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Saturday, 30 June 2012

HSPA+ Evolution: Standards and Data Rates


From the 4G Americas white paper.

Friday, 29 June 2012

TD-LTE in China: Progress and Plan

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Multi-Vendor SON in Het-Net




From a presentation by Prof. Shahram G Niri, NEC in the LTE World Summit, Barcelona.

The complete presentation is available here.


Monday, 25 June 2012

LTE Small Cells, SON and HetNets



From a presentation by Prof. Shahram G Niri, NEC in the LTE World Summit, Barcelona.

The complete presentation is available here.

Monday, 18 June 2012

3GPP Release-12 and beyond


3GPP Recently held a workshop on "Release 12 and Onward" to identify common requirements for future 3GPP radio access technologies. The goal of the workshop is to investigate what are the main changes that could be brought forward to evolve RAN toward Release 12 and onward. It is recommended that presentations in the workshop include views on:
- Requirements
- Potential technologies
- Technology roadmap for Releases 12, 13 and after

The discussions from the workshop should be used to define the work plan for Release 12 and onward in TSG-RAN.

The list of presentations and links, etc. are below and I have also embedded the Summary and Draft report, both of which can be downloaded from 3GPP website or slideshare. Here is a list of different topics and the presentations that covered them:


AdHoc Networks
AdHoc Networks - RWS-120035


Antennas, Beamforming, Transmitters, Receivers
3D-beamforming - RWS-120002
Vertical sectorization/3D beamforming via AAS - RWS-120005
Advanced receivers and joint Tx/Rx optimisation - RWS-120005
Network assistance for IC receivers - RWS-120005
Support of Active Antenna Systems - RWS-120006
Advanced transmitter beamforming - RWS-120010
Advanced receiver cancellation - RWS-120010
Vertical and 3D beamforming - RWS-120011
MIMO Enhancements - RWS-120014
New antenna configurations and 3D MIMO - RWS-120014
UE AAS (Active Antenna System) [Detailed] - RWS-120015 / RWS-120049
Cloud of Antennas (CoA) Concept - RWS-120016
Support of Massive MIMO Technology - RWS-120016
Full Dimension MIMO (FD-MIMO) System [Detailed] - RWS-120021 / RWS-120046
Cloud-RAN: Benefits and Drawbacks - RWS-120021 / RWS-120046
Further Enhanced Receivers - RWS-120022
Multiple antenna evolution - RWS-120025
3D beamforming - RWS-120026
Vision of 3D MIMO - RWS-120029
Massive MIMO & 3D MIMO - RWS-120034
Potential MIMO Enhancements - RWS-120035
Advanced Antenna Technology - RWS-120035
DL MIMO Enhancement - RWS-120037
Performance Requirement for 8Rx at eNB - RWS-120037
UE Receiver Enhancements - RWS-120039
DL MU-MIMO Enhancement - RWS-120039
Enhancement of MIMO, CoMP - RWS-120040
Advanced MIMO - RWS-120040
MIMO and COMP - RWS-120041
Role of Advanced Receivers - RWS-120041
Advanced Interference Handling - RWS-120041
Interference Suppression Subframes (ISS) and IRC Receiver [Detailed] - RWS-120051


Applications (Apps)
Efficiency for diverse small data applications - RWS-120011
Device Service/Application Awareness - RWS-120018
I-Net:”I”-centric mobile network design philosophy - RWS-120024
Application Aware Comm - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050


Backhaul and Relay
Relay backhaul enhancement - RWS-120011
LTE Backhaul - RWS-120013
Relay - RWS-120025
CoMP, backhaul and X2 interface - RWS-120027 / RWS-120048
Mobile Relay And Relay Backhaul Enhancement - RWS-120029


Baseband
Baseband resource pooling and virtualization - RWS-120011


Capacity and Coverage
Higher system capacity - RWS-120010
Capacity for Mobile Broadband: Requirements and Candidate technologies - RWS-120012
Increase N/W capacity by 1000 times - RWS-120020
Coverage Enhancement - RWS-120037
Capacity Enhancement - RWS-120038 / RWS-120047
Cell-edge Throughput Improvement - RWS-120038 / RWS-120047


Carrier Aggregation, Flexible Bandwidths and Multiflow
LTE multiflow / Inter-site CA - RWS-120002
LTE/HSDPA Carrier Aggregation - RWS-120002
Multiflow Enhancements - RWS-120002
Multi-Stream Aggregation - RWS-120006
Provide mechanisms for Flexible Bandwidth Exploitation - RWS-120008
Carrier aggregation enhancement - RWS-120019
Inter-eNB Carrier Aggregation - RWS-120021 / RWS-120046
Evolution of Carrier Aggregation - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050
CA of Alternative Spectra - RWS-120042


Cells, Carriers, C/U Planes
C/U plane split & Phantom cell - RWS-120010
Phantom cell by single/separate nodes - RWS-120010
Phantom cell: Other topics - RWS-120010
New Carrier Type for Primary Component Carrier - RWS-120011
Flexible/Reconfigurable Cells - RWS-120023
New carrier-type (NCT) enhancements - RWS-120026
Amorphous cells - RWS-120034
New Carrier Types - RWS-120035
Non-Orthogonal Access - RWS-120039
Dynamic Area Construction for UE - RWS-120040


Cognitive Radio
Cognitive radio - RWS-120034
Cognitive Networking - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050


Coordinated MultiPoint (CoMP)
CoMP Enhancements - RWS-120014
CoMP/ICIC enhancement - RWS-120019
CoMP Enhancements - RWS-120023
CoMP enhancements - RWS-120026
CoMP Technologies - RWS-120027 / RWS-120048
Enhanced CoMP - RWS-120029
Potential CoMP Enhancements - RWS-120035
CoMP - RWS-120037
CoMP Enhancement for Indoor Environment - RWS-120040
Overhauling DL CoMP - RWS-120042


Device, Handsets, UE's
Additional UE Enhancements - RWS-120018
Coordination : Multi-mode UE - RWS-120024


D2D / Device-to-Device
Device-to-Device - RWS-120003
LTE Device to Device - Proximity Based Services - RWS-120004
LTE device to device - RWS-120007
LTE direct communication - RWS-120007
Device-to-Device Communications - RWS-120014
D2D Discovery/Communication - RWS-120016
3GPP Proximity Services (ProSe) / D2D - RWS-120022
Device-to-Device communications - RWS-120026
Device-to-Device communication - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050


Data Rates and Throughputs
Higher data rate and user-experienced throughput - RWS-120010
Fairness of user throughput - RWS-120010


Deployments
LTE in Local Area Deployments & Enhancements - RWS-120004
Energy Efficient Local Area Deployments - RWS-120004
Scaling for Mass Deployment - RWS-120008
Flexible and cost-efficient NW deployments - RWS-120010
Considerations on dense NW deployment - RWS-120019


Energy Consumption, Efficiency and Savings
Energy efficiency - RWS-120005
Reduce energy consumption - RWS-120008
Energy Saving - RWS-120014
UE Power Saving - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050
NB Power Saving - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050
Energy Saving Enhancements with CoMP - RWS-120040
Energy Saving with Centralized eNB - RWS-120040


Herogeneous Networks (HetNets)
Optimisation of Het Nets performance - RWS-120005
Improved Support for Heterogeneous Networks - RWS-120006
Network hyper-densification: LTE HetNet2.0 - RWS-120007
Multi-layer HetNet Deployments - RWS-120016
HetNet for HSPA - RWS-120017
HetNet Enhancements - RWS-120023
HetNet Mobility - RWS-120029
Small cells & HetNet - RWS-120031
HetNet - RWS-120037
HetNet Enhancements for HeNB - RWS-120040


HSDPA / HSUPA / HSPA+ Enhancements
HSPA UL Enhancements - RWS-120003
Uplink Enhancements - RWS-120006
UMTS evolution: enhancing CS voice on DCH - RWS-120007
High Speed Packet Access - RWS-120012
HSPA RRM enhancement - RWS-120024
HSPA+ further evolution - RWS-120034


Interworking (HSPA, LTE)
Coordination : HSPA/LTE e-interworking - RWS-120024
Inter-RAT Coordination/CA - RWS-120037


Local-Area Access (Small Cells)
Local-Area Access - RWS-120003
LTE in Local Area Deployments & Enhancements - RWS-120004
LTE Local Area Enhancements - RWS-120004
LTE Local Area Enhancement Areas - RWS-120004
enhanced Local Area (eLA) - RWS-120010
Local Area Enhancements - RWS-120022
Improved Local Area Mobility - RWS-120022


LTE
LTE for Nomadic and Fixed Use - RWS-120018
E-PDCCH enhancement - RWS-120019
Efficiency : Paging Optimization - RWS-120024


LTE Hotspot and Indoor Enhancements (LTE-Hi)
Hotspot and Indoor Enhancements (LTE-Hi) - RWS-120006
Hotspot/indoor Scenario (LTE-Hi) - RWS-120025
Indoor & Hotspot Enhancements (LTE-Hi) [Detailed] - RWS-120029
Possible Study Items for Indoor Environment - RWS-120040


M2M / Machine Type Communications (MTC)
Machine Type Communications - RWS-120003
Improved Support for MTC - RWS-120006
Machine-to-Machine: The Internet of Things - RWS-120014
Machine Type Communications: a new ecosystem - RWS-120014
Wireless MTC and RAN optimizations for MTC - RWS-120016
Low-Cost MTC UE - RWS-120017
MTC + eDDA (enhanced Diverse data application) - RWS-120019
Further Enhancements to Support MTC - RWS-120023
MTC - RWS-120025
MTC enhancements - RWS-120026
M2M - RWS-120029
MTC and migration of traffic from 2G - RWS-120031
Machine Type Communications enhancements - RWS-120034
Machine Type Communications - RWS-120035
Extension triggered by growing M2M traffic - RWS-120038 / RWS-120047
LTE-based M2M - RWS-120041


MBMS / eMBMS
eMBMS Enhancements - RWS-120007
eMBMS - RWS-120013
UHD Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050


Mesh Networks
Mesh Networks - RWS-120018


Network Density
Network density: Scenarios - RWS-120010


Network Architecture and Operation
Easier network operation, tolerance to failure - RWS-120005
System Architecture - RWS-120032
Evolution of LTE Networks - RWS-120034


Positioning
Positioning Enhancements - RWS-120006


Public Safety
Public Safety - RWS-120030
Operation of Public Safety System via LTE - RWS-120031
Public safety’s future in LTE [Detailed] - RWS-120033


Self Organising Networks (SON) and Minimisation of Drive Testing (MDT)
SON Evolution - RWS-120002
Enhanced MDT - RWS-120011
Network Self-Optimisation - RWS-120014
SON and MDT - RWS-120017
HetNet SON - RWS-120029
MDT & Energy Saving - RWS-120029
Autonomous Interference Coordination - RWS-120029
Large scale multi-layer centralized cooperative radio - RWS-120034
MDT Enhancement - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050
SON Enhancements - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050
MDT and eDDA - RWS-120041


Small Cells (HNB/HeNB)
UMTS evolution: small cells - RWS-120007
Wide & Local area enhancements - RWS-120010
Small Cells - RWS-120014
Small Cell Enhancement in Rel-12 - RWS-120021 / RWS-120046
HeNB Enhancement - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050
Efficient Usage of Macro and Small Cells - RWS-120038 / RWS-120047
Low-cost Low Power Nodes (LC-LPN) - RWS-120038 / RWS-120047
Small-Cell Improvements: System Aspects - RWS-120041


Spectrum
Enhanced spectrum efficiency - RWS-120005
Spectrum efficiency: eLA topics - RWS-120010
Scenarios for spectrum extension - RWS-120010
Spectrum and spectrum usage - RWS-120012
Wider Spectrum Utilization - RWS-120016
Spectral efficiency for LTE - RWS-120017
New Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Access - RWS-120021 / RWS-120046
Enabling Technologies for New Spectrum - RWS-120021 / RWS-120046
Radio Propagation - RWS-120021 / RWS-120046
Opportunistic Use of Unlicensed Spectrum for D2D Local Traffic - RWS-120023
Flexible Spectrum Utilization - RWS-120024
Spectrum Related: New Bands And CA Band Combinations - RWS-120029
Spectrum - RWS-120032
Hybrid access scheme - RWS-120034
Spectrum - RWS-120035
Spectrum and Transmission Efficiency - RWS-120039
Spectrum-Agile LTE - RWS-120041


TDD / TD-LTE
TD-LTE - RWS-120014
TDD-specific aspects - RWS-120014
TDD adaptive reconfiguration - RWS-120034
Efficient Usage of Dual Duplex Modes - RWS-120038 / RWS-120047
LTE TDD Small-Cell versus WiFi - RWS-120041


Testing
Testing and Certification - RWS-120022


Traffic and Signalling Overhead
Efficient support of diverse traffic characteristics - RWS-120005
Efficient support for variety of traffic types - RWS-120010
Enhancements for variety of traffic types - RWS-120010
Very high traffic (and signalling) scenarios - RWS-120017
Control Plane Overhead Reduction - RWS-120021 / RWS-120046
Further Enhancements to Support Diverse Data Applications - RWS-120023
Efficiency : Small data services in high mobility - RWS-120024


User Experience
Improve User experience - RWS-120009
User Challenges - RWS-120032


Video streaming, call
RAN Enhancements for Video Streaming QoE - RWS-120023
RAN Enhancements for Internet Video Call - RWS-120023


WiFi / WLAN
Cooperation between LTE/HSPA and WiFi - RWS-120005
Unlicensed spectrum: LTE & WLAN - RWS-120007
LTE integration with other RATs - RWS-120014
WiFi integration: For Beyond Rel-12 - RWS-120017
LTE-WLAN Interworking - RWS-120023
Coordination With WiFi - RWS-120029
Smarter opportunistic usage of Wi-Fi - RWS-120031
LTE TDD Small-Cell versus WiFi - RWS-120041


Others
Other identified techniques for LTE - RWS-120005
Efficient Transactions - RWS-120035
Link Enhancement Considerations - RWS-120035
Intra-RAT cooperation / Inter-RAT cooperation - RWS-120036 / RWS-120050


Here is the summary from the workshop:

Complete list of Presentations

RWS-120002Release 12 and beyond for C^4 (Cost, Coverage, Coordination with small cells and Capacity)NSN
RWS-120003Views on Rel-12Ericsson & ST-Ericsson
RWS-120004LTE evolving towards Local Area in Release 12 and beyondNokia Corporation
RWS-120005Views on Release 12Orange
RWS-120006Views on Rel-12 and onwards for LTE and UMTSHuawei Technologies, HiSilicon
RWS-1200073GPP RAN Rel-12 & BeyondQualcomm
RWS-120008New Solutions for New Mobile Broadband ScenariosTelefonica
RWS-120009Telecom Italia requirements on 3GPP evolutionTelecom Italia
RWS-120010Requirements, Candidate Solutions & Technology Roadmap for LTE Rel-12 OnwardNTT DOCOMO, INC.
RWS-120011Where to improve Rel-12 and beyond: Promising technologiesNEC
RWS-120012Deutsche Telekom Requirements and Candidate TechnologiesDeutsche Telekom
RWS-120013Release 12 Prioritization ConceptsDish Networks
RWS-120014Towards LTE RAN EvolutionAlcatel-Lucent
RWS-120015UE AAS (Active Antenna System)Magnolia Broadband
RWS-120016Requirements and Technical Considerations for RAN Rel.12 & OnwardsFujitsu Limited
RWS-120017Operator requirements on future RAN functionalityTeliaSonera
RWS-120018AT&T View of Release 12 in the North America MarketplaceAT&T
RWS-120019Major drivers, requirements and technology proposals for LTE Rel-12 OnwardPanasonic
RWS-120020Efficient spectrum resource usage for next-generation N/WSK Telecom
RWS-120021Technologies for Rel-12 and onwardsSamsung Electronics
RWS-120022LTE Rel-12 and BeyondRenesas Mobile Europe
RWS-120023LTE Rel-12 and Beyond: Requirements and Technology ComponentsIntel
RWS-120024Considerations on further enhancement and evolution of UMTS/LTE network in R12 and onwardsChina Unicom
RWS-120025Views on LTE R12 and BeyondCATT
RWS-120026A proposal for potential technologies for Release 12 and onwardsETRI
RWS-120027A view on requirements on Rel-12 and onwards from an operator’s viewpointSoftbank Mobile
RWS-120028India market Requirements for Rel. 12 and beyondCEWiT
RWS-120029Views on LTE Rel-12 & BeyondCMCC
RWS-120030LTE addressing the needs of the Public Safety CommunityIPWireless
RWS-120031Vodafone view on 3GPP RAN Release 12 and beyondVodafone
RWS-120032An Operator’s View of Release 12 and BeyondSprint
RWS-120033Public Safety Requirements for Long Term Evolution REL-12U.S. Department of Commerce
RWS-120034Views on 3GPP Rel-12 and BeyondZTE
RWS-120035Considerations for LTE Rel-12 and beyondMotorola Mobility
RWS-120036LG’s view on evolution of LTE in Release 12 and beyondLG Electronics
RWS-120037Views on REL-12 and OnwardsChina Telecom
RWS-120038KDDI’s Views on LTE Release 12 onwardsKDDI
RWS-120039Evolving RAN Towards Rel-12 and BeyondSHARP
RWS-120040Views on enhancement of system capacity and energy efficiency toward Release12 and onwardHitachi
RWS-120041Beyond LTE-A: MediaTek’s view on R12MediaTek
RWS-120042Potential Technologies and Road Map for LTE Release 12 and BeyondITRI, HTC
RWS-120043New concept to maximize the benefit of interference rejection at the UE receiver: interference suppression subframes (ISS)Broadcom
RWS-120046Technologies for Rel-12 and onwardsSamsung Electronics
RWS-120047KDDI’s Views on LTE Release 12 onwardsKDDI
RWS-120048A view on Rel-12 and onwards from an operator’s viewpointSoftbank Mobile
RWS-120049UE AAS (Active Antenna System)Magnolia Broadband
RWS-120050LG’s view on evolution of LTE in Release 12 and beyondLG Electronics
RWS-120051New concept to maximize the benefit of interference rejection at the UE receiver: interference suppression subframes (ISS)Broadcom

More technically minded people want to explore the 3GPP website for the workshop links here: http://3gpp.org/ftp/workshop/2012-06-11_12_RAN_REL12/

Draft report that gives more insight into the presentations as follows:


Saturday, 16 June 2012

1 Billion Augmented Reality (AR) users by 2020

It has been slow but I am getting more and more convinced that AR can do far more than what we think it can. Part of my pessimism was due to the fact that this is placed on the Peak of Inflated expectations on the Gartner Hype cycle and was predicted to go to the trough. But in the end success depends of what the available apps are like.

Part of my optimism stems from the fact that things have been changing rapidly. Take for example the 'Augmented Future' video. When I watched it I thought this would happen but maybe quite a few years down the road. Then came the 'Project Glass' video and suddenly you are thinking from 'how it would be done' to 'when will this be available'. The latest news I read was that the prototypes are being tested Google's offices.

I am sure the first few releases would be far from perfect and will have few features, security issues, etc. but we certainly think its possible. I dont know its working but it could be actually synched with a device in your pocket and is just an add on that communicates via something like Bluetooth.

In a recent event, Intel showed off their new Ultrabook features using Augmented Reality. See the video:



And there is another video of BBC frozen planet where people can put themselves with the Augmented creatures. See below:



These just go to show what can be done via Augmented reality. With more and more powerful devices that are available to us at reasonable prices, all that needs to be done is to create Apps and they will find the users trying to make most out of them.

I have already posted some videos and presentations from an event back in March that talk more about the apps and the platforms here.

The idea of 1 Billion AR users is not mine but has been used by Tomi Ahonen in a recent TEDx presentation and his blog post. The TEDx video as follows:



You can read  more about Tomi's idea on Aurmented Reality in his blog post here.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Three Phases of WiFi Integration


From a presentation by Ericsson in the LTE World Summit 2012. Presentation available here.

Operator WiFi is becoming an important proposition and there are advantages and disadvantages of both of them. The above picture summarises the phases in which it may take place.

See also:

Thursday, 14 June 2012

We want our devices everywhere; one pic summarises it all


Maybe an opportunity for a 'tPad' or a 'toilet pad'. This is from a presentation in LTE World Summit 2012. The presentation is available here if interested.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

#FWIC: OTT Stats, Facts and Figures

The 4th Future of Wireless International Conference (#FWIC) is 2 weeks away and the main theme of the conference is "The Reshaping of the Mobile Industry". In some of the recent conferences I have attended, OTT has been one of the main topic of discussion and a concern for the operators. The operators are at the top of the food chain, whatever affects them eventually affects the other players within the mobile industry. With this is mind, we have prepared a document that collects all the figures in one place to be used as a handy reference for quoting stats and figures.
The above presentation is available to download from Slideshare here.

The agenda for the conference is available here. I am also chairing track 4 on day 1, "Where next for devices" so please feel free to join us in the discussion if devices are an area of your interest.

You can also connect with the other attendees of the conference on Linkedin here.

Finally, here is my summary of the event from last year. I look forward to meeting all of you who will be attending this event.

Monday, 11 June 2012

The 'Virtual' Femtocell and a competition for OTT Apps

Over the last few months we have been thinking of so many ideas around small cells and this is something that we thought. It looks very simple and straightforward and having talked to a few small cells experts, off the record, none of them seem to be able to see anything wrong with this concept. With the 'Small Cells World Summit' just round the corner I am sure this could be something worth a discussion.

I am explaining the concept using an HSPA+ setup but there is no reason why this would not work in an LTE Setup. This is a typical connection for HSPA+ Femtocell setup with the gateway acting as a concentrator for all Iuh connections and having a single Iu connection towards the core. I have not shown CS/PS connection separately for simplicity. 
We propose a 'Virtual' or 'Invisible' Femtocell concept where we think that the Femtocell is redundant but the concept can be used to avoid the coverage and capacity problems faced by the operators and at the same time avoid the 'Signalling storm', atleast on the access network side. Now most smartphones have WiFi stack inbuilt. For this concept to work, WiFi in the phone is a must. Instead of having a Femtocell in between, a modified stack could be embedded in the phone itself. The output of the phone over WiFi are the Iuh messages that can terminate at the gateway and no difference would be needed from the core network side. This is illustrated in the picture below.
The phones would also need to have an enhanced UI to be able to allow a user to select only this option when roaming. You don't want a situation where the user thinks that he is camped on the 'Virtual' femtocell and making/receiving calls while he is not and run up a huge bill.

Advantages of this approach:

  • The Femtocells are no longer really needed and the end customer does not require to buy a separate equipment, which is different for different operators.
  • The phones can be working whenever a reliable WiFi connection is available, even if they are abroad without incurring costly roaming charges.
  • Some operators that do not have a lot of spectrum available avoid using Femtocells as they can cause interference and black holes in the coverage. 
  • There is no worry of a femtocell being used abroad illegally thereby causing interference with spectrum in another country.
  • Some security issues can be totally avoided and it would be worth for the operators that the keys being used cannot be seen by others.
  • A lot of people use OTT apps like Skype, Viber, Whatsapp when abroad, being camped on WiFi to avoid costly roaming charges. This approach would mean that the normal Voice and Messaging becomes similar to OTT and can help operator avoid losing out to the OTT apps. 


Disadvantages of this approach:

  • WiFi spectrum is already congested and does not always give reliable coverage.
  • Security issues would have to be looked in detail to make sure this would be secure enough. Since this concept is similar to creating a VPN between the phone and the gateway, I wouldnt think there would be any issues though.
  • Roaming revenues are a big cash cow for the operators, most of them would be unwilling to lose this if the phones are using this approach.

I think this concept is more suitable for the Residential Femtocells rather than the other Small Cells (enterprise, metro, pico, etc.) and there will always be a need for them. The main reason being that on a large scale, WiFi is extremely unreliable, prone to interference and not future proofed. A new device may cause interference that may take forever to resolve. Operating a small cell in the licensed spectrum would always make sense and the reliability would be much higher.

If you think this makes sense please click the 'Useful' checkbox so that I know.

As a company we are always looking to engage with other companies to discuss similar ideas. If you are a company dealing with Small Cells and are open to discussing similar ideas, please let us know.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

On Signalling Storm... #LTEWS


The Signalling Storm is coming, its not the question of 'if' but when. This was the unanimous message from the Signaling Focus Day of the 8th LTE World Summit 2012. Several high profile outages have been associated to the Signalling storm, NTT Docomo and Verizon being the main one. Luckily the Telenor outage was due to software issues.

The problem is divided into two parts, the Access network part where the Air Interface is the bottleneck and the core network part which can easily be swamped by the overwhelming amount of Signalling due to more intelligent billing system and always on devices with background applications generating much more amount of traffic as would have on an older system. Lets look at them in turn.

Core Network Signalling Storm:

As I reported earlier, Diameter has been highlighted as a way of salvation for the operators with dozens of use cases but due to its immaturity has caused outages and have given it a bad name. As Connected Planet mentions, "According to one signaling expert, launching the iPhone’s browser, for example, instantly sets off about fifteen individual network signaling requests. Beyond that, 4G network software elements supporting increasingly sophisticated mobile service scenarios “talk” to each other at rates that traditional TDM/SS7-based networks never had to deal with." Hopefully a stable implementation of Diameter protocol will help not only solve the signalling storm but will help generate new models for charging and revenue generation.

A presentation by Ed Gubbins of Current Analysis, comparing the big vendors of Diameter Signalling is available here.

Access Network Signalling Storm:

My thinking is that the Core Network Signalling problem will become an issue some years down the road whereas the Access Network Signalling problem will be seen sooner rather than later. In fact for 3G/HSPA the problem is becoming more visible as the market has matured and more and more users are moving towards using smartphones, Since LTE rollouts are in its infancy (in most markets) the problem is still some way away.

One of the reasons for Signalling storm is the incorrect APN name. I reported earlier about Telefonica's approach to solve this problem by using 'Parking APN', see here.

Also embedded below are couple of presentations from the Signalling Focus day that talk about the problem from Access Network point of view



Other Interesting Reading Material

Finally there is an excellent whitepaper from Heavy Reading titled "The Evolution of the Signalling Challenge in 3G & 4G networks", available here to download.

Another excellent article summarising the problem is from Huawei magazine available here.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Integration of Wi-Fi with Cellular Networks

Presented by Tiago Rodrigues in the ITM Optimisation event in Prague on 18th April 2012.

There is another paper by NSN on the same topic that is available here

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Right Pricing LTE ... and Mobile Broadband in general

by Kim Kyllesbech Larsen at the 8th LTE World Summit, 22th May 2012, Barcelona, Spain.

Note by Dr. Kim: I should emphasize that this presentation really is a Technologist's view on mobile data pricing and not that of a Pricing Professional (whatever that might mean) responsible for pricing today's (maybe even tomorrows) mobile data products.

Friday, 1 June 2012

On LTE Roaming ...

The IP eXchange (IPX) is used for data when the users roam between different networks. GPRS Roaming eXchange (GRX) is a service within IPX. One of the main areas of discussion within the LTE World Summit 2012 in the Signalling Focus day was roaming on LTE. Different vendors have different proposals and solutions; couple of them are as follows:



Interesting to see that iBasis has proposed LTE Signalling eXchange (LSX) as a way forward.

A presentation from Acme Packet (for an earlier conference) has interesting VoLTE roaming options proposal.

Finally, while everyone was focussing on LTE-LTE roaming, only Diametriq was looking at LTE-LTE/3G/2G Roaming. The relevant part of their presentation is embedded below.
Happy to hear more on this topic if anyone else wants to contribute. Please feel free to add comments.