Showing posts with label Deployment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deployment. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 October 2017

5G Forecasts and 5G Deployed Claim

Source: GSA

5G forecasts have been arriving steadily with many different figures. Here are some numbers:

Date Predicted by Number of Connections Year Any other comments
23-Aug-16 Strategy Analytics 690 million 2025 "690M Connections and 300M Handset Shipments"
15-Nov-16 Ericsson 500 million 2022 "North America will lead the way in uptake of 5G subscriptions, where a quarter of all mobile subscriptions are forecast to be for 5G in 2022."
30-Nov-16 ABI Research 500 million 2026 "500 Million 5G cmWave and mmWave Subscribers Will Bring $200 Billion in Service Revenue through 2026" - what about non mmWave/cmWave 5G subs?
12-Apr-17 CCS Insight 100 million 2021 "Smartphones sales will rise to 1.90 billion in 2021, when smartphones will account for 92 percent of the total mobile phone market."
26-Apr-17 GSMA 1.1 billion 2025 "5G connections are set to reach 1.1 billion by 2025, accounting for approximately one in eight mobile connections worldwide by this time."
16-May-17 Ovum 389 million 2022 "Ovum now forecasts that there will be 111 million 5G mobile broadband subscriptions at end-2021, up more than fourfold from Ovum’s previous forecast of 25 million 5G subscriptions at end-2021"
14-Aug-17 Juniper Research 1.4 billion 2025 "an increase from just 1 million in 2019, the anticipated first year of commercial launch. This will represent an average annual growth of 232%."
17-Oct-17 GSMA 214 million in Europe 2025 "30 per cent of Europe’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025"
23-Oct-17 CCS Insight 2.6 billion 2025 "1 Billion Users of 5G by 2023, with More Than Half in China", "broadly similar path to 4G LTE technology...more than one in every five mobile connections."

If we just look at 2025/2026, the estimates vary from 500 million to 2.6 billion. I guess we will have to wait and see which of these figures comes true.

I wrote a post earlier titled '4G / LTE by stealth'. Here I talked about the operators who still had 3G networks while most people had 4G phones. The day the operator switched on the 4G network, suddenly all these users were considered to be on 4G, even if they didn't have 4G coverage just yet.

I have a few questions about what 5G features are necessary for the initial rollout and when can an operator claim they have 5G? In fact I asked this question on twitter and I got some interesting answers.

Just having a few 5G NR (new radio) sites enough for an operator to claim that they have deployed 5G? Would all the handsets with 5G compatibility then be considered to be on 5G? What features would be required in the initial rollouts? In case of LTE, operators initially only had Carrier Aggregation deployed, which was enough to claim they supported LTE-A. Would 100MHz bandwidth support be enough as initial 5G feature?

Please let me know what you think.

Monday, 23 October 2017

5G Architecture Options for Deployments?

I have blogged earlier about the multiple 5G Architecture options that are available (see Deutsche Telekom's presentation & 3G4G video). So I have been wondering what options will be deployed in real networks and when.
The 3GPP webinar highlighted that Option-3 would be the initial focus, followed by Option 2.


Last year AT&T had proposed the following 4 approaches as in the picture above. Recall that Option 1 is the current LTE radio connected to EPC.

ZTE favours Deployment option 2 as can be seen in the slide above

Huawei is favoring Option 3, followed by Option 7 or 2 (& 5)

Going back to the original KDDI presentation, they prefer Option 3, followed by Option 7.

If you are an operator, vendor, analyst, researcher, or anyone with an opinion, what options do you prefer?

Sunday, 17 April 2016

NTT Docomo's 5G Treasure Trove


NTT Docomo's recent technical journal has quite a few interesting 5G articles. While it is well known that 5G will be present in Japan in some or the other shape by 2020, for the summer Olympics, NTT Docomo started studying technologies for 5G in 2010. Some of these have probably ended in 4.5G, a.k.a. LTE-Advanced Pro.

While there are some interesting applications and services envisioned for 5G, I still think some of these can be met with LTE-A and some of them may not work with the initial versions of 5G

As far as 5G timetable is concerned, I recently posted a blog post on this topic here. Initial versions of 5G will have either little or no millimetre wave (mmWave) bands. This is because most of these would be finalised in 2019 after WRC-19 has concluded. It may be a touch challenge to move all the existing incumbents out of these bands or agree of a proper sharing mechanism.

'5G+' or '5G phase 3' will make extensive use of these higher frequency bands extensively in addition to the low and mid frequency bands. For anyone not familiar with different 5G phases, please see this earlier post here.

Enhanced LTE (or eLTE) is probably the same as LTE-Advanced Pro. Docomo believes that the initial 5G deployment would include new RAT but existing 4G core network which would be enhanced later for 5G+. Some of this new RAT technologies are discussed as well.

Core Network evolution is another interesting area. We looked at a possible architecture evolution here. To quote from the magazine:

The vision for future networks is shown in Figure 3. A future network will incorporate multiple radio technologies including LTE/LTE-Advanced, 5G New Radio Access Technology (RAT), and Wi-Fi, and be able to use them according to the characteristics of each service.

Utilizing virtualization technologies, network slices optimized for service requirements such as high efficiency or low delay can be created. Common physical devices such as general-purpose servers and Software Defined Network (SDN) transport switches will be used, and these networks will be provided to service providers. Network slices can be used either on a one service per network basis to increase network independence for originality or security, or with multiple services on one slice to increase statistical multiplexing gain and provide services more economically.

The specific functional architecture and the network topology for each network slice are issues to be studied in the future, but in the case of a network slice accommodating low latency services, for example, GateWay (GW) functions would need to be relatively close to radio access, service processing would be close to terminals, and routing control capable of finding the shortest route between terminals would be necessary to reduce latency. On the other hand, a network slice providing low volume communications to large numbers of terminals, such as with smart meters, would need functionality able to transmit that sort of data efficiently, and such terminals are fixed, so the mobility function can be omitted. In this way, by providing network slices optimized according to the requirements of each service, requirements can be satisfied while still reducing operating costs.

The magazine is embedded below and available to download from here:





See Also:

Saturday, 26 April 2014

LTE Deployment Dilemma


Earlier this month during our Cambridge Wireless Small Cells SIG event, I presented a small quiz in the final session. The first part of the quiz was titled "LTE Deployment Dilemma" and it generated lots of interesting discussions. After the event, I did a more detailed writeup of that and Cisco has kindly published it in their SP Mobility Blog. Since many people have told me that they cannot anonymously post comments there, I am now bringing it to this blog. I am interested in hearing what others think.

Here is the complete post



Thursday, 3 October 2013

Case study of SKT deployment using the C-RAN architecture


Recently I came across this whitepaper by iGR, where they have done a case study on the SKT deployment using C-RAN. The main point can be summarised from the whitepaper as follows:

This approach created several advantages for SK Telecom – or for any operator that might implement a similar solution – including the:

  • Maximum re-use of existing fiber infrastructure to reduce the need for new fiber runs which ultimately reduced the time to market and capital costs.
  • Ability to quickly add more ONTs to the fiber rings so as to support additional RAN capacity when needed.
  • Support of multiple small cells on a single fiber strand. This is critical to reducing costs and having the flexibility to scale.
  • Reduction of operating expenses.
  • Increased reliability due to the use of fiber rings with redundancy.
  • Support for both licensed and unlicensed RAN solutions, including WiFi. Thus, the fronthaul architecture could support LTE and WiFi RANs on the same system.
As a result of its implementation, SK Telecom rolled out a new LTE network in 12 months rather than 24 and reduced operating expenses in the first year by approximately five percent. By 2014, SK Telecom expects an additional 50 percent OpEx savings due to the new architecture.

Anyway, the paper is embedded below for your perusal and is available to download from the iGR website here.



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.

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.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

#LTEAsia 2012 Highlights - via Alan Quayle

A summary of LTE Asia 2012, slides and highlights via Alan Quayle blog.



Some of the interesting findings from the conference include:
  • TD-LTE is gaining momentum, and its beyond WiMAX operators and China mobile, many APAC operators are considering it for unpaired spectrum and to efficiently meet the asymmetric capacity requirements of mobile broadband which is mainly download
  • Software defined radio and self-organizing networks are proving critical to manage operational costs
  • Single RAN is proving the best way to manage network performance
  • Signaling is in a mess - what is the good of standards when it creates such a mess?
  • IMS gaps continue - what is the good of standards when it doesn't meet basic migration needs?
  • The SS7 guys have reinvented themselves as the Diameter guys
  • Business model innovation - LTE is not just for mobile devices, LTE is for quad play and an interesting array of business applications
  • The 3G network of many operators is congested - forcing the move to LTE
  • CSFB (Circuit Switched Fall Back) works
  • VoLTE testing / roaming / network issues remain - given voice remains by revenue the core service, our industry should be ashamed we're having so many problems with VoLTE
  • A belief on OTT partnering, but not quantification on the OTT's willingness to pay for QoS (Quality of Service)
  • Many operators have a question mark on the use of WiFi off-load - its not a technology issue rather one of economics and customer experience, LTE-A and small cells in hotspots appears to be the focus.

Briefly reviewing the slides shown below:

  • LTE Data Points
    • 96 Commercial LTE deployments mainly in the 1.8 and 2.8GHz bands
    • APAC has 40% of LTE subscribers, likely to be the high growth region
    • Drivers for LTE: Throughput, efficiency and low latency
    • TD-LTE: 12 commercial deployments, 24 contracts and 53 Trials
    • Streaming video dominates traffic on handheld devices, with YouTube being the top traffic generator at 27% of peak traffic
  • South Korea Data Explosion
    • South Korea has seen OTT explode, Kakao Talk 51 mins of usage per day
    • 20 times smartphone growth in 2 years (28M in June 2012, 53% penetration)
    • 60 times mobile data growth to 37TB per month in 2 years, 32% is from LTE devices
    • LTE subs use 2.9GB per month compared to 3G sub on average use 1.2GB
    • LTE subs reached 10M, 141% monthly growth
    • Customer drive for LTE is speed (37%) and latest device (31%)
    • Challenge Jan 2010 and Jan 2012 ARPU fallen from $48-$35 while data use risen from 180MB to 992MB
    • Focus beyond voice, messaging and data into VAS: virtual goods (Korean thing), ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and cloud services / solutions (focus on enterprise)
  • HK CSL Migration to LTE
    • 3G is congested, LTE is not
    • Key is LTE devices available, unlike the early 3G days
    • Migrating customers away from unlimited plans to family and shared plans that deliver value
    • LTE sub uses 2-5 times the data of 3G subs
    • CSFB works
    • Average speed seen is 20 Mbps
    • Using Software Defined Radio, Single vendor RAN, Self-Organizing Networks
    • Migration to LTE-A, small cells and WiFi where appropriate
  • Starhub's migration to LTE (they launched LTE at the event)
    • 50% of voice traffic is still on 2G
    • Using AMR to re-farm 2G spectrum to LTE
    • Site access is critical - drive to software defined radio to avoid site visits
  • NTT DoCoMo's VoLTE Evolution
    • 70% devices in portfolio are now LTE
    • All smartphones support CSFB
    • Drive to VoLTE is simply to switch off 3G voice (2G already off)
    • BUT IMS has missing functionality / standards - migration from 3G to VoLTE is not easy - example of failing in standards on basic issues
  • Yes: Example of innovative converged 4G operator in an developing market that uses web principles for service delivery
  • Role of Mobile Identity in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
    • BYOD is as significant a trend if APAC as any other market
    • Provides a nice review of the approaches in managing BYOD
  • LTE Quad-Play in Emerging Markets: TD-LTE case study
  • Smartphone growth implications: Review of the signaling problem and mitigation strategies across 3G and LTE.  Highlights challenge current standards process 


Read the complete post here.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

LTE, M2M Device Addressing and IMSI


I was made aware of the following statement on the Verizon wireless brochure:

LTE’s inherent support for IPV6 addressing and IMSI-based telephone number identifiers makes mass deployments over LTE more easily achievable. The deployment of large numbers of mobile devices (think tens of thousands) becomes much more feasible because of LTE’s use of 15-digit IMSI telephone number identifiers for large-scale deployments, such as M2M or embedded wireless applications. 3G network technologies were limited by their use of 10-digit telephone number identifiers, which made large-scale deployments more difficult. With LTE, mass deployment of wireless services and applications, such as VoIP, smart metering, vending, and telematics, is now practical.

Now we know about the much touted 50 Billion connections by 2025 of which the majority would be M2M devices. So how are we going to handle the issue of addressing these many devices.

In the earlier presentation here, there was a mention of the direction for the solution as below:





The IMSI structure is as shown above. So depending on how it is used this can help alleviate the number shortage problem. 3GPP TR 23.888 gives the following information:


5.13      Key Issue - MTC Identifiers

5.13.1    Use Case Description

The amount of MTC Devices is expected to become 2 orders of magnitude higher than the amount of devices for human to human communication scenarios. This has to be taken into account for IMSI, IMEI and MSISDN. Regulatory bodies indicate shortages of IMSIs and MSISDNs.
The MTC Feature PS Only in TS 22.368 [2] includes a requirement that PS Only subscriptions shall be possible without an MSISDN. In principle an MSISDN is not used in any of the PS based signalling procedures. However, it will have to be assured that all PS procedures indeed work and subscriptions can be uniquely identified without providing an MSISDN. Furthermore, TS 22.368 [2] specifies that remote MTC Device configuration shall be supported for PS only subscriptions without an MSDISDN assigned. Current remote MTC Device configuration solutions (i.e. Device Management and Over-the-Air configuration) are based on SMS, which assumes the use of MSISDNs. So a solution to support remote MTC Device configuration that does not require the use of MSISDNs is needed.
The identifiers can be categorised into:
-     Internal Identifiers: used within the 3GPP system to identify a UE using a subscription (or the subscription itself e.g. when the UE is not registered).
-     External Identifiers: used from outside the 3GPP system (e.g. at the MTCsp interface), to refer to a UE using a subscription (or the subscription itself e.g. when the UE is not registered).

5.13.2    Required Functionality

-     It shall be possible to uniquely identify the ME.
NOTE 1:   This requirement relates to the ME which is generally identified by the IMEI.
-     It shall be possible to uniquely identify the UE using a subscription or the subscription itself.
NOTE 2:   The two requirements above also apply to human-to-human communications. However, for Machine-Type Communication identifiers will have to be able to cater for a number of identifiers up to two orders of magnitude higher than for human-to-human communications.
-     It shall be possible to use the following identifiers:
1.       IMSI, for internal usage within the 3GPP operator domain, and either
2.       E.164 MSISDN, for usage outside the 3GPP operator domain, or
3.       Unique identifier (e.g. FQDN), other than E.164 MSISDN, for usage outside the 3GPP operator domain.
NOTE 3: Use of IMSI outside the 3GPP operator domain is an operator option (i.e. not subject to standardization)
-     If no (unique or common) MSISDN is assigned to a PS only subscription, the Internal Identifier (IMSI) shall be used as charging identifier.
-     It shall be possible to associate one or more External Identifiers to the same Internal Identifier (e.g. several MSISDNs associated with the same IMSI).
-     Globally unique External Identifiers shall be supported for identifying UEs used for MTC that must be globally reachable (i.e. irrespective of which mobile operator owns the subscription)
-     Operator specific External Identifiers (e.g. based on a private numbering plan) may be supported for identifying UEs used for MTC that have to be reachable only from the operator domain to which they are subscribed.
-     The Internal Identifier shall be globally unique.
-     Remote MTC Device configuration shall still be supported for subscriptions without an MSISDN.
NOTE 4:   Current remote MTC Device configuration solutions (i.e. Device Management and Over-the-Air configuration) are based on SMS, which assumes the use of MSISDNs.


Any more information on this subject, more than welcome.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Qualcomm's 1000x Challenge

Qualcomm has been promoting the '1000x' challenge and has recently held a webinar to make everyone aware of how 1000 times efficiency may be achieved. I think there is always a scope of achieving a better efficiency but putting a figure may not necessarily give the desired results. Anyway, here are the slides.



You can listen to the webinar here. The promotional video is available here.

A writeup on this topic by Steven Crowley is available here.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Twitter et al. for Small Cell Planning

A recent report in Light Reading mentioned about using Twitter for planning of Small Cells network. In fact for quite a while, a UK based company, Keima has been using this technique to help plan small cells deployments in the US. I used some of their research in my presentation in the Optimisation conference; see here.

A map using the Keima tool showing the activity on the Social Networks for London is as follows.



It would be very interesting to see the above during olympics.

If you are interested in learning more about the tool see Keima's presentation from MWC here and their video here.

Keima’s Simon Chapman will be presenting to the Cambridge Wireless Small Cells SIG event on 3rd October on the topic "Deploying bigger numbers of smaller cells". Here is a summary of things going to be discussed by them:




We discuss how "small cells" are a natural evolution of network design principles started with A.H. Ring in 1947. We discuss the practical consequences of managing interference while rolling out more cells in the next few years than all the previous deployments put together.


We consider processes for achieving cost-effective, spectrally efficient network capacity and establish the most influential: the location of small cells. Given the importance of location we demonstrate mechanisms for identifying demand hotspots using publicly available datasets and show that this knowledge alone has a significant impact on the eventual network capacity.


Finally, as we look at the immediate areas in and around demand hotspots, we discuss the associated issues of selecting thousands of utility poles or building-side mountings; of managing wired or wireless backhauling; of lowering latency; of repurposing the macro


To register for the event please click here.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Real Life Pictures of Small Cells Deployments in London

Visitors of this blog seemed to like the last set of deployment pictures I put up. As a result here is another set of pictures from the same Telefonica presentation by Robert Joyce. See also my earlier post on the same topic 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:

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Backhauling the Telefonica O2 London LTE Trial

Interesting Video and Presentation about backhaul in the London Trial of LTE deployment by O2.


Presentation:
We have an event in October in Cambridge Wireless that will look at the backhaul and deployments a bit more in detail. Details here.