Thursday, 31 May 2007
SK Telecom Co. is preparing to launch a high-speed uplink packet access (HSUPA) service, according to a report from The Korea Herald. This mobile technology has enhanced data upload capabilities, theoretically allowing up to 5.76Mbps in upload and 14.4Mbps in download speeds. Its predecessor can only carry an upload rate of up to 2Mbps.
The South Korean carrier will launch the HSUPA service in selected areas in Busan next month (June), the report said, with expansion planned for Seoul and satellite cities early next year. SK Telecom plans to retail 2Mbps-level HSUPA USB modems as early as October.
Nearly 237,065 subscribers have signed up for the 3G+ service out of the carrier's 20.66 million cellphone users as of May 13 this year.
The other was HSUPA tested by Orange Romania:
Orange Romania says that it has successfully conducted its first HSUPA tests, a technology providing high speed for data uplink, up to 1.92 Mbps. The first tests with Huawei technology were carried out in Slatina and enabled the first data call using HSUPA technology (High Speed Uplink Packet Access). The average uplink speed for sending 10 MB files 10 times, with a single user and good radio conditions, was 1.1 Mbps. Similar test results were produced when working with two users and good radio conditions.
Orange Romania has already announced the launch of the HSUPA technology before the end of this year.
In June, Orange customers from 10 cities shall have access to high speed mobile internet through HSDPA, with a downloading speed of up to 3.6 Mbps. By the end of the year, the speed for internet connection and mobile data transfer through HSDPA shall be increased to 7.2 Mbps. Orange has deployed HSDPA networks in France, UK, Spain and Slovakia.
Lets hope that when HSUPA is rolled out, the phones are ready and more important the Application Developers and the users are ready.
3.5G = HSDPA
3.9G = LTE
Monday, 28 May 2007
In a recent article in EE Times, the author is stressing that "Mobile WiMax opportunities will be the next big growth engine for personal broadband and next-generation cell phone networking equipment vendors and for the communications industry in general". A good point raised though is that there are many people who have comitted to WiMax:
In US, global communications carriers like Sprint have announced plans to deploy large-scale mobile WiMax services by mid-2008. In some cases, entire countries have committed to WiMax as their fourth-generation standard of choice. Two such examples are Korea, with the early WiBro predecessor to mobile WiMax, and Taiwan, with the "M-Taiwan" national initiative.
What other thing the author is trying to stress is that WiMax is 4G but i do not agree.Sony Ericsson is another high profile name that recently announced joining of WiMax forum. According to MacNN, no hardware updates or new products have been announced, but it's likely that Sony-Ericsson will begin to upgrade their products to take advantage of faster speeds.
According to another article in ARN today:
Unlike 3G, no specific standards spell out what a 4G service, network or technology is today. Analysts say these specifications are to come, but today "4G is more of a marketing idea," says Phil Redman, a research vice president at Gartner.
There is a mobile WiMAX standard -- the IEEE's 802.16e standard -- on which Sprint Nextel is basing its US$3 billion investment. But Redman says mobile WiMAX is not 4G, "although the WiMAX folks would love for that label to catch on."
Still, WiMAX and other technologies may be part of a forthcoming 4G specification. "There's no doubt that existing technologies like WiMax and other technologies such as [Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access] and [multiple input multiple output] will be included in 4G," Redman says. "But no one technology will be 4G."
"These things tend to run in 10-year cycles," Redman says. "2G came out in 1995, 3G in 2004. There will not be a 4G standard before 2015."
In the meantime, a number of players have attempted to spell out what 4G should look like. The World Wireless Research Forum (WWRF) says 4G will run over an IP infrastructure, interoperate with Wi-Fi and WiMAX, and support fast speeds from 100Mbps to as high as 1Gbps.
It's also key that next-generation wireless includes QoS metrics and the ability to prioritize traffic, says Lisa Pierce, a vice president at consulting firm Forrester Research. "Lack of prioritization is preventing businesses from using current EV-DO services as their primary data connection."
WWRF expects 4G will be a collection of technologies and protocols, not just one single standard. That's similar to 3G, which today includes many technologies such as GSM and CDMA that meet specific criteria.
To help move the standards process along, WWRE -- whose members include Ericsson, Huawei Technologies and Motorola -- contributes to standards work done within groups such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the group that defined 3G wireless specifications, and the IETF.
4G's predecessor, 3G wireless, is still taking off. The fourth-largest wireless-service provider, T-Mobile,launched its 3G network this year. So if 3G is just getting going, what does that mean for 4G?
Opinions on when 4G services might be available differ. The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) group says commercial services beyond 3G could launch as early as 2010. KPN Mobile, Orange, Sprint, T-Mobile International, Vodafone, China Mobile and NTT DoCoMo make up NGMN. The goal of the group, similar to the WWRF, is to work with standards bodies in developing next-generation specifications.
But if standards don't come before 2015, as Gartner's Redman predicts, true 4G services could come only after 2015.
The new company, which was incorporated recently under the name LifeComm, was created by Qualcomm and several other, unnamed, partners. Don Jones, who is vice president of business development for QUALCOMM's' health and life sciences unit, says the MVNO likely will launch commercially sometime in the second half of 2008.
Although the MVNO will have a healthcare focus, Jones says it plans to have applications and services designed to help consumers maintain their personal health as well as more specialized medical uses.
"We don't see it as just health care," he says, because the MVNO also will offer services for wellness, fitness, and health maintenance.
The specific applications and services the MVNO will offer have not been determined, but Jones says the company wants to establish a brand known to provide services for anyone interested in his or her health. The target audience, he says, is predominantly going to be women ages 40 to 65 because they are "influencers" when it comes to health.
Services could involve fitness, weight management or reduction, diabetes management, and monitoring heart health, including hypertension and congestive heart disease.
LifeComm already is talking to handset manufacturers about designing phones with consumer appeal but with the capability of linking to the MVNO's special applications and services, Jones says. One of the plans is to have handsets that would create a personal area network that could communicate with medical devices such as heart and blood pressure monitors. They also could connect to consumer devices like pedometers. Some of Qualcomm's partners in the MVNO are medical device manufacturers.
Jones also talks about using innovative devices like "wireless Band-Aids," which stick to the skin and monitor some bodily functions. Such devices are in use now for mobile health care, as well as wireless pacemakers, remote electrocardiograms and wireless blood glucose meters.
LifeComm expects to close on a bridge loan in the next few weeks to provide initial funding as a separate company. Jones says the company will then start pulling together an executive team and will do additional market research.
LifeComm has an agreement with a CDMA wireless carrier to provide network services for the MVNO, although Jones says he cannot announce which carrier. He did say the MVNO expects to use Qualcomm's BREW platform, which is the platform used by Verizon Wireless. The MVNO also will use assisted-GPS for location services.
This isn't the first time that Qualcomm has spun off a separate company to take advantage of technology it has developed. The latest example was MediaFLO USA , which is building a nationwide network for mobile broadcast TV services.
Friday, 25 May 2007
Zhao said that handsets configured for China's homegrown TD-SCDMA standard are expected to account for 50 pct of 3G sales, while WCDMA handsets will hold 40 pct and CDMA2000 handsets will account for 10 pct.
UMTS/HSDPA MOST WIDELY DEPLOYED 3G TECHNOLOGY - 3G Americas Press Release
117 Million 3G Customers use UMTS/HSDPA
The GSM technology global coverage footprint has provided the foundation for UMTS/HSDPA to become the most widely deployed 3G technology and market leader, with 167 operators in 69 countries offering UMTS services, 115 of whom have enhanced service with HSDPA. 3G Americas reports today that according to Informa‘s World Cellular Information Service quarterly subscriber reports, UMTS/HSDPA, with 117 million subscribers, is commercially available through twice as many operators as other 3G technologies – 167 operators in 69 countries, compared to 71 operators in 44 countries with CDMA EV-DO. Of the 172 million true mobile broadband 3G subscribers worldwide as of 1Q 2007, 68% use UMTS/HSDPA.
The GSM family of technologies currently provides service to 2.4 billion users worldwide, and comprises 85% of the total global wireless mobile market. GSM is the most widely deployed technology in the Western Hemisphere and the only technology present in every country of the region, encompassing 58% of all mobile wireless customers in the Western Hemisphere. Worldwide, the greatest quarterly growth of UMTS/HSDPA took place in the US and Canada, where UMTS experienced an unprecedented 614% growth, rocketing from 350,000 subscribers to 2.5 million subscribers in three months ending March 2007.
Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas stated, "UMTS/HSDPA technology in North America will continue its steady growth as subscribers become aware of the tremendous applications and devices that make full use of these high speed wireless data networks.” Pearson continued. “The anticipated launch of T-Mobile’s UMTS network in 2007 will continue the 3G momentum in the Americas.”
In the twelve months from March 2006 to March 2007, there were 538 million new GSM/UMTS subscriptions worldwide, compared to 49 million total net additions for CDMA. For the same time period, GSM grew its subscriber base in Latin America and the Caribbean by 80 million new customers for a total of over 231 million GSM users in the region. GSM's regional share of the Latin America market has continued its steady momentum, increasing from 59% in March 2006 to almost 71% in March 2007. The Latin American and Caribbean subscriber base for CDMA concurrently declined by 826,000 customers during the first quarter of 2007.
"2006 was the year we saw HSDPA become widely available across North America, and 2007 will be the year it starts to make its way across Latin America," commented Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean. "Operators in Brazil have announced plans to deploy HSDPA in 850 MHz; Telefonica recently launched HSDPA in Mexico, and the technology has already been launched commercially by AT&T Puerto Rico, Entel Chile and Telecom Personal in Argentina. “
HSPA (HSDPA/HSUPA) is the set of technology enhancements for UMTS standardized by 3GPP that helps define the migration path for GSM operators worldwide to mobile broadband. There are more than 250 HSDPA devices in the market today including smartphones, PDA’s, PC cards USB drives, embedded notebooks and even desktop modems. Announcements have already begun for commercial HSDPA/HSUPA devices that provide peak theoretical throughput rates up to 7.2 Mbps on the downlink. It is expected that virtually all UMTS operators will upgrade to HSDPA, followed by HSUPA, providing them with a significant increase in capacity and data throughput and a reduced network cost for data services.
Subscriber data is based upon information from Informa Telecoms & Media. For charts on GSM growth, visit the 3G Americas website at: http://www.3gamericas.org/.
Thursday, 24 May 2007
LTE brings to the market 25 years of operating experience using TDM and CDMA technology. It aims to use that, combined with OFDM, and other techniques, to provide the best of both worlds, perhaps stealing WiMAX’s thunder. This also takes the industry from the current two-network approach of circuit switching for voice, and packet switching for data to a single IP network for both services.
“LTE faces competition from other broadband wireless technologies and it will need to demonstrate clear technical and economic advantages to convince network operators,” says ABI Research analyst Ian Cox. “The mobile variant of WiMAX will start to appear in 2007 as the WiMAX Forum Certification program ramps up. The industry is also working on HSPA+, which could offer the same performance in a 5 MHz bandwidth. Without additional spectrum, operators could face a difficult choice.”
Cox further comments that, “LTE is the NGN for the mobile industry and is being standardized by 3GPP with the full support of operators via the NGMN Group.”
Long Term Evolution (LTE) of 3G technologies is about to benefit from Release-8 of the 3GPP standard, planned for the third quarter of 2007. The potential rewards of LTE are simplicity of operation, a “flat” architecture offering low latency, and spectrum flexibility. Backwards compatibility and roaming with 2G and 3G networks are added bonuses, along with lower power consumption and improved performance, . LTE could also unite the W-CDMA and CDMA communities because of its spectral flexibility.
For vendors, LTE will allow development of a new market to replace declining 3G revenues.
For users, says Cox, LTE will enable broadband services, including VoIP, to be offered over SIP-enabled networks. Each service will be IP-based, offering high data rates and low latency, with on-line gaming becoming a reality along with mobile network data speeds comparable to those of fixed networks.
“UMTS Long Term Evolution”
(http://www.abiresearch.com/products/market_research/UMTS_Long_Term_Evolution) reviews the world market for LTE.
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Sony Ericsson is also tossing out the T650, a cousin to that slim slider. A candybar, it packs a beefier 3.2-megapixel camera while remaining only 12.5-mm thick. It's also a 3G phone, making checking your email or RSS feeds a snappier affair than if you're using the S500. The 1.9-inch screen is covered with a layer of mineral glass, which will apparently make the colors pop, increase the viewing angle, and protect it from scratches when you put your phone in the same pocket as your keys.
We’re told the fresh-faced blower is the result of the designers love for materials and colours found in nature. Though the only earthy thing about it, so far as we can tell, is their lick of green paint.
The specs are not too interesting but there is a 3.2mp camera. Other features of note on the T650 include Bluetooth 2.0 stereo support, a 262k color QVGA display, and a Memory Stick Micro card slot for expansion. The T650 weighs around 95g (3.3oz) and is pretty thin in profile at 12.5mm thick. This phone can accommodate up to 1000 contacts in its phone book. Above all features, it also has a FM radio and has MP3/AAC music player.
The T650 will be lining shelves from the second half of 2007.
One of the first Dopod handhelds to run on the Windows Mobile 6 Standard edition, the C730 is powered by a 400MHz processor with 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM. The quadband (850/900/1,800/1,900MHz) phone comes with 3G, HSDPA, a 2-megapixel CMOS camera and an external memory card slot that supports microSD media up to 2GB.
According to press release:
The C730 is also one of the first Smartphone in the market to deliver rich HTML E-Mail support. This is a key feature in Windows Mobile 6 and means that reading your E-Mails in HTML format on this device is just like reading them on your desktop PC - clear and uncut. The HTML E-Mail support works with any POP mail account and Exchange Server 2007 and really positions the C730 to be at the forefront of this advanced technology.
Dopod has targeted ultimate connectivity to consumers, with putting BlackBerry Connect v4.0 on the C730 comes with . This enables you to access popular BlackBerry services with support for both BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Internet Service. These include push-based wireless E-Mail access, wireless E-Mail reconciliation and attachment viewing. The BlackBerry Connect v4.0 will be made available via web download in end June.
The Dopod C730 will be available from early June in Singapore at a suggested price of S$ 898/US$ 590/435 Euro.
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
The report also noted that by implementing an IMS platform, service providers can gain a common, secure service development framework and architecture that operates across multiple network domains.
3G LTE, as proposed in 3GPP Release 8, aims to increase cell data capacity by at least five times over the current implementations of HSPA. It will support more users per cell, as well as higher speeds to individual users, and is intended to match DSL speeds currently available to the home. A simplified protocol structure and re-definition of the functional split between network elements and basestations is intended to raise efficiency while making all VoIP networks possible.
Some of the highlights of LTE are:
- OFDM-based air interface (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) ... WCDMA is out.
- Channel bandwidths from 1.25 to 20MHz are supported
- Increased spectrum efficiency and peak data rates at cell edge.
- Target peak rates of 100 Mbps/DL and 50 Mbps/UL. (Nokia-Siemens have already achieved 108Mbps though)
- Increased spectrum efficiency and peak data rates at cell edge.
- Reduced latency for both user and control plane: less than 10ms round trip delay for user plane between UE and the serving RAN node, less than 100ms transition time for control plane between inactive state and active state.
- Support for diversity and MIMO
The first LTE-based networks are expected to roll out in 2009/2010. In contrast to other cellular technologies, conformance tests for LTE are expected to be available more than two years ahead of any service introduction according to Agilent. This will ensure user devices are available in volume when the network services are finally launched.
Monday, 21 May 2007
MBMS is being enhanced in Release 7 and IMS will be able to use MBMS transport. The advantage of this approach is:
- MBMS reception is possible over IP accesses (e.g. I-WLAN)
- Higher MBMS bit rate services possible (e.g. HDTV)
- Support for adaptation of MBMS to the QoS resources provided by the access network(s)
- MBMS services will be available regardless of access technologies and other services will be able to usse MBMS transport
This MBMS Enhancement is still under development and the following is being investigated:
- Radio Interface Physical Layer: Introduction of new transmission schemes and advanced multi-antenna technologies
- Layer 2 and 3: Signalling optimisations
- UTRAN Architecture: Identify the most optimum architecture and functional splits between RAN network nodes
3GPP website lists some of the aims and objectives of these MBMS enhancements but theey do not look correct. They are copied from the LTE requirements documents. I will be revisiting this topic when more information is available
Friday, 18 May 2007
According to Infonetics research report titled, “Mobile Video Devices, Services and Subscribers” published in May 2007:
- The number of worldwide mobile subscribers has increased by 300% between 2005 and 2006.
- There will be 46 million Mobile Video subscribers by 2010
- Asia Pacific will be the regional stronghold of mobile video subscribers through at least 2010, with 57 per cent of the world total in 2006, followed by EMEA at 31 per cent
- The number of mobile video handsets sold worldwide nearly doubled from 2005 to 2006 (including video-capable handsets not necessarily tied to a specific mobile video service)
- Mobile video service ARPU (average revenue per user) in all regions increases significantly from 2006 to 2010, tripling in Asia Pacific (from a low base) and more than doubling in CALA
It remains to be seen how users will usse the mobile TV once the novelty wears off.
Thursday, 17 May 2007
Davidson: If you go back to the beginning of Qualcomm, OFDM was considered a path instead of CDMA. The company ended up going down the CDMA route because CDMA was better able to handle all the things you want to do on a wide-area wireless network. We believe that to this day.
IDGNS: Are you planning any more acquisitions of companies with OFDM technology?
Davidson: In the last couple of years, our acquisition activity has stepped up. Flarion was clearly the largest deal of the last few years.
IDGNS: Do intellectual property rights play a big role in your acquisition strategy?
Davidson: They can and, clearly in the case of Flarion, there was a double benefit. First and foremost, we got the only team -- to this day -- to deploy a working mobile OFDM system. We also got the intellectual property rights that came along with the business. Our acquisitions are focused on accelerating time to market on a build-versus-buy decision and augmenting engineering resources more than we're out trying to grab patents.
IDGNS: What's driving all the interest in OFDM?
Davidson: We're seeing interest in OFDM because spectrum is becoming available in the 10MHz blocks and wider. From an efficiency standpoint, there's not really a benefit for OFDM over CDMA. But when you get into wider branches of spectrum, it can be a little less complex to implement.
IDGNS: But isn't 4G -- in which OFDM will play a big role -- all about newer, faster services?
Davidson: I think OFDM is really just a spectrum play. And frankly, we don't subscribe to the "4G" term. The applications that I've heard discussed aren't a whole lot different from what is being enabled over 3G today.
IDGNS: Isn't 4G supposed to be a lot faster than 3G?
Davidson: Many are talking about data rates that we don't even get on landline systems today. Yes, you can enable HDTV over these enormously wide pieces of spectrum. But what is the practical cost to the end-user?
IDGNS: So do we really need 4G?
Davidson: There is an existing roadmap within existing 3G technologies that provide the very same and, in most cases, better performance than some of the new technologies being proposed by other groups.
IDGNS: So WiMax and LTE aren't necessary?
Davidson: I look at LTE and UMB as being comparable; WiMax is not comparable to those technologies in terms of performance. There is a mistake in the premise that whatever comes along -- what people are calling 4G -- will be something that supplants the existing networks. We've been saying for several years that it will be about multiple airlinks existing in the market and making them work effectively together.
IDGNS: Let me come back to WiMax: Why isn't it comparable to LTE?
Davidson: Because its original legacy is borne out of the fixed environment, there are immediate engineering trade-offs and performance issues that you come up against. There is this concept of link budget, or how effective a technology is over the airlink. WiMax suffers from poor spectral efficiency because of its heritage as not being a mobile standard.
IDGNS: Do you see any intellectual property rights issues with 4G?
Davidson: We believe that our OFDM, OFDMA, and MIMO portfolio is among the strongest out there and clearly believe that it's applicable to any OFDM/OFDMA systems. Unfortunately, those who are supporting WiMax are trying to make it sound that the IP (intellectual property) picture with this technology is very clear and that it's going to be simple. The IP picture in 3G is much clearer today than what exists in WiMax. The number of companies claiming IP that can be contributed to WiMax is enormous.
IDGNS: Will Qualcomm be active in WiMax in any way?
Davidson: As we said several years back when many were trying to say that Wi-Fi would come and kill 3G, to the extent that our customers want the integration of Wi-Fi into our chipsets, we'll accommodate that. We've said the same about WiMax. We're being pragmatic and view that it will be in the market.
Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said at the company's recent shareholders' meeting that the Finnish manufacturer can't give one company, Qualcomm, a chance to dictate rules for the whole industry. He said the issue is not Qualcomm versus Nokia but rather it's more about Qualcomm versus the rest of the industry. And your opinion?
Davidson: It's amusing to me that Nokia seems to think it's holding up the banner for the entire industry. If not for Qualcomm, there would be far fewer handset manufacturers for them to deal with as competitors and potential competitors. Our business model gives consumers a lot more choice so that Nokia can't dictate pricing into the market. Because we hold intellectual property, Nokia wants to paint us controlling the industry. We enable a lot of competition that causes them a lot of concern -- hence why we're being attacked by them.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
Tuesday, 15 May 2007
One of the topics that came up during a discussion with a client is how would IMS replace UMA. My opinion is that UMA is something for present while IMS would be something for future. Doing some digging up afterwards turned up some interesting results.
An article in TMCNet confirmed my opinion. The following is a snippet of discussion with Steve Shaw, marketing director of Kineto wireless, it can be seen that UMA:
Shaw explained that carriers first started building IMS in order to standardize the process for wirelessly delivering the types of data services that IP enables—including push-to-talk, videoconferencing, and mapping.
As development of IMS got underway, Shaw told TMCnet, carriers realized that it could have applications for traditional voice services as well, and the specifications grew to become a potential enabler of FMS.
Today, IMS is generally viewed as the way in which all networks—both fixed and mobile—will evolve to become completely IP-based.
The problem is that, although IMS has lots of promise for many applications (including FMS), it is not yet fully developed and the number of specifications involved is still growing.
“IMS isn’t a specification, it’s a journey,” Shaw said
He added that IMS eventually will solidify and deliver on its promise, but that probably will take another decade or more.
Although beginning the transition to IMS-based systems now may theoretically be a good long-term investment, for many carriers the cost simply cannot yet be justified. That leaves them looking for a non-IMS way to cost-effectively deliver FMS now.
UMA, For Now
As a fully-developed specification capable of delivering low-cost FMS service today, UMA is the no-brainer choice for most operators, Shaw told TMCnet.
“UMA is unbelievably inexpensive and low-impact. There is really nothing else that has the same approach,” he said.
UMA isn’t perfect, of course, and cannot provide all the functionality that IMS promises to someday deliver.
Shaw noted that some companies who build IMS-based applications have positioned UMA as being a temporary solution, and one that operators will regret investing in because new specifications will come along and render UMA obsolete.
That could end up being true, but operators still need a way to cost-effectively deliver FMS now, and for the time being UMA is the only specification available to do that.
Shaw added that 3GPP has started work on a second-generation version of UMA—dubbed eUMA—that will add more functionality including the ability to natively connect into high-speed data portions of 3G networks.
There are couple of white papers from Kineto wireless which are an interesting reading. The first is "How UMA Enables Broadband IMS" and the other is "The Complementary Roles of UMA and IMS in Fixed-Mobile
I found another old article from last year talking about the same thing.