I did mention in the Twitter conversations post from LTE World Summit 2011 that there are now certain analysts and players in the market who think that it should be possible to have two radios. Here is a slide from ZTE that shows that they are thinking in this direction as well.
Click on the pic to enlarge.
Tri-SIM phones have been available for quite a while but now there are Quad-SimShanzhai phones that are available in China. I am sure there is a market for these kind of phones.
With the battery life and the mobile technology improving, these are no longer the concerns when talking about dual radio possibility in the devices. Another common argument is that there may be additional interference due to multiple radios simultaneously receiving/transmitting. I am sure these can be managed without much problem.
Another problem mentioned is we may need multiple SIM cards but the SIM cards used is actually a UICC. There can be multiple SIM applications and IMSI's on it. The network may need some very minor modifications but they should be able to manage this with no problems. In the good old days, we used to have mobiles with built in Fax. The mobile number used to be different from the Fax number. It was a similar kind of problem but managed without problem.
So there may still be time to keep LTE simple by standardising the dual-radio solution rather than having CSFB, VoLTE, SRVCC, VoLGA, etc.
Mark Newman from Informa reminded us that there have been lots of hype in the early days of 3G about the revenue, etc. and nowadays he is seeing similar hype about M2M.
CTO of Vodafone Germany, Hartmut Kremling spoke about their their LTE launch that was in Dec. 2010. They launched the LTE in 800MHz band and it has been convenient for them as they are reusing the existing GSM infrastructure.
Since they already support other technologies and spectrum, he was worried initially that LTE 800 was be the 5th network and LTE 2.6GHz will be their 6th network but due to the use of SDR and Integrated antennas in the network that support GSM/UMTS/LTE, they have managed to keep the cost and complexity down.
With LTE, Speed is the killer as the users can get high speed access to their services. Right now they have 20K customers that are using LTE.
They have also launched Easy Box that contains Voice and Integrated services. They have received positive feedback and the download speeds is generally 5-6 Mbps.
Yegor Ivanov of Yota, Russia spoke about how they moved their existing infrastructure from WiMAX to LTE. They already have 1million+ customers on their WiMAX network.
Yota is going to build a shared infrastructure for all the big 4 russian network operators. He is expecting to have 70 million people covered by 2016. Right now the LTE revenues are 4 times lower than their existing 3G revenues.x
Finally, Andrea Folgueiras from Telefonica Germany had an interesting presentation and sense of humour. When she started her presentation she mentioned that she has been with them for 20 years. So as to not give her age, she said she started with them when she was 10 :)
Telefonica believes in LTE for best mobile and data experience. They have 800MHz which would be used for national rollout and also 2.6GHz that would be used for dense areas. They will prioritise the services based on different QoS.
Finally they think that the paradigm has changed from 'Always on' to 'Always in touch'
Here are few pics and discussions from the day 1 of LTE world summit 2011. They are quite brief and I will try and add some info from the tweets as well.
Adrian Scrase from 3GPP said that as there are already over 200 operators committed to LTE, its the fastest growing mobile technology ever.
Bart Weijermars from TMobile Netherlands said future growth will be data centric fuelled by appealing terminals, new usages, broadband and ubiquity.
Future challenges include Network sharing, required to keep the cost under control; everyone allowed to roam freely everywhere; all the content is stored in the cloud and voip is the only option for voice.
New services will be possible with the advent of '4G' but care has to be taken because background apps are already using up a lot of capacity.
There is still work that needs to be done on Spectrum, Smartphone challenges and Network of networks.
Huawei has been one of the main sponsors of the event and the award and Ying Weimin spoke on how LTE is the way to more competitive Mobile Broadband.
According to him, wireless solution is a personalized solution and will go everywhere you go.
Spectrum is the main concern though as a combination of low and high frequency will be needed. Hetnets are coming and they will be the future of the networks.
The way forward is to start the LTE with data only and build on top of that. The network should be simple evolution and will contain of cloud baseband, wideband RRU and AAS.
Pocket Wifi is definitely going to be a killer device and Innovative LTE business and Apps will be needed in the long term like Instant LTE broadcast, Wireless Video surveillance, etc.
LTE is faster than expected and this is the reason there are so many operator commitments. Huawei has 40+ LTE contracts and 10 have already been launched. This is just the beginning.
Seizo Onoe from NTT Docomo spoke about Crossy. In fact during Christmas the employees were wishing each other 'Merry Crossy'. Docomo believes that the users dont care about HSPA or LTE so the Crossy is a service they are selling to the users.
Docomo are getting 75Mbps max DL speeds (using 10MHz band). The phones are capable of 100Mbps though (category 3).
Docomo has recently announced 24 new devices. 2 are Wifi routers. Unlimited data plans on the LTE network cost 5000 yens.
On the spectrum side they are expecting the LTE network to co-exist with UMTS and will be using the 2.1GHz band. In fact Docomo thinks that 2.1GHz should be the universal band that all devices should support so In future when the networks are deployed all these existing devices start working without problems.
The RRE equipment that Docomo has been deploying works with both HSPA and LTE.
Japan has already shutdown its 2G PDC networks but other cannot do the same for GSM. Onoe-san believes that we should stop the evolution of 2G as EDGE has still been evolving and we should focus all the energy into LTE evolution.
I did check with Onoe-san later that as FOMA was not compliant to the '3G' standards completely, is Crossy compliant to the LTE Specs completely and he said it is.
Onoe-san also said that ETWS was very helpful in the recent tsunami in Japan and services like these should be standardised quickly as they will be useful for someone or the other.
Thomas Wehelier from Informa presented the survey results of LTE ecosystem.
In 2011, the LTE deployments will quadruple but 2012 will have most deployments. Spectrum fragmentation is still prevalent but the core bands for LTE are 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz. Capacity still cited as a big driver for the deployments.
TD-LTE represents a new market and new opportunity. In fact Ericsson bills this a year of TD-LTE.
Chris Kimm from Verizon spoke on their 2020 vision.
In Dec. 10 Verizon were covering 110 million people in the US by 2013 the plan is that 290 million will have LTE coverage. In fact LTE was launched in new cities on the day. At the moment though only 250K users are using LTE.
The rate of change is breathtaking and as a result CIO has changed from Chief Information officer to chief innovation officer.
In the Q&A, Chris said that they will deploy voice in 2012 using VoLTE. OTT voice will also be ok.
Tommy Ljunggren from Teliasonera spoke of their LTE deployments.
Last year they had 2 'kids' (as he called their networks) but now they have 4 more. Norway and Sweden got their LTE network in 2009. Network in Finland was launched 30th Nov. 2010. Then on 9th Dec 2010 network in Denmark was launched followed by Estonia on 17th Dec. 2010 and finally Lithuania on 28th April 2011. In fact in Estonia the network was launched 6 minutes after the auction.
Their deployments are in 800/1800/2600 MHz band. This will give them capacity and coverage.
In Sweden the downlink speed is over 20Mbps. In Nordics and Baltics the end users can roam without borders.
Once consumers are using 4G they dont want to go back to 3G. During the royal wedding on Stockholm last year, LTE was used by a TV station to transmit from 6 movable cameras without the need of satellite or any other connection. The transmit was without jitters and a revolution. Nippon TV used LTE to transmit the Noble Peace prize live from Sweden to Tokyo. In fact a bank uses 4G connection as a backup.
TeliaSonera plans to make money by having data caps in place, monthly fees, etc. VoIP would be charged. Right now the charges are €60 for 30GB allowance on LTE.
Cameron Rejali from BT Wholesale spoke on whether the future of mobile was fixed.
According to him WiFi offload is just the start as whenever the speed of the network increases the data usage increases as well.
The network has to do a balancing act. Greater user experience versus network complexity and seamless mobility.
Finally with LTE we will have true convergence at last. The future of mobile is fixed and that of fixed is mobile.
Adrian Scrase brought up the topic of Global Roaming. As there are already 30 bands specified for LTE, do we need a roaming band that should be standardised. Should this band be an Industry initiative or will it be market driven?
The consensus was that this will be market driven.
Question was asked if LTE will be more profitable than previous technology.
NTT Docomo believes that LTE as a technology cannot generate new revenues but the services around it can.
Adrian Scrase asked the question that a lot of Services are defined by the standards but most of them do not get deployed. Does NTT DoComo think ETWS has been defined correctly as per the standards.
Onoe-san from NTT Docomo said that this service has been of utmost importance in the recent tsunami disaster. Even though the service was implemented and available on the phones, it was not used so people were not aware of it. So when the disaster struck everyone was surprised to receive this message. Now everyone knows about this service. Docomo has been using meteorological data since 2009 for this service.
In response to another question Tommy from TeliaSonera said that they will have CSFB next year for voice and VoLTE later. I asked similar question to Onoe-san about the voice support in crossy devices and he said that they will support CSFB. Someone did mention in the panel discussion that VoLTE is not needed and CSFB is enough.
That was my summary of the first day of #LTEWS. You can read the twitter conversations that have much more information.
IP is being introduced in both fixed and mobile networks as a more cost-effective alternative to circuit switched technology in the legacy PSTN/PLMN, as well as the underpinning transport for delivering IMS based multi-media services.
In order to ensure carrier grade end to end performance, appropriate interconnect solutions are required to support communications between users connected to different networks. There are currently a number of initiatives underway outside 3GPP addressing IP Interconnection of services scenarios and commercial models to achieve this; for example, the GSM Association has developed the IPX (IP Packet Exchange). Also, ETSI has recently defined requirements and use case scenarios for IP Interconnection of services. These initiatives require the use of appropriate technical solutions and corresponding technical standards, some of which are already available and others which will require development in 3GPP.
Moreover, new models of interconnection may emerge in the market where Network Operators expose network capabilities to 3rd party Application Providers including user plane connectivity for the media related to the service.
The main objective of IPXS is thus:
To specify the technical requirements for carrier grade inter-operator IP Interconnection of Services for the support of Multimedia services provided by IMS and for legacy voice PTSN/PLMN services transported over IP infrastructure (e.g. VoIP).
These technical requirements should cover the new interconnect models developed by GSMA (i.e. the IPX interconnect model) and take into account interconnect models between national operators (including transit functionality) and peering based business trunking.
Any new requirements identified should not overlap with requirements already defined by other bodies (e.g. GSMA, ETSI TISPAN). Specifically the work will cover:
•Service level aspects for direct IP inter-connection between Operators, service level aspects for national transit IP interconnect and service level aspects for next generation corporate network IP interconnect (peer-to-peer business trunking).
•Service layer aspects for interconnection of voice services (e.g. toll-free, premium rate and emergency calls).
•Service level aspects for IP Interconnection (service control and user plane aspects) between Operators and 3rd party Application Providers.
To ensure that requirements are identified for the Stage 2 & 3 work to identify relevant existing specifications, initiate enhancements and the development of the new specifications as necessary.
The following is a related presentation on Release-8 II-NNI with an introduction to Rel-9 and Rel-10 features.
I did mention in my earlier blog post about the new algorithm for 3GPP LTE-A Security. The good news is that this would be out hopefully in time for the Release-11.
The following from 3GPP Docs:
The current 3GPP specifications for LTE/SAE security support a flexible algorithm negotiation mechanism. There could be sixteen algorithms at most to support LTE/SAE confidentiality and integrity protection. In current phase, 3GPP defines that there are two algorithms used in EPS security, i.e. SNOW 3G and AES. The remaining values have been reserved for future use. So it is technically feasible for supporting new algorithm for LTE/SAE ciphering and integrity protection.
Different nations will have different policies for algorithm usage of communication system. The current defined EPS algorithm may not be used in some nations according to strict policies which depend on nation’s security laws. Meanwhile, operators shall implement their networks depending on national communication policies. To introduce a new algorithm for EPS security will give operators more alternatives to decide in order to obey national requirements.
Some work has been done to adapt LTE security to national requirements about cryptography of LTE/SAE system, i.e. designing a new algorithm of EPS security, which is named ZUC (i.e. Zu Chongzhi, a famous Chinese scientist name in history). Certainly the new algorithm should be fundamentally different from SNOW 3G and AES, so that an attack on one algorithm is very unlikely to translate into an attack on the other.
The objective of this work item is to standardise a new algorithm in EPS. This will include the following tasks:
•To develop new algorithms for confidentiality and integrity protection for E-UTRAN
•To enable operators to quickly start to support the new algorithm
•Not to introduce any obstacle for R8 roaming UE
The following issues should at least be handled in the WI:
•Agree requirement specification with ETSI SAGE for development of new algorithms
•Delivery of algorithm specification, test data and design and evaluation reports
The algorithm is provided for 3GPP usage on royalty-free basis.
The algorithm shall undergo a sequential three-stage evaluation process involving first ETSI SAGE, then selected teams of cryptanalysts from academia and finally the general public.
The documents related to the EEA3 and EIA3 algorithm could be downloaded from here.