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Monday, 31 May 2010

Using Femtocells abroad Illegaly

Back in 2008, I blogged about Femtocells and stealing of Spectrum. Since the rollout of Vodafone Suresignal, I am seeing people discuss it more and more about using the Femtocells abroad. I should say as I have in the past that this would be illegal and I wouldn't encourage anyone to do it but as couple of people have mentioned to me in private that they have managed to do it I would like to hear if someone else has managed this feat.

Since you need to have the IP address belonging to the country your femtocell is registered to, this means that you need to use a VPN along with the Femto to make sure that your IP packets look like they are coming from the country. At the same time your mobile should only be working with your Femto in a sheilded space (basement kind of location preferably to avoid any GPS chip picking up your location).

Another way you can give your game away to the operator is to handout from the mobile to a foreign network. It will definitely send some bells ringing.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

ng-connect LTE car from ALU

Back in the LTE World Summit 2010 there was this ng-connect LTE car demo. I wasn't able to get a demo as there didnt seem to be anyone willing to be filmed for the blog. The first I heard about this ng.connect program was last year when I blogged about the case for early LTE in USA.

The ng connect program ecosystem brings together lots of companies that are collaborating from research to sales and marketing. If you click in the picture above you will be able to see the enlarged image and at the bottom you can see the names of these companies. The car is ofcourse Toyota but I wasnt able to see that in the list of companies.

The following Youtube clip gives an introduction to the connected car



The following is from the Demo from France. In January 2010, Alcatel-Lucent launched for the first time in Europe the ng Connect LTE Connected Car in its Velizy, France facility, showcasing the capabilities that Long Term Evolution (LTE), the next generation of mobile networks, will bring to automakers, service providers, application developers and end users. Also demo'd in Velizy was the live LTE drive tour in a van, testing mobile services on a campus-wide network, demonstrating a smooth transition between 3G/HSPA and LTE networks.



The final video is slightly longer clip which shows the thought process behind the connected car.



If you havent had enough already then I would also recommend this post.

Friday, 28 May 2010

UMTS/HSPA State Transition Problems to be solved with LTE

The way UMTS/HSPA is designed is that the Mobile (UE) is always in IDLE state. If there is some data that needs to be transferred then the UE moves to CELL_DCH. If the amount of data is very less then the UE could move to CELL_FACH state. The UE can also move to CELL_PCH and URA PCH if required but may not necessarily do so if the operator has not configured those states.

The problem in UMTS/HSPA is that these state transitions take quite some time (in mobile terms) and can slow down the browsing experience. Martin has blogged about the state transition problems because of the keep alive messages used by the Apps. These small data transfers dont let the UE go in the IDLE state. If they do then whole raft of signalling has to occur again for the UE to go to CELL_FACH or CELL_DCH. In another post Martin also pointed out the sluggishness caused by the UE in CELL_FACH state.


Mike Thelander of the Signals Research Group presented similar story in the recently concluded LTE World Summit. It can be seen from the figure above that moving from IDLE to CELL_DCH is 1-3secs whereas FACH to DCH is 500ms.

In case if some Apps are running in the background, they can be using these keep alive messages or background messages which may be very useful on the PC but for the Mobiles, these could cause unnecessary state transitions which means lots of signalling overhead.

The Apps creators have realised this problem and are working with the Phone manufacturers to optimise their messaging. For example in case of some Apps on mobiles the keep alive message has been changed from 20 seconds to 5 mins.

3GPP also realised this problem quite a while back and for this reason in Release-7 two new features were added in HSPA+. One was Continuous Packet Connectivity (CPC) and the other was Enhanced CELL_FACH. In Release-8 for HSPA+, these features were added in UL direction as well. The sole aim of these features were to reduce the time it would take to transit to CELL_DCH. Since CPC increases the cell capacity as well, more users can now be put in CELL_FACH instead of being sent to IDLE.

An interesting thing in case of LTE is that the RRC states have been simplified to just two states as shown here. The states are IDLE and CONNECTED. The intention for LTE is that all the users can be left in the CONNECTED state and so unnecessary signalling and time spent on transitioning can be reduced.

The preliminary results from the trials (as can also be seen from here) that were discussed in the LTE World Summit clearly show that LTE leads to a capacity increase by 4 times (in the same BW) and also allow very low latency. I am sure that enough tests with real life applications like Skype, Fring and Yahoo IM have not been done but I am hopeful of the positive outcome.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

LTE will be known as 4G!


I have been mentioning since 3 years that LTE is 3.9G and its not 4G. In fact I have brought it up in many posts and discussions so that we do not dilute the term 4G. From my recent visit to the LTE World Summit and from the news, etc. it seems that the marketing guys won and LTE would be known as 4G.
In the picture above you can clearly see that the press releases by well known companies as well as Samsung's dongle has 4G for LTE stamped. It may be very difficult to reverse this '4G' means LTE term.
So I have now started thinking about what LTE-Advanced will be known as. Here is my attempt:
  • 5G - Not sure if people will buy this. Assuming that LTE-Advanced specs are ready by March 2011 (as is predicted) then people wont be ready to jump from 4G to 5G this soon.
  • 4G+ - Not sure if this sounds sexy enough
  • Super 4G - Boring
  • Turbo 4G - reminds me of F1
Suggestions welcome.

Police call for remote button to stop cars

From The Guardian:

British Police are urging Ministers to give them the power to stop vehicles by remote control.

In what will be seen as yet another example of the in-creasing power of Big Brother, drivers face the prospect of their cars being halted by somebody pushing a button.

The police lobby is being led by Superintendent Jim Hammond of Sussex police, who chairs an Association of Chief Police Officers technology working group which is examining the idea.

'Providing an effective means to remotely stop a vehicle is fast becoming a priority,' Hammond told a European conference. 'The development of a safe and controlled system to enable remote stopping has the potential to directly save lives.'

However, Bert Morris, deputy director of the AA Motoring Trust said: 'People don't like the idea of Big Brother taking over their driving. In years to come that might be acceptable, but it's very, very important that there's a step-by-step approach.'

Cars could be stopped by the gradual reduction of engine power so it slowly comes to a stop, or by making sure when drivers come to a halt they can not move again.

Stopping cars remotely sounds futuristic, but the basic technology is already available and used in lorries to limit the top speed to 56mph and in new systems to immobilise stolen cars.

The key is the electronics box in most new cars which, when the driver presses the accelerator or brake, sends a message to the engine to speed up or slow down. It can be programmed to limit the speed generally or according to the position of the car, established via a GPS satellite. For remote operation, a modem, which works like a mobile phone, can be used tell the car to slow down or stop.

Similar radio telemetry was used by Formula One pit crews to adjust the engines of racing cars at up to 200mph - until it was banned this year.

'The technology exists and will become more refined as time goes on,' said Nick Rendell, managing director of the Siemens business developing this technology in the UK.

A senior police officer - assumed to be the chief constable or deputy - can already give the order to stop a car remotely, but that power has rarely if ever been used, said Morris. To use any new powers more widely, police must first overcome some practical problems to reassure Ministers that vehicles would be stopped safety. Ministers will also want reassurances that drivers would not be mistakenly stopped.

ACPO insists that it would only introduce the technology when it was safe. It is calling on the Government to introduce the legislation which it says will be vital to stop vehicles when - as expected - manufacturers develop tyres that run when they are flat. This will make 'stingers' - the spiked strips thrown in front of speeding cars - useless to stop stolen and get-away cars or dangerous drivers.

It is also linked to pressure to make cars 'pointless to steal' because of growing concern about more violent car crime as vehicles become harder to take. The RAC Foundation recently found there were as many as 1,200 car jackings in Britain last year.

Another link is to technology which would stop cars going above certain speed limits - either a fixed maximum such as 70mph, or varying according to the local limit.

The system could even be programmed to reduce speeds below the limit in bad weather or when school children were expected to be about, said Robert Gifford, director of the Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Transport Safety, which believes the technology could cut the 3,420 deaths a year on Britain's roads by 59 per cent.

Experts now believe the technology could start to be used voluntarily by the end of the decade and ultimately could be made mandatory.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Small cells and Wireless Capacity Growth

Self explanatory slide showing the impact of Small cells on the capacity growth. This is probably the best way to further increase the capacity.

Courtesy: Moray Rumney, Agilent technologies in LTE World Summit

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Quality of Service (QoS) and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

One of the things I mentioned in my presentation in the LTE World Summit was that differentiation of Services based on Quality of Services is required to be able to charge the users more.
This QoS can be varied based on deep inspection of the packets which can tell the operator as to what service a particular packet belongs to. The operators can thus give higher priority to the services and applications that are recommended by them and also block certain services that can be deemed as illegal or unproductive (like file sharing or P2P).

Continuous Computing claims to be one of the market leaders in producing the DPI systems. You can read this article by Mike Coward who is the CTO and Co-founder of Continuous computing here.

There is also this very interesting paper on QoS control in 3GPP EPS which is available freely here.

Please feel free to comment or suggest how do you see DPI being used in the future.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Interesting calculation showing that data cost to operator is €1/per GB


The 'Cost per Bit' issue...

Cost per bit has always been an issue from operator point of view. The other day an operator tried to show a comparison of data transfer with SMS. Though this may make some of us feel guilty that we are ripping these poor operators off ;) in reality most of us agree that it is the other way round.

A slightly older report from Ericsson suggested that from operator point of view, 1GB data transfer can cost as low as 1 euro.

So if we now plug in the above information into the slide below, presented by Moray Rumney of Agilent in the LTE World Summit, we can see that the operators have been earning massive profits on our behalf.



With Mobile broadband becoming more common and cheaper, users may not be willing to pay any more than they are now. At the same time, they may expect the speeds to keep increasing at regular intervals. The operators will soon be forced (if not already doing so) to offer QoS based packages which can help them boost their revenue and provide better QoE to the higher paying users.

I will cover this issue of QoS, QoE and DPI in the upcoming posts.

If you are wondering along the lines of how to reduce this cost per bit then I would recommend you to go back and have a look at this discussion on Martin Sauter's blog.
If you are thinking along the lines of increasing ARPU with LTE, then please see my presentation here.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

50 Billion Connected Devices by 2020 (2025?)

Back in April, Hans Vestberg, CEO and the President of Ericsson declared that there will be 50 Billion connected devices by 2020.

In the recently concluded LTE World Summit, this statement seemed to have gained lots of attention. Everyone quoted this left, right and center. The interesting thing was that some said that this would happen by 2025 and some also said 2030.

While we can make a generic statement that there will be some 50 Billion connected devices sometime between 2020 and 2030, not everyone was sure how they would be connected.

My understanding is that a device is connected if it has a valid IP (IPv6) address. That means that the PC's at home are included and anything connected over WiFi are included as well.

So by this definition, it wont surprise me if we probably have 100 Billion connected devices by 2030.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Redefining the wireless Quality of Experience (QoE) with LTE

Ken Wirth, President 4G/LTE Networks of Alcatel-Lucent showed us the following video in the LTE World Summit 2010. Its been available on Youtube for quite some time but I missed it before:



Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Using LTE to boost ARPU

Here is my presentation from the LTE World Summit 2010. The presentation was prepared for discussion during the Breakfast briefing on the 19th May 2010.


You can also see the discussion on Linked group here. (Sorry, you may need to register).

Agilent Demo at the LTE World Summit 2010

Here is the Agilent Demo. I have blogged about Agilent's demo from last year here.



Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Anritsu Demo at the LTE World Summit 2010

I have blogged about the Anritsu MD8430A here and about their RTD product here. Recently they have become first test equipment vendor in the world to achieve GCF-approved test case validations for both LTE (Long Term Evolution) RF and protocol conformance testing.

Here is their Demo from LTE World Summit 2010.




Monday, 17 May 2010

Mobile Phone Developments May 2010


HTC's 4G [sic] Phone is al ready to be rolled out. It is supposed to allow to transfer data averaging speeds of 3 to 6 megabits per second, and bursts hitting 10 Mbps. Ok, I can visualise some suspicious smiles but that's marketing. Its the data speeds of a normal HSPA network but it sells.

Inside the Evo is a 1 gigahertz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of ram, and 1 gig of built in memory. On top of those screaming specs are a 480×800 display, as well as two (count em!) cameras, the better of which packs 8 megapixels. Running it all is the newest version of Android (2.1), as well as HTC’s Sense UI for a little extra eye-candy. All told, this looks like an amazing phone to finally make use of Sprint’s fancy new network, and it may just be their best bet for reversing their falling fortunes.

The Evo 4G will allow for simultaneous voice and data and will be the first smartphone to ship with a YouTube HQ player and a video chat app from Qik to be used with the front-facing camera. Though Sprint's onstage Qik demo didn't work, we were impressed with the Evo 4G's speed (Sprint brought in a 4G tower for the event) as well the handset's 3D gaming capabilities and HDMI output.

As we learned at CTIA 2010, other goodies include an 8-megapixel camera on back, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, Android 2.1, and an extra-large 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen.



Tired of losing your cell phone? Maybe you need a Zomm.

The new gadget is billed as a wireless leash for mobile phones reminding you when you've left your cell phone behind. Here's how it works:

You just pair the nugget sized Zomm with your phone over Bluetooth. Then you clip the Zomm onto you or attach it to your keychain. When your cell phones gets more than 30 feet away from Zomm, the Zomm unit starts to vibrate, flash lights and then eventually lets out a wail.

You can also use the Zomm as a Bluetooth speaker so you can answer calls through it, instead of talking straight into your phone.

The leash idea can work in reverse too. If you're the type who loses their keys more than their phone, you can just attach Zomm to your keys and then whenever you lose your keys, you can call Zomm and set off its alarm.

There's also a panic button. In case of emergency you can just press it and get help immediately, without dialing on your cell phone.

Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has named ZOMM as ‘One to Watch’, because of its innovative use of Bluetooth technology and universal appeal.

“Through the use of Bluetooth wireless technology, ZOMM provides an array of convenient applications for users,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG.

“Its simple application of Bluetooth technology appeals to the masses – nobody wants to lose their mobile phone.”



Verizon Wireless and LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. announced the LG Ally™ will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning May 20. The first Android device from LG, the Ally is the perfect assembly of futuristic, stylish design and 3G Android power for customers looking to tackle life's most challenging feats and everyday ventures. Verizon Wireless customers can pre-order the phone at www.verizonwireless.com beginning May 13.


Until now, mobile users have been faced with a choice -- either type on a tiny keyboard or use a touchscreen keypad.

Neither is perfect but, so far, tiny but real keyboards have been winning out for many people. One of the many reasons cited by some BlackBerry users for not switching to an iPhone or similar device is that sensitive touchscreen keypad.

Some manufacturers have tried to give users the best of both worlds, a touchscreen and a pull-out keyboard, but search giant Google has another idea: make all mobile-phone keyboards obsolete.

With the recent release of its own phone, the Nexus One, users are beginning to experiment with what Google hopes is the future of mobile search: voice-and picture-based searching.

"Voice, we think, is just a natural way to solve a problem that exists on all phones, which is that typing is quite difficult, especially in certain languages like Japanese," said Alex Nicolaou from Google's office in Waterloo, Ont..

"Input methods are relatively onerous, whereas saying a brief phrase . . . is extremely fast . . . and there are just times when a picture really is worth 1,000 words.

"If you're standing outside a landmark and you want to know about it, it's obviously going to be much, much simpler to take a photo of that landmark and have the system tell you what it is, than it would be to figure out what name to type in, especially in a foreign country."

Google admits both are still in relatively early development stages and are not very reliable.

For voice searches, short strings of words work best. Even in noisy cafes, most four-or five-word searches worked well during testing. Nicolaou said one misheard word won't necessarily throw off your search results.

Google has hinted at some future features incorporating voice and image recognition. Engineers are working to improve the ability to photograph a printed page so it can be accurately scanned into text and quickly translated into another language. In a video posted online, a Google employee scans a menu from a German restaurant and uses his phone to translate it into English.

Google also hopes that, eventually, travellers will be able to speak a phrase into their phone, have it translated into another language and played back through their phone's speaker.


This season, big handset makers including Nokia, Microsoft and Motorola are betting you’ll want to flaunt cute, palm-shaped devices that look more like compact powder cases than brick-shaped mini-tablets.

Motorola is likely to introduce a new phone next month called Flipout that will have a 2.8-inch display, a 3.1-megapixel camera and a twist-out keyboard. We haven’t tested it yet, but on looks alone, it’s fabulous, darling.

Motorola’s square-shaped phone follows the release of Microsoft’s fresh-looking Kin One earlier this month. The Kin One has a 2.6-inch display, a slide-out keyboard, and looks like a rounded square when closed. In September, Nokia introduced the Twist on Verizon, a squarish phone with a 2.5-inch display. Even LG has a square-shaped phone called the Lotus, which has been available on Sprint for more than a year, and though it’s not exactly been a big seller, its looks are hot, hot, hot.

Microsoft released the final version of the desktop Office 2010, along with which it made available a flavor aimed at mobile phones, namely Office Mobile 2010. The owners of a device powered by Windows Mobile 6.5 can now take advantage of the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint editing capabilities of the application while on the go.

Among the features that Office Mobile 2010 comes around with, we can count SharePoint integration (users can easily access and edit documents stored on a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 site), Bluetooth controller mode for PowerPoint presentations, access to SharePoint Workspace Mobile, the possibility to easily take notes on the phone and to insert voice clips or pictures in them, and others more.

“Effective today, Office Mobile 2010 will be available for free via Windows Phone Marketplace for all Windows Mobile 6.5 phones with a previous version of Office Mobile. People using Office Mobile 2010 can perform lightweight editing of Office documents and take notes on the go.

As if mobile phone cameras weren't complex enough, Sharp has just announced a tiny 720p 3D camera for its mobile devices.

The 3D Camera Module has been made to fit inside either a compact point and shoot or a smartphone. The camera is crammed full of the latest technology, all of which enable it to capture both moving and still high resolution 3D images.

Things like colour synchronising processing, as well as 'fast readout' technology, help the tiny little camera to produce its images.

Sharp has made use of complicated high-density mounting technology in order to pack so many features in to this tiny device.

The company insists that the cameras will go into mass production by the end of the year.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

World Vendor Awards 2010


Winners of the first World Vendor Awards were revealed during a dinner at the UnderGlobe in London on the 5 May 2010.


Outstanding Vendor of the Year

Open to
All hardware and software vendors and OEMs who are able to demonstrate organisational scale, strategy and procedures of a truly global standard.

About this category

The winner in this category will demonstrate outstanding innovation backed by quality of service, reliability, and sales support. It is most likely that the winner will offer a strong portfolio of products and solutions, and will be able to demonstrate evidence of strong and disciplined management providing a sound business footing, and strategic direction and future scope for development of the company.

Criteria

Entrants for Outstanding Vendor will be judged on the degree to which they fulfil the following conditions:

Address customer needs in terms of quality, reliability and customer service
Provide strong and innovative product and/or solution offerings
Show sound management, clear strategic direction and strong performance
Demonstrate revenue generation/growth.
What features make your operation stand out from the competition? How have you responded to customer and/or market changes?

Winner: Huawei Technologies
Other Nominees:
BroadSoft
Intec Telecoms Systems
Highly Commended: Juniper Networks
Oracle Communications


Best Specialist Vendor

Open to

All hardware and software vendors and OEMs specialising in provision of a particular product, solution or group of solutions. The Best Specialist Vendor may be a division of a larger company, but must be able to demonstrate their autonomy as a specialist in their own right.

About this category

The winner in this category will demonstrate how their products and solutions address the needs of a specific part of the telecom market and how their foresight and innovation is improving business for their customers.

Criteria

The winning company must have been offering commercially available products prior to the closing date for the award entries. The judges will be looking for evidence of:

Innovation
How easy it is to implement and customer ?
What are the benefits to the users
Value for money
Features that stand out from competitors
Evidence of customer satisfaction e.g. testimonials

Winner: ip.access
Highly Commended: Ipanema Technologies
Other Nominees:
Mformation
RAD
Telmap


Best Mobile Device

Open to

Manufacturers and vendors of all mobile devices, including but not limited to handsets, PDA’s, and netbooks.

About this category

The judges will be looking for the device that has in their opinion best combined innovation and usability to create a mobile device that provides the greatest benefit to the intended users, whether business or consumer.

Criteria

The device must have been commercially available prior to the closing date for the award entries
The judges will be looking for evidence of:

How easy is it to use and implement?
What are the benefits to the users
Value for money
Evidence of customer satisfaction e.g. testimonials

Winner: Apple iPhone/ iPhone 3G
Other Nominees:
BlackBerry BOLD
HTC Hero
Motorola DROID
Nokia E71


Best Brand Campaign

Open to

All hardware and software vendors, OEM’s, device manufacturers, outsourcing companies, systems integrators.

About this category

This category will recognise the organisation that has created the most effective and compelling brand campaign for its products or services in one or more branches of the media. This may be through a single campaign or series of campaigns. Only in this category can supporting material be accepted, in the form of printed or audio/visual material from the campaign, for review by the judging panel. Please email supporting material to vendorawards@totaltele.com.
Criteria

The campaign must have run or be running during the calendar year 2009.
Entrants should provide details of:

Reason for the campaign(s)
The rationale behind choice of media, company or service name/ slogan, etc
Scope and target audience
Stated business objectives behind the campaign
Raised brand awareness and positive impact on market share, valuation or bottom line.

Winner: Juniper Networks


Best Outsourcing Initiative

Open to

This category is open both to dedicated outsourcing companies and to vendors, consultants and integrators running outsourcing initiatives.

About this category

It covers all forms of outsourcing initiative, including BPO, IT outsourcing and network outsourcing, and the winner will be the organisation that can demonstrate an initiative best delivering its planned benefits, whether these be cost saving, skill improvement, or resource release. The judges will be particularly looking for evidence of innovation that has delivered tangible benefits.

Criteria

The campaign must have been initiated or have delivered its first measurable results during calendar year 2009. In addition to evidence of innovation, judges will seek to understand what the key project objectives were, how successfully the project was implemented and how success is being measured. Credit will be given for being able to supply independent testimonials supporting project success or process improvement.

Winner: Comviva Technologies
Other Nominees:
Firstsource Solutions
Huawei Technologies
Infosys BPO
ITS


Clean Technology Initiative

Open to

All Vendors, OEMs, integrators and consultants

About this category

This category seeks to reward the company that has best reduced the environmental impact of telecommunication services through its products and solutions or utilisation of products and solutions. The judges will be seeking evidence of eco-friendly products, innovations, and specific programmes or initiatives.

Criteria

Entrants should be able to demonstrate:

Evidence improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, recycling, conservation, manufacturing and logistics cost reduction and eco-friendly consumption.
A measurable programme, delivering against and reaching set targets for improvement.
Future plans to continue to address corporate, social & environmental issues
How your clean technology programme has benefited stakeholders including customers/end users, employees, and the wider public.

Winner: Eltek Valere
Other Nominees:
ADTRAN
Huawei Technologies


Technology Foresight

Open to

All equipment vendors, OEM’s and developers of software solutions, as well as outsourcing companies and integrators that have deployed or trialled a new technology by an operator, service provider, or enterprise telecom customer.
About this category

This award will go to the individual or organisation that has shown the greatest foresight in developing or fostering the development of a technology used or able to be used in delivering or receiving communications services via carrier networks.

Criteria

Entrants should be able to demonstrate:

The development of a technology with potential for far reaching effect on business or consumer markets

That the technology and/or its application are the original work of the entrant, and that they are not simply implementing another company’s technology.
That it represents an innovative approach to an existing aspect of communications networks or services, or opens up an entirely new area
That the technology works and has potential in a commercial environment.
What revenues do you expect your technology to produce? How do you intend to grow revenues and/or business from your technology or product over the next three years?

Winner: SpiderCloud Wireless
Highly Commended: Huawei Technologies
Other Nominees:
Juniper Networks
Evolving Systems
ECI Telecom


Best Software Solution

Open to

Software vendors and developers, as well as integrators providing software solutions.

About this category

The judges will be looking for an organisation that is providing or utilising a predominantly software driven solution. This could be in any part of the telecom sphere, including using software in place of hardware upgrades, or a traditionally software driven solution such as billing, network management etc.

Criteria

Entrants should be able to demonstrate why their solution is the most appropriate for the problem addressed, the commercial performance/cost savings brought by the solution, and highlight innovations brought to the sector. Customer testimonials should illustrate the degree of satisfaction delivered by the solution.

Winner: Comviva Technologies
Other nominees:
cVidya Networks
Juniper Networks
Nokia Siemens Networks
Novarra
Sybase


Technologist of the Year

This will be a public vote looking for the CTO, IT Director or senior technology leader of a telecom software or hardware vendor who has demonstrated outstanding vision in driving forward the organisations product and solution offerings, innovations and realising the potential to turn research into commercially successful products.

The Total Telecom team will seek nominations from the industry of senior technology leaders who are perceived as driving change, innovation and success in the industry, as a shortlist of which will be put to the public vote.

Winner: Thierry Klein, Founder and CTO, Alzette Venture Alcatel Lucent
Other Nominees:
Rupert Baines, VP Marketing, picoChip
Ajay Bhatt, Architect, Intel
Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEO, RIM
Antonio Nucci, CTO Narus, Inc.


Best Support System

Open to

All vendors of support systems, including, but not limited to Operations Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS)

About this category

The judges will be looking for the support system that has created the greatest service improvement, cost saving, or enabled the greatest increase in business income. They will be seeking product innovation, ease of use and application, and delivery of customer satisfaction.

Criteria

The support system should have been in operation during 2009 and the entrant should be able to demonstrate

How has your product or application improved customer satisfaction levels?
Provide evidence of improved customer acquisition or retention levels?
That the solution is simple to operate and easy to understand with good customer training and support
That the solution is scalable and flexible, that it can cater for new service delivery platforms, service combinations and business models.

Winner: Comptel Corporation
Highly Commended: Aito Technologies
Other Nominees:
Martin Dawes Systems
Sigma Systems


More about the World Vendor Awards here.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Whitepaper; MIMO and Smart Antennas for 3G and 4G Wireless Systems

3G Americas has published an educational white paper titled, MIMO and Smart Antennas for 3G and 4G Wireless Systems: Practical Aspects and Deployment Considerations. The report is a complete tutorial reference document that outlines the considerable importance of various smart antenna schemes for improving the capacity and coverage of the emerging generations of wireless networks.

With the rapid growth of wireless data traffic, now greatly exceeding voice traffic in many developed markets, operators are anxious to quickly expand the capacity and coverage of their wireless networks. To address these demands for increased capacity in a cost effective way, 3GPP standards have incorporated powerful techniques for using “smart antennas.”

“The gains in spectral efficiency being advanced by new wireless air interface technologies, such as LTE and LTE-Advanced, will be enabled by the application of MIMO and other smart antenna technologies,” stated Kevin Linehan, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer – Base Station Antenna Systems, Andrew Solutions. Linehan, one of the project leaders for the creation of the 3G Americas report continued, “It is critical that operators and others in the industry appreciate these advanced technologies and their practical application.”

The term smart antennas refers to adaptive array antennas – those with electrical tilt, beam width and azimuth control that can follow relatively slow-varying traffic patterns; intelligent antennas, which can form beams aimed at particular users or steer nulls to reduce interference; and MIMO antenna schemes, predominately featured in LTE and LTE-Advanced.

The white paper was created by a 3G Americas technical work group and concentrates on the practical aspects of antennas and their deployment for 3G and 4G wireless systems, specifically downlink antenna techniques available in 3GPP LTE Release 8. The comprehensive report highlights a substantial and growing body of theoretical and field experience that provides reliable guidance on the tradeoffs of various antenna configurations. Some of the areas addressed in the paper include:
  • Smart antennas provide the next substantial increase in throughput for wireless networks. The peak data rates tend to be proportional to the number of send and receive antennas, so 4X4 MIMO is theoretically capable of twice the peak data rates as 2X2 MIMO systems. For another example, in upgrading from HSPA (1X2) to LTE (2X2) a gain of 1.6x is seen (Rysavy Research, 2009).
  • The practical tradeoffs of performance with the realistic constraints on the types of antennas that can be realistically installed, cognizant of zoning, wind loading, size, weight and cabling challenges and constraints from legacy terminals and other equipment. Constraints are, of course, present in both the base station and the terminal side of the air interface, where MIMO technology promises useful gains if multiple antennas, amplifiers, receivers and baseband processing resources can be made available in terminals.
  • Beyond the single antenna or beamforming array cases, 3GPP Release 8 of the LTE standard supports MIMO antenna configurations. This includes Single-User (SU-MIMO) protocols using either Open Loop or Closed-Loop modes as well as Transmit Diversity and MU-MIMO. Closed-Loop MIMO mode, which supports the highest peak data rates, is likely to be the most commonly used scheme in early deployments. However, this Closed-Loop MIMO scheme provides the best performance only when the channel information is accurate, when there is a rich multipath environment and is appropriate in low mobility environments such as with fixed terminals or those used at pedestrian speeds.

The white paper, MIMO and Smart Antennas for 3G and 4G Wireless Systems: Practical Aspects and Deployment Considerations, was written collaboratively by members of 3G Americas and is available for free download HERE.

While MIMO and Smart Antennas for 3G and 4G Wireless Systems concentrates on the practical aspects of deploying antennas in emerging wireless markets, 3G Americas’ June 2009 white paper, MIMO Transmission Schemes for LTE and HSPA Networks, provides additional background information on the processing gains feasible with smart antennas.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

3GPP and 3G Americas workshop in Latam LTE Summit


3GPP and 3G Americas held a LTE Standards workshop in advance of this years’ LTE Latin America Conference, held in Rio de Janeiro 26-28 April.

Speakers from Operators and Manufacturers’ looked at the huge potential for HSPA and LTE networks and discussed Standards and Regulatory issues that are affecting LTE Roadmaps for the Latin America Region.

Topics such as equipment availability and spectrum scarcity were high on the agenda, along with discussions on systems architecture evolution and backhaul issues.

The presentations from the workshop are available on-line HERE.

Individual presentations could be downloaded from the links below:


      Monday, 10 May 2010

      LTE Devices and Platforms: April 2010

      Click on the image to see larger size image

      Interesting summary of devices and platforms for LTE in development and trial which I took from GSA Information paper here.

      Interesting to see multiple platforms from Samsung, LG and Qualcomm while Huawei seems to have a single all in one device.

      Friday, 7 May 2010

      800MHz to be reserved for LTE and WiMAX in Europe

      We were having a discussion in the LTE Linkedin group couple of days back about when devices would be ready in bands other than 2.6Gz. The 2.6GHz band has become a de facto standard for LTE but there are other bands at much lower bands that are gaining interest as well.

      Here is something from Cellular News today:

      The European Commission has adopted a Decision establishing harmonised technical rules for Member States on the allocation of radio frequencies in the 800 MHz band that contribute to the deployment of high-speed wireless internet services by avoiding harmful interference.

      In several Member States the 800 MHz frequencies are being freed up as part of the so-called "digital dividend" resulting from the switchover from analogue to digital television broadcasting. If Member States decide to change the existing frequency allocation (for broadcasting) they must immediately apply the harmonised technical rules laid down by the Decision to make these frequencies available to wireless broadband applications. Today's decision does not itself require Member States to make available the 790-862 MHz band for electronic communication services. However, the Commission is considering such a proposal in the forthcoming Radio Spectrum Policy Programme.

      The Commission strongly supports the use of the 790-862 MHz band (currently used for broadcasting in most Member States) for electronic communication services and wants EU countries to act quickly, as coordinated management of this spectrum could give an economic boost of up to EUR44 billion to the EU's economy and help to achieve the EU 2020 Strategy target of high-speed broadband for all by the end of 2013 (with speeds gradually increasing up to 30 Mbts and above in 2020).

      The new Commission Decision stipulates that all Member States which decide to make available the 790-862 MHz spectrum band (the so-called 800 MHz band) for services other than broadcasting should apply the same harmonised technical rules when they do so. These technical rules will ensure that radio communications equipment, like handsets or base stations using the 800 MHz band, can be used efficiently for wireless broadband networks, such as LTE or WiMAX.

      Telecoms industry experts estimate that infrastructure to provide mobile broadband coverage using the 800 MHz band will be around 70% cheaper than through using the radio frequencies currently used by 3G networks. The lower costs involved in rolling out such networks will make these investments more attractive for operators, which should improve the geographic coverage of wireless broadband services. Application of the technical rules for frequency allocation foreseen by this Decision will substantially increase the potential economic benefits of the digital dividend by giving a new impetus to wireless internet services.

      Until now, the 800 MHz band has been used for terrestrial TV broadcasting in most Member States. The new rules laid down in the Decision set out conditions for allocation of nearly one quarter of the frequencies that will become available when Member States switch from analogue to digital broadcasting (due by end 2012). The Commission is currently working on a Radio Spectrum Policy Programme that will take into account the other elements of the digital dividend and may also include a common date by which all Member States must make the 800 MHz band available.

      Also read this post.

      Thursday, 6 May 2010

      Avren's Next Generation Networks & Basestations Conference Summary


      Interesting summary on Next Generation Networks & Base stations conference is available on Think Femtocell and Avren's website. Here are some interesting bits:

      • Operating a mobile network contributes around 30% to the annual costs of each operator, and there are many different ways to save money. Where before, coverage was a real differentiator between networks, today it’s much more about service.
      • There are enormous savings to be made by sharing cellsites between operators – T-mobile and 3 in the UK have combined their cellsites and reduced the total number from 55,000 to 31,000 in the last two years. The number is now slowly expanding again to fill in coverage holes and add capacity. The recently announced merger between Orange UK and T-Mobile means a further round of site consolidation over the coming years. Meanwhile, their UK competitors O2 Telefonica and Vodafone have also made a site sharing agreement, meaning that there will be just two competing sets of cellsites across the country.
      • Some speakers questioned the sense of offering unlimited flat rate data plans – the industry sentiment is that these can’t last. The highest traffic users are consuming disproportionate amounts of network resources – several examples were given of 2 or 3% of users taking up over 40% of available capacity.
      • Kenny Graham, Vodafone R&D Group, has been a keen champion of femtocells in public areas for some time – coining the term metro-femto. He believes that the most difficult challenges for femtocell deployment have already been overcome. He classified femtocells into four groups and clearly believes all have a place in network deployment:
        • Domestic
        • Enterprise
        • Public service areas (indoor hotspots)
        • Metro Femto (Outdoor hotspot )
      • Installing more antenna and equipment at existing cellsites, such as required for LTE or MIMO technologies, is constrained by physical and planning limits of cellsites. Metro femto can be deployed unobstrusively in the urban areas with peak traffic demand, providing high levels of capacity.

      Monday, 3 May 2010

      Looking forward to the LTE World Summit 2010

      This month I will again be attending the LTE World Summit. I have already mentioned why I am looking forward to it. I also plan to cover the event in much more detail as I have done in the past.

      I am also hosting a breakfast briefing session with my topic of interest being, "Using LTE to boost ARPU". I am interested if anyone has any opinions on this topic. I have started a discussion in the LTE Linkedin Group. Please follow this link if you want to post your ideas or follow the discussion (Sorry, you may have to become member of that group if you are not already a member)

      As usual, I am always looking forward to meeting friends, colleagues, journalists, fellow bloggers and anyone and everyone. So if you are around then please do say hello.

      Sunday, 2 May 2010

      LTE, Conformance Testing and GCF

      According to Light Reading article, LSTI results indicate that most mobile operators are still in the very early stages of testing next-gen mobile broadband Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) technology.
      Meanwhile, the System Simulator manufacturers are going strong in their LTE Conformance testing.

      Anritsu Corporation announced recently that it is the first test equipment vendor in the world to achieve GCF-approved test case validations for both LTE (Long Term Evolution) RF and protocol conformance testing.

      Mobile terminal manufacturers must gain GCF approval to prove that their LTE terminals satisfy the 3GPP standards, meaning that there is increasing demand for an approved conformance test environment.

      At the GCF CAG#22 meeting earlier last month, Anritsu successfully gained GCF approval for an industry-leading 12 RF test cases for its ME7873L RF Conformance Test System together with additional test cases for its ME7832L Protocol Conformance Test System.

      Anite and Huawei demonstrated the first TD-LTE UE protocol conformance test cases. Anite and Huawei are working together to accelerate the process of TD-LTE technology for China Mobile’s World Expo.

      The new TD-LTE tests build out Anite’s comprehensive portfolio for all leading 3GPP protocol technologies, from GSM through EDGE and WCDMA to the latest HSPA+ and LTE futures. Anite blends software-only host and target test solutions for 2G, 3G and LTE technologies that allow developers to adopt a total end-to-end solution for all wireless testing needs.

      Starting next month, 7 layers will offer LTE testing services in three areas: regulatory compliance, certification, and operator-specific test cases.

      Aeroflex Test Solutions and 7 layers have signed an agreement to provide LTE (Long Term Evolution) testing services in support of the commercialization of LTE mobile phone networks in Japan. Aeroflex will install its 7100 LTE Digital Radio Test Set in 7 layersA' laboratory in Yokohama, Japan, greatly expanding 7 layersA' LTE regulatory compliance testing services.

      With advanced LTE test equipment and services conveniently located, Japanese UE (user equipment) manufacturers and network operators can speed up testing in advance of LTE rollout.

      Some tests and logs from the UE Conformance Testing of Protocols are available on the 3G4G website here.

      Saturday, 1 May 2010

      Interesting videos on NEC's Femtocell Services

      Watch them in the order to get a better picture of the applications. To know more about just the lifestyle evolution with NEC Femtocell, see the last video.