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Showing posts with label Broadband. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Broadband. Show all posts

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Bandwidth is not the answer – it’s stationarity


Martin Geddes did an interesting presentation in Future of Broadband workshop. The ITU has the following write-up on that workshop

Eye-opening, evangelical and extremely well attended: this afternoon’s Future of Broadband workshop was all about exploding established concepts on how telcos should go about improving both customer experience and their bottom line.
Ranking broadband in terms of speed is the standard approach, but speed is not the only thing that matters in this business, according to Martin Geddes of Geddes Consulting, running the workshop in conjunction with Neill Davies of Predictable Network Solutions.  He illustrated his point with a series of examples drawn from customers accessing broadband at different speeds – but with unexpectedly different experiences.
Slower broadband, whether over cable, satellite or fibre, in many cases offered a better quality of customer experience than the faster variant. Why? Variability, or rather lack of variability, is the key. A stable service, even it is slower, enables POTS-quality VoiP, whereas a highly-variable, faster service delivers a less satisfactory customer experience – and, by definition, an unhappier customer.
“The hidden secret of networking is that the network delivers loss and delay between packets,” said Geddes, “There is more to broadband than speed or capacity: with many customers wanting lots of different things at once, we also need an absence of variability, and that is what we call stationarity.”
Looked at from the network operator side, there are two key areas to consider: what is driving the cost of broadband and pushing capex sky high, and how to retain and increase your customer base to bring in the revenue. The answers, it seems, are not immediately obvious.
To start with, the knee-jerk telco reaction of pouring capex into infrastructure upgrades and increased capacity is simply not the way to ensure good quality of service and happy customers.  Demand for broadband is highly elastic, expanding to consume whatever supply is on offer and creating a “jack-hammer effect” – which produces variability. Paradoxically, increased investment in bandwidth may be behind that very poor service which leads to customer churn and the panicked assumption that another upgrade is necessary – an “investment cycle of doom.”
This is a deep systemic problem in the industry investment machine. Rushing to premature upgrades masks the real core issue, that of quality of service.  The presenters demonstrated this in heaven-hell model, where full network capacity and happy customers is telco heaven – and the converse, unhappy customers and underused network, is of course telco hell.  Getting the balance is not easy, as increasing local networks pushes down the quality of experience for applications with strong stationarity requirements – exactly what the customer is after.
For Martin, there is a tiny root cause of this: all current packet-based infrastructure relies on it being idle and keeping queues empty to ensure good quality. So your assets must stay idle to keep your customer. The solution lies in thinking about how to reframe both this problem, and the exact nature of the resource the operators are selling.
“Don’t make packets move for their own sake, but focus on customer experience. Change the resource model,” urged Martin. “Throw away the bandwidth model and thought process.” Efficiently allocating resources to customers is more important than bandwidth. Increase capacity, but only in a very targeted way.  In other words, meet heterogeneous  demand with a differentiated product.
This, then, is how to ensure a future of broadband heaven: understand that quality of experience is a function of loss and delay. Characterize your supply requirements properly. Work out what customers are after, certifying fitness of purpose for a particular, actual customer demand rather than a generalised one-size-fits-all concept. And, in the words of the workshop presenters: “Don’t sell bandwidth – sell differential experiences.”

His presentation is embedded as follows:



Sunday, 25 November 2012

Broadband World Forum 2012 Highlights - By Alan Quayle



Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Whitespace Spectrum Management Issues

BT has been conducting a "White Space" trial in Isle of Bute, UK. Initial report suggests that the results are not very impressive. The following is from ISP Review:


Early feedback from BT’s trial of ‘White Space‘ (IEEE 802.22) wireless broadband technology on the Isle of Bute suggests that the service, which delivers internet access by making use of the unused radio spectrum that exists between Digital TV channels, still has a lot of problems to overcome, not least in terms of its sporadic performance.

In theory the 802.22 specification suggests that download speeds of up to 22Mbps per channel (Megabits per second) could be possible and some UK trials claim to have reached around 16Mbps, which is incidentally a long way off the UK’s chosen definition for superfast broadband (24Mbps+).
But separate reports from both PC Pro and the BBC today found that the service, which is complicated to deliver due to the ever changing spectrum and the risk of causing interference to DTV services, could struggle to deliver its top speeds.

At present BT’s implementation claims to be offering speeds of up to 10Mbps per channel, which will soon be upgraded to 15Mbps, but this reduces down to a maximum of just 4Mbps when 6km away from the transmitter. New tests at various points on the Isle of Bute showed speeds varying between just 1.5Mbps and 6Mbps (the latter was recorded within sight of BT’s mast).
In fairness White Space solutions are designed to target the last 10% of the UK where the government has so far only committed to a minimum download speed of just 2Mbps for all (Universal Service Commitment), which is a very low target. In addition White Space tech appears to deliver strong upload speed that is, in some cases, symmetrical. That makes it good for video conferencing and other upload dependent tasks.



As Fierce Broadband Wireless suggests, the low speeds could also be due to pre-standard gear that will just improve as time goes on.

The main reason for using this shared whitespace spectrum is due to the fact that the total amount of spectrum is limited and we want to make use of every available free spectrum to increase capacity of the overloaded networks.

Michael Fitch from BT recently spoke in our Cambridge Wireless Small Cells SIG event. The slide from his presentations neatly lays out the vision for shared spectrum.


In theory, even though this looks simple, in practice managing the database is a challenge by itself. The embedded slides below (Page 17 onwards) show the problems and the complexity associated with the database.
Time will tell how efficient and practical using whitespaces is.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Mobile Broadband: The Future Vision Document 2

Vision Paper incorporating comments and opinion from the online discusions on #MBBFuture


Available to download from slideshare here.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

2nd Workshop by 3GPP and Broadband Forum

3GPP and Broadband Forum held another joint session recently. Here is the summary from that event.
All presentations and documents from that event is available to download and view here.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Broadband Adoption is Addictive

Click on the image to enlarge

From a presentation by Phillippe Keryer - Alcatel Lucent - BBWF 2011 Keynote Day 2

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Wi-Fi in Public Transport over LTE

Another interesting presentation from the LTE World Summit 2011 on how LTE can be used as a backhaul in the trains to provide passenger WiFi and other services.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

UMTS-LTE in 3.5GHz

There are two new bands: 3.4-3.6 GHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz decided for Broadband Wireless Access, which are already widely available for licensing in Europe. These bands have earlier been allocated to the Fixed Service on a primary basis in Region 1. Furthermore, the 3.4-3.6 GHz band was allocated to the mobile service on a primary basis and identified for IMT at WRC 07.

These bands constitute a substantial amount of spectrum that will be available in many countries in the short term. In Europe (Region 1) both bands can be used so block sizes could be large for any duplex arrangement.

The UMTS-LTE 3500 MHz Technical Report (3GPP TR 37.801) is already available as a study of current plans in the frequency bands 3.4-3.6 GHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz for UMTS and LTE systems. Specification work is due for first publication in March 2011 (TSG#51), with a series of specifications updated or being created.

The technical report is embedded below:

Thursday, 3 February 2011

4G Mobile Broadband Evolution: 3GPP Release-10 and Beyond

New Report from 4G Americas:

4G Mobile Broadband Evolution: 3GPP Release 10 and Beyond - HSPA+ SAE/LTE and LTE-Advanced provides detailed discussions of Release 10, including the significant new technology enhancements to LTE/EPC (called LTE-Advanced) that were determined in October 2010 to have successfully met all of the criteria established by the International Telecommunication Union Radiotelecommunication Sector (ITU-R) for the first release of IMT-Advanced. IMT-Advanced, which includes LTE-Advanced, provides a global platform on which to build next generations of interactive mobile services that will provide faster data access, enhanced roaming capabilities, unified messaging and broadband multimedia. The paper also provides detailed information on the introduction of LTE-Advanced and the planning for Release 11 and beyond. Release 10 is expected to be finalized in March 2011, while work on Release 11 will continue through the fourth quarter of 2012.

White paper embedded below and is available to view and download from the 3G4G website.


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Mobile Broadband Enablers in future

From a presentation by Huawei at the New Zealand Future Wireless Technologies Seminar. The presentation is available here.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Against the Limited "Unlimited" data plans

Once upon a time the Mobile Operators had loads of bandwidth and not enough data users. So they decided to lure the poor users into buying the 'unlimited' data plans. They were sure that the devices are quite rubbish and no one can use enough data. Just for the precaution some clever operators added a small print where unlimited meant 1 or 2GB. The operators thought that the users will never reach this amount.

Then came the iPhone and changed the whole world. People actually started using the data on their devices. The operators started panicking. Android just compunded this problem. So the operators now have started advocating against these unlimited plans.



The CEO of Vodafone , Vittorio Colao , has told attendees at this year's Nokia World 2010 event that he welcomes the end of "unlimited" Mobile Broadband data plans. Colao also warned consumers that "data pricing has to adjust", thus signalling a greater focus on tiered pricing models.

He added: "The principle here must be that, a bit like motorways or hotels, every class of service needs to have its own price and customers must be able to pay for the level of service [they want]. Pricing should be adjusted to reflect the usage and load. We are approaching the end of the free era."

The cowboy salesmen are still fooling the average Joe when it comes to unlimited plans. People sue the operators but dont succeed.

We are begging to see the return of those bad old days when WiFi was the only option in conferences, etc and they were really expensive. Now instead of WiFi we have got our dongles that may not work well anyway inside the conferences or hotels due to the structure or location but when they do, you again have to think about the costs.

In Korea, KT Telecom had to introduce unlimited plans because the other rival introduced one. This is probably because they still have spare bandwith available. Once that gets used up then they will either be running for caps or advocating against the unlimited plans.

I have been against the unlimited plans from the beginning but I advocate that the operators become a bit wise in the way they charge us, the end users.

If I have 4 devices I dont want limited data on all devices because I dont want to keep track of which devices use how much data or have an allowance. Maybe what I need is a data bundle that I can use across devices and maybe share with my family members. Wallmart has recently come up with something similar in US. Wallmart is a MVNO using T-Mobile network. Though their data plans are expensive compared to T-Mobiles plans just because they allow data sharing and rollover, people may go for them.

Rollovers are available on Pay as you go plans but not on Pay monthly which makes the pay monthly (generally on contract) people seem stupid. Operators should encourage this, maybe keep a maximum that can be rolled over.

Finally, there is this net neutrality and QoS discussions are going on. Eventually some kind of QoS or destination based speeds, etc will come but for the end user they will go where they will get what they want. The operators should remember this.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Whitepaper: Traffic Management Techniques for Mobile Broadband Networks


The report, Traffic Management Techniques for Mobile Broadband Networks: Living in an Orthogonal World,focuses on 3GPP networks and concerns itself specifically with traffic management, including the handling of traffic flows on 3GPP networks in contrast with other network management techniques that operators may deploy (such as offloading, compression, network optimization and other important mechanisms).

Mobile broadband networks are confronted by a number of challenges. In particular, the physical layer in mobile networks is subject to a unique confluence of unpredictable and unrelated, or “orthogonal,” influences. Moreover, mobile broadband networks have some important differences from their fixed brothers and sisters, which lead to different traffic management requirements. Among the most significant differences for purposes of traffic management is the need for more granular visibility to circumstances on the ground. Optimally, traffic management for mobile broadband networks requires visibility to what is occurring (by device or application) at the cell site level and in a timeframe that enables as far as feasible near-time reactions to resolve issues.

With the consumer in mind, an End-to-End (E2E) view of mobile service is critical for traffic management. For example, a consumer using a mobile phone to look up movie listings and purchase tickets considers the E2E service as the ability to see what movie is playing and execute a transaction to purchase tickets. 3GPP has endeavored to standardize increasingly more robust traffic management (Quality of Service, or QoS) techniques for mobile broadband networks with a consumer’s E2E view of QoS. It must be considered, however, that mobile operators typically do not have full control over E2E provisioning of services that depend on mobile broadband Internet access.

Global standards organizations like 3GPP play an important role in the development of traffic management through provisions for addressing QoS, particularly regarding interworking with non-3GPP access mechanisms. These are important new innovations, and the 3G Americas white paper notes that the efforts of standards development organizations should be intensified.

In addition, the configuration of end-user devices and content and applications not provisioned by the network operator not only impacts the experience of the particular user, but potentially other users in a particular cell as well. Efforts to drive further QoS innovations should be mindful of potentially adverse impacts from these sources and support and foster interoperability of third party applications with existing network platforms.

More innovations are needed throughout the mobile broadband ecosystem, in particular by application developers, in order to realize E2E quality of service. Furthermore, transparency in network management practices is important in fostering innovation, but requires a careful balancing to ensure consumer comprehension while safeguarding network reliability. Organizations with technical expertise such as 3G Americas are prepared to help to illuminate and progress the development of these new technologies.

“3G Americas stands ready to assist interested parties in the ongoing development and understanding of traffic management techniques,” said Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. “We are mindful that in this hemisphere and elsewhere, the industry has accepted an increasingly active role in addressing questions about service levels and innovation on mobile broadband networks.”

The white paper, Traffic Management Techniques for Mobile Broadband Networks: Living in an Orthogonal World, was written collaboratively by members of 3G Americas and is available for free download on the 3G Americas website at www.3gamericas.org.