Sunday, 30 June 2013

Multi-RAT mobile backhaul for Het-Nets

Recently got another opportunity to hear from Andy Sutton, Principal Network Architect, Network Strategy, EE. His earlier presentation from our Cambridge Wireless event is here. There were many interesting bits in this presentation and some of the ones I found interesting is as follows:

Interesting to see in the above that the LTE traffic in the backhaul is separated by the QCI (QoS Class Identifiers - see here) as opposed to the 2G/3G traffic.

This is EE's implementation. As you may notice 2G and 4G use SRAN (Single RAN) while 3G is separate. As I mentioned a few times, I think 3G networks will probably be switched off before the 2G networks, mainly because there are a lot more 2G M2M devices that requires little data to be sent and not consume lots of energy (which is an issue in 3G), so this architecture may be suited well.

Finally, a practical network implementation which looks different from the text book picture and the often touted 'flat' architecture. Andy did mention that they see a ping latency of 30-50ms in the LTE network as opposed to around 100ms in the UMTS networks.

Mark Gilmour was able to prove this point practically.

Here is the complete presentation:

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Timing Accuracy and Phase Performance Requirements in LTE/LTE-A/4G

Nice quick summary videos from Chronos.

If you are interested in learning more on this topic or discussions, I would recommend joining the Phase Ready Linkedin group.

Monday, 24 June 2013

3 Band Carrier Aggregation in Release-12

So it looks like in the latest 3GPP RAN meeting finally more than 2 carriers have been proposed for Carrier Aggregation. The TDoclist has a few items on 3 carriers for CA. In some cases its been specified that there is 1 uplink component carrier (1UL CC) but in other cases its not specified and I have not looked into details. Its good to finally see more than 2 carriers being discussed.

Rohde&Schwarz have explained in one of their whitepapers about the numbering of CA bands.

Now there is a possibility that we may have 2 contiguous bands and 1 band from an Inter-band so the naming would be accordingly. There are also going to be new carrier types (NCT), Band 29 for example. See details here.

Finally, If you want to learn more about Carrier Aggregation (CA) or other LTE-Advanced features, my article from last year, here, would be useful.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Economical M2M using LTE - #LTEWS

In the upcoming LTE World Summit 2013 (programme here), I will be doing a briefing on the topic 'Economical M2M using LTE'. I have some ideas but I would like to hear more on what you think? In fact, is LTE the right technology from the M2M device point of view? Or do they better stick to 2G (I dont think 3G is good enough generally from low data M2M point of view). What other issues can be foreseen? Security? Roaming?
A recent presentation from Telefonica shows how they are partnering with other operators worldwide to create universal solutions. Will this help? Why not use these solutions for everything, not just LTE? LTE is data only technology isn't it?

The presentation is embedded below to draw your own conclusion but I an interested in hearing your thoughts on Twitter or here on the blog.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Five Future Technologies (#FutureTech) we may see soon in our devices!

Remember 'Internet of Everything' rather than 'Internet of Things', here is a recent Cisco video explaining this vision:

You can read more on these topics on Cisco blogs.

Next is the self-healing technology:

Spray-on clothes
These will go very well with phones where you can spray paint phone covers and maybe if its possible to dissolve the skin and re-use it, it would be an added bonus.

Just think how the technology used to design Robots can enable flexible phones and other devices.

With sensors becoming smaller and cheaper, more of them are being put in our devices. Many years back people were saying that breath analysers could be available in mobiles but I guess there wasnt a business case for that. Also many of these sensors have come as part of Bluetooth add-ons to keep the cost/weight/size of the device down. Now there is a possibility of whole new range of sensors coming to our devices.

You can read more details on this here.

Finally, there is always one user who would ask me why is there no mention of LTE in the videos above so here is a **bonus** video.

I have to mention that this didnt sound very convincing to me as a selling point. Its like back in the year 2000, 3G was being sold as an enabler to the must have 'Video calling'.

Friday, 7 June 2013

3GPP Public Safety focus in Rel-12

Public Safety is still a hot topic in the standards discussion and on this blog as well. Two recent posts containing presentations have been viewed and downloaded like hotcakes. See here and here.

3GPP presented on this topic in the Critical Communications World that took place last month. The following is from the 3GPP press release:

The ’Critical Communications World’ conference, held recently in Paris, has focused largely on the case for LTE standardized equipment to bring broadband access to professional users, by meeting their high demands for reliability and resilience.
Balazs Bertenyi, the 3GPP SA Chair, reported on the latest status of the first 3GPP features for public safety, in particular those covering Proximity services (Direct mode) and Group call. He spoke of the need to strike a balance between more or less customisation, to make use of commercial products while meeting the specific requirements for Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR).
To ensure that these needs are met, Balazs Bertenyi called for the wholehearted participation of the critical communications community in 3GPP groups, by sending the right people to address the technical questions and obstacles that arise during the creation of work items.

A presentation and video from that event is embedded below:

For more details see here.

Monday, 3 June 2013

New Carrier Type (NCT) in Release-12 and Band 29

One of the changes being worked on and is already available in Release-11 is the Band 29. Band 29 is a special FDD band which only has a downlink component and no uplink component. The intention is that this band is available an an SCell (Secondary cell) in CA (Carrier Aggregation). 

What this means is that if this is only available as an SCell, any UE that is pre-Rel-11 should not try to use this band. It should not read the system information, reference information, etc. In fact the System Information serves little or no purpose as in CA, the PCell will provide the necessary information for this SCell when adding it using the RRC Reconfiguration message. This gives rise to what 3GPP terms as New Carrier Type for LTE as defined here. An IEEE paper published not long back is embedded below that also describes this feature in detail. 

The main thing to note from the IEEE paper is what they have shown as the unnecessary information being removed to make the carrier lean.

China Mobile, in their Rel-12 workshop presentation, have suggested 3 different types/possibilities for the NCT for what they call as LTE-Hi (Hi = Hotspot and Indoor).

Ericsson, in their Rel-12 whitepaper mention the following with regards to NCT:

Network energy efficiency is to a large extent an implementation issue. However, specific features of the LTE technical specifications may improve energy efficiency. This is especially true for higher-power macro sites, where a substantial part of the energy consumption of the cell site is directly or indirectly caused by the power amplifier.

The energy consumption of the power amplifiers currently available is far from proportional to the power-amplifier output power. On the contrary, the power amplifier consumes a non-negligible amount of energy even at low output power, for example when only limited control signaling is being transmitted within an “empty” cell.

Minimizing the transmission activity of such “always-on” signals is essential, as it allows base stations to turn off transmission circuitry when there is no data to transmit. Eliminating unnecessary transmissions also reduces interference, leading to improved data rates at low to medium load in both homogeneous as well as heterogeneous deployments.

A new carrier type is considered for Release 12 to address these issues. Part of the design has already taken place within 3GPP, with transmission of cell-specific reference signals being removed in four out of five sub frames. Network energy consumption can be further improved by enhancements to idle-mode support.

The IEEE paper I mentioned above is as follows:

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Everything you wanted to know on Cloud Encryption

Cloud has been in the news recently for not the right reasons. The main worry with cloud is not just where your data is located and who can have access to it but also if some rogue person or institution gets access what they will do with your data. Then there is also an issue of which third party programs are allowed to access your data and they may not be as strict in complying with the security requiremenys as the original cloud platform.

I like Dropbox (even though I am still a free user) but it is used as an example in many case studies for security related to cloud. A quick search on Google and some useful links summarising the issues with Dropbox security here, here and here.

A user on slideshare recently uploaded many presentations from the Cloud Asia 2013 in Singapore here. One of the presentations that I really liked is embedded below.

The two main things from the presentation that I really want to highlight is the Worldwide compliance which can be a bit of an issue once you want to offer your service universally and the other is the different level of encryption that is required to keep the data secure. Pictures of both as follows:

Enjoy the presentation: