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LTE like you have never seen before, or you will never see at all…

19 Jun

We can be sure that the hunger for data transmission will grow rapidly and that the mobile networks will not be able to deliver the expected capacity. On top of the current avalanche of the data created and consumed by humans we will soon see a completely different order of magnitude of the traffic Not only traffic generated by the machines in so-called Internet of Things or Internet of Everything.

A year ago, 3GPP consortium was approached by the mighty Qualcomm with the proposal to include in the next release of the 3GPP specs the extensions of LTE Advanced framework into two very interesting options promising both dramatic increase of networks capacity and the local peering interfaces.

Promised land

The most rare resource in the mobile world are the frequencies operators can use to build their networks. Based on the old paradigm of licensing, giving the exclusivity of the spectrum usage to a certain entity are in fact the foundation of cellular carriers business model. They pay fortunes for the license and are the only landlords of the assigned band. Also the protocols running there (GSM/3G/4G/LTE) behave like the only kid on the block expecting no interference in the area and enforcing the exclusivity rights.

Quality of service predictability is linked to the exclusivity and the binary access to a given spectrum resource, at a given location and a given time.”

However the licensing model assigns very small spectrum to an operator. Those can be even highly-priced 5 MHz pieces! Very often the frequencies are fragmented and do not allow aggregation of the transmission channels which is vital to increase the data throughout. And since rarely operators decide to merge their frequency assets (like formation of Everything Everywhere by Orange and T-Mobile in the UK or NetworkS! in Poland), there seems to be no way out from the spectrum trap.

But wait a minute! There is a great open field out there – the unlicensed bands. Originating back from back in 1985, when so-called “junk bands” of 2.4 and 5.8 GHz were declared free to use by anyone, they are right now occupied mostly by WiFi (IEEE 802.11). Subsequently the set of the unlicensed frequencies got expanded and right now almost entire 5 GHz range is available – 775 MHZ of continuous spectrum. Recently released TV broadcasting bands (sub 1 GHz) are tested for long-range rural internet access and 60 GHz (massive 7 GHz cluster) is already used as either point-to-point connectivity or short-range multimedia streaming at home (802.11ad standard).

The free spectrum is not only home for WiFi, but also a place of co-existence of many other protocols – Bluetooth, Zigbee. Over time the base rules of the game were defined to guarantee problem-free common usage of the frequencies with good neighbours trying to limit the impact of their actions on the others lives.

How will a selfish kid like LTE behave in this good neighbourhood? It’s not like having a racetrack just for yourself. It’s more like driving a car in the city, where streets are available to everyone who is able to understand the rules and play by those rules. Will LTE learn the traffic or crash spectacularily?

The key to success

The proposal from Qualcomm defines LTE-U extension to use the U-NII-3 part of the 5 GHz band, which has highest EIRP emission power allowed. While in 2.4 GHz regulatory bodies limit EIRP to 100 mW (Europe) or 200 mW (USA), the U-NII-3 enjoys the rights to go as high as 1000 mW outdoors.
Yes – 1 watt of power…

However, the LTE will not move entirely to the unlicensed area. The postulate is to keep the control channel still operational in the reserved frequency so that “the crucial signaling information is always communicated properly.” Which also means that only true MNO will be able to deploy the technology. It’s a big goodbye kiss to the enterprises hoping they could build private LTE networks without licensing cost…

In fact the LTE-U proposal is built on another LTE Advanced standard extension called “carrier aggregation”. It allows using multiple communication channels to transfer data in parallel. Originally it was designed to solve the problem of the “frequency mosaic”. Instead of exchanging and merging the frequencies with the other players to gain higher bandwidths, mobile operators will be able to use the radio resource they have right now “as-is”. LTE-U is simply saying that instead of the owned frequencies, some channels will be formed in the 5 GHz band. Carrier aggregation is pretty adaptive structure, so we can end up in multiple, dynamically changing topologies where all links work in licensed channels, all work in unlicensed spectrum or we have a mixture. System shall adapt to the congestion of the mobile network and availability of the unlicensed frequencies.

Here is the key to the co-existence of the selfish LTE kid with WiFi – effective sensing of available resources without pre-empting all of them. Qualcomm argues that there will be no noticeable degradation of the competing WiFi networks, while allegedly more efficient LTE-U encoding will deliver larger capacity than neighboring 802.11 systems.

Feasibility of the LTE-U

Control channel for LTE-U still needs to be realized via licensed band so the technology is possible to be implemented only in the existing LTE coverage areas. Carriers already struggle with the overwhelming investments that are necessary for LTE rollouts. Will they be willing to add more money to the budget for the promised added capacity, seamless aggregation the unlicensed downlink channels and ability to transition VoLTE calls? Especially that in order to use the LTE-U, their subscribers will need to have fully-compatible terminal with newest chipset, which will not happen overnight.

It might be a good choice for the smaller players on the market strangled by the lack of spectrum and pressured by the quality demand from their customers. That could be a good selling point for them without otherwise unavoidable huge license fees infrastructure expenses.

On the other hand why shall they wait for the specification to be finalized and equipment to be available, while already they can build WiFi networks delivering the same added capacity, seamless roaming between radio networks and even voice transitioning from VoLTE to VoWiFi and back? Maybe because the intention is to make WiFi and other wireless technologies obsolete and take over full control over previously free area? Another Qualcomm extension to LTE Advanced seems to be a step into such direction.

Direct communication – reinvented

The future uber-connected world with everybody and everything talking to each other will likely consume all possible centralized network resources. Not only licensed , but also the previously mentioned unlicensed spectrum. Hence the concept of direct device-to-device communication without engaging of central management seems to be the way forward for some specific types of applications, like location of devices or social media check-ins or individual/group messaging.

Nowadays such applications are based either on modified Bluetooth protocols or exisiting blanket coverage WiFi networks. Using the characteristics of those systems and add-on modules in the operating systems of our smartphones or tablets, it is possible to locate the user in the indoor environment and trigger some action.

Typical example is the shopping assistance. Wandering in the vast public venue like a shopping mall frequently requires some “indoor navigation” aid. Positioning of the customer gives also the opportunity to analyze the behavior of the visitors and pushing to them marketing messages when they enter certain zones (eg. promo messages when passing by a shop which paid for such advertisement). All based on the assumption that the user has got his WiFi and Bluetooth modules active and his terminal is equipped with the application able to receive such information.

LTE Direct proposed by Qualcomm taps on this opportunity by replacing WiFi/BT communication with yet another LTE Advanced extension. It is using as little as <1% of the network signaling, yet provides direct messaging between user devices. There are two types of messages defined – public and private expressions.

Public expressions are exactly matching the Bluetooth iBeacon functionality. They can be used to locate the user and push any kind of message to his device. The messages are not filtered and do not require applications to be presented to the customer. Excellent marketing tool with larger than iBeacon range (ca. 500 meters instead of 50), promised lower power consumption and better accuracy. Moreover working both outdoors and under roof.

Private expressions are linked with particular messaging/presence app and can be subject to special filtering and privacy settings enforced already on the device chipset level. They can be used to communicate with friends wishing to join the party, seek for people with the same interests at an event or simply as next generation social messaging with geo-location context.

In order to work, LTE Direct still needs licensed spectrum and the LTE control channel. It means that, just like LTE-U, its applicability is strongly dedicated to the mobile carriers and not the enterprises. Exactly opposite to the current beneficiaries of location based services, which are public venues of different kinds: shopping malls, transportation hubs or hospitality properties. One might even interpret such definition of the standard as an attempt to bring back to the operators the opportunity to tap on the revenues right now leaking to such enterprises or OTT (over the top) application owners like Facebook or Google. Bringing back human-to-human communication management (and payments) to the carriers. Especially in the context of classical texting and phone call role diminishing. Finally they could charge again for the actual usage of the network and not just deliver the capacity.

However, there are still some unresolved issues with LTE Direct. While WiFi and Bluetooth work in “neutral host” mode and serve all the user devices, irrespectively of the actual mobile operator and even the ones which are not equipped with cellular interface, LTE Direct requires one common signaling band. The open question remains if the operators will be able to agree on one shared control frequency and under which conditions. Especially that such arrangement shall work for their entire coverage area in order for this extension to be a valid upsell option.

Busines case

Both extensions are part of the new 3GPP releases and expected to approved and possible to implement in 2015-2016 timeframe. As part of the LTE Advanced rollout effort, they require substantial investment in the infrastructure (order of magnitude more expensive than WiFi), but above all – compatible user devices. Low number of termials might limit the business feasibility of such “unlicensed offload” or added-value services, while WiFi and BT are already present in all mobile phones (standard supported globally) and are usable immediately. Also majority of tablets, mobile computers and the expected Internet of Everything devices are SIM-less. This dooms LTE-U/Direct to be just an auxiliary, “nice to have” service for years and only few most desperate operators will decide to go their way.

The WiFi revolution seems to be progressing faster than LTE-A and can make a lot of the mobile carrier business obsolete? We already spend 85% of our time in the coverage of WiFi. Do we really need SIM cards for communication? Do we really need phone calls to talk? Maybe it’s time to kill the phone call? SIM-less future?

Pictures and diagrams are from Qualcomm and Aptilo materials.

 

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141114180540-5689549-%E9%80%B2%E6%92%83%E3%81%AE%E5%B7%A8%E4%BA%BA-shingeki-no-kyojin

Ericsson’s LTE-Advanced helps T-Mobile continue to expand LTE Network coverage and capacity

26 Sep

(ENP Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ENP Newswire – 25 September 2014 Release date- 23092014 – Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) has been selected to provide equipment and services to help T-Mobile continue expanding its nationwide 4G LTE network, improve in-building, highway and rural performance, and expand the availability of high-quality VoLTE services, which offer faster call setup times than a non-VoLTE call, and enable customers to access the LTE network for data services during a voice call.

The contract is an expansion of T-Mobile’s groundbreaking 2012 network transformation project with Ericsson and includes RBS 6000 base station equipment, installation and integration of 700,1900 and 1700/2100 MHz LTE-Advanced radio sites and tuning services.

Neville Ray, CTO of T-Mobile US, says: ‘We are constantly working to enhance and grow our network for our customers. With the help of Ericsson LTE equipment and services, not only have we rolled out the fastest nationwide LTE network in the US in record time, we’re able to continue advancing voice and data performance at an unprecedented pace.’ T-Mobile is the first U.S. wireless carrier to deploy enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC) technology, which enables a seamless handover of VoLTE calls in LTE to existing 2G or 3G networks, ensuring a customer’s experience is seamless[1]. As voice remains a critical service for LTE networks, Ericsson has delivered its Session Border Gateway (SBG) and Ericsson Media Resource System (MRS) to support voice handovers using eSRVCC.

As T-Mobile expands its lineup of devices that can support handover of voice calls between LTE and Wi-Fi, Ericsson has enabled Wi-Fi calling through its evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG)1 and interoperates with T-Mobile’s existing IP Multimedia System and Evolved Packet Core network infrastructure.

Additionally, Ericsson’s Services organization will help T-Mobile achieve OPEX reduction through the decommissioning of MetroPCS sites and ecological repurposing or recycling of removed site material.

Angel Ruiz, Head of Ericsson North America, says: ‘We are pleased to provide T-Mobile with both equipment and services to support its dedication to innovation and rapid deployment plans.’ Ericsson is the market leader in LTE. Today, 50 percent of the world’s LTE smartphone traffic is served by Ericsson networks, more than double the traffic of the closest competitor.

To meet the growing demand for mobile broadband, Ericsson is delivering LTE-Advanced solutions to expand LTE coverage and capacity. These include carrier aggregation for delivering high-speed mobile data across the network, advanced antenna technologies for better coverage and cell data throughput, and small cell integration to deliver real network performance within heterogeneous networks, in addition to other LTE enhancements.

Ericsson has supported the majority of the world’s first commercial VoLTE launches and is the market leader in Evolved Packet Core with more than 150 commercial contracts in 70 countries and has more than 115 commercial IMS contracts.

NOTES TO EDITORS T-Mobile selects Ericsson for billing solution and new customer experience: http://www.ericsson.com/thecompany/press/releases/2014/06/1789370 Ericsson maintains leadership in the Magic Quadrant for LTE Infrastructure 2014: http://www.ericsson.com/thecompany/press/releases/2014/05/1785211 Download high-resolution photos and broadcast-quality video at http://www.ericsson.com/press Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society – a world leader in communications technology and services. Our long-term relationships with every major telecom operator in the world allow people, business and society to fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future.

Our services, software and infrastructure – especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud – are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

With more than 110,000 professionals and customers in 180 countries, we combine global scale with technology and services leadership. We support networks that connect more than 2.5 billion subscribers. Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. And our investments in research and development ensure that our solutions – and our customers – stay in front.

Founded in 1876, Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Net sales in 2013 were SEK 227.4 billion (USD 34.9 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.

http://www.ericsson.com http://www.ericsson.com/news http://www.twitter.com/ericssonpress http://www.facebook.com/ericsson http://www.youtube.com/ericsson FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT Ericsson Corporate Communications Phone: +46 10 719 69 92 E-mail: media.relations@ericsson.com Ericsson Investor Relations Phone: +46 10 719 00 00 E-mail: investor.relations@ericsson.com [1] Available on selected T-Mobile smartphones.

Source: http://www.realtimecommunicationsworld.com/news/2014/09/25/8036044.htm

Standards creating new confidence in Carrier Wi-Fi

22 Nov

WBA study reveals that hotspots will provide 22% of extra cellco capacity, with NGH standards becoming mainstream in 2014

Carrier Wi-Fi is increasingly discussed in the same breath as LTE small cells as a key component of mobile operators’ HetNets, but in reality, the cellcos have largely used hotspots – their own or those of partners – to offload low value data from their overstretched macro networks. That is set to change as they start to integrate Wi-Fi fully, enabling greater capacity and new business models. The change will be enabled by technical advances such as multimode small cells , but critically by standards which allow users to move seamlessly between 3G/4G and Wi-Fi, and these will be the key factor in an upsurge in carrier Wi-Fi investment in 2014.

 

According to a survey of stakeholders in the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s annual report, carried out by Maravedis-Rethink, Wi-Fi already accounts for over one-fifth (22%) of the additional capacity cellcos are adding to their networks in 2013-14, and that contribution is set to increase as carriers implement dual-mode base stations and Wi-Fi devices proliferate.

Standards will be essential to moving from offload – largely a convenience and cost-saver for cellcos – to an enhanced user experience that will support new services and boost customer retention and satisfaction. As JR Wilson, chairman of the WBA, put it: “The biggest change [in 2014] will be one that people won’t even realize has happened – a whole new customer experience enabled by ubiquitous mobile broadband access.” One of the most striking differences in the 2013 survey, compared to the previous year, is that the emphasis on customer experience and value has strengthened markedly.

 

This change of perception is being driven by technologies which enable public Wi-Fi to be integrated far more seamlessly with other networks such as 3G/4G, fiber and cable. The WBA’s Next Generation Hotspot initiative on the infrastructure side, complemented by the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Passpoint program for devices, is a critical element, as are open roaming platforms.

 

The survey of about 200 Wi-Fi ecosystem players highlighted increased confidence in public Wi-Fi, with 52% feeling more bullish about investing than they did a year ago. The key drivers for this investment were pinpointed as easier offload from cellular networks, generating revenues for hotspot owners and savings for MNOs; and the need to increase customer satisfaction in order to reduce churn from operators of all kinds (wireless and wireline). However, there are challenges which have slowed some players’ roll-out plans since last year’s study. These include lack of clear ROI, cited by 44%, overall cost (42%) and device availability.

 

For mobile operators, there is a particular need to focus on public Wi-Fi as their cellular capacity is stretched by the explosion in data usage. Tier one MNOs expect 22% of the capacity they add in 2013 to come from public Wi-Fi and by 2018, 75% of their small cells will have integrated Wi-Fi. There is also a major upturn in Wi-Fi usage by wireline carriers such as the US ‘Cable Wi-FI’ consortium.

The deployment of hotspots will gather pace to meet all these requirements, whether by carriers themselves, specialists or wholesalers. Roll-out by carriers themselves will rise at CAGR of 13% between 2012 and 2018 to reach 10.5 in the last year of that period, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for the largest percentage – 55% of the base in 2018. Combined with other hotspot deployments, the total installed base will reach over 55m in 2018. Homespots, residential access points where some capacity is left open for the community, will also be a key trend, and their base is likely to top 100m by the end of 2018.

 

When respondents discussed barriers to their public Wi-Fi deployment plans, they generally focused more on business model uncertainty than technology issues. That shows how the market is evolving, addressing many platform challenges while bodies like the WBA look to clarify the business returns. A critical element of that effort is to support seamless roaming through initiatives like the ICP program.

 

Despite some uncertainties, a variety of business models is emerging to add to conventional hotspot and wholesale approaches. These include offload, community Wi-Fi, neutral host services, advertising and, over the horizon, full quad plays and the internet of things. For the short term (2013-14), the most important monetization strategies among the respondents are Wi-Fi offload, closely followed by location-based services such as targeted marketing, and enterprise applications.

Source: http://www.rethink-wireless.com/2013/11/21/standards-creating-new-confidence-carrier-wi-fi.htm

Energy Consumption in Wireless Networks: The Big Picture

7 Nov

Green Energy

I recently came across a presentation on advanced antenna systems with the statement: “advanced antenna systems for power consumption savings not for capacity.” I was very intrigued for a couple of reasons. The first is how much of a problem is power consumption in wireless networks is. The second is that I recalled a conversation I had over 14 years ago with a colleague at Metawave prior to joining them. He said that they were approaching smart antenna systems from the perspective of capacity and not coverage. Back then, the nascent technology was traditionally targeted at improving coverage which was the reason why these systems failed to get traction in the market. So, today, we are changing the pitch for these systems from a capacity focus to a power savings focus. But will that make them more attractive? How much of a problem power consumption is?

 

Let’s look at some back of the envelop numbers to frame the issue. A base station site consumes between 1000 – 2000 W (and often more), depending on a number of factors such as the number of radios, frequency channels, and traffic load.  For a typical US operator with about 50,000 sites, that over $60mil a year in operational expenses just to power the radio access network (RAN). The RAN accounts for about 70% – 80% of the total power, the rest is consumed by the core network. The total is then over $90mil – and I think this is a conservative number.

Cost of powering the RAN
BTS Power consumption

2,000

W
Number of sites

50,000

 
Energy consumed

    100

MWh
Price of electricity

0.07

$/kWh
Total

  61,320,000

$

Taking a macro view for a top-bottom approach, the telecom industry accounts for over 1% of the total world energy consumption. I found the table below shows the energy consumption of some leading telecom companies in the world from 2008. Today, Verizon’s total energy consumption is on the order of 10.5 TWh up from 8.9 TWh in 2008 – of course, this is an entire company’s power consumption, wireless and wireline businesses included. Verizon’s annual operating budget is on the order of $46bil. So power consumption in the RAN accounts for about a fraction of 1% of the total operating budget. The question is then: is power consumption a significant issue to sway operator’s technology roadmap?

 

Source: Emerson Network Power

Source: Emerson Network Power

Verizon Electricity Consumption (Source: Verizon)
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 % change
Electricity (TWh) 10.27 10.24 10 10.47 1.90%

There are a few favorite topics in the wireless industry that everyone likes to talk about such as capacity and stale ARPUs. But green energy in wireless networks is a much less ‘sexy’ topic that is only discussed in few focused forums without much media attention and it has not been one of the top priorities for CTOs despite limited projects to use renewable energy to power base stations.

As we move to LTE, we can expect an increase in energy consumption because LTE radios are less efficient than 3G radios due to the OFDM physical layer and requires more radios for MIMO. Radios account for anywhere between 40-80% of the base station total power consumption.  For this reason there has been a fair bit of work on improving the efficiency of power amplifiers. There are other techniques also used to reduce overall power consumption like the adoption of remote radios. So while demand on energy increases, there are new techniques being introduced to keep energy consumption in check.

Going back to advanced antenna systems, this is a further evolution where the remote radio is distributed across the antenna elements to create beams that can be changed in orientation and focus to meet base station performance requirements and optimize for energy consumption. But will the operators adopt such solution? Should investors invest in companies targeting green products for wireless networks? I think framing the question simply based on power consumption will not be enough to sway operators, but there has to be a real value in cost-performance trade off compelling enough for their adoption.

 

Source: http://frankrayal.com/2013/11/06/energy-consumption-in-wireless-networks-the-big-picture/

Improving Capacity Coverage at the Network’s Edge

7 Aug

While all the commotion is in the small cell domain, let’s look at a traditional tail site and see what are the main ideas for capacity coverage improvement.

Just seven years ago, a tail site was connected with a single DS1 or E1. With LTE, we went up to 100-150 Mbps per site. Now we’re pitching 1Gbps per tail site. Mainly because LTE-Advanced can deliver 1Gbps using 100 MHz of spectrum with carrier aggregation.

Improvinf Capacity Coverage

The first question that arises in the minds of network engineers is, “Where am I supposed to get 100 MHz of spectrum?” The main option today is to re-farm old 2G and 3G spectrum to gain better spectral efficiency with  new gear.  The second option is to bid for new channels such as LTE3500. Upon release, 3.5GHz LTE will bring with it a potential 400 MHz for distribution in many countries.  In the meantime, the eco-system is not there yet but with 200MHz in FDD, 200 MHz in TDD – it is safe to say that it is likely to happen.

Higher spectrum is not very efficient for coverage but it is the right choice for small cells and tail sites.  We can reuse this spectrum many times due to its short range.  This spectrum was sub-optimal for WiMAX because it didn’t go very far but for small cells or a tail site that is covering a small area, 3.5GHz  is an excellent spectrum.

But this does not conclude all my capacity requirements in this particular location.  I am likely to have a RAN sharing model one way or another, with more than one mobile operator. This sharing concept requires a short explanation. The obvious trends are whole operations sharing such as EE in UK or a backhaul joint venture such as NetShare in Ireland. However the case of backhaul service provides (Carriers of Carriers – CoC or alternate access vendors – AAV) is very similar – it its about transparency and service differ nation. But it also means a need to serve additional spectrum slices per site in terms of capacity or marinating a more sophisticated timing scheme

And even more interesting, this is considered to be the best place to aggregate all my other small cells.  My offload, integrated, coordinated models, not to mention more sectors connected to a tail site –  aka, Distributed Base Station as we discussed in my past post.

All of these capacity requirements surface as this is my point of presence.  However, when we start talking about coordinated multi-point capabilities and carrier aggregation (CoMP). More coordination between the sites means higher capacities and lower latencies. Though it has yet to be seen how to implement these concepts in an ideal or non-ideal backhaul environment.  So in essence, it’s easy to see that 1 Gbps is going to be the new E1 for a tail site.

Stay tuned for part three of this conversation where I will discuss taking the distribution concept to the extreme with a move to Cloud-RAN (C-RAN).

In the meantime, for more information on how to increase capacity coverage, feel free to take a moment to view Ceragon’s new white paper on Capacity Coverage or feel free to reach out to me with any questions at rana@ceragon.com.

Source: http://backhaulforum.com/traditional-tail-site-and-the-main-ideas-for-improving-capacity-coverage/

The 2020 services network

12 Nov

As 2013 approaches, and as we look as far as 2020, the pragmatic view is that mobile networks will become more capable and agile with the use of macro and small cell networks to better handle capacity requirements from consumers and enterprises, and bring forth the true potential for cloud and application services. Our focus is on access, but what we are enabling are services.

We are seeing the emergence of a common service network infrastructure where macro/micro/small cells work in close tandem with intelligent physical and virtual routing of access and services.

Enterprise small cells have emerged as the most promising technology to deliver high-capacity and 3G coverage inside offices. Analyst firms such as Infonetics, ABI Research and Informa expect enterprise small cells to be the fastest growing segment of the small cell market. ABI predicts small cells for enterprise deployments will catch up with DAS by the 2016 timeframe – reaching the $2 billion mark by 2016. (August 24, 2012: http://tinyurl.com/9o8gktv).

The battleground is for sustainable ARPU and the enterprise markets. With cloud and application services, mobile operators become a true partner to enterprise CIOs. Mobile operators can offer enterprise customers reliable Mobile Applications and Cloud Services (MACS) to help mobilise people and move expenses from the Capex to the Opex side of the equation, with clientless and effortless communications services enabled by the system. Unified Communications (UC) could be offered by mobile operators, thus taking cost and complexities away from enterprise IT. Do It Yourself (DIY), or ask the experts for help?

What if there was a way forward that enabled UC to be more successful and reduce the burden on Enterprise IT and the device owners? Is this even possible?

The answer is “yes” and it revolves around RAT Détente. What do we mean? UC suppliers need to embrace the Yin/Yang of wireless technologies with the wireless service provider community globally. Yin/Yang is actively building software so each RAT does what it’s best at in order to deliver a magical experience for the device owner. Let 3G, and eventually, LTE support voice, and 3G/LTE/Wi-Fi support data. To make this a reality:

  • The Mobile Operator needs to provide blanket coverage and capacity inside structures to enable the strategy. You cannot move forward without adequate quantities of the digital oxygen that the mobile devices breathe.
  • The Mobile Operator needs to bridge the gap from their networks into the Enterprise UC architecture. The mobile plumbing must play its part in recognizing an enterprise’s dial plan and routing calls to their PBX!
  • The Enterprise UC vendors need to insure their clients are more agile, and correctly support Integrated RAT UC in addition to legacy Wi-Fi only UC.
  • Mobile Operators treat enterprise calls as free when using the solution (assume a monthly rate for each mobile UC device).

Meeting the four conditions above will allow Enterprises to:

  • Eliminate Capex requirements, and move to a predictable and scalable Opex financial environment.
  • Move Telecom and Network operations headcount to more strategic roles in IT.
  • Eliminate, as desired, desk phones for mobile workers.
  • Support ANY device an employee brings in, for minimally voice+IM/Presence. Feature phones can be a UC extension!
  • Only support mobile UC client for non-real time functions (non-SMS IM, Voicemail, etc.).
  • Simplify Wi-Fi architectures and deployments.

Meeting the four conditions above will allow Mobile Operators to:

  • Increase ARPU while enabling the enterprise to save even more.
  • Create value to enterprises that are mobilizing their workforce.
  • Simplify the support landscape of the enterprise.
  • Create deep and important relationships with the enterprise UC vendors to leverage their sales teams.
  • Leverage your premise based heterogeneous network investments currently underway in a unique and powerful way that both UC vendors, or enterprises, cannot do by themselves.

We are at a turning point where small cell systems, like SpiderCloud’s, will not only enable heterogeneous networks, but solve problems that were previously unaddressed. With the presence of a “local controller” or a “Service Node”, operators now have one leg in the enterprise premise, and the other leg in the Mobile network, boasting a powerful onboard virtualization platform. Together we can enable the true potential of Unified Communications to finally be realised on mobile devices in a magical way that caters to the needs of enterprise business users. The enterprise services opportunity is enabled with targeted deployments of coverage, capacity and an open door for services. Deployment of scalable small cell systems starts taking hold inside medium to large enterprises, to compliment DAS, or in places where DAS does not make economic sense.

2013 is the year when operators can start to offer true managed mobility services to the enterprise to include BYOD, MDM, Wi-Fi and PBX Integration – offering UC-clientless access to mobility, applications and cloud-based services, after they prove themselves as trusted providers of reliable indoor coverage and capacity for enterprises with 100 to 10,000 people, with 3G, Wi-Fi and 4G/LTE access.

To help the mobile operators, small and large vendors must be able to provide the ability to build very dense small cell networks to address their own network coverage and capacity needs, before they can offer enterprise customers with reliable mobile, application and cloud services – as they help transition enterprises from a wireless to a mobile connected business.

Everything is changing, and we’re entering into the ‘glide path’ for a true services network of the future where instant on-demand availability of operator services, additional capacity, applications and movies is determined by your referred sensory profile, time and place. The 2020 services network is not far away.

Source: http://lteconference.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/the-2020-services-network/

Instagram CEO: The speed of the product dictates how often it’s used

8 Nov

Gigaom

At Roadmap 2012, Instagram (s fb) CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom let us in on what makes Instagram popular beyond the product itself: speed.

He believes that increased speed—both of the mobile broadband and the software itself— not only improves the user experience but also makes people want to use the product more. In the case of Instagram, it makes users want to take and share more photos. “We’re getting to a point where we’re understanding how to allow people to produce more content every single day,” Systrom said.

While wireless broadband and LTE are demonstrating increasingly faster speeds, for now app makers are having to compensate on the back end. Instagram moves its process along by uploading photos in the background before while users caption them.

“If you simply cut the [waiting] time in half, if you shave off a second from that time, you actually get increased…

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Report: North American Internet Data Usage Up 120% In The Last Year, Netflix Still Responsible For 33% Of Peak Traffic

8 Nov

TechCrunch

Our thirst for more Internet seems to be insatiable. According to the latest data from broadband network solutions provider Sandvine, fixed network data usage increased by 120 percent in the past year in North America. The average household now uses about 52GB per month, up from just 23GB last year. That’s about 81 hours of streaming video and unsurprisingly, Netflix is responsible for 33 percent of downstream traffic, followed by YouTube and regular HTTP web browsing traffic.

As the authors of the report note, real-time entertainment remains “the largest traffic category on virtually every network we examined, continuing a trend that we expect to observe into the foreseeable future.” While Netflix clearly dominates this category, it’s interesting how far behind Amazon (1.75 percent) and Hulu (1.38 percent) are.

As for upstream data, BitTorrent continues to rise in overall volume compared to previous years, though the report notes that its…

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How the mobile industry can support 1,000x growth in broadband traffic

8 Oct

Gigaom

Mobile data traffic has almost doubled annually over the last few years and continues to grow unabated, prompting the industry to take drastic measures. While demand projections vary, the goal of “1,000x growth” captures the sentiment. Does 1,000x sound like a tough challenge? Yes. Is it possible to support such growth?  Yes, especially when you examine the technological advancements in the pipeline and put your faith in the brain trust working on future enhancements. This challenge will test a few limits of technology (literally — think Shannon’s limit) along with our belief that the human mind can use innovation to overcome big challenges.

Whenever people say “1,000 times” more, it’s usually just hyperbole. But when it comes to mobile broadband traffic growth, 1,000x is more reality than embellishment.  A typical mobile device owner might ask, “Why should I worry?” Answer: overloaded networks result in lower speeds, stuttering videos, unresponsive games…

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Global Internet Capacity Reaches 77 Tbps Despite Slowdown

8 Sep

Telecom Newsroom

September 06, 2012

New data from TeleGeography’s Global Internet Geography research reveal that international Internet capacity growth fell to the lowest pace in five years, decreasing from 68 percent in 2008 to 40 percent in 2012. While the pace of growth is slowing, international Internet bandwidth continues to grow rapidly, more than doubling between 2010 and 2012, to 77 Tbps.

 

International Internet Bandwidth Growth, 2008-2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: TeleGeography

 

Decelerating network capacity growth rates are mirrored in slowing rates of peak and average international Internet traffic growth. Average international Internet traffic grew 35 percent in 2012, down from 39 percent in 2011, and peak traffic grew 33 percent, well below the 57 percent increase recorded in 2011. International Internet traffic and capacity growth rates are declining due to a combination of factors, including slowing broadband subscriber growth in mature…

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