Posts tagged ‘LTE North America’

Viavi Solutions helps your adapt and thrive in the LTE world

Exclusive interview with Paul Gowans, Mobility Marketing Manager at Viavi

Paul Gowans, Mobility Marketing Manager at Viavi

Paul Gowans, Mobility Marketing Manager at Viavi

Viavi Solutions (formerly JDSU, Arieso and Network Instruments) is very active in LTE and helping to advance the technology … how has LTE progressed since last year? 

LTE as a standard continues to evolve to meet the growing capacity and coverage demands of mobile consumers. With LTE Advanced and LTE Broadcast being two examples. Yet it is the area of VoLTE which has probably seen the greatest change from last year. At the event last year many operators were planning their VoLTE roll-out and engaging their technology partners such as Viavi on the challenges to address and ensure they deliver on the high expectations of VoLTE. Now, we have many operators who have either deployed or are very close to deploying. There is also the area of the relevance of voice today – many people of course have an iPhone or other Smartphone and use a multitude of methods to communicate –  certain generations don’t talk at all! So, the industry has had to appreciate that VoLTE needs to be integrated into the way people communicate today.

What are the top VoLTE challenges?

Working closely with our mobile operator customers and building on our experience with IP based voice services as well as RAN and Core network challenges I would say the top three challenges are:

  •  Voice Quality – measuring end-to-end (E2E) voice quality is fundamental to understanding the customers quality of experience (QoE). Knowing what metrics are important, where to measure and quickly finding the root cause of voice quality affecting issues.
  • Handovers – when you move out of an LTE service area and have an active VoLTE call, the user will want to continue with that call. SRVCC seamlessly maintains calls when a mobile user moves from LTE to non-LTE coverage areas. Of course, there is the potential for things to go wrong and calls to get dropped. Also, if the user is not supporting VoLTE but is using LTE, when they receive a call the phone the network need to fall back (CSFB) so that both data and voice are non-LTE.
  • Location – not only knowing what service is being provided to the consumer but also from where so that you can determine, for example, VoLTE hot spots  – that is where there may be too many dropped calls or handovers have failed. By accurately geo-locating voice quality metrics you can make better business decisions on service delivery.

 Presentation theme/message at the event?

In addition to introducing Viavi Solutions to the audience, Viavi will be presenting in 3 key areas, namely: VoLTE, HetNets and Network Optimization. The theme of the VoLTE presentation is how to address some of the key VoLTE challenges and ensure the subscribers gets an exceptional VoLTE service. We will be exploring voice quality- passive measuring, active measuring – how integrating handset data with core data and then geo-locate that information to maximize the business impact of the service. The E2E view of the service from device to RAN to backhaul and core. For HetNets we will be discussing workforce automation and how to ensure cell site turn up to be most cost-effective without impacting quality. Network Optimization will build on the extreme non-uniformity in cellular networks and how subscriber-based, location-aware predictive optimization is needed.


Meet Paul and the Viavi team at the upcoming LTE North America, in Dallas, next November 17th-19th!

LTE Deployment Challenges in Rural Networks- Interview with Tanya Sullivan, CEO of the Rural Wireless Association

Tanya Sullivan, CEO, Rural Wireless Association

Tanya Sullivan, CEO, Rural Wireless Association

This November 17th-19th in Dallas, the rural and regional carrier community will be getting together at LTE North America to discuss the unique challenges faced by smaller carriers around the United States. As part of the event, the Rural Wireless Association has teamed up with LTE North America to create a tailored and targeted event for rural carriers. Ahead of the summit next week, we had the opportunity to interview Tanya Sullivan, CEO of the Rural Wireless Association, to discuss some key issues around the deployment of LTE and next-generation networks in North America.

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Anera wins award for “Top Innovator” at LTE North America 2014

Ryley MacKenzie, CEO of Anera

Ryley MacKenzie, CEO of Anera collects his prize for Top Innovator at LTE North America

Anera, an SDN and NFV solution provider, was crowned the winner of this year’s Innovation Accelerator at LTE North America in Dallas.

The Innovation Accelerator aims to discover the most exciting start-ups in the market today. This year, hundreds of entries poured in prior to the event, and were subsequently wittled down to a shortlist of 3 companies by our judging panel. Those three companies then pitched their services to a panel of expert judges and the LTE North America attendees.

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Dynamic Multi-Layered Defense – Part II – Why LTE networks are less secure than their 3G predecessors

Leonid Burakovsky Sr. Director, Strategic Solutions for F5 Networks

Leonid Burakovsky Sr. Director, Strategic Solutions for F5 Networks

As I discussed in my first blog, the issue of security for mobile networks, subscribers, devices and applications, is undergoing significant changes with the move to an IP-based technology. In this post, we’ll look at technology trends that are contributing to these new security challenges.

For several reasons, LTE networks are less secure than previous generations. First of all, because they are all-IP networks. The newest security front is between eNodeBs and EPC (evolved packet core). There is no protection there for user information privacy and man-in-the-middle attacks. Only a relatively few mobile operators are deploying IPSec VPN to protect user data and enhance authentication.

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Are you ready for Poken at LTE North America?

As you arrive at LTE North America 2013 in Dallas this year, you’ll notice something different attached to your lanyard at registration. Namely a small plastic token, shaped vaguely like a hand. This is a ‘Poken’, a new way of swapping information with the people you meet at the conference.

Think of it as a digital business card. After all, in an age of touch, swipe and beam, handing out an oblong slip of paper seems a little outdated somehow.

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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: Master engineer, Sony Mobile Communications, Sweden: “It’s important for the industry to make sure VoLTE roaming happens not too long after its launch.”

Master engineer, Sony Mobile Communications, Sweden

Master engineer, Sony Mobile Communications, Sweden

Daniel Lönnblad, Master engineer, Sony Mobile Communications, Sweden is speaking 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 implementing VoLTE on Sony handsets.

What are the latest developments that Sony is working on with its handsets?

Sony has multiple interoperability testing (IOT) activities in its carrier lab and is also directly working with network vendors.

Which technology is going to be more important for carriers – WebRTC or RCS?

It is hard to say which will be most important; they are both technologies that enable a richer calling experience. With the right APIs RCS could be a very strong offer for third-party software vendors, at least in mobile phones.

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Interview: Director of Engineering, Union Wireless (USA): “Right now we are still in a wait-and-see approach on VoLTE.”

Kevin M. Kleinsmith, Director of Engineering, Union Wireless (USA)

Kevin M. Kleinsmith, Director of Engineering, Union Wireless (USA)

Kevin M. Kleinsmith, Director of Engineering, Union Wireless (USA) is speaking on the subjects of VoLTE and backhaul at 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 details of what is required to implement VoLTE on a network.

Is there any difference between the challenges of VoLTE roaming within the US, and roaming internationally?

There are several key differences in domestic roaming and international roaming. The biggest challenges come from the way the VoLTE call would be handled by a local breakout or would it have to go all the way back to the home network. Breaking it out as local as possible would be ideal, however, now we have to change the way the billing is currently handled. The GSMA-NA groups related to this, such as IREG and BARG, are trying to resolve the best practices, but until the industry agrees on a practice, a lot of smaller companies are simply going to have to rely on their major partners or third-party vendors on the proper solutions given their specific relationships.

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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LTE North America Conference Day Two: Why spectrum is the new black

Sometimes a simple number is just what you need to gain a snapshot of how something has changed, evolved or moved on. Krish Prabhu, CTO of AT&T started proceedings of Day Two of the LTE North America conference in Dallas by telling the packed audience that since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 data traffic on networks has increased by no less than 20,000 per cent. As he phrased it, “it’s hard to comprehend whatever that means.”

What it indicates to me is that today data is the new oil, the fuel that powers economies worldwide as much, or even more so, than the viscous black liquid that J.R Ewing, (and now his sons) obsesses over. Spectrum is the new black. Dallas, is the perfect location then, for the LTE North America conference, where over the past few days a fine succession of speakers, panellists  and analysts have informed, educated and even at times entertained – though admittedly not usually deliberately for the latter.

Over 1,00 attendees have filled the halls and the tracks (66% up from 2011), and walking around I’ve heard from many people how impressed they have been with the quality of the show, in terms of content and of networking opportunities. Speed networking proved to be a particular favourite!

Back to the opening keynote of Day Two and AT&T’s Krish Prabhu, Prabhu, in perhaps a slightly self-congratulatory tone, said that the industry, or perhaps he meant just AT&T, had done a good job of going from that standing start of carrying virtually no data traffic, to meeting the demands of the myriad American football fans who wants to upload picture from the Dallas Cowboy’s stadium during a game.  This was made possible through AT&T’s investments such as portable antennas that could be moved into areas such as stadiums as required. Prabhu said that only recently these were used during the Democratic convention in North Carolina and with tongue firmly in cheek, he said that AT&T liked to think that this was one of the reasons why the Democrats won.

Prabhu revealed that over that last five years, AT&T had spent over $90billion on wireless and spectrum to improve the quality of the network. (A tremendous amount – those Dallas Cowboys pictures had better be good) and that with its well publicised Velocity IP investments, AT&T would complete its LTE coverage by the end of 2014 covering some 300m of the population.

Krish Prabhu, CTO, AT&T

Small cells would increase in number through 2013 and 2014 but would be tricky to deploy. SON had been a success for the network so far, and he claimed that it has resulted in a significant improvement in the network. AT&T had measured a reduction in dropped calls by 10 per cent, retention of 3G traffic by the same amount and 15 per cent fewer loaded cells. Asking the audience if they had noticed this improvement amusingly failed to be matched by a show of hands, leading Prabhu to suggest, again tongue-in-cheek, that perhaps AT&T’s  measurements could be wrong.

Following the keynote Prabhu joined a panel session with representatives from Google, MetroPCS and Sony Mobile that raised some interesting discussions around the challenges of harmonising the highly fragmenting ecosystem of LTE. But Prabhu once again had a comment that raised a laugh from the audience when he answered the question of whether carriers had a role to play in the face of OTT dominance and whether their investments in IMS and RCS would pay off. “It’s certainly beyond pipes – we don’t invest billions to get $70 a month just so everyone’s Google experience is better – if we do that we’re not smart businessmen!”

The panel also felt that RCS had a good chance to succeed – and could become Telecoms 2.0. It was agreed that the convenience that you don’t need to download an app or a client could help it succeed, as long as it was backed with a decent UI and that it always works.

The positivity on the panel towards the potential for future success was epitomised most definitively by Prabhu who when asked to respond with a positive or negative to the question, “Will customers still pay for voice and SMS in five years”, responded, “Hope so!” Now there’s optimism.

So as the curtain falls on a highly successful LTE North America we can look forward to the next event in the busy LTE calendar, LTE Latin America, on 16th-17th April 2013, in what is again a fast growing market and we’ll see you all back here again next year for LTE North America in Dallas.

LTE North America: Day One Round-up: Standing room only

As some may know, next year the LTE North America will be moving to a new home in Dallas. Judging from the size of the crowd at the opening keynote of the LTE north America conference that’s going to be a necessary. It was standing-room only by the time Informa’s principal analyst Mike Roberts opening proceedings and things were busy throughout the day. There was a record 800+ delegates at the show, with 60 unique carriers in attendance from across the US representing   some 40 per cent of the US carrier market, from small local rural players such as the Texas-based ZIPnet US, to regional’s such as MetroPCS, and of course, AT&T and Verizon.

The show was very busy this year with 1,000+ attendees

Mike Roberts got things going by giving a snapshot of LTE’s growth, with just a few subscriptions in 2010, reaching 5 million in 2011 and currently standing at 40 million worldwide, making it the fastest growing telecoms technology ever. Roberts had praise for vendors who he said had learned from the mistakes made over 3G. In particular the networks had shown they were good at delivering speed, but that there was room for improvement when it comes to pricing, with a need to show more sophistication.

The first of two keynotes were delivered by John Saw, CTO of Clearwire, who detailed how the network operator had 16,000 cell sites to support 11million users, most of which are for Sprint. Saw explained that Clearwire was very pleased with its use of TDD technology and that the eco-system had received a huge boost when China Mobile, the largest operator in the world, recently announced that it would, like Clearwire, use Band 41 as its preferred band.

[N.B. Representatives of John Saw would like me to add that Band-41 for TDD-LTE will be used by almost all the Chinese wireless industry].

Saw also said that video was pretty much the biggest game in town as far as killer apps for 4G was concerned, with its taking up 60 per cent of Clearwire’s capacity, up from 50 per cent the year before.  In fact, mobile video was where it felt it could differentiate itself – by providing a better mobile video experience than other networks. Video is very bandwidth intensive and that can only be made possible if you’ve got plenty of spectrum to play with – as Clearwire does.

That could be why Saw was so excited about carrier aggregation, which is essentially LTE Advanced by another name. Hooking up carriers bands together will give it 40 or even 60MHz of bandwidth providing speeds for what even Saw wasn’t sure what for. But as he said, “I’m sure someone will release an app that will use all of it.”

Tom Sawanbori, vp of Network planning at Verizon was next up and he was equally bullish about how the company had done for LTE – which is fair enough as it is flying the flag for LTE worldwide. That’s because it started earliest in the US, rolling out LTE to 100m population coverage in 2010. Sawanbori revealed that 35 per cent of its total usage was LTE already. It plans to complete its LTE rollout by the end of 2013 by which time it will have covered 245m population. It’s working hard on VoLTE and RCS services Sawanbori said, but he wouldn’t be drawn on timescales for its introduction.

Sawanbori took a moment away from technology to mention that Verizon had done well during the hurricane Sandy disaster by having an effective backup strategy so that its network did not go down to any major degree.

Verizon is also a partner with many rural carriers as part of its LTE Rural America programme. While the program has brought LTE to many rural areas, during a track on the issues later in the say, some smaller carriers expressed frustration that there was not enough access to spectrum. However, it’s not just access to spectrum but usable spectrum that’s the issue. It seems that all 700Mhz is not the same, and if the band plan doesn’t match that of the national networks there’s no possibility of roaming, which can seriously dent a small carrier’s 4G plans. And with no economy of scale to help get supporting devices on the table, duff spectrum can arguably be as bad as no spectrum.

We also heard an interesting presentation from Marc Scala, Executive Director of Simplynew describing an innovative use of second screen functions and audience participation of an exclusive Verizon tablet app for the X-Factor, that displayed video during the add breaks and enabling Verizon customers to send messages to the that would then be integrated into the show. This is a taster of the sort of innovative services that LTE can bring.

There were also interesting discussion around mobile video in a panel session where Marc Zionts, vp of strategic mobile service providers for Allot Communications suggested that data plans need to become more innovative – so instead of just a 2GB data cap, you say, get 2GB as standard but 5GB if you don’t use video at peak hours – a way of avoiding the stop start nature of suing data plans at the beginning of the month till they run out, and then starting the process all over again, the next month.

These were just taster of the many tracks and discussions that were going on all over the conference, and Day Two should promise to be just as informative.

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