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Showing posts with label Mobile World Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mobile World Congress. Show all posts

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Mobile World Congress 2014 (#MWC14) Roundups

The worlds largest technology event came to a conclusion just over a week back so here is a summary of reports and roundups written by different people. Feel free to add yours in the comments:

The best way is to start with this Video of different gadgets by Orange (excuse their adverts)


Maravedis-Rethink has an excellent summary from Network point of view:

Now all the carriers have the same devices, and the all-you-can-eat offers are largely gone. This has shifted the competitive race to innovation in pricing and bundling; to services, even over-the-top ones; but most importantly to the one area which is still unique to MNOs, their licensed-spectrum networks. The race to implement more and more advanced features from the 3GPP menu is not just a carrier game of ‘mine’s bigger than yours’, but a truly necessary attempt, at least in the developed mobile markets, to differentiate themselves with the most advanced network capacity and capabilities.

In the network, new battle lines are being drawn, and the players are placing big bets on unproven technologies and new architectures. This is taking place on two levels – the well-understood but highly complex advances in RAN platforms, from the LTE-Advanced standards to small cells to Cloud-RAN; and the shift towards software-driven, if not yet fully software-defined networking, and towards virtualization.

Complete summary here.

Chetan Sharma has written a brilliant summary and covers all different topics:

All the progress that has been on the mobile economy has been on the back of trillions of dollars of investment over the last couple of decades. With declining margins, how long do operators continue to invest and at what pace? What’s the margin profile they are willing to live with? What’s the role of government in building out the infrastructure when high-speed mobile networks are concerned? Japan, Korea, Israel have all based their competitiveness on connected broadband world. Can others follow? The impact of Whatsapp launching voice services and Netflix/Comcast deal were hotly debated in the hallways. It is one thing to put out national broadband plans and it is entirely another reality to have an execution path to deliver on the plan. The broadband investment has much far reaching implications than most people and governments realize.

Complete article here.

Ian Poole from Radio Electronics has done a good job too with the summary and video:

There was a considerable amount of talk about connected cities, connected cars and the like. Many exhibitors at Mobile World Congress were showing their ideas and developments. There is a huge amount of work going on in these areas and this is reflected in the work and products being exhibited.
Said Mike Short, VP Telefonica: “Mobile World Congress is more of a data World Congress . . . . . . . there are many software companies, many special network companies, other companies providing billing and customer care and there are solutions for the whole digital economy”
Talking to a variety of people across Mobile World Congress, it was obvious there is a large amount of work going on.
In terms of the auto mobile industry there is a lot of interest and development. While it is not expected all of the work will come to fruition in the short term, such as mesh networked cars where the networking elements can be used for crash avoidance, etc, there are other areas for in car connectivity that will be implemented in the shorter term.
Qualcomm were even demonstrating an electric racing car that not only used wireless communications technology, but also utilised wireless charging. In this way they were incorporating two developing technologies.
In addition to this, technologies like Weightless – the white space data cellular system have moved forwards. The original aim was for the technology to be used in the television white space to provide low powered data communications particularly for remote sensors and actuators. For these applications, cellular technology is too heavy. Dealing with complex waveforms like OFDM requires considerable processing and this is not conducive to long battery life – some devices ae expected to operate for months or even years from the same battery.
Neul has been working to develop the ideas further. They are now looking at using unlicensed spectrum instead of the TV white space. They have found that in urban areas, little white space often exists. Unfortunately it is often in urban environments where population levels are highest and there will be the greatest need for low power data communications.
In another move announced at Mobile World Congress Orange announced that it is helping start up companies who are developing products for the IoT. Orange states that it wants to help them accelerate development and assist with marketing. This move is possibly a long term move, because it can only be approached with 4G, but with 5G anticipated to be more capable of meeting IoT requirements it should be able to enter the market more strongly when it arrives. It is anticipated that the main areas where IoT will start to grow initially are personal services, healthcare, the connected home and smart cities.
Complete report and the video here.

Finally, an excellent summary on Small Cells and related by ThinkSmallCell:

The official Small Cell conference track was pretty tame - Vodafone have deployed 300K Small Cells in total, KT (Korea Telecom) and Radisys spoke of 18K LTE deployed in mostly indoor metropolitan areas. Vodafone said they continue to drive vendors to deliver multi-technology small cell and backhaul products with high operational efficiency and look for added value to help the business case. By contrast, the Small Cell Forum booth hosted extensive and popular presentations and is perhaps outgrowing its booth format.
A key network equipment vendor theme was SDN (Software Defined Network) and NFV (Network Function Virtualisation). We can expect next year to see this evolving to orchestration - better methods of managing and manipulating these virtualised software components, but in the short term it means slightly less or cheaper hardware. Frankly, I was more impressed to see Huawei now supporting any of 2G, 3G or LTE (FDD&TDD) on the same physical macrocell radio hardware modules - true software definable radio. We are beginning to see that capability for Small Cells too, but it's not quite as mature yet.
Most of the Small Cell activity is around 3G indoor (Enterprise) and LTE outdoor (Urban), with 3G still important indoors (for voice) and LTE HetNets seen as the longer term solution for capacity. At least four DAS vendors announced lower cost, simpler products intended to address larger buildings and stadia - highlighting the growing demand for in-building cellular solutions. Many new LTE Small Cell vendors are appearing on the scene. Residential femtocells still have a place in the market especially where integrated into a broadband modem or set-top box, driven by a different business case than before. There were some signs that the radical approach of Free France, who are shipping many 10Ks of femtocells a month, may be emulated by others.

Complete report here.

Ronald Gruia from Frost&Sullivan has created a summary presentation on Slideshare that is embedded below:



Other Summaries worth reading:


There was also a Carrier Wi-Fi Summit going on in parallel to the main MWC. A summary of that is available on the WBA website here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.

SKTelecom2

Claus Hetting has also added an excellent summary of the Carrier Wi-Fi Summit on his blog here.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

What is WebRTC and where does it fit with LTE and IMS

This simple video from MWC should give an idea on what WebRTC is and can do:


So what exactly WebRTC is in technical terms. Here is a recent presentation from WebRTC Conference and Expo



And here is another presentation that explains where it fits in with the LTE Architecture.



Dean Bubley from Disruptive Analysis has writted extensively on this topic and his recent post "Is the telephony "threat" from VoIP & WebRTC about competition or contextualisation?" is an interesting read.

Iain Sharp from Netovate recently pointed out that 3GPP have 'nearly' approved a work item for WebRTC access to IMS.

It would be interesting to see how operators will view WebRTC. As an opportunity or as a threat. Please feel free to air your opinions via comments.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Technologies from Mobile World Congress 2013 (#MWC13)

If you liked the Gadgets roundup from yesterday then you would like this one as well:



You can read more about this topic here.



You can read more about this here.











You can read more about this here.


Finally:

Friday, 4 March 2011

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Monday, 2 August 2010

Interdigital's 'Fuzzy Cells' technology for cell edge performance improvement


Back in LTE World Summit 2010, I heard from Dr. Ariela Zeira, InterDigital's Vice-President of Advanced Air Interfaces about various things Interdigital have been working on.

One of the technologies that caught my attention was Fuzzy Cells technology to increase the cell edge rates. The following is from their press release for Mobile World Congress:

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 15, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- InterDigital, Inc. today announced the demonstration of its "Fuzzy Cell" technology that improves cell-edge performance at the 2010 Mobile World Congress. The Fuzzy Cell technology is part of the company's comprehensive suite of "Next Generation Cellular" (NGC) innovations that combine advanced network topologies and spectrally-efficient air interface solutions for LTE-advanced and beyond.

"Many wireless operators and customers are experiencing a substantial degradation of service quality caused by the ever-growing demand for mobile data," said James J. Nolan, Executive Vice President, Research and Development, InterDigital. "We are at the forefront of developing solutions for more efficient wireless networks, a richer multimedia experience, and new mobile broadband capabilities that support operators to capture revenues from the boom in smartphones. The Fuzzy Cell fits nicely within our much broader efforts on spectrum optimization, cross-network connectivity and mobility, and intelligent data delivery techniques."

While cellular networks have become virtually ubiquitous, users continue to experience inconsistent and unpredictable performance when moving around. While this degradation is often the result of network congestion or an obstructed path of the radio waves, it is also inherent to traditional cellular deployments, whereby signals degrade towards the fringe of any given cell due to interference from neighboring cells. It is estimated that typical users experience this situation, known as being in the cell-edge, more than 50% of the time. Advancements in HSPA and LTE primarily increase peak data rates and only offer modest improvements in average performance throughout a cell.

Fuzzy Cells is a novel approach for leveraging existing resources to improve spectral efficiency and cell-edge performance. In a traditional deployment a device connects to one site at a time (even if multiple sub-bands are used at each site) and all sites use the same power levels and sector orientations for all sub-bands. In a Fuzzy Cell deployment, a device may connect to multiple sites at a time through the different sub-bands and continue to realize full system bandwidth. The power levels and sector orientations of the different sub-bands are optimized for best performance. In simpler terms, the device exploits the best combination of base station support regardless of its position, removing traditional limitations of cell or sector boundaries. Importantly, Fuzzy Cell technology can also allow gains indoors as it allows connection to more than one cell/sector at a time as available. The Fuzzy Cell technology provides additional improvement over Fractional Frequency Reuse (FFR) methods that are supported by current specifications.

The following shows the demonstration of Fuzzy cells:



I haven't heard any news recently on this technology but its an interesting concept, not sure if it would be adopted in the near term in the standards.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Practical innovation, Radical innovation and Incremental innovation at the Mobile World Congress



There has been a lot of coverage of mobile world congress. I have said before that the event was a success and also that we, as an industry are adding value when there is so much economic chaos around us. GSMA also validates this trend by their statistics and attendee numbers GSMA Releases Congress Visitor Stats

If there was an underlying theme for the event, then I think it was 'practical innovation' i.e. innovation designed to solve problems. This is a more interesting trend which I genuinely like. However, there is also space for radical innovation and also incremental innovation. Hence, I will discuss innovation in these themes below. By 'incremental innovation', I mean changes that take a few years to manifest but are significant. Most changes in the devices, networks and infrastructure will be in this space. The challenge for incremental innovation is: Customers may be overtaken by more nimble/sometimes imperfect. And then, there is radical innovation which may be a game changer

I will provide a series of links to announcements that caught my eye in the show (and afterwards). But first, a note of caution: Let's not forget what happened to Palm AFTER the MWC. Last year, Palm was an 'innovator' with much talk of its 'comeback'. Today, there is an overall doom and gloom around Palm. . Palm's products may be good .. But does it matter when the industry is moving so fast and customers have so much choice? Will developers continue to support a waning platform? Today, we see excellent new devices from Samsung, Microsoft, HTC and others which were not present a year ago. All this means that the rate of change has increased. This is a matter for optimism but also caution as the woes of Palm demonstrate.

Firstly, before we discuss further, some of the big announcements. Again, I provide links so that I don't duplicate much of what we have seen before.

Major announcements

Carriers Connect to Rival Apple's App Store

Moblin + Maemo + Linux Foundation = MeeGo

VOIP and Skype. See the white paper written by me and Chetan on the tipping point for VOIP

Wholesale Applications Community

Vodafone calls for tiered mobile-bandwidth pricing

Windows Phone 7 Series

Also see my talk as well: Is Twittter the glue for the Internet of things?

Practical innovation


Orange Healthcare joins the mHealth Alliance to develop mobilehealth solutions in west africa

Telefónica Internacional selects NEC as strategic partner to promote Cloud Computing solutions in Latin America

GSMA Announces Winners of the 15th Annual Global Mobile Awards

RIM to offer free BlackBerry Enterprise Server


mHealth potential: More questions than answers


Radical innovation

Access SIM-Based Services Just by Tapping or Shaking the Mobile Phone

An Accelerometer 1,000x More Sensitive Than the iPhone's

Elsemobile

Growvc launches with an innovative model for mobile startups


Incremental innovation which could be pointers to bigger trends

DEVICES

Huawei and Acer add high-end phones to Android mix

Microsoft to let you install apps on memory card sticks

Huawei unveils first HSPA+ Android phone

Samsung Wave review

Adobe joins LiMo Foundation, adds Flash support to LiMo platform

10 things the iPhone can learn from Mobile World Congress

Qualcomm's Dual-Core 1.5GHz Snapdragon: Smartphones Are About to Go Hyperspeed

The best phones, stunts, and demos of Mobile World Congress

Motorola milestone

LG Licenses Push Email from Good

Layar Looks to Create the App Store of Mobile Augmented Reality


Nokia chief: we want to be all things to all consumers again

The Android Who Cried Wolf

Vodafone To Sell Sub-$15 Phone in Developing Countries

RIM shows off the new WebKit-powered BlackBerry browser

Gallery: Biggest Smartphone News From Barcelona

LG: No plans for a proprietary OS

The Puma phone
Samsung's Wave Is Bada-Full

Samsung's About to Own More of the TV Market Than Any Company in 60 Years


NETWORKS

Alcatel-Lucent beefs up carrier apps strategy

Movial Selected as LG-Nortel Partner to Provide Rich Multimedia Communications Application and Touch Screen Optimized Mobile Browser

Gemalto Innovation: Gemalto Launches "Device Service Link" to Facilitate Access to Mobile Broadband

OneAPI Gains Momentum as GSMA Announces Commercial Pilot with Leading Mobile Operators in Canada

LTE-Advanced specs to be published in 2011

Huawei show first triple-mode LTE modem

GSMA Outlines Progress with RCS Initiative

40 Companies Back GSMA's Voice Over LTE Fix

OneAPI Standardizes Carrier Billing APIs Across Networks


Sunday, 28 February 2010

BBC and Ubiquisys stream multiple videos over a femtocell at MWC 2010



Impressive. I suppose they are four simultaneous PS dedicated calls as all other approaches (Like Mobile TV Broadcast technology and MBMS) would not be applicable for Femtocells (atleast for now).

Friday, 26 February 2010

Femtocells for LTE

Picture Source: Continuous Computing

Going back to my old posts here and here, I mentioned that one of the ideas being floated is that to roll out LTE technology initially in Femtocells as that will give the device manufacturers and the operators an idea and a feel about the technology. All the gremlins can be ironed out before mass market take up.

As you may have heard (or know) that in UK, Vodafone rolled out Femtocells which have now been branded as 'Sure Signal' and the device now costs less than half the initial price. The falling prices is because of the fall in the Bill Of Materials (BOM) as well as operator getting more confidence and subsidising the femto's a bit more. Of course this fall in prices means increase in uptake and that is what is being expected by the industry.

At the same time, some small players are getting more interested in the small cells for LTE. The following is from an article in The Register:

Meanwhile, the femto players are looking ahead to LTE, where there are many indications from operators that tiny cells will play a big part in the strategy. The devices will be used from day one by some carriers - to offload data from the macrocell or to provide indoor coverage in high frequencies like 2.6GHz. They could also add capacity to deployments in low frequencies like 700MHz and even be used as a starting point for greenfield providers, which could then add macro networks later, explained Simon Saunders, chair of the Femto Forum.

Continuous Computing has been eyeing the femto market for several years from its heartlands in protocol stacks, core networking and traffic shaping. At MWC, it worked with picoChip and Cavium Networks to show the first complete LTE femtocell reference design. Available immediately, this includes the LTE modem, RF and packet processors, protocol software, intelligent router functionality and a complete Evolved Packet Core (EPC) simulator.

"The demand for LTE femtocells is unquestionable. We are already seeing operators asking for small cell access points to start testing in the second half of this year. Femtocells represent the key to avoiding the difficulties surrounding the first 3G deployments where roll-outs cost too much, took too long and did not meet user expectations," said Mike Dagenais, CEO of Continuous.


Ps: Also read the post on Metro Femtocells here.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Femtocells update from Mobile World Congress 2010


Among a host of announcements, the leading silicon supplier for this segment, picoChip, was working hard to maintain its headstart as Qualcomm and others gear up to enter the market. It announced no fewer than six new customers, many coming from the Taiwanese ecosystem that is so vital to the mass adoption and price competitiveness of any emerging consumer product.

The new customers are Alpha Networks, Argela, Askey, C&S Micro, Contela and Zyxel, all of which will use the UK firm's PC302 picoXcell system-on-chip for HSPA(+). This is designed to reduce cost and time to market for vendors, and now has over 20 adopters, including Vodafone's femto supplier Alcatel-Lucent, and AT&T's, Cisco/ip.access.

Meanwhile, the femto players are looking ahead to LTE, where there are many indications from operators that tiny cells will play a big part in the strategy. The devices will be used from day one by some carriers - to offload data from the macrocell or to provide indoor coverage in high frequencies like 2.6GHz. They could also add capacity to deployments in low frequencies like 700MHz and even be used as a starting point for greenfield providers, which could then add macro networks later, explained Simon Saunders, chair of the Femto Forum.

Continuous Computing has been eyeing the femto market for several years from its heartlands in protocol stacks, core networking and traffic shaping. At MWC, it worked with picoChip and Cavium Networks to show the first complete LTE femtocell reference design. Available immediately, this includes the LTE modem, RF and packet processors, protocol software, intelligent router functionality and a complete Evolved Packet Core (EPC) simulator.

"The demand for LTE femtocells is unquestionable. We are already seeing operators asking for small cell access points to start testing in the second half of this year. Femtocells represent the key to avoiding the difficulties surrounding the first 3G deployments where roll-outs cost too much, took too long and did not meet user expectations," said Mike Dagenais, CEO of Continuous.

The reference design used a picoChip modem, mezzanine RF card and PHY software; Cavium's Octeon Plus multicore processor; and Continuous' Trillium LTE Layer 2/3 protocols, eNodeB reference application and EPC emulator.



Call it network congestion, capacity crunch or data overload - the complaints aired at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week were all about cellphone network operators trying to find ways of profitably handling an explosion in mobile data traffic.

Management of the data traffic has become a priority for the telecoms industry as mobile internet usage is booming but data revenues for the phone companies grow slowly at best.

Research firm Informa forecasts a 50 per cent rise in mobile data traffic in 2010 on the back of the increasing popularity of devices such as the Apple iPhone and netbooks, but only a 13 percent rise in data revenues.

This has put added pressure on the phone companies to find ways of using fixed line networks including the internet to take some of the strain off the airwaves.

"Offloading is crucial for us," France Telecom -owned Orange's global head of mobile Olaf Swantee told Reuters ahead of the conference.

"In many countries where we have a fixed network we try to offload directly," he said.

The problem is that offloading data from wireless network to local hotspots still costs money, and operators are searching left and right for solutions that will not raise their overall capital spending, industry executives said.

"To address the smartphone challenge they are investing again," said Rajeev Suri, chief executive of joint venture equipment maker Nokia Siemens, who added that it was uncertain whether this spending was additional to or instead of other investment plans.

More certain was Bruce Brda, head of rival Motorola's networks business. "Carriers have been very consistent - they do not increase capex," he told Reuters.

Nevertheless Motorola saw better than expected demand late last year for equipment as some operators strengthened their existing networks to cope with surging data traffic, Brda said.

"In early 2010 I am seeing the same trend. The indication is there is incremental spending."

Equipment vendors such as Ericsson, Nokia Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent were also demonstrating new technology LTE equipment in Barcelona, as a route toward handling the data rush.

Operators are expected to spend billions of euros converting their networks to the Long Term Evolution standard, which will enable fast mobile broadband access for services such as watching movies on mobile phones, although some critics say LTE would prove a stopgap solution if data traffic goes on growing.

"LTE will buy a carrier two to three years of relief, but then it runs out," Brda said.

And analysts say telecom operators' sales in mature markets are not growing fast enough to justify major investments, which may mean an increase in demand instead for other technologies such as Wi-Fi or femtocells.

Femtocells are localized phone network base stations sited in homes and offices where signal strength might otherwise be weak, taking users onto the phone company's network via their own broadband internet connections.

"The biggest problem is that everybody is expecting these huge amounts of data but nobody is willing to pay much extra for it," said Stephen Rayment, chief technology officer of Belair Networks, which provides Wi-Fi services.

"Operators started offering 'all you can eat' data and now that's coming back to bite them," he said.




Speaking at Mobile World Congress Professor Simon Saunders, chairman of the femtoforum - the official non-profit standards' body proclaimed "2010 is the breakthrough year for femtocell".

From a UK perspective he was able to confirm the backing of industry regular Ofcom while T-Mobile, Telefonica/O2, Vodafone and Orange have all signed up as members so far. Furthermore, deployment of femtocell solutions to compete with Sure Signal is now ready and in their hands.

"The technology is there and it is now a matter of timing for the operators," he told me. "I cannot give specific dates, but all UK operators should be looking at a 2010 roll-out."

So far 55 network operators are femtocell forum members around the world, and operator commitments have jumped 50 per in the last three months alone. On top of this 3GPP has formalised femtocell standards, and the body's next generation ('Release 9') will bring support for LTE and enhancements for UMTS. The WiMax Forum is also on board as is the FCC in the US while China and Japan have confirmed their support.

Alcatel-Lucent recently announced the availability of a “small cell” (femtocell) designed to address the needs of enterprise customers. And last month Vodafone renamed its femtocell device to Sure Signal, as well as dramatically reducing its cost from £160 down to £50.

Informa said that the Vodafone relaunch of its femtocell offering is “realising considerable success in the UK, spearheading the entrance of femtocell services in the European market.”

“Vodafone rebranded the femtocell service to make the proposition clearer to end users while differentiating from their competition by eliminating indoor coverage deadspots,” it added.

According to Informa there are currently 12 service commitments, including nine commercial launches and several ongoing trials, while completed trials are now progressing into deployment plans for several mobile operators. This contrasts with eight femtocell service commitments and six commercial launches in November 2009.

During the last three months it cited French mobile operator SFR, Portuguese operator OPTIMUS and Chinese operator China Unicom, all of which have commercially launched femtocell services. Meanwhile it says that both Japan’s KDDI and France’s free have also committed to the technology.

Pictures Source: Trusted Reviews