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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Hotspot 2.0, Next Generation Hotspot (NGH), etc.


From ZDNET:


Hotspot 2.0 is about certifying the hotspot itself, providing authentication using SIMs or certificates and the 802.11i standard, and using the recent 802.11u standard to provide performance and other information about the hotspots visible to a device. This will allow you to roam onto a hotspot with good connectivity that you have the right account to use, doing away with the need to select the network or enter your details into a web page, as you do today.

The Wi-Fi Alliance deals with the Wi-Fi hardware and the authentication specification under the name Passpoint, but this certification doesn't cover everything. The Wireless Broadband Alliance is a group of mobile and Wi-Fi operators that takes the Passpoint certification and ensures interoperability with other parts of the network — including authenticating to carriers' remote access RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) servers, as well as roaming and billing.

"Next Generation Hotspot is the implementation of Hotspot 2.0 into a real, live network", explains Nigel Bird, the NGH Standardisation Manager at Orange Group.

From Next Generation Hotspot whitepaper:


A new program called Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) - using the latest HotSpot 2.0 specification1 - allows a mobile subscriber to connect automatically and securely to Hotspots using his service provider credentials while maintaining roaming visibility for the operator. NGH enables operators to continuously monitor and manage “cellular-like” service over Wi-Fi domestically and internationally so as to enhance performance and meet the demand for mobile data services over heterogeneous RANs - cellular and Wi-Fi. This enables mobile operators to simultaneously optimize backhaul throughput, offload specific traffic rapidly (e.g. video) and achieve better economics than traditional, cellular-only solutions.

The Wireless Broadband Appliance (WBA) and Small Cells Forum recently announced collaboration on this topic, see here.

More details are available in this presentation embedded below:



Monday, 26 November 2012

'LTE' and 'Small Cells' specific applications

Some 4 years back, I posted my first presentation here, titled "LTE Femtocells: Stepping stone for 'killer apps' presentation". I had couple of apps in mind that I thought could benefit from both LTE and Small Cells (or Femtocells to be specific).

The first was your phone acting as a Wireless Hard Disk Drive (HDD) that can be used to store things remotely in a server somewhere. This is similar to what is known as the Cloud nowadays.

Picture Source: Dialaphone.

The other day when I read why LTE is suitable for cloud connectivity, I could see that my old idea could start to become a reality. The article is here. Selective abstract as follows:


The LTE network lends itself well to cloud connectivity because it:
  • provides high-bandwidth connections
  • is IP- and Ethernet-oriented, the technologies used to connect to the cloud and within data centers
  • offers tools that operators didn't have in 2G and 3G (such as more granular ability to manage traffic flows and a better, DPI-based view of traffic running on the network)
  • features low latency, which is vital to the small flows and sessions that characterize M2M communications.
The rise of both cloud services and LTE creates a virtuous cycle. Cloud services continue to grow, which helps operators sustain their LTE business model. That growth enables them to accelerate LTE investments. Then operators can support new types of enterprise services, including cloud-based applications.
To take full advantage of this opportunity, operators have to deploy the right backhaul infrastructure. In addition to IP awareness and content awareness, the right backhaul network can leverage the technical advantages that LTE presents:
  • flattened architecture that helps distribute compute and storage resources
  • seamless migration from 2G and 3G for various physical mediums and networking protocols
  • an increase in capacity that starts to put mobile connectivity on par with fixed broadband access.


My reasoning for Small Cell here is, in most cases when you are doing operations that require large amounts of data to be transferred, you will be indoors, either at home or in office or in a low mobility scenario. The requirement for high security and at the same time high speed data transfer that should not be affected by other users in the cell (capacity issues) can be easily solved by using a Small cell (Femtocell for indoors, Metrocell for outdoors).


The other application I had in mind was the Home Security System. I read the following on TotalTele the other day:


3UK's wholesale division on Friday detailed plans to capture high-margin machine-to-machine traffic by partnering with service providers that are likely to have higher-than-average bandwidth requirements.
As a 3G-only operator, the company cannot go after high volume, low margin M2M traffic because it typically only requires a 2G connection. However, there are opportunities to use its 3G network to address more data-hungry verticals that will generate higher traffic volumes.
"The margin on one CCTV M2M connection is more than 50 times bigger than the margin on a smart meter connection," claimed Tom Gardner, lead wholesale manager at 3UK, during Breakfast with Total Telecom in London.
"There is one CCTV camera for every 14 people in the U.K.," he said. "If I can put a SIM in every one of them I'll be a very happy man."
3UK, which on Thursday launched its Ericsson-based wholesale M2M platform, sees a big opportunity in CCTV, particularly for mobile and temporary installations at festivals, for instance. Other potentially lucrative sectors it has identified include digital signage, back-up for fixed Internet connections, and backhauling WiFi traffic from public transport.


I am sure some of you may be thinking that '3' UK uses HSPA network, not LTE, which is true. The point here is that it could be done better using LTE and Small Cells.

The reason for using LTE would be to provide higher data rates, meaning that information can be sent faster, with higher resolution and more regularly. This will help identify the problems earlier. If the CCTV is used indoors or in high usage areas, it would make sense that it connects via Small Cell to avoid creating capacity issues in the Macro network.

Here is the embed again, of my old presentation just in case if it interests you:




Saturday, 24 November 2012

Connected Lighting of the future

This is an advertisement from Philips about their personal wireless lighting system called Hue. This is also the reason why we say that in future everything would be connected and with its own IP address (though this is not the case in Hue).


With Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more mainstream, it would be interesting to see these things becoming more popular and we will hopefully see more interesting apps.

This article makes an interesting reading too.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Quick Introduction to LTE-Advanced

An article written by me for the Mobile Europe magazine where I try and explain LTE-A without going in technical details. This also includes the state of market on who is doing what.


Friday, 16 November 2012

Evolution of 'Internet of Things' to 'Internet of Everything' #IoE



Will the 'Internet of Humans' and the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) evolve into 'Internet of Everything' (IoE). This is certainly what Dave Evans, the Cisco Futurist thinks. This is from his blog:


From the Internet of Things (IoT), where we are today, we are just beginning to enter a new realm: the Internet of Everything (IoE), where things will gain context awareness, increased processing power, and greater sensing abilities. Add people and information into the mix and you get a network of networks where billions or even trillions of connections create unprecedented opportunities and give things that were silent a voice.

As more things, people, and data become connected, the power of the Internet (essentially a network of networks) grows exponentially. This thinking (“Metcalfe’s law”) comes from Robert Metcalfe, well-known technologist and founder of 3Com, who stated that the value of a network increases proportionately to the square of the number of users. In essence, the power of the network is greater than the sum of its parts, making the Internet of Everything, incredibly powerful.


You can read more here.

See Also:


Friday, 9 November 2012

Virgin Media's offering on SCaaS

I have blogged about FaaS in the past that is now undergoing trials. I also blogged about SCaaS from our last Cambridge Wireless event that shows the seperation between the operator and the services provided by Small Cell service provider. In the recent Small Cells Global congress, Kevin Baughan from Virgin Media gave an interesting talk on their recent trials. This is the architecture they are proposing.  

They would do site acquisition and maintenance, provide the backhaul and power, any mobile network operator (MNO) can come and put their small cell on the furniture to provide the coverage. I am not sure if multiple operators would pitch for the same sites but I wouldnt think of this as a problem as I am sure there would be multiple sites available in the same location.

A real killer from Virgin media could have been that it does something similar to Free, the French mobile operator that has apparently got Femtocells inbuilt in the set top boxes.

We will have to wait and see how many operators are willing to have third party host their small cells and how many.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

CSFB Performance

Here is another presentation from Qualcomm from the '4G World'.



With regards to SI Tunneling mentioned in the presentation, I found the following in another Qualcomm whitepapers:


With Release 9 Enhanced Release with Redirection—SI Tunneling, the device follows 3GPP release 9, where SIB information can be tunneled from the target Radio Access Network (RAN) via the core network to the source RAN and be included in the redirection message sent to the device. This can avoid reading any SIBs on the target cell. 

The predominant solutions deployed today are based on Release 8 Release with Redirection — SIB Skipping, in order to achieve good call setup times, good reliability, and simplify deployments. It is anticipated that Release 9 Enhanced Release with Redirection will be deployed in the near future. At this time, there is not as much push for handover-based CSFB since both Release 8 Release with Redirection—SIB Skipping and Release 9 Enhanced Release with Redirection—SI Tunneling have largely addressed any call setup time issues that may have existed with the Basic Release with Redirection solution.


I have blogged on this topic before, here.

More on Dual Radio here and SVLTE here.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

17 LTE Voice Modes

No wonder why LTE chipsets are complicated.


From Qualcomm's presentation in 4G World, available here.

Monday, 5 November 2012

3GPP Standards Self Organizing Networks

The following is a presentation by 3GPP on Self-Organising Networks in the SON Conference 2012:



A basic tutorial on SON is available also on 3GPP website here.

A detailed list of 3GPP work items on SON is available to view and download from here.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

‘Small Cells’ and the City



My presentation from the Small Cells Global Congress 2012. Please note that this presentation was prepared at a very short notice so may not be completely accurate. Comments more than welcome.