Posts tagged ‘LTE World Summit 2013’

LTE World Summit 2013: Post-Show Report Now Available to Download…

LTE World Summit was a great success and we would like to thank everyone that attended.

The post show report is now available to download from our website so make sure you check it out to see what happened. Here are some of the key highlights from this year’s event:

Top takeaways: 

1. LTE technology has been a huge success and is now mainstream
2. Telco pricing will be focused on metered data, not voice
3.  Networks are evolving to LTE Advanced

  • 2,600+ attendees over 3 action-packed days (a 30% increase on 2012)
  • 140+ operator companies attended
  • 124 different countries were represented
  • 260+ distinguished speakers presented 160 presentations / panels over 2 days, including 125+ operator case studies
  • 45%+ of attendees were director level or higher
  • 70% of the exhibition space was re-booked on-site for next year’s event

Here’s what some of our attendees had to say about the event:

“Outstanding cast and open discussion environment”Turkcell

“LTE World Summit is the place for future technology competitiveness”Telkom Indonesia

“Valuable networking opportunities and topical presentations – exactly what a conference should be”Telefonica o2

“The LTE world summit is a must-attend event for everyone with key stakes in the LTE and LTE-A ecosystem”EE

“Opportunity meeting Vanguards of LTE industry” Omantel

“Good place to do your networking and meet up with buyers”Huawei

“A must to be up to date with new technologies” Kathrein

“Very good event for smaller vendors to get a lot of customers discussions on the booth”F5 Traffix Systems

“The leading 4G event in the world” Astellia

“Great opportunity to meet existing customers and prospects” Ascom


Make Sure you Download the Full Post Show Report to see What Happened – Click Here


 

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Interview: Tommy Ljunggren, VP – System Development, TeliaSonera

We interview a host of leading operators at the recent LTE World Summit. Here we speak to Tommy Ljunggren, VP – System Development at TeliaSonera and cover how Europe will catch up with Asia on LTE, TeliaSonera’s plans for VoLTE and how it’s taken a lead on LTE roaming.

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Video interview with Suresh Sidhu, Chief Corporate & Operations Officer, Celcom, Malaysia

Check out our interview with Suresh Sidhu, Chief Corporate & Operations Officer, Celcom, Malaysia at the LTE World Summit 2013

LTE and Beyond: CTOs expect 5G launch and content partnerships in near future

This post is by Francesco Radicati, Research Analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, He is part of the Europe team, focusing on the key markets of Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, as well as Sweden and Denmark.

This post is by Francesco Radicati, Research Analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, He is part of the Europe team, focusing on the key markets of Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, as well as Sweden and Denmark.

CTOs of leading mobile operators expect to be promoting a “5G” network within five years, and to be partnering with OTT and content providers even sooner. Speaking at the LTE World Summit in Amsterdam, the CTOs of four top-tier mobile operators discussed the future of LTE networks and beyond, as well as the challenges facing operators as network capacity increases and user demand for data grows. However, while the operators expect to be promoting 5G in the next few years, they were divided on the questions of whether their backhaul networks were ready for 5G, and on whether LTE-Advanced will present a significant boost in user experience compared to LTE.

One of the most interesting points to emerge from the session was that the operators mostly didn’t expect to turn off their 2G networks within the next five years. The CTO of a Tier 1 player from the Middle East was the only panellist who said unequivocally that he expected 2G would be switched off – the others noted that while they would be actively moving customers onto the 3G and 4G networks, the 2G network would still be needed for roaming and voice customers in the long term.LTE-and-Beyond-Table-for-Francesco-smaller

On the subject of partnerships with OTT players and content providers, the panellists agreed that MNOs would have to work with the likes of Google to remain a part of the value chain. However, they had differing opinions on what the best tactics were – one panellist from Malaysia, for example, stressed that for the more mature parts of the business, where customers have had access to mobile networks for a long time, the operators need to partner with content providers. He also noted that customers are increasingly coming to the internet for the first time using mobile products, presenting an opportunity for MNOs to create their own digital brands to distribute content similar to Netflix.

On the other hand, a speaker based in southern Africa questioned whether operators should really be producing content themselves, arguing that it is outside of their expertise. Yet he acknowledged that the content exists and users will access it, regardless of whether doing so takes revenue from operators. The key issue, for him, is the difficulty for smaller operators in negotiating with a company like Google, although he said operators have an opportunity to make deals with newer, smaller OTT players, bringing them into the value chain rather than attempting to compete with them.

Finally, the panellists were divided on whether LTE-Advanced would significantly boost user experience, compared to LTE. A CTO from a Netherlands-based operator questioned what benefits 5G could offer over 4G, beyond faster download and upload speeds. On the other hand, one of his fellow speakers pointed out that traffic will continue to increase, meaning that networks that don’t introduce LTE-A will lose out.

LTE World Summit 2013 – Day Two roundup

For an industry that can sometimes focus on the doom and gloom of issues such as lost revenue streams, the opening keynote of Day Two of the LTE World Summit 2013, from Alain Maloberti, senior vice president, network architecture & design, Orange, France, had a almost wholly positive vibe to it. The core takeaway was that LTE had, in the main, lived up to its expectations. It has been widely deployed; it offers real, tangible performance benefits and customers want it. As they say on the street, that’s a win. Naturally Maloberti picked out some issues – roaming, spectrum fragmentation, interference with TV and the need for SRVCC for VoLTE, but as he pointed out all these are being addressed.

Maloberti

Alain Maloberti, senior vice president, network architecture & design, Orange, France speaking on Day Two of the 2013 LTE World Summit

Following Maloberti, Samsung’s marketing director of European networks, Mark Thompson opened his speech with the quote from science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein who said that, “one man’s magic is another man’s engineering.” The implication was that Samsung’s network is ‘magical’, but his call for the creation of ‘smart networks’ comes as a welcome change from the normal industry call to avoid the baseness of becoming a mere ‘dumb pipe’. He also pointed out that Korea’s unassailable LTE technology lead ahead of Europe was actually a good thing.  It serves as a tech testing ground, so if it all goes horribly wrong over there we won’t make the same mistakes. It’s not going horribly wrong of course, and Korea is miles ahead.

To prove the point, the vice president of the network technology unit of Korea Telecom, Mr. Chang-Seok Seo, came on to go describe that carrier’s network in some detail. Carrier aggregation, heterogeneous networks, commercial femtocells, and 1000 cell virtualisation are all part of the mix. Point certainly made then.

Huawei’s Ying Weimin, president of GSM/UMTS/LTE then brought us down to earth with his assessment that, “the dream [of ubiquitous capacity] is nearly here, but performance at the cell edge is still not good enough [for video uploads]. The solution? LTE-A. It will provide 10x better performance at the cell edge, and plans are afoot for LTE-B.

The keynote sessions finished off with a traditional panel discussion with questions being fired at the panel consisting of Frank Meywerk, CTIO, T-Mobile, Netherlands; Marwan Zawaydeh, CTIO, Etisalat, UAE; Suresh Sidhu, CCOO, Celcom Axiata, Malaysia, and Miguel Geraldes, CEO, MTC, Namibia.

The question highlights included, “Are you planning on turning off your 2G network?” The responses were all “no”, except for Etisalat’s Zawaydeh, who can’t seem to wait to get rid of 2G. on order to reduce cost and complexity on the network.

Do you expect LTE-Advanced to offer an improved experience for consumers? Two yeses, but surprisingly two said no. The reveal? LTE-A will help operators due to the cost savings gleaned from greater efficiencies of spectrum use, but Meywerk claimed that above 6Mbps consumers don’t notice the extra speed, and as such LTE-A will not bring an appreciably faster experience for 98 per cent of users.

The third highlight for me as, “Do you expect to be ready to promote your network as 5G ready in the next five years?” After the first person along the line said yes, like dominoes falling into line, the rest felt obliged to say the same – marketing madness kicking in in an instant. Here’s we go again….

Panel session with Miguel Geraldes, CEO, MTC, Namibia; Suresh Sidhu, CCOO, Celcom Axiata, Malaysia; Frank Meywerk, CTIO, T-Mobile, Netherlands and Marwan Zawaydeh, CTIO, Etisalat, UAE.

Panel session with Miguel Geraldes, CEO, MTC, Namibia; Suresh Sidhu, CCOO, Celcom Axiata, Malaysia; Frank Meywerk, CTIO, T-Mobile, Netherlands and Marwan Zawaydeh, CTIO, Etisalat, UAE.

Other impressions I gleaned from those I spoke to was that the show was both broader, with topics such as public safety and 5G on the agenda, and deeper, with a great number of detailed and focused tracks.

The numbers also backed up the sense of improvement, with a 30 per cent increase in attendees over the previous year. There’s no doubt that this year’s event was a wild success, with a raft of interesting speakers, broaching new topics of interest and everyone who attended came away educated and enlightened, if a little tired!

See you back next year for another successful LTE World Summit!

For those who can make it, the next event in the series is the groundbreaking LTE Africa conference, taking place on the 9th-10th July 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa. Click here to download the brochure for the event.

The Big Gear You Are Missing in the Big Data Conundrum: Real-Time Intelligence

Broken Machine - One Gear Falls OutLadies and gentlemen, its time to revamp your engines!

Are your traditional tools hindering your ability to grow in the telecom industry?

Ask yourself this, are your vendors meeting your criteria with the evolving needs of this Big Data world?

There are solutions out there that are already addressing the pains associated with Big Data. We believe you need to demand, embrace, and seek this new innovation! Don’t fall victim to being stuck in the now, focus on the new paradigm and future of the telecom industry.

Big Data in telecom should not be a nightmare. It’s an opportunity! For any type of industry, the need for growth and evolution is embraced and expected.  Learn how you can embrace a new paradigm and gear up to capture and manage this new, real-time opportunity.

The Race is On

It is universally understood that the nature of the mobile world today is far unsurpassed than what anyone had originally anticipated. Smart devices are released, revamped, and released again all while the OTT providers are quietly and quickly entering the market with their fast attention, adoption, market share, agility, customer focus, and degree of innovation; Smart devices are a vital part of daily life.

With rapid growth, comes a bottleneck situation, which we all know as the Big Data problem. Issues have risen such as: declining revenues, increasing churn, customer dissatisfaction, and a need for future consolidation.

If you sit back and wait, the evolving technologies will surpass you, and there will be no opportunity for a comeback. Room for improvement lies within increased innovation and customer experience all while drastically reducing the cost.

Stuck in Neutral

The leading CSPs have already realised what lies ahead and have begun investing in and adapting to the growing technology of LTE, SON, SDN, CEM, policy management, and more. These enabling technologies will unquestionably deliver significant benefits and facilitate a whole new set of opportunities. LTE in particular has a major discontinuity and a departure from the traditional way of doing things. LTE drives telecom to merge with IT and as a result, IT principles start to be applied to telecom.

Truth be told, CSPs have at best, barely scratched the surface of the full potential of these enabling technologies. The question is ‘why’. What impedes this? The vast majority recognise the challenge, but steer towards business as usual because vendors are not providing alternative paths.

Real-Time Intelligence is Key

There needs to be a fundamental shift of the current culture of CSPs.  We believe that CSPs need to develop the ability to gain access to actionable insights in true real-time, at a much lower cost, more easily, and in a way that leverages the broad variety and increasing amount of continuously-changing data that they have available.

As L. Gordon Crovitz said in a recent Wall Street Journal article in reference to Big Data, “society will need to shed some of its obsessions for causality in exchange for simple correlation: not knowing why but only what.” In other words, it’s less about explaining the science behind the observed data, it’s about quickly identifying patterns and events that, statistically, are significantly relevant.

To combat the Big Data issue, having both the “why” and the “what” is necessary in order to quickly adapt to and benefit from the innovation and convergence of LTE, SDN, SON, and policy management.

In this new, real-time Big Data world, intelligence becomes history within seconds and history is practically irrelevant. The ability to “see” and “understand” what happens “now” becomes paramount.

Revamp the Engines

There are vendors, such as Trendium, that are ready to enable the transformation of these new innovations for CSPs. Together, we have the potential to create scalable, efficient, real time intelligence for Customer Experience Assurance and Asset Monetisation.

When making your decision to select your future real-time intelligence partners and solutions, ask yourself, do they meet the criteria for:

–          cost

–          real-time analysis capabilities and in-memory computing

–          scalability and distributed computing

–          ability to deal with structured and unstructured data

–          ability to deal with large variety of data

–          proven ability to integrate data from existing and third-party sources

–          ability to quickly adapt to changing data structures

–          ability and willingness to feed real-time intelligence to third-party applications

–          advanced root-cause analysis capabilities

–          visualisation effectiveness and flexibility

CSPs that have, rightfully so, identified customer experience assurance and asset monetisation as their top priorities, need to know that in this new Big Data world it is possible, financially and technically, to gain real-time access to actionable intelligence and insights about network, services, and customers, in a way that is scalable, improves productivity, and with a fraction of the complexity, footprint, and cost of traditional solutions.

Trendium are sponsors of the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event

CEO, Ulusnet, Mongolia: “This event gives us a unique opportunity to see where the telecoms world is moving to.”

Byambaa Davaakhuu, CEO, Ulusnet, Mongolia

Byambaa Davaakhuu, CEO, Ulusnet, Mongolia

Byambaa Davaakhuu, CEO, Ulusnet, Mongolia is discussing the challenges of migrating from WiMAX to LTE on Day Two of the LTE World Summit taking place on 24th-26th June at the Rai, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Ahead of the show we speak to him about what Ulusnet is working on with regard to LTE.

Please give me an update on where you are with your plans to move from WiMAX to LTE.

We are currently at the vendor selection part of the process and technically we are working on RF spectrum relocation. The co-existence of WiMAX and TD-LTE subscribers is going to be a challenge for us and we want to be sure to get it right.

How does your background in WiMAX affect your spectrum choices for LTE?

As a WiMAX operator we have 20Mhz at 2.5GHz and 50MHz at 3.5GHz, so we are well served there. The government not yet made a decision regarding the use of FDD LTE spectrum but probably 1800MHz will be assigned.

What impact do you think moving from WiMAX to LTE will have on your backhaul infrastructure?

As a subsidiary of a cellular operator the majority of sites have optical transmission for backhaul, which gives us great advantage on the market.

What do you think will be the most exciting development in LTE in 2013?

The most exciting developments will be the development of the eco-system for TD-LTE and use increased data throughput the use of LTE will bring.

Why is the LTE World Summit an important event for you to attend?

This event gives us a unique opportunity to see where the telecoms world is moving to and that’s why we need to be there.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

LTE program director, KPN, Netherlands: “We are very interested in the possibilities that will become available with e-MBMS or LTE Broadcast.”

Erik Vercouteren, program director LTE Program, KPN

Erik Vercouteren, program director LTE Program, KPN

Erik Vercouteren, program director LTE Program, KPN, Netherlands is speaking as part of the LTE MasterClass on Day One of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry,  taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we speak to him about KPN’s LTE roll-out strategy in the Netherlands.

What are the chief challenges you are facing as you roll out LTE?

Rolling out 4G in a densely-populated country like The Netherlands is a challenge, as it is a complex exercise to align building permits, transmission upgrades, antenna swaps and hardware replacements. But we are doing very well, I must say – reaching up to 50 per cent population coverage in about five months.

What’s your strategy around pricing LTE and why have you made those choices?

We have launched 4G as an integrated part of our portfolio, so there’s no ‘premium’ for LTE itself. Initially, we introduced 4G on the larger data bundles and as of the 1st of July, we will integrate 4G into all data bundles in our new “all-in-one” line-up. We believe that 4G is a major improvement to the user experience on mobile data and want to make this available to all our customers as soon as possible.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Yes, we launched in urban areas covering Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht as soon as possible. But we also cover all the smaller cities and towns in between – and will cover rural areas as we continue our roll-out through the rest of the year. We believe that 4G should be available everywhere – that’s why we roll the 4G service out like an “oil stain” covering the entire country, rather than building coverage in busy hot spots only. If you really want to enjoy the benefits of 4G, it should be available in the entire country – in urban and rural areas!

How optimistic are you about the impact that RCS services might have for your customers?

We are closely following this to see how this could be of additional value to our customers. But our priority at this moment is to build nation-wide coverage on 4G in The Netherlands.

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

The experiences with the first VoLTE implementations will be very exciting. And we are very interested in the possibilities that will become available with e-MBMS or LTE Broadcast.

Why is the LTE World Summit such an important event to attend?

This is the event to meet up with professionals that are working on LTE worldwide and the place to share experiences and learn from each other. KPN is again very proud to host the LTE World Summit in the capital of The Netherlands, the beautiful city of Amsterdam. And especially since this is the city where we launched our 4G services earlier this year!

IP architect at Telefonica UK: “There will be organisational challenges as teams that previously worked separately are brought together in an IP-centric world.”

Andrew Davies, IP architect at Telefonica UK

Andrew Davies, IP architect at Telefonica UK

Andrew Davies, IP architect at Telefonica UK, is speaking on Day Two of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we find out what’s pressing most in his mind in terms of upcoming IP challenges.

What were the main technical challenges you face as you look to move from 2G/3G to 4G LTE?

As an IP Architect, from my perspective the issues are around the IP Infrastructure. The main concerns are how we can build sufficient capacity into the network. We are moving towards latest technology, such as 100Gbps, and in subsequent years, bundles of 100Gbps or alternatives. We need to build an IP infrastructure that supports potentially incompatible goals of both low latency for the user plane and physically separate paths for signalling traffic. We also need to secure our core IP infrastructure against as yet unknown threats from the all-IP enabled backhaul. The implementation of a shared LTE infrastructure with our partner operator Vodafone will also through up new challenges to us and our vendors. Finally, there will be organisational challenges as teams that previously worked separately are brought together as Radio, Access and Core collapse into one in an IP-centric world.

You’ve recently announced BT as your backhaul provider – what impact do you think LTE will have on your backhaul in the first six months after launch and then a year after launch?

The BT service gives us greater flexibility and resilience and for the first time will bring offer high availability, extending across the aggregation backhaul. We expect significant growth in our mobile backhaul, with it approximately doubling each year.

Is VoLTE on the roadmap, and what are the challenges in implementing it?

Voice over LTE will not be available for launch and will be carried using existing 2G and 3G networks. Voice over LTE will be considered as part of our roadmap of capability over the coming years.

Why is the LTE World Summit such an important event in your calendar?

The LTE World Summit is an opportunity to hear how other operators and experts in their fields are dealing with the challenges posed by LTE.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Interview: CTO, SK Telecom, South Korea: “SDN and network virtualisation technologies hold great promise for mobile carriers.”

Dr J W Byun, the CTO of SK Telecom, South Korea is speaking on Day One of the LTE World Summit, taking place on 24-26 June 2013 at The RAI, Amsterdam. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how SK Telecom has been able to extend its global lead in LTE and gives some insights into what he sees coming down the line for telecoms.

SKT_CTO_PHOTO_s

SK Telecom is a leader in LTE technology and have been one of the first to go live with VoLTE? Why do you think you were able to do so when other operators have not done so?

We were able to achieve nationwide LTE rollout at a rapid pace as Korea is a small but densely populated country. Moreover, Koreans are already used to fast Internet speeds and their expectations are getting higher and higher in terms of network speeds and device features/capabilities.

As Korea’s top mobile carrier, SK Telecom has developed strong technological capabilities in mobile telecommunications and accumulated extensive knowhow in network operation over the past 29 years. Based on its long-standing partnerships with many telecommunications equipment manufacturers and device makers, SK Telecom was able to maintain its market leadership by developing the most innovative LTE technologies and securing the richest line-up of mobile devices.

After launching Korea’s first LTE service in July 2011, the company saw its LTE subscriber base expand rapidly thanks to its premium service quality and customer care. With the spread of LTE, the company shifted its focus to developing and providing diverse services specially designed to match the needs of LTE users, allowing them to get the most out of the LTE network. In addition, on August 8, 2012, SK Telecom has launched the world’s first nationwide VoLTE service to enable users to experience premium-quality voice services.

Are you also intending to be one of the first to pioneer RCS services and what impact do you think it will have on customers mainly using OTT services?

SK Telecom has already commercialized an RCS service named joyn.T. Launched on 26 December 2012 the number of joyn.T users reached 1.57 million in April, 2013. The strong growth of joyn.T is attributable to the fact that it

1) Enables joyn.T users to send free messages (SMS, MMS) to anyone including those who have not downloaded the joyn.T application.
2) Offers diverse differentiated features such as live video sharing and location sharing.
3) Can become interoperable with RCS services of other mobile carriers throughout the world.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Where are you with LTE Advanced and carrier aggregation in particular?

At Mobile World Congress 2013, SK Telecom showcased Carrier Aggregation using a smartphone for the first time in the world and we plan to commercialize LTE-Advanced by launching Carrier Aggregation (CA) in the second half of this year, using a combined total of 20MHz (from the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands).

However, last year, in July 2012, SK Telecom became the first company in the world to commercialise Multi Carrier (MC) – a technology that enables operators to choose one frequency band from multiple carriers to provide more seamless and reliable LTE services at faster speeds – by building 1.8GHz base stations. Going forward, these MC-capable base stations can be easily turned into CA-capable equipment through software upgrades so as to support LTE-Advanced from the second half of 2013.

Do you believe that RCS services can genuinely help the industry compete with OTT?

RCS service sets itself apart from the traditional OTT offering through its unique features. It provides guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) since it is offered over the managed IP network of the operators and hence is carrier-grade. In addition, it can be grown into a more comprehensive service with the addition of diverse features developed based on the global RCS standards. SK Telecom plans to add attractive features that are combined with communication services, such as HD Voice (VoLTE). Furthermore, as many mobile operators around the world are promoting the development of RCS services based on the same specifications, these services are expected to become a universal service that can be enjoyed by all customers around the world regardless of network and carrier.

Is VoLTE part of your plans and what benefits will it bring both to operators and consumers?

For customers, VoLTE improves voice quality over 3G voice calls by 40 per cent by utilising a wider bandwidth (50~7000Hz) compared to 3G voice calls (300~3400Hz) and Adapted Multi-Rate Wide Band (AMR-WB) codec, which handles 2.2 times wider frequency bandwidth than that of 3G voice calls. Moreover, the call connection time is less than 0.25 to 2.5 seconds, two to 20 times shorter than 3G voice calls. VoLTE also provides seamless conversion between voice and video calls.

Moreover, VoLTE has helped mobile operators strengthen their competitive edge over third-party players, while paving the way for the creation of new and creative all-IP-based business models.

Where do small cells fit into your plans, and what benefits will they bring?

In the LTE-Advanced environment where data traffic is expected to increase dramatically, small cells will become the most crucial part of mobile operators’ strategy. Small cells enable operators to expand network capacity using their existing frequency resources in the most cost-effective manner. SK Telecom has deployed 50,000 femtocells including 3,000 LTE femtocells. To realize the true benefits of small cells, SK Telecom plans to develop and apply cell virtualization technologies such as Super Cell. Super Cell enables mobile operators to use cell virtualisation technologies to enhance network capacity by minimising inter-cell interference, ensure seamless call quality by removing handover, and benefit from cost-efficient operation of networks.

Are there any other key innovations in your network compared to others operators?

SK Telecom’s premium quality LTE service is supported by innovative LTE network technologies like Multi Carrier, LTE femtocells, Downlink CoMP (Coordinated Multi-Point) and SON (Self-Organizing Network), all of which were commercialised by SK Telecom for the first time in the world. The application of these advanced technologies, combined with SK Telecom’s long-established know-how and experience in network operations, is making the company’s networks even stronger, faster and smarter.

The company is also making constant efforts to keep developing core LTE-Advanced technologies to lead the full-fledged opening of the era of LTE-Advanced. It has successfully demonstrated, for the first time in the world, core LTE-Advanced technologies like Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC), Uplink Cooperative Multi-Point (CoMP), Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Transmission Mode 9 (TM9).

Pricing for LTE is a controversial subject. Are operators getting it right?

LTE operators around the world are introducing many different types of price plans for their LTE subscribers. As for SK Telecom, it is offering a wide variety of LTE price plans in order to meet the diverse needs of customers and to encourage them to experience the advantages of the ultra-fast network in the most convenient and cost-effective manner. They include flat-rate plans, specialised plans for different age groups such as the elderly and teenagers, and optional data-only plans.

For instance, the company’s most recently launched (March 22, 2013) fixed-rate price plan named ‘T&T Sharing’ provides customers with unlimited intra-network voice calls as well as unlimited intra-network and inter-network texting. The company also modified its existing LTE data plans to lower the cost burden on customers by allowing them to add one data-only device to use the same data pool for free.

Moreover, in January 2013, SK Telecom introduced the ‘LTE Data Gift Program’ that allows customers to give their remaining data to other LTE users through a simple process.

How will affordable LTE roaming be achieved?

LTE roaming costs are expected to become as affordable as that of 3G roaming through close partnerships between mobile carriers. This will occur as LTE services spread across the globe. Recently, the members of the Bridge Alliance reached a consensus that LTE auto-roaming takes an important role in the future direction of next-generation roaming services, thus calling for strategic partnerships between carriers around the world.

After launching the world’s first LTE auto roaming service under partnership with Hong Kong’s CSL on June 1, 2012, SK Telecom has launched the service in Singapore by joining hands with M1 (October 1, 2012) and SingTel (March 1, 2013). Recently, SK Telecom has also started the service in the Philippines (April 1, 2013) by partnering with Globe Telecom.

What are the biggest changes you see coming down the line for mobile telecoms?

It has long been their dream of mobile operators to create mobile networks strong and smart enough to provide optimal network quality at all times. In the world of ever-increasing data traffic, they have been making heavy investments in their network infrastructure to prevent worst-case scenarios involving network overload. As a pioneer in the development of the global mobile industry, SK Telecom has already launched and refined its LTE network and is currently moving rapidly towards the era of LTE-Advanced.

Along with its efforts to realise unprecedented network speeds, SK Telecom also plans to promote the development of the Software-Defined Network (SDN) and network virtualisation technologies to make its network more powerful and attractive. SDN and network virtualisation technologies hold great promise for mobile carriers and will have a huge impact on the industry over the next five years. With SDN and virtualization technologies applied to the existing mobile networks, operators will be able to significantly reduce their network investment costs as they can install a number of software services within a single system, and flexibly adjust the amount of resources needed for each of them. Moreover, they will be able to offer optimal network quality for a particular service being used by customers located in a highly-congested area.

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