Posts tagged ‘Orange’

Senior Project Manager, Orange Group: “The major drivers for 2014 are carrier aggregation, the flagship feature of LTE-A.”

Roman Lapszow, Senior Project Manager, Technical Strategy, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange Group

Roman Lapszow, Senior Project Manager, Technical Strategy, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange Group

Roman Lapszow, Senior Project Manager, Technical Strategy, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange Group is speaking on Day Two of the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show we speak to him about where the Orange network is heading in 2014 and where the focus is for upcoming developments.

How much impact will LTE-Advanced have on Orange’s networks in 2014?

The launch of LTE networks has brought a significant growth of data traffic and consumer interest. LTE is driving evolution in our networks and there is no doubt of the value of LTE. The only remaining question in markets where we have yet to launch is when and in what bands. As LTE-A is concerned, the majority of our efforts are focused on studies, evaluations and deployment of LTE-A. The major drivers for 2014 are carrier aggregation, the flagship feature of LTE-A, and to a lower extent coordinated multipoint processing (CoMP).

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Interview – VP Product Development, Orange Technocentre: “we believe that cameras, together with more upstream capacities will lead to new business or consumer services.”

pierre-francois-dubois

Pierre François Dubois, VP Product Development, Orange Technocentre

Will eMBMS be a success in 2014 or beyond? This is what Pierre François Dubois, VP Product Development at the Orange Technocentre will be discussing on Day One of the 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we caught up with him to gain a sneak peek at his insights into this and other LTE technologies such as VoLTE.

LTE Broadcast/eMBMS – hasn’t the wireless industry been here before and why will it be different this time?

There have been several attempts in the last ten years to enrich mobile networks with broadcast solutions, but all of them failed for two main reasons: no real breakthrough in terms of service for the consumer and the difficulty of building an ecosystem (the second being often the consequence of the first one). Integrated Mobile Broadcast (IMB) with 3G was a good idea as it could enable many MNOs to leverage useless TD spectrum they acquired with 3G but it came too late, and with 4G in the horizon no one made the first move.

It is too early to say that eMBMS will be a success but the situation is obviously different:

–          On the fixed access side, mixing broadcast and interactive services has led to new business models in the media industry. It inspires MNOs and their partners as mobile network are more and more content and video driven.

–          4G has been fully designed for data and anticipated eMBMS in the standard, which was not the case with IMB.

–          The technology is close to maturity. The chipsets are there and end-to-end trials have been completed by several MNOs.

“Will there be a true business model for this technology?” remains the main question and the answer may vary from one country to another.

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Interview: VP Group Marketing North America, Orange: “marketing strategy and pricing parameters are vital to the success of 4G.”

Philippe Andres, VP Group Marketing North America, Orange

Philippe Andres, VP Group Marketing North America, Orange

Philippe Andres, VP Group Marketing North America, Orange is speaking on the subject of “How Do LTE deployments alter the attitude towards Wi-Fi?”, in the Hetnets track 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 find out more about Orange’ is taking a lead in LTE and his thoughts on marketing and pricing.

How is Orange taking the lead in LTE around the world?

There are several examples. Starting with the UK, EE, our joint collaboration with Deutsche Telekom, was until this summer the only 4G LTE operator on the scene since it launched in October 2012. It has taken full advantage of this, and now has LTE market leadership, with more than 1.2 million 4GEE customers.

In September, Amena, Orange’s low cost brand in Spain, launched a new innovative 4G service and aims to cover 15 large cities by the end of 2013. In October, Mobistar, our Belgium subsidiary announced it was speeding up 4G deployment network and to make 15 cities accessible by the end of 2013 and to cover 40 cities more during the first quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, Orange Romania is the first carrier to offer 4G in the entire capital city Bucharest, and we also launched 4G LTE in Poland in the capital city Warsaw.

In addition, in France, we will have 40 per cent population coverage by the end of 2013 and we are the only carrier speeds to offer up to 150Mbps, and 70 per cent of our smartphone range is compatible with this. Finally we are regularly distinguished by the French regulator ARCEP for our network’s quality of service.

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: LTE roaming business development, Orange Group: “All communications has turned to 4G – it’s a hit!”

Laurent Pouillieute, LTE roaming business development, Orange Group

Laurent Pouillieute, LTE roaming business development, Orange Group

Laurent Pouillieute, LTE roaming business development, Orange Group is speaking 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 what the challenges that lie ahead for 4G, particularly around roaming.

What major developments have there been with regards to the LTE industry in your region this past year?

2012 was a busy year with several 4G domestic launches in each EU country [we operate in] and 2013 is proving much bigger. On the devices side, the trend of 4G compatible devices is clearly increasing. All communications has turned to 4G – it’s a hit! On the 4G roaming side 2012 was a year of preparation and in 2013 things are starting to happen for regional roaming.

What are the technical challenges involved in enabling roaming?

While 3G roaming is mature in EU, with all services open, 4G roaming has raised new challenges for the industry. These are:

–          device band support is still an issue for worldwide roaming. Hopefully, at regional level compatibility is fine but it is clearly a limitation for fast worldwide 4G roaming.

–          LTE network interoperability, first days of LTE roaming would be busy with debugging all new 4G routes (time & resources).

–          LTE roaming timing; to try to reduce the time between LTE domestic and roaming launch.

–          VoLTE is a real challenge and the industry (including devices) need to deploy it fast in the next few years. The right interconnect model has to be found in order to ensure end-to-end QoS and we strongly believe that we need an IPX overlay to deliver that.

What do you think will have to be done to get LTE roaming to become the norm?

Having one single common/universal band everywhere would clearly help the roaming business to deploy faster on all regions.

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.

Will Wi-Fi offset the need for roaming?

I do not believe Wi-Fi will offset the need for 4G roaming. Indeed, 4G offers much better response time, bandwidth, QoS, and transparent customer experience and better coverage and mobility.

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

Pricing for LTE reflects both MNO’s investments in deploying 4G quickly and with maximum coverage and improving services and the customer experience. Roaming pricing has been regulated in some regions (such as the EU price caps), and this could help to develop usage.

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

LTE will bring faster speeds and much lower latencies, opening up the possibilities for applications that we have not even imagined yet. What is exciting is the capacity to deliver end-to-end QoS thanks to that investment, and for that we need to find the right operating models, giving everyone its fair share of revenue (network operator, carrier, content provider and end user).

LTE World Summit Speaker Interview – Orange

Jean-Pierre Bienaimé, is the senior vice president of strategy & communications for Orange and chairman of the UMTS Forum. Ahead of the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 at the CCIB, Barcelona, Spain, we caught up with him to get his views on the future of the mobile industry.

Orange has recently put down its LTE marker by pledging that it will bring LTE to Europe across the countries of France, Spain, Belgium, Luxemburg, Armenia, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. In light of the 2015 coverage date some have viewed the move as a little sluggish but Jean-Pierre Bienaimé, senior vice president of strategy & communications for Orange and chairman of the UMTS Forum, is keen to defend Orange’s here. “Orange’s philosophy has always been ‘not always first, but first time right, with the best quality of experience for the customer with the best coverage and terminals for the customers.”

Terminals. The availability of these is often the blight of the industry and it has been no different for LTE. However, Bienaimé is satisfied that it will not be a problem for Orange in Europe. “The terminal market has grown quicker than expected from one year ago, and probably the US launches have played a role as an accelerator for 4G. It has helped mature the ecosystem. I’m sure by December we will have some 30 smartphones that will have LTE capability. You’ll have also tablets, notebooks and within one year I’m sure this number will multiply. In Japan, DoComo has just announced two million LTE customers it will be also quick in the Japanese market.”

A bigger problem he believes is the spectrum situation, which, as chairman of the UMTS Forum has long been one of his concerns. “It has been our job for a long time in the UMTS forum to fight for frequency spectrum for mobile. We have been active at worldwide conferences with regard to the digital dividend and C band and also harmonisation.” The latter is directly tied into the success of the LTE eco-system he explains. “In the coming years, with the digital dividend at 700 and 800MHz we should have harmonised bands, so that there will be enough economy of scale.”

Bienaimé is looking forward to the launch of LTE, particularly in his native France. “In France we have just done the auction process at the end of the previous year, so as was in the case in Germany, at 800Mhz, mainly for rural, and 2.6GHz for urban areas.” He is also happy with the way the auction went for Orange. “[We] obtained the best compromise in terms of quantity of MHz and price – it was a good calculation. But I expect that there will be refarming of 1800MHz.”

This reflects what Orange is trying to do in the UK with its partnership with T-Mobile under the Everything Everywhere brand, a move that has raised the ire of its UK competitors and threatens to spill over into the courts. Naturally Bienaimé is hopeful it will happen. “In the UK it could be an advantage, before the other ones [operators]. It could be a good differentiator.”

One of the benefits of LTE over UMTS is that it is able to operate over a wide band of frequencies, but at the same time it is this that causes issues in terms of the lack of harmonisation. However, he is confident that technology will be able to overcome this. “We have seen encouraging signs at the recent Mobile World Congress with some interesting announcements in terms of LTE launches, particularly from chipset vendors: notably from Qualcomm who showed 3G/LTE multimode and multi-band chips, supporting 2G/3G/LTE with 14 LTE bands. So I think it’s quite encouraging.”
However, he still insists that that a combination of talented multi-frequency chipsets and limited spectrum fragmentation is what is required to encourage roaming.  “With LTE, more so than with previous generations, if you want to have international roaming you need to add several LTE bands, so you must have GSM, UMTS, CDMA2000 and LTE- both high and low frequencies.”

Most of the attention of roaming recently has been around cost issues, with the EU in particular recently making moves to lower these for consumers. On the costs issues Bienaimé comments that, “there are some discussions at European level for roaming trends in terms of tariffs and we will soon see the result of those discussions. We can say that for the customers it will be more and more interesting.”

What excites Bienaimé about LTE is its potential to transform connected devices of all types. “We think that at mobile broadband and consumer electronics are two worlds that will meet very rapidly. I don’t know if it will be the 50 billion connected devices predicted by Ericsson by 2020 – we more moderately predicted, in addition to traditional smartphones, one billion real consumer electronics devices by 2016.  These will be divided into four categories: home, portable, car and health. We foresee that broadband LTE will favour low latency activities such as real-time streaming, video conferencing and interactive gaming.”

M2M however will take a good while to enter the TLE fold he says. “Concerning the real traditional M2M, we will think it will come a bit later. Many M2M communications are happy with not such high-speed [connections], such as smart metering. But definitely for video, and in-car applications we are sure that LTE will accelerate the phenomenon. The promise of in-car entertainment and telematics will finally be fulfilled with new generation networks. One forecast has more than 200 million cars connected to mobile broadband networks by 2016.”

In his role at Orange, Bienaimé also has his eye on the wholesale market, and he believes that the limitations behind LTE spectrum will enable this business model to grow in France. “The limited bandwidth available for LTE will encourage networks sharing to develop. Concerning wholesale, there are interesting initiatives. We know that in the US Clearwire announced at MWC that it will move for LTE and LTE-A and will turn themselves to the wholesale model. I think we see a lot of development in this.”

Bienaimé focuses in on the case of Three entering the French market and putting price pressure on Orange, while at the same time using Orange for its network.“On the one hand, Orange’s consumer retail brand is challenged by the tariffs of Three mobile, but on the other hand Orange is earning some wholesale revenues. I think more and more we will see the appearance of these data MVNOs. I think the operators will have to look at new sources of growth, particularly in Europe where the growth rate is not the same as in emerging markets. In terms of new territories, data MNVO’s present new opportunities for the operators with strong partnerships”.

The LTE World Summit is taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain.

To download the event brochure click here

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