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Thursday, 17 December 2009

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2010


Time for break and see you next year...

WiMAX gaining foothold in Japan

Photo Source


The current state of the mobile network environment such as public wireless LAN and the cellular phone lines and those problems were considered last time. This time, the focus is applied to “Mobility WiMAX” of the new service that solves these problems, and it introduces the difference with an existing mobile network. The 2nd explains the point of the IEEE standard by which the specification of mobile WiMAX has been decided.

Mobile WiMAX that the business service started in July, 2009 is a new mobile network that did “Cousin removing” of public wireless LAN and the cellular phone line. It becomes “Communication method of the world standard using the micro wave (frequency band of 3GHz-30GHz)” with WiMAX if it translates literally by the one that “World Interoperability for Microwave Access” was abbreviated.

It is a word “Communication (Access)” the hope of you attention here. “Line from the telephone office to the terminal” is indicated if it is said, “Access line” in the world on the network. In a word, WiMAX is a method to achieve the same role as the accomplishment of “[Furettsu] light” of ADSL and NTT on a wireless network.

Actually, there is details of having started WiMAX as a network for not the mobile network but fixed wireless telecommunications (FWA: Fixed Wireless Access). FWA is a method to send and receive data to the antenna set up in the rooftop in the communication tower and the building between terminals. FWA up to maximum transmission speed 156Mbps is an opening in Japan in December, 1998.

WiMAX is wireless MAN(Metropolitan Area Network) standard to achieve this FWA. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has approved WiMAX as “IEEE 802.16″ in December, 2001.

The bandwidth of 2GHz-11GHz was added back though WiMAX used the bandwidth of improving named 10GHz-66GHz at first. And, the specification named maximum transmission speed 134.4Mbps (occupation bandwidth 28MHz time) or 74.81Mbps (occupation bandwidth 20MHz time) was fixed by the maximum in “IEEE 802.16-2004″ that had been approved in June, 2004 communication distance 48km.

It has corresponded to the handover at 120km per hour.
It reaches up to 4.8km at the speed of 40Mbps or less.

Mobile WiMAX equipped in mobile PC is a wireless network method settled on as derivation standard “IEEE 802.16e” of IEEE 802.16.

Mobility WiMAX is that the maximum difference point of fixation WiMAX of IEEE 802.16 and mobile WiMAX corresponds to the handover (succession) that assumes the movable body of 120km per hour.

In a word, mobile WiMAX is to be able to use it in the train and the car running just like the cellular phone because a surrounding base station communicates one after another in “Hand over” according to the communication situation. There is especially no inconvenience if it thinks the communication distance of the cellular phone is several km though the maximum communication distance of mobile WiMAX is 4.8km and fixation WiMAX 1/10.

It differs according to the occupation bandwidth, and if it is 32Mbps, and it is 20MHz if it is 15Mbps, and 10MHz if the occupation bandwidth is 5MHz, the maximum transmission speed of mobile WiMAX is 75Mbps. In UQ communications that develop mobile WiMAX service domestically, it is sung, “It is 40Mbps or less, and is up-loading, and it is download and 10Mbps or less”. It may be expected that the same degree of the speed as wireless LAN in the office will be obtained as long as the condition is avoided.

Another difference between fixation WiMAX and mobile WiMAX is in the size of the terminal side transmitter-receiver. In fixation WiMAX where long distance/high speed has been achieved by a big transmission output, a considerably big as for terminal side device is needed. On the other hand, the transmitter-receiver of mobile WiMAX is being put in several LSI chips small. An external type is the same degree of the size as USB thumb drive.

Moreover, note PC with built-in controller for mobile WiMAX has been released by each vender since the summer of 2009. The “Let’snote S8/N8″ series of Panasonic especially supports WiMAX by the standard in the consumer model (A corporate model is for subject).

Another strong point is a base station. Wide, mobile WiMAX covers the range where the electric wave reaches and even if the number of base stations is not increased too much, can cover the large range at the cellular phone level. Because it is possible to communicate while it moves by in the train and car, it will be able to be said that it will be a very profitable network for the business user who frequently uses the Web application.

The maintenance of the base station is advanced in domestic various places with steady steps now. I hear that it became possible to use in the government-designated major city and major cities across the country at the end of fiscal year 2009 according to UQ communications.

Note, this is machine translation so ignore the errors.


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

3G Americas Publishes New Report on LTE SON Self-Optimizing / Self-Organizing Networks

I have blogged about SON networks before. Now has published an educational report titled, The Benefits of SON in LTE, to increase understanding of the improvements in network management that have been developed through 3GPP standards – Release 8, Release 9 and beyond.

Self-Optimizing and Self-Organizing Networks, called SON, can significantly improve network management performance, helping operators and their customers. The 3GPP standards organization is standardizing self-optimizing and self-organizing capabilities for LTE. LTE SON will leverage network intelligence, automation and network management features in order to automate the configuration and optimization of wireless networks, thereby increasing efficiency as well as improving network performance and flexibility.

“The time is right for SON as wireless carriers’ networks have increasing mobile broadband demand and a high level of complexity,” said Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. “The good news is that smartphones, netbooks and emerging classes of mobile devices are driving significant growth of wireless data usage. However, operators will need to continue to significantly improve network management capabilities to efficiently meet the demands of this new mobile broadband world.”

The Benefits of SON in LTE describes the motivation behind SON and provides an overview of key SON features contained in Releases 8 and 9 that will serve as a solution for network operators. Motivations for operators to deploy SON include:

  • Wireless service providers must now support a growing number of higher-bandwidth data applications and services on their networks
  • Operators must drive down the delivery cost per bit
  • Radio access network complexity will increase through additions of small cells such as femtocells, picocells as well as WiFi access points to increase and improve coverage and capacity

These and other trends portend ever-increasing demands upon service providers in the areas of network performance and operations.

Initial solutions are offered in the 3GPP Release 8 specifications, which were completed in March 2009, and include SON features such as automatic inventory, software download, neighbor relations and PCI assignment that would be built over 3GPP network management architecture. LTE SON features begin with 3GPP Release 8 and evolve with the expected LTE network evolution stages. In 3GPP Release 9, other SON features are addressed, such as the optimization of coverage and capacity, mobility, RACH, load balancing and support of SON features in multi-vendor network environments.

Other organizations such as the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) have contributed significantly to the development and standardization of SON at 3GPP.


“Self-optimizing networks are a key part in the future-proofing of network reliability and operational efficiency,” said Dr. Peter Meissner, Operating Officer of the NGMN Alliance. “NGMN established a set of initial requirements and since then has worked with its partners to define the remaining requirements and to drive forward the early adoption in the standardization.”

You can find this whitepaper and many other whitepapers on LTE at the 3G4G Library here.


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Teliasonera reaches a milestone with first commercial LTE Networks

TeliaSonera has rolled out commercial LTE Networks in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway. The Swedish network is supplied by Ericsson and the Norway one by Huawei. At the moment only Samsung Dongles are available for browsing the web.

Read the press release here.

By the way, its a bit shameful that the operator wants to market itself and its using the term 4G for LTE as it probably sounds more sexy :) I blogged couple of years back and it still applies that LTE is 3.9G and IMT-Advanced/LTE-Advanced is 4G.

7Gbit/s can be delivered at 60GHz spectrum

From TechWorld:

The Wireless Gigabit Alliance has completed its specification for a technology to deliver as much as 7Gbit/s over a very high unlicensed frequency band.

The group, backed by wireless heavy hitters including Intel, Broadcom and Atheros Communications, announced the WiGig specification in May and said it would be finished by year's end. Though the standard is now written, it's still undergoing text editing and an intellectual-property review that the WiGig Alliance called routine.

WiGig was designed for very high speeds over a relatively small area, using the 60GHz band. It will have the capacity to deliver high-definition video streams or let users connect laptops to desktop docks and displays, the group has said. It will come to the fast home-networking market behind a few other technologies, including HomePNA, HomePlug, Multimedia over Coax, Ultrawideband and Wireless Home Digital Interface. However, WiGig's strong backing and relationship to Wi-Fi seem likely to give it a major boost.

The WiGig Alliance had said in May the specification would be available to members in the fourth quarter. It is available now to the member companies that helped develop it, but the group hasn't yet created its Adopter membership for companies that will simply use the technology, said Ali Sadri, chairman and president of the group. That will happen in the first quarter of next year, and the specification will be made available to them then. The group will set up a certification system next year and expects consumer products with WiGig to start hitting the market in 2011.

The group originally had said WiGig would have a top speed of about 6G bit/s but has raised that estimate. At that speed, WiGig will have about 10 times the capacity of the fastest Wi-Fi technology today, a form of IEEE 802.11n that offers 600Mbit/s. The 7Gbit/s figure represents the theoretical maximum speed, but the technology is highly efficient, so users should be able to use at least 80 percent of that bandwidth in the real world, Sadri said. On a WiGig LAN, the bandwidth would be shared among all the users on an access point.

Along with the completion of the specification, the WiGig Alliance said it has included a "beam-forming" feature that should allow WiGig networks to work over distances greater than 10 metres. Radios using high frequencies such as 60GHz fundamentally have a harder time transmitting data over long distances without repeaters. WiGig originally was envisaged as an in-room technology, but with the beam-forming feature it could more easily send data and content around a home.

The high 60GHz frequency at which WiGig runs is unlicensed in many parts of the world, including the U.S. The Wi-Fi Alliance is also developing a standard for high-speed wireless LANs at 60GHz, called IEEE 802.11AD, but the Wi-Fi Alliance has said WiGig seems to be complementary to Wi-Fi. Intel, Broadcom and Atheros all plan to integrate WiGig into Wi-Fi chipsets, and it could become part of a "tri-band Wi-Fi" that would let users migrate to WiGig for additional speed where it's available.

The WiGig specification was written so that it could be made an amendment to the 802.11 standards, with backward compatibility, Sadri said.

All WiGig equipment will be able to communicate at the basic level of exchanging IP (Internet Protocol) packets, but the alliance is also developing protocol adaptation layers to optimize the performance of specific applications, said Mark Grodzinsky, marketing chair of the WiGig Alliance. For example, any two WiGig products will be able to stream video to each other, but with a special protocol adaptation layer they might be able to do it with less delay and without compression, he said.

The WiGig Alliance has also announced that Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, SK Telecom and TMC, an independent testing and certification lab in China, have joined the group of about 30 companies.

For details see: http://wirelessgigabitalliance.org/


Monday, 14 December 2009

59p iPhone stethoscope is a life saviour





The stethoscope, the 200-year-old accessory without which no doctor is complete, could soon be replaced by the humdrum mobile phone.

A computer scientist who wrote a program that turns an Apple iPhone into a stethoscope has made a major advance in medical technology and created a sensation among heart specialists. The application, called iStethoscope, was developed as a "bit of fun", and has become a runaway success after being downloaded millions of times by users across the world.

Cardiologists say the software has saved lives and brought specialist expertise within reach of patients in remote parts of the world. Heart sounds can be recorded and emailed to doctors anywhere for an expert opinion.

Peter Bentley, a researcher who developed the application in the computer science department at University College, London, said he was amazed by the response.

"The idea began as an experiment," he added. "I had a new, popular science book out last year and I wanted to see if I could tell people about the book using a free iPhone application that did something useful.

"It was intended as a fun toy but to my astonishment it was downloaded by several million people all over the world in the first six months. Then I started receiving emails, phone calls and visits from cardiologists all over the world. They said it worked better than commercially available digital stethoscopes. They were tremendously excited. One flew over from the US just to discuss it with me."

The cause of the doctors' excitement was that the audio quality from the iPhone was far superior to that from digital stethoscopes. Mobile phones are a huge market compared with digital stethoscopes, and economies of scale mean they are made with better hardware.

Responding to requests from specialists, Mr Bentley extended the application to allow heart sounds to be recorded, emailed and analysed. The application costs 59p to download, but cardiologists say it does a better job than equipment costing thousands of times as much.

Glenn Nordehn, a US cardiologist researcher and specialist in digital stechoscopes at the University of Minnesota, said: "This is the best thing to come around in terms of medical equipment for a very long time. [His] closest competitor charges about 3,000 times as much"

Mr Bentley is now working on further iPhone applications, such as an electrocardiogram reader. "This is the way everyone wants to go," he said.

For more info see: http://www.peterjbentley.com/istethoscope.html


3G & LTE: What Lies Ahead for Performance Management?

Long but Interesting presentation (with audio) for Technically minded people.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

SQUARE: From the founder of Twitter





From CNN:

Twitter creator Jack Dorsey Wednesday gave the first public demonstration of his hotly-anticipated latest venture -- a device to allow credit card payments by cell phone -- and revealed it would be given away for free.

Details of "Square" -- a card reader which plugs into the headphone socket of most mobile devices -- have been circulating on the Internet since it was announced earlier this month, but little has been known about how it works or who it was aimed at.

However, Dorsey -- whose microblogging Web site has proved hugely popular but not hugely profitable since launching in March 2006 -- gave no explanation on how he would make money from his new creation, beyond revealing there would be a per-transaction charity donation.

Square, a tiny cube about an inch in length, contains a magnetic strip reader that allows users to swipe and read credit cards, then deduct payment on or offline through a downloaded application that communicates with card issuers in the same way as retailer devices.

Customers then use their finger on the phone's touch-recognition screen to sign their name to the transaction.

Dorsey, Twitter's co-founder and chairman, says the device, scheduled for launch on iPhones and iPods in March 2010, was inspired partly by the "immediacy, approachability and transparency" of Twitter and by the global economic crisis which has exposed a need for a radical rethink of the financial sector.



Thursday, 10 December 2009

VoLGA = 1, other VoLTE = 0


From Unstrung:

Deutsche Telekom Announced First Voice Calls over LTE with VoLGA. Deutsche Telekom announced today the world’s first voice call over LTE with excellent speech quality based on VoLGA (Voice over LTE via Generic Access) technology and two independent test environments.

Calls have been made between a test system, installed at Deutsche Telekom Headquarters in Bonn, Germany which is based on a VoLGA implementation of Kineto Wireless and a second totally independent system from Alcatel-Lucent, installed in their test center in Stuttgart, Germany. Both VoLGA-based Voice over LTE systems support inbound and outbound voice calling and SMS messaging between LTE-enabled devices and standard mobile and fixed telephones.

With this result Deutsche Telekom underlines the innovative leadership in the development of Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN), as it belongs to a series of tests through which the company consequently researches the capabilities of the potential NGMN technologies.

“Voice calling is an essential service for mobile operators. This demonstration is a key milestone towards establishing a future proof eco system and shows a cost efficient way for using voice over LTE”, stated Uwe Janssen, Senior Vice President of Core Networks. “The VoLGA test shows how operators could quickly and easily provide next generation voice services, re-using their existing core networks. At the same time this serves as a first step to prepare networks for the industry-agreed mid- and long-term solution for voice over LTE that will be based on IMS.”

In other related news from Fierce Wireless:

Ericsson has dropped its support for the VoLGA Forum, which promotes Voice over LTE via Generic Access, dealing a blow to the voice-over-LTE approach a little more than a month after the vendor signalled its enthusiasm for a different standard.

Erik Ekudden, Ericsson's vice president of technology and industry, said that when the VoLGA Forum was established earlier this year "we had the impression that VoLGA would become a global solution." However, "there are no signs that it [VoLGA] will be strongly supported" by mobile operators, he said in an interview with Unstrung.

Picture Source: Into Mobile

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Location Based Systems/Services Presentations



Interesting presentations from Cambridge Wireless on LBS:

"How do we Make Location a Desirable User Experience?"

Click on the titles below to view the provocateurs' presentations and the notes from the three group discussions -

Introduction from Colin Smithers of Plextek

Group 1: Technology - Presentation by Adrian Swinburne of Quintaxiom + Faciliator's Notes

Group 2: Context - Presentation by Kurt Lyall of Xgenta + Faciliator's Notes

Group 3: Privacy - Facilitator's Notes


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Where does mobile go next


Another interesting presentation "Where does mobile go next: lessons from the past, clues to the future" by Professor Joe McGeehan of Toshiba TRL available here.

Monday, 7 December 2009

How to build more powerful mobile web

Interesting presentation from Google here.

ZigBee and Short Range Wireless Overview

Couple of interesting presentations are available on the Cambridge Wireless website for Short range Wireless technologies and ZigBee.

The First one, "ZigBee® Applications in sub-1GHz Frequency Range" is available here.

The Second one, "SHORT RANGE WIRELESS OVERVIEW" is available here.




The above is an interesting chart from the second presentation showing the comparison of different short range wireless technologies.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

MBMS and AMR-WB


Nokia publicly underlined its commitment to broadcast-mobile-TV standard DVB-H with the recent unveiling of the mobile TV edition of the Nokia 5330 and its pretax, presubsidy price tag of €155 (US$230), after some in the industry had questioned its enthusiasm for launching new DVB-H devices. Nokia also quelled any suggestions that it might start supporting the MBMS standard with its future device launches.

The price is a massive drop from the €550 price tag carried by Nokia’s last fully DVB-H-compatible handset, the N96, which launched in 3Q08. So the official line from Nokia is this: “All is well on the good ship DVB-H.”

Read more here.

Meanwhile, In China, China Unicom has launched 3G telecom services in 268 cities across the country, said Li Gang, another deputy general manger for Unicom Group, noting that the WCDMA network supports a 14Mbps download data transmission speed and a 7.2Mbps upload data transmission speed.

Notably, the carrier has adopted the most advanced R6 technology in its core WCDMA network to smooth a WCDMA-to-EPS migration in the future, according to Mr. Zhang.

The China Unicom network is expected to support MBMS and HSPA+64QAM technology in the first phase of a further evolution, shore up a HSPA+MIMO technology in the Phase II evolution, and prompt a LTE technology in the Phase III evolution, said Mr. Zhang, adding that the network will present a 100Mbps download speed and a 50Mbps upload speed after the Phase III evolution.

Read more here.
Back in September, Orange Moldova announced the launch of the world's first mobile telephone service offering high-definition (HD) sound. The service will provide customers with a significantly improved quality of service when making calls. Unlike for other mobile technologies such as multimedia capabilities, this is the first time since the 1990s that mobile voice technologies have been subject to a significant evolution.

This is the second step in Orange’s HD voice strategy, following on from the launch of a high-definition voice service for VoIP calls in 2006. Over 500,000 Livephone devices have already been sold in France and the range will be extended to other Orange countries over the coming months.

The first mobile handset integrating high-definition voice capability that will be launched by Orange Moldova is the Nokia 6720c. This innovative handset integrates the new WB-AMR technology, which is widely expected within the industry to become a new standard for mobile voice communications.

Thanks to the Adaptive Multi Rate-WideBand (AMR-WB) codec, double the frequency spectrum will be given over to voice telephony over traditional voice calling. Orange boasts that the result is "near hi-fi quality" and "FM-radio quality", which seems an odd comparison.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Upto 25 million mobiles in trouble in India


I blogged about the Shanzhai phones earlier and mentioned that since they dont have an IMEI, they can cause problems for the security officials and India was considering banning them.

Now, this has finally happened. Mobile phones without the code were blocked at midnight - operators were asked to bar calls to them "in the wake of increased threat perception from militants".

The absence of this number makes it impossible to trace either the caller or the phone or to access call details.

Indian intelligence agencies say phones without the code have been used in attacks by militant groups.

The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a 15-digit code which appears on the operator's network whenever a call is made.

It is estimated that India has more than 25 million phones without codes. Phones with no codes or invalid numbers are mostly cheap, unbranded phones. Millions are manufactured in India or imported, mostly from China.

If you're one amongst the estimated 25 million users with such phones and wish to have the phone in working condition again, (in case yours went offline as well) there is a legal way of doing it. The government has authorized some organizations to legalize your illegal handsets by assigning an approved IMEI number to it. The GII (Genuine IMEI Implant) program involves a short trip to the nearest GII outlet, paying a nominal Rs. 199 fee to have your phone legalized.

In major cities, you can visit The MobileStore outlets to get this done. You might also want to contact your operator if they have arranged for any such facilities. For those interested in The MobileStore program, all you need to do is to call 6000 63 63 to figure out the nearest outlet where your Chinese phone can get a new lease of life

The MobileStore claims to have successfully done over 30,000 IMEI implants in over 60 cities.

Femtocells to grow from 0.2 million units in 2009 to 12 million units in 2014


From Qualcomm's QMag:

Femtocell shipments will grow from 0.2 million units in 2009 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 127 percent to 12 million units worldwide in 2014, according to analyst firm Berg Insight.

In the U.S., 14.8 billion video clips are viewed online every month with an average user viewing time of 356 minutes and a consumption of 680Mbps (ComScore); in the UK, the average monthly consumption per user is 1.3Gbps(ComScore). This online trend is now migrating onto mobile. According to AT&T, data represented 27 percent of revenues in 1Q09 compared to 21 percent in the same period the previous year, with streaming audio and video accounting for 31 percent of network traffic.

In developed markets(Coda Research Consultancy), much of this mobile data explosion is generated by smartphone users, where the average year-on-year growth of mobile data per user is between three and five times.

“We need to drive down the cost per bit in operator networks while also meeting the rocketing demand for mobile broadband services, which is putting too much pressure on HSPA and HSPA+ networks,” said Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum. “We need a change and that is where femtocells have a major role to play.”

It is a change driven by the operators’ need to meet growing user consumption. Saunders told QMag that 90 percent of mobile data usage is indoors. “Because the data user experience is directly correlated to the quality of that signal, it makes sense to place femtos indoors where signals are weakest and therefore the user experience is poorest,” he said.

Questions are now being raised by mobile operators about whether macro networks will scale to meet the rapid upsurge in mobile data demand. In addition, coverage holes caused by building shadows and building penetration losses are limiting the performance of wireless networks indoors.

“Femtocells bring the network supply closer to the demand for services, and in the process, provide excellent signal conditions and high data throughput,” said Nick Karter, senior director of business development at Qualcomm.

Karter said operators confronted with capacity concerns will require substantial capital expenditures to improve macro network performance to support its heaviest users. However, operators can target their CAPEX in both the enterprise and residential environments by providing their heaviest users with femtocells. This will ease network congestion on the macro network and reduce backhaul capacity needs. In the process, femtocells can deliver indoor throughputs and peak rates well in excess of 1Mbps.

Similarly, Saunders is confident that the return on investment from femtocells will be considerably higher than a macro network upgrade path.

“Operators are starting to realize that the investment required to provide free femtocells to heavy data users is far lower than trying to achieve the same outcome with macro network upgrades,” he said. “Femtos deliver better voice quality and a vastly improved data experience at a cost no other technology can match.”

He claimed that 20 percent of homes in the UK have inadequate coverage for voice and data. In July, Vodafone UK became the latest operator to deal with the existing issue of mobile coverage at home using femtocells when it launched its Vodafone Access Gateway – targeting homes and small office locations. The UK operator positioned the service as delivering “more reliable 3G coverage indoors” and providing improved voice calls and faster data downloads.

Vodafone UK was the first European operator to launch a femto service, following similar announcements from Sprint and Verizon Wireless in the U.S., NTT DoCoMo and Softbank in Japan, and StarHub in Singapore. “These operators are the pioneers, and we will see more femto launches before the end of the year from other big operators,” said Saunders.

The Vodafone Gateway is available on a monthly tariff of £5 or a one-off cost of £160, while Verizon charges US$250 Femtocell shipments will grow from 0.2 million units in 2009 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 127 percent to 12 million units worldwide in 2014, according to analyst firm Berg Insight. (£157) for its Wireless Network Extender device. But as both Karter and Saunders explained, the costs are expected to be incorporated by operators as femto becomes a central component in the fight against churn. “Femtocells are creating a very sticky service for the consumer by providing operators with the ability to create differentiated offerings,” Saunders said.

Not only does femto have the additional attraction of being able to work with all 4 billion mobile devices operating around the world, it can deliver location-, context-, presence-, and user-based information.

Femto could deliver premium, bigger apps to the device when the user returns home and the device switches from the macro network to the femtocell. “When users are out and about they can use basic multimedia services,” Saunders explained. “However, when they arrive home they can use the femto to access far higher bandwidth services and synchronize their handset quickly and at zero cost with all of the media stored on their home network.”


As Saunders notes, femto is still in its evolutionary phase and requires key players such as Qualcomm to build on the standardized products in large volumes by delivering the silicon to femto-friendly vendors.

“We all need to draw on a common base of components,” Saunders said. “So we’ve been looking at femtocell devices and network gateways and started to harmonize design based on standards. This will allow consumers and operators to choose from a wider range of products as well as bring costs down through economies of scale. If it’s cheaper overall to deliver and it provides a better service, then everyone wins.”

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Experiences and Lessons from Early Femtocell Deployment



From IEEE Communications Magazine, September 2009:

There is a continuous pursuit by mobile operators (MOs) to improve indoor coverage in order not only to improve voice quality but also to enable higher data rates in home/office environments. Indoor coverage improvement, in conjunction with inexpensive (voice) offerings, will enable MOs to compete with and take away voice-call-related revenues from fixed network PTTs and/or VoIP operators. Femtocells constitute a promising solution to address all of the above. In this article we present our experience from our extensive study and trials of early (pre-standard) femtocell solutions that were available in the 2007-2008 timeframe.

Our as well as other operators’ involvement and experience with pre-standard femtocell solutions has revealed some of their early drawbacks that restrained them from massive-scale commercial launches. However, the accumulated experience from all these trials as well as the recent standardization activities in 3GPP/3GPP2 will lead to a new generation of standardized femtocell solutions and raise the expectation for commercial market success for
operators and vendors alike. It is envisaged that initially, femtocells will be utilized for coordinated coverage extension purposes (e.g., public areas) and niche markets (high-value customers, enterprise packages), rather than mass market commercial offerings. Upon the advent of standardized 3G-femto solutions, the increase of competition at FAP level (models, volume availability, cost reduction) will contribute to the extensive commercialization of femtocells, which will be further boosted by the introduction of LTE home Node-Bs.

The complete paper is available here in pdf format.