Posts tagged ‘NSN’

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.

No lag for SK Telecom as it turbo boosts LTE

Following on from our LTE at MWC round-up from last week, I thought we’d go into a little bit more depth on what SK Telecom is doing. Why? Because SK Telecom is one of the world leaders in LTE. According to Informa WCIS stats, as of December 2012 South Korea leads the way with LTE with 32.5% of all subscribers in the country using LTE. It has 7.5m of its subscribers on LTE subscriptions, some 25% of its total user base and it hopes that by the end of 2013 that will go up to 60%. It’s an ambitious figure but it does enjoy coverage of 98% of the country.

When you consider that in the UK, O2 has just been awarded the licence for 800MHz spectrum with an obligation to provide 98% coverage, the difference is stark. In a nutshell, South Korea is way ahead.

Clearly it is in its interests to get everybody across to LTE as soon as possible. It will want to recoup those investments it’s made in LTE and the more people move across the sooner it can leverage the benefits of the lower cost-per-bit of LTE.

If you want to know more about SK Telecom’s latest LTE advances first-hand, Dr Byun Jae-woan is speaking at the LTE World Summit in June. Click here to download a flyer for the event.

No surprise then that at Mobile World Congress SK Telecom said that it would be taking things to the next level and demoing LTE Advanced, with plans to commercialise it in the second half of 2013. After all with strong competitors in the form of KT Corp and LG U+ it can’t afford to rest on its laurels.

The LTE Advanced it showed at MWC consisted of ‘Super Cell’, a concept that uses cell virtualisation to improve network capacity by reducing inter-cell interference. It also helps to ensure better call handovers between cells. It’s still possible to get cut off when travelling between cells today so that’s a welcome improvement.

Top speed is the big news though and the LTE Advanced solution can comfortably deliver 150Mbps to a handset.  A 1.4GB HD movie would download in just 75 seconds SK Telecom is pleased to tell us. (Thunk. Don’t worry, that’s just the sound of someone who’s just signed up to EE on a 500MB cap hitting the floor after fainting).

LTE. It's fast in a completely different way to a McLaren F1.

LTE. It’s fast in a completely different way to a McLaren F1. (See below)

SK also demonstrated VoLTE, which the company has successfully deployed. This is in large part thanks to its widespread LTE coverage layer, which means it doesn’t have to worry about the tricky business of handing over calls to 2G or 3G.

Another good news story for LTE from the house of SK, was that it announced that it had an impressive one million users on its Joyn.T application, all garnered in just 50 days since its launch in December 2012.

Joyn.T, is the RCS-based offering created by operator in a bid to give them a tool to be the OTT guys such as Skype and WhatsApp. It’s good news for the Joyn backers the GSMA, which had to contend with Deutsche Telekom announcing that it was delaying its Joyn deployment for more extensive testing.

On the infrastructure side the news was the SK Telecom was working with Nokia Siemens Networks, the struggling telecoms infrastructure vendor that has seen resurgence in recent months.  NSN was boasting of its so called ‘Liquid Application’ technology, the main thrust of which is essentially to put more intelligence into the base stations in a bid to improve latency. This is a good move.

What many people don’t realise is the latency enhancements in LTE are where most of the real world perceived benefits come from. It’s all about responsiveness. Poor latency is like turbo lag in a car on a race track full of cars. If you have to wait for ages for the boost to come in, and you don’t have long stretches of road ahead of you to make use of that top speed you’re going to lose out to more nimbler connections with lower top speeds but faster responding turbos.

If that seems a little confused it’s because the parallel occurred to me as was failing to leave slower cars behind despite driving a McLaren F1. (In the Xbox 360 game Forza 4 that is – I don’t own a McLaren F1 in real life you probably won’t be surprised to know). It was the laggy turbo in the F1 you see, and the track didn’t let me go above fourth gear at any point, so despite its 240 mph top speeds its potential bandwidth couldn’t help me. Much like a high bandwidth connection with low latency. If NSN’s Liquid Application can improve latency and top speed, it’s the best of both worlds.

SK Telecom has been boosting its backend bandwidth too though, with the announcement in January that it would be moving from 40G to 100G upgrades, giving it 8Tbps to play with on its optical network.

dr_byun

SK Telcoms’s CTO and Head of Future Technology R&D Division Byun Jae-Woan

Other interesting developments that came out of MWC this year for SK Telecom were its indoor location positioning technology, its innovative healthcare solutions such as Smartcase that used mobile connectivity to send medical information to doctors remotely, and FREND, which provide on-site diagnosis of major diseases and send that information again for 3G or 4G.

However, for SK Telecom I’d say MWC 2013 was mainly about LTE. The GSMA certainly thought so and here is a picture of SK’s CTO and Head of Future Technology R&D Division Byun Jae-Woan, proudly displaying the award the operator won from the Global Mobile Awards 2013 for the 4G LTE with PETA Solution – a cocktail of technologies to improve LTE performance involving multi carriers, femtocells, VoLTE, SON and Advanced Smart Cloud Access networks.

 

LTE’s virtuous circle: LTE to go mass market in 2012?

Arne Schälicke, LTE Product Marketing, Nokia Siemens Networks

This is a guest post from Arne Schälicke, LTE Product Marketing, Nokia Siemens Networks on the growth of the LTE eco-system and the work that NSN is putting it to make it happen.

That fact that the annual LTE World Summit has recently established itself among the top events in the sector has really underlined the importance of LTE in our industry. It’s also a good opportunity to reflect about the LTE market development that we have seen over the recent years.

By April 2012 there were 64 commercially launched LTE networks, 70 per cent more than a year earlier. The last year has also seen the commercial launches of the first TD-LTE networks. The global adoption of both FDD LTE and TD-LTE is not a vision anymore, it’s a fact. Global scale fosters the development of the device ecosystem, which in turn drives subscriber figures. The LTE virtuous circle has accelerated.

The arrival of multiband/multimode USB dongles has enabled operators to migrate their mobile broadband large screen customers to LTE. Subscribers benefit from faster average throughputs and shorter latency times, while the operators can offload their 3G networks, apply new tariffs and hence optimise their ARPU.

For all the aforementioned reasons, LTE data services have started to expand from the premium high-price segment to mid- and entry-level segments, with some operators having already introduced prepaid packages. Also, some international data roaming packages have been introduced, e.g. by TeliaSonera, who launched commercial LTE services more than three years and now provides LTE in many Northern European and Baltic countries.

The launch of LTE smartphones and tablets has since then accelerated subscriber growth tremendously. The publicly available data from NTT DoCoMo, Japan, shows an acceleration of roughly 300 per cent in monthly subscriber uptake following the introduction of LTE smartphones and tablets in autumn 2011. By April 2012, three operators in the US, Japan and Korea had reported more than two million LTE subscribers. LG U+ in Korea has reached an LTE penetration of more than 20 per cent of its total subscriber base.

In short, in 2012 LTE is becoming mass market.

What does the market success of LTE mean for Nokia Siemens Networks? As specialist in mobile broadband, we have been at the forefront of the LTE and TD-LTE commercialisation since the very beginning. Through our partnerships with the leading LTE operators in advanced markets like Northern Europe, Japan and Korea, we have continuously evolved our commercial LTE network systems to deliver superior throughput and lowest latency times in networks.

With a TD-LTE end-to-end solution, including the complete network infrastructure, services and TD-LTE data devices, we have enabled SKY, the largest satellite pay-TV operator in Brazil, to not only enter the local wireless broadband market, but to also be the first to launch commercial 4G services in Latin America. For operators with existing 1800MHz GSM networks we have commercially introduced concurrent operation of GSM and LTE on the same base station hardware module. Telia Denmark uses our concurrent-mode GSM/LTE technology nationwide and has repeatedly been praised for having the best 4G network in the country.

As the LTE market evolves further so are the LTE offerings of Nokia Siemens Networks. Pushing speeds ever higher we have demonstrated LTE-Advanced with data rates exceeding 1.4Gbps using aggregated spectrum of 100MHz on the commercial Flexi Multiradio 10 base station platform.

With increasing LTE smartphone penetration rates and growing LTE network coverage 2012 is also a significant year of VoLTE, with operators like LG U+, Korea, having already announced their VoLTE plans for this year.

And then, as the LTE World Summit 2012 agenda underlines nicely, small cells will play a key role in complementing macro networks to bring better coverage and capacity boost to areas of high demands. Clusters of small cells can provide the capacity needed in mobile broadband network hot zones. With our highly acclaimed Flexi Zone small cell solution, we are proposing a revolutionary new small cell cluster architecture that ensures  small cell capacity really adds to the macro network and does not “tax” the operator’s TCO.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: