced, which is still a while away from commerical deployment anywhere in the world. 

But fret not. We have iOS 5.1, and AT&T. So that’s all right then. 

 

 

What now for US LTE after AT&T pulls out of T-Mobile merger deal?

The AT&T and T-Mobile USA merger is off, but how will this affect LTE in the US?

So it’s all over at last. After months of attempted deal making AT&T has thrown in the towel in its $39 billion attempt to take T-Mobile USA off the hands of its parent company Deutsche Telekom. The defeat followed on from both the Justice Department and the FCC blocking the deal, stating that it would be bad move for consumers by reducing competition in the market, raising prices, and doing harm to the economy due to inevitable job losses.

“Consumers won today,” said Sharis Pozen, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Had AT&T acquired T-Mobile, consumers…would have faced higher prices and reduced innovation.”

While it might be good for consumers, it’s a blow for all the players in the deal. As recompense to T-Mobile,  AT&T has to cough up $3 billion in cash, and ironically, actually divest some spectrum to it as well. AT&T was keen on the deal as it was a relatively affordable way for it to get hold of T-Mobile’s spectrum so it could more easily compete with Verizon. The latter company has managed to raise its profile with a successful LTE network roll-out, just as AT&T has lost the shine which came from its iPhone exclusivity deal – a now distant (and for some bad) memory. At the same time, it would have eliminated a competitor for AT&T; albeit a struggling one.

AT&T will also now have to take the more traditional route to improve its network, by investing in its own infrastructure, and bid for any spectrum that might become available on the open market. This will undoubtedly come at a higher price than if it had been able to acquire T-Mobile’s AWS spectrum directly.

Deutsche Telekom has failed to offload an ailing and costly part of its business, it will now have to decide whether it tries to flog off T-Mobile to someone else, or go the other way and choose to invest heavily. The latter seems unlikely.

T-Mobile though now faces the prospect of having to try and compete to stay alive after months of not investing in its network. It’s doesn’t offer the Apple iPhone, whereas the top three now do, making it even harder to win lucrative customers that sign contracts. It lost 850,000 such customers in the first nine months this year, and this news is unlikely to stop the leak.

It’s not all bad though for T-Mobile. One upside for is that as part of the deal severance, it now has a seven-year (domestic only) roaming agreement with AT-T, which will increase its footprint across the country into areas where it previously has no coverage.

Meanwhile it’s a big, big win for Verizon, which while it’s competitors were locked up in a fruitless battle with the courts and the regulator, announced its intention to buy AWS licences from failed joint-venture cable companies SpectrumCo and Cox Communications, giving it 40-80MHz of spectrum to play with many urban areas. As this is a relatively non-threatening move compared to what AT&T was trying to pull off, it’s likely to sail through the FCC and Justice Department unopposed. (Update: OK, maybe not. The DOJ is now taking a close look at this one too).

When you throw in the uncertainly around LightSquared’s attempts at launching a LTE network, and Sprint and Clearwire’s move away from WiMAX to LTE, this year has been a year of sound and fury, while signifying relatively little.

If the US carriers can decide on clear strategies and choose to move forward instead of playing political games, LightSquared could sort out its GPS related technical issues and become a major disruptive influence in the market, making next year a truly seismic one as far as LTE in the US is concerned.

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