The last post on Network sharing by NEC was surprisingly popular so I thought its worth doing a case study by Orange in Poland on how they successfully managed to share their network with T-Mobile. Full presentation embedded as follows:
I came across this interesting presentation from Orange in the LTE World Summit this year where the authors have detailed the C-RAN architecture and also discussing the fronthaul challenges faced by C-RAN. The presentation is embedded as follows. Please feel free to add your comments with your opinions.
The last table is from an Ofcom document here. Its very interesting read. For example I didnt know that The L-band was the first major part of Ofcom spectrum awards programme relevant to mobile services. It consists of 40MHz between 1452MHz and 1492MHz. The auction took place in May 2008, in which Qualcomm won the entirety of the available spectrum.
Here is the summary of the operators working on LTE:
Everything Everywhere (EE = Orange + T-Mobile) - They are calling their '4G' service as EE, covering up to 70% of the UK by the end of 2013. Network kit provided by Huawei.
Three - Samsung will provide the Radio Access Network, and the core infrastructure, for Three's LTE (4G) network. That includes the base stations, and radio core. 3 UK has agreed to purchase 2 x 15 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum from Everything everywhere, and plans commercial launch of LTE service in 2013.
Telefonica (O2) trial network - Equipment supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for both the Radio and Core network elements. Backhaul for the 4G trial network has been provided using Microwave Radio Equipment from Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited, NEC and Nokia Siemens Networks.
Updated 13/09/12 - 11:25
UK Broadband rolled out the first commercial TD-LTE network in London back in February (available to customers since May 2012). The equipment is provided by Huawei. They have 40MHz in Band 42 (3.5GHz) and 84MHz in band 43 (3.6GHz).
Summary of the interesting announcements and things that happened in the Small Cells World Summit 2012
@lesanto: "small cells are seen as a viable option to meet the demands of exponentially growing networks". even Mongolia is getting into the small cells!
@lesanto: First keynote speaker is Simon Saunders chairman of the Small Cell forum (he's written a LOT of books on the subject...)
@lesanto: I will be quoting Simon Saunders in this style: SS "this is the premier Small Cells event in the world"
@lesanto: SS "the agenda over the next few days is effectively a guide to all the Small Cells issues - a well balanced program"
@lesanto: SS "people often ask which Small Cells event they should go to. I say this one, if you can only do one industry this is it"
@lesanto: Simon Saunders "why is it that Small Cells are a good idea in the first place?"
@lesanto: SS "the more we try to serve the unlimited demand for data with macro cells the more interference we have to deal with"
@lesanto: SS "Small Cell networks help us to serve those data demands without increasing interference"
@lesanto: SS "we founded the Femto Forum in 2007 to answer these challenges"
@lesanto: SS "through hard work we achieved an open architecture for the 3G Femtocells. We highlighted a business case for Femtocells"
@stewartbaines: Simon Saunders: Capacity at limits, pushing Shannon's Law. We need more cells, tighter interference control and cost control
@lesanto: SS "deploying more small cells decreases network interference if managed properly"
@lesanto: SS "it is very heartening to see operators today deploying Femtocells successfully, we're seeing a great deal of maturity"
@thinksmallcell: Operators are finding the cost savings, churn reduction of femtocells to be much better than originally forecast - Simon Saunders
@lesanto: SS "Key attributes of small cells include Scalability, Automated configuration and optimisation..."
@lesanto: SS "we see the need and opportunity to do even more with small cells"
@Ubiquisys: "Our work today is about differentiating the technology to fit different environments"
@lesanto: "60% of operators surveyed consider small cells will be more important to LTE deployments than macrocells"
@LisaGCisco: Chair Simon Saunders highlights the Small Cell Forum work areas that include home, enterprise, metro and rural small cells
@stewartbaines: Simon Saunders: i struggle to find an operator that does not have small cells on their roadmap
@lesanto: go to http://smallcellforum.org where you can download the Small Cells Market Status report (free)
@lesanto: Small Cells forum now has 76 technology providers as members
@lesanto: In 2007 commercial deployment of small cells = zero -- now we have 41 operators deploying them commercially, including 9 of top 10
@bmbarnowski: great retrospective on the evolution of the femtocell/smallcell forum by SS … 2007 was a lonely year indeed for femtos ..
@lesanto: small cell deployment was once solely focussed on domestic deployment, now deployment is much broader inc commercial
@lesanto: 3.8 million femtocells deployed commercially worldwide
@Alejandro_Avren: 3.8 million femtocells deployed globally, says simon saunders of the small cell forum
@lesanto: several deployments have reached real scale, such as Sprint : over 600,000 units deployed
@lesanto: there will be more small cells deployed than macrocells by the end of 2012
@lesanto: to summarise : small cells have properly arrived ;0)
@Ubiquisys: By the end of 2012 there will be more Small Cells (6.4m) than Macro Cells
@thinksmallcell: forecast 6.4million small cells by end 2012 = more than all global macrocells all technologies
@lesanto: prediction: 91.9 million small cells will be deployed worldwide by end of 2016
@MarkBLHenry: Simon Saunders: "... The central magic of cellular is spectrum reuse..."
@lesanto: small cells offer a very substantial opportunity to increase capacity in a network
@stewartbaines: Simon Saunders: more small cells (6.4m) than macro (6m) by end of year. 80% all cells will be titchy by 2016 #SCWS2012. I got 2 of them :)
@lesanto: small cells can offer real positive change for the user experience on a 3g network
@lesanto: wi-fi and small cells need integration - they should be deployed in cooperation
@disruptivedean: Survey results at #SCWS2012 about coexistence & integration of Small Cells & WiFi point to wishful & unrealistic thinking about #HetNets
@lesanto: we see the opportunity for a deeper integration of small cells and wifi
@disruptivedean: Just had further evidence about slow/misguided focus of Carrier WiFi. WBA announced a trial of NGH WiFi starting Q4 #TooSlow
@lesanto: 2011 Small Cells Forum published small cell APIs
@Ubiquisys: The two overriding themes of @SmallCell_Forum's work are: a) Open and b) Multi-technology
@disruptivedean: My summary of intro at #SCWS2012: Good move shifting from femto to broader small-cells. Looking bright for LTE. Unconvinced by WiFi pitch
@lesanto: "Vodafone's strategy is to drive Small Cells from a customer needs perspective"
@lesanto: products such a Vodafone's 'sure signal' need to be plug and play, easy to install and use
@SmallCell_Forum: 3.8 million femtocells deployed globally today #SCWS2012. Market status report now at: http://www.smallcellforum.org/resources-white-papers
@lesanto: Vodafone are now running a trial of commercial small cells in Germany with great feedback already
@thinksmallcell: Vodafone to launch enterprise femtocells in Germany 2013. Good feedback from trials so far
@lesanto: data is becoming continually more important to customers, and they also want less wires and network devices in their homes
@thinksmallcell: Vodafone showcasing new FemtoPlug - embedded femtocell into a small mains plug. 8 calls 21Mb/s. Sagemcom and ALU suppliers.
@lesanto: enterprise customers are a very important segment of Vodafone's femtocell proposition - they want easy integration into their IT
@danieldotfox: Wow. The new Sure Signal product from #Vodafone looks amazing. Well thought out consumer proposition. Nice!
@SmallCell_Forum: Vodafone announces femtoplug: tiny femtocell with ethernet over mains. To be launched in existing markets 'within weeks'.
@disruptivedean: Liking the new "femtoplug" products announced by Vodafone. Very neat residential femto integrated into electric plug.
@lesanto: Present speaker, Alan Law, Technical Lead for femtocells, Vodafone Group...
@lesanto: "where do you put small cells? How can we determine where the hot spots are? Fortunately there are tools available to help here"
@lesanto: "geolocation tools can also be exploited for network quality improvements"
@Ubiquisys: "Geolocation can be used to identify traffic hotspots"
@lesanto: "Vodafone have gained essential experience on how to address challenges with public access small cells for many environments"
@lesanto: "the availability of multi-technology small cells eases deployment"
@lesanto: "accelerate availability of multi-technology small cells to reduce the number of site boxes required to ease deployment"
@lesanto: "it not just about network cover and quality - it is also about driving new services and revenue growth"
@lesanto: Next speaker : Sebastien Pham Programme Manager New Products Vodafone New Zealand.
@LisaGCisco: Vodafone's Alan Law underscores importance of Iuh standard to accelerate small cell market adoption
@lesanto: Vodafone NZ faces the challenge of a relatively large area with a relatively low number of users.
@lesanto: 4.8 million mobile subscribers in 2011 in New Zealand - 97% 3g coverage (vodafone) - rural broadband is very challenging
@lesanto: Vodafone deploying small cells in homes in NZ, but their Sure Signal will only work on Vodafone's own DSL network.
@lesanto: watching a video on how small cells can help you make better mobile calls at home : are you hanging out a window to get a single?
@stewartbaines: Femtos bring broadband to rural communities in NZ:http://www.vodafone.co.nz/suresignal
@lesanto: plug in a Sure Signal small cell box into your DSL and suddenly you can make mobile calls from anywhere in the house!#sorted!
@stewartbaines: No more driving testing: use geolocation tools to identify traffic not-spots. Vodafone at #SCWS2012 #smallcells
@lesanto: Next vid: a small business in NZ in a building known as the bunker - thick concrete and steel walls = poor mobile reception!
@disruptivedean: Ironic that Small Cell industry finally getting enterprise proposition right, at same time that #BYOD drives #BYOSP in businesses
@lesanto: yep, you've guessed it : they plug in a Sure Signal small cell and their mobiles all work - even inside the bunker ;0)
@stewartbaines: @katebo Orange is doing a prez on it's enterprise femtocell strategy at#SCWS2012. Will grab a post for Connecting Technology blog
@danieldotfox: Small Cell feedback via Vodafone.nz, from customers: It's life changing! We all need and depend on mobiles... Food for thought!
@lesanto: small cells were deployed during the Feb 2011 Christchurch earthquake to replace broken macro cells in certain essential areas
@Ubiquisys: Femtocells have been used in disaster situations for emergency coverage, such as the Christchurch earthquake
@vodafoneNZ: @Ubiquisys Our network team did incredible work for Chch #eqnz. Used creative tools including the Truck http://bit.ly/NGPzM7
@lesanto: new speaker : Emmanuel Adnot International Strategy Manager at Orange...
@lesanto: Orange Group had $45bn turnover in 2011
@lesanto: talking about : How Femtocells support Orange's B2B strategy...
@lesanto: "coverage needs in enterprise markets are niche" Emmanuel Adnot, Orange (EA)
@lesanto: "10% of B2B customers have indoor mobile reception issues that effect their business"
@lesanto: "10% is a niche but it still represents a significant market"
@lesanto: "45% of those connectivity issues are suffered in basement or storeroom situations" EA
@lesanto: "80% of customers suffering local connectivity issues are ready to move to an operator offering a solution to the problem"
@lesanto: "small cells are part of the B2B indoor coverage strategy" EA
@lesanto: "30% of B2B users are using smartphones - but that share is growing massively"
@lesanto: small b2b customers need both wi-fi and small cell solutions to answer their connectivity issues
@lesanto: "small cell installation reduced churn by almost 50% where connectivity had previously been an issue"
@lesanto: "B2B customers suffering indoor connectivity problems are ready to pay for small cell solutions"
@lesanto: "Orange will launch small cell solutions to the UK market in summer 2012"
@danieldotfox: In Portugal, #Orange cam charge over €1000 for a B2B femto. Wow.
@stewartbaines: Orange study: 80% of business customers ready to churn if their coverage issues are not addressed. #SCWS2012. Similar to Alcatel research...
@SmallCell_Forum: Orange: PT, FR, Romania B2B femtocells launched, 2 more countries to be launched (UK, Be) by end 2012 #scws2012 plus Poland next year
@stewartbaines: Small cells can be basis for location-based services. Stop the dumb pipe!
@lesanto: "what's next? Femtocell as a service for small operations..
@lesanto: "what's next: femtocell and other techs within a small cell - leverage indoor coverage solution for location based services"
@Ubiquisys: What's next for B2B femtocell solutions? Here's @orange's outlook
@lesanto: why are Orange concentrating on B2B for small cells? Could it be the cost? I can't see many consumers paying $1500 a pop!
@lesanto: but Orange haven't ruled out bringing small cells to the consumer...
@dmavrakis: Orange believes that SMBs that have coverage problems are willing to pay €1500 for an access point.
@stewartbaines: Orange France enterprise femtos cost 1500 euros. But you do get a visit from an engineer. I thought they were plug & play?
@lesanto: next speaker : Martin Guthrie - head of business development - NEC
@lesanto: MG "small cells are beautiful"
@lesanto: "the world is getting smaller, so are macro cells"
@lesanto: "smaller and smaller cell sizes are an inevitability along with the technical and cost benefits they bring"
@lesanto: " many small cells advantages : better coverage, greater capacity gain, higher density coverage"
@lesanto: "business case benefits of small cells are not fully understood"
@Ubiquisys: The elephant in the small cells room is dichotomy between vendors: "look at our tech" & operators: "how can we make money?" @NEC
@lesanto: "benefits: reduced customer churn : increased customer acquisition : reduced cost of new macro deployment : "
@lesanto: " more benefits: leverage presence of mobile operator in the home : Increased ARPU "
@Ubiquisys: "Integration with operators' existing network and system is key" @NEC
@lesanto: technical and marketing support is essential when deploying small cells - choose your vendor carefully!
@lesanto: "make sure that your small cell solutions use advanced & adaptive radio management technologies that won't interfere with macro"
@lesanto: Next speaker : Mark Gallagher Principle Engineer, Cisco
@lesanto: "mass adoption of the mobile internet is going on right now - scaling to meet this demand is the challenge"
@Ubiquisys: The next speaker is Mark Gallagher of @CiscoSystems "Defining the New Normal"
@small_cells: "usage patterns in mobile internet are as important as the size of use"
@disruptivedean: Watching Cisco at #SCWS2012 . Think that it's underestimating % of smartphone data that goes via WiFi, only small % of which is offload
@small_cells: "network densification is required : small cell development = highly dense topologies"
@Ubiquisys: "Network densification is required. Small cell deployment = highly dense topologies" @CiscoSystems
@small_cells: "you must use all the spectrum assets available to you"
@small_cells: globally available data sources can be incorporated into RF planning tools to give a clear picture of where to add small cells
@small_cells: "you need a simple, scaleable small cell solution that's properly managed"
@small_cells: "there is significant revenue potential in the small cell business model" -- think beyond simply making savings
@small_cells: "Small cells really are the new norm"
@Ubiquisys: London hotspots map shows usage, including tweets & Flickr photos, identifies small cell deployment locations.
@Ubiquisys: Small cells future built around growing penetration of mobile internet. Take learnings from adjacent markets.
@Lance_Hiley: #ciscosystems shows geolocation tool to identify potential #smallcellsdeployment locations using #flicker and #twitter uploads
@small_cells: "small cells are splitting into two categories : capacity and coverage"
@small_cells: "how can we cope with the data tsunami that's coming at us?"
@small_cells: "the cost difference between a small cell and a macro is large"
@Ubiquisys: Joe Madden of Mobile Experts on Small cell economics and time-to-market
@small_cells: "with data growth doubling every year you really need to plan ahead to cope"
@Ubiquisys: Data growth in US will not be uniform. Most data is consumed in downtown metro areas.
@small_cells: "imagine if it was your job to find sites for 28,000 new macro masts per year to cope with data demand!"
@Ubiquisys: Balanced solution = towers in the rural areas, picocells in urban areas.
@stewartbaines: Joe Madden: It worries me that operators are talking small cells only for LTE. You need a balance (small + macro)
@lesanto: "operators are not keeping up with the data curve, I don't see them spending enough capital to keep up with demand"
@lesanto: "I think we're going to fall behind data demand in a serious way in 2015/2016"
@Ubiquisys: Operators won't be able to keep up with data demand. Be ready to ship millions of picocells in next few years.
@lesanto: "when customers want to use more data than they can get we'll have unhappy customers and that means churn"
@disruptivedean: HIghly questionable supply/demand curve at #SCWS2012 that doesn't cover impact of pricing & policy management constraining "demand"
@lesanto: "those unhappy customers will force operators to make choices they hadn't previously wanted to make for economic reasons"
@stewartbaines: Joe Madden: be ready to ship millions of small cells, whether cheapest or not, by 2015
@lesanto: "we are projecting high numbers of small cells because of time-to-Market issues..."
@lesanto: The #London2012 olympics throws up a real challenge for mobile operators - small cells are already installed for the event.
@danieldotfox: #O2UK has 100 small cells within the London area.
@Ubiquisys: Currently on stage, Robert Joyce of Telefonica. Case study: delivering small cells into the heart of central London
@SmallCell_Forum: O2 says "small cells are the only way" for future capacity, even factoring on extra spectrum and LTE-A.
@lesanto: "2g hotspots aren't in the same place as 3g hotspots so replacing existing 2g small cells for 3g cells won't always bring results"
@danieldotfox: #O2UK really like 'open' femto cells. Interesting!
@lesanto: O2 bid on access to street furniture, street lamps etc, in order to use them to provide wi-fi and small cells
@lesanto: BUT, once O2 had the poles they discovered the councils wanted planning permission for each and every lamppost installation...
@stewartbaines: O2: 400 individual planning applications required to deploy metro wifi in Kensington and Westminster. Ouch!
@lesanto: O2 also had to considerer the form factor of the installations, London lampposts are not suitable for big set upis!
@lesanto: O2's London network is fed both 'over the street' and 'under it' - using a mix of masts, cells and fibre...
@lesanto: O2's mobile network plan for London aims to serve a Gig per Km2
@lesanto: O2 have 12 access points for mobile in Trafalgar Square alone
@lesanto: You lot should see just how complex serving mobile to the streets of London is. Remember this next time you complain about signal
@lesanto: Olympic village buildings are clad in aluminium for heat retention - this also locks out mobile signals!
@lesanto: the result is the Olympic village has become probably the densest installation of small cells anywhere...
@SmallCell_Forum: O2 have deployed 1200 femtos in a in an apartment block for some 'very healthy people' (!) in London for this summer
@lesanto: O2 want to use their Olympic experience to roll out small cells elsewhere - but say the price has to come down!
@joelpagot: @wendyzajack nice pic! #smallcells also come in "green" (low-power mobile devices)
@Ubiquisys: Here's a prototype solar powered small cell. Interesting concept.
@joelpagot: @Ubiquisys Good example for #GreenICT #smallcells big impact: more capacity for less
@SmallCell_Forum: After announcements by O2 and Orange today, is UK first market in world where all operators have publically announced femtocells?
@thinksmallcell: O2 deployed 1Gb/s per square kilometre capacity onstreet 3G/WiFi in London using Small Cells - believe will meet forecast demand
@Lance_Hiley: Telefonica's Rob Joyce forecasts 1Gb/s per km #backhaul requirement for London #smallcells by 2015.
@disruptivedean: @Lance_Hiley Quite astonishing to think that 1sq km use of mobile data in 2015 is only equivalent of a single FTTH broadband cnxn
@markc_reed: “@thinksmallcell: O2 deployed 1Gb/s per square kilometre capacity in London using Small demand #SCWS2012” what about install & bhaul cost?
@lesanto: Manish Singh CTO of Radisys is now on the stand
@Ubiquisys: @radisys: Over the next three years, which sources of disruption will have the greatest impact on mobile operators?
@disruptivedean: Radisys survey at #SCWS2012 shows operators still think "good user experience" = seamless WiFi authentication & handover. Very wrong indeed
@Ubiquisys: You need a portfolio of products to address different segments. Requirements are evolving, so flexibility is a must. @radisys
@thinksmallcell: 46% of operators surveyed said logistics and deployment model were barriers to rapid small cell rollout - Radisys survey
@danieldotfox: #O2UK state that 1Gbit per square kilometer is needed for sufficient outdoor data capacity within 2015 timeframe. Crikey.
@Ubiquisys: NGMN Alliance's Julius Robson is talking about small cell specific backhaul requirements
@lesanto: The relentless growth of data consumption - can we handle it? http://smallcells.posterous.com/the-relentless-growth-of-data-consumption-can via @small_cells
@Ubiquisys: Deployment prerequisites for small cell deployment: unserved demand, suitable site, backhaul connectivity #NGMN
@Ubiquisys: Small cell devices are more visible than macros and need to be small, light, touch safe and tamper proof
@stewartbaines: Wilson Street post from #SCWS2012: Orange or Vodafone taking best approach to femtos? - http://www.wilson-street.com/2012/06/scws2012-femtocells-pile-them-high-and-sell-them-cheap-or-keep-them-for-the-most-valuable-customers/
@lesanto: Somewhat technical this presso... not eminently tweetable see "security of LTE backhauling" white paper by ngmn - http://www.ngmn.org/uploads/media/NGMN_Whitepaper_Backhaul_Security.pdf
@Ubiquisys: Small cell backhaul connections are viewed as untrusted and may need IPsec encryption
@lesanto: "backhaul is a key enabler for small cells, but there is uncertainty around which solutions are suitable"
@Ubiquisys: Backhaul white paper is available at http://www.ngmn.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/Technical/NGMN_Whitepaper_Small_Cell_Backhaul_Requirements.pdf
@lesanto: The streets of London are paved with small cells #SCWS2012 http://smallcells.posterous.com/the-streets-of-london-are-paved-with-small-ce via @small_cells
@Lance_Hiley: Availability of #smallcells can be relaxed in hotspot deployment scenario says Julius Robson, editor of @ngmn_alliance Whitepaper
@lesanto: since the show started this morning we have seen 5% growth in the industry as two major mobile operators have adopted small cells
@SmallCell_Forum: France & UK first countries globally where all mobile operators have announced femtocells.
@lesanto: majority of South Koreans using LTE networks by 2014
@lesanto: South Korea enjoys one of the highest adoptions of high speed networks in the world
@lesanto: SK telecom launched the world's first LTE + wi-fi femtocell network in 2011
@lesanto: SK telecom is preparing for the PETA byte era - which is next year! 1 PETA = 10 to the power of 15 bytes.
@stewartbaines: @lesanto Key thing about the petabyte era, is SK Telecom will has 1 petabyte PER DAY on their mobile network.
@lesanto: Small cells can provide extended coverage at lower cost
@lesanto: "For interference mitigation in small cell deployment, a central interference management system is being developed"
@Ubiquisys: Nick Karter of @qualcomm will now talk about the convergence of 3G, 4G and wifi
@lesanto: "the growth in data traffic is outstripping the ability to put new spectrum on the market" (say it again)
@lesanto: "there is an increase in operator provided wi-fi"
@lesanto: "wi-fi is already a small cell but without all the features you expect from a mobile network"
@lesanto: "Hotspot 2.0 - converging the wi-fi and cellular networks"
@lesanto: "people use cellular primarily for email and facebook, while they use wi-fi for youtube"
@lesanto: "optimising power consumption is critical when combining so many functions into one box"
@lesanto: "you need a good application processor to manage the network efficiently"
@lesanto: providing mobile data is extremely complex - it's a typical swan swimming scenario, serene above the surface, mad action below it.
@Ubiquisys: Need for RF coordination with coexistence of Wi-Fi and LTE. Optimising power limitation is critical. @qualcomm
@lesanto: "security is obviously very critical to a mobile network"
@lesanto: "Hotspot 2.0 - the mission is to make wi-fi connectivity (of mobile devices) as seamless and easy as cellular"
@danieldotfox: The #Qualcomm approach to multiradio/multi spectrum type access points looks good. Mixed in with Hotspot 2.0. Smart thinking.
@Ubiquisys: Manish Gupta of Symmetricomm: Timing and synchronisation for small cells
@Ubiquisys: Small cells defined: Residential, Enterprise, Metro. What is the distinction?
@Ubiquisys: Panel discussion coming up at #SCWS2012: Backhaul challenges for small cell deployment
@Ubiquisys: Rural environment small cell deployments vary wildly. Any data connection is better than zero in many remote areas
@lesanto: rain can degrade mobile network performance. They call it 'rain fade' - #WhoKnew? see: http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/rain-fade
@LisaGCisco: Multi-operator white label small cells might be a solution to the complexity and cost of multiple public small cell networks
@Ubiquisys: "GPS is great, but make sure you have a back up" #SCWS2012 panel
Thanks to all those who tweeted and made this article possible. Credit to the following people
@lesanto = Glenn Le Santo @stewartbaines = Stewart Baines @thinksmallcell = David Chambers @Ubiquisys = Keith Day @LisaGCisco = Lisa Garza @bmbarnowski = Barney Barnowski @Alejandro_Avren = Alejandro Piñero @MarkBLHenry = Mark Henry @disruptivedean = Dean Bubley @SmallCell_Forum = Small Cell Forum @danieldotfox = Daniel Fox @vodafoneNZ = Vodafone New Zealand @dmavrakis = Dimitris Mavrakis @small_cells = Small Cells @Lance_Hiley = Lance Hiley @joelpagot = Joel Pagot @markc_reed = Mark Reed @MarcianoGilbert = Gilbert Marciano @theshipster = Steve Shipley
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IMB is used to stream live video and store popular content on the device for later consumption. This results in a significant offloading of data intensive traffic from existing 3G unicast networks and an improved customer experience. The multimedia client features an intuitive electronic program guide, channel grid and embedded video player for live TV viewing and video recording. All IMB applications can be quickly and cost-effectively adapted to support all major mobile operating systems and different mobile device types, including smartphones, tablets and e-readers.
IMB was defined in the 3GPP release 8 standards, and was recently endorsed by the GSMA as their preferred method for the efficient delivery of broadcast services. In June 2010, O2, Orange and Vodafone – three of the five major UK mobile operators – announced that they have teamed up for a three-month trial that will explore IMB wireless technology within a tranche of 3G TDD spectrum.
This spectrum already forms part of the 3G licenses held by many European mobile operators, but has remained largely unused because of a lack of appropriate technology. Currently, 3G TDD spectrum is available to over 150 operators across 60 countries, covering more than half a billion subscribers. IMB enables spectrally efficient delivery of broadcast services in the TDD spectrum based on techniques that are aligned with existing FDD WCDMA standards. This enables a smooth handover between IMB and existing 3G networks.
Issues that previously limited uptake of IMB, or IPWireless' tdTV system, have now all been addressed. Namely, the standard now allows for smooth handover between IMB and unicast delivery; has the potential to be integrated onto a single W-CDMA chip rather than requiring a separate chip; and has resolved interference issues with FDD W-CDMA, at least for spectrum in the 1900MHz to 1910MHz range.
IP Wireless already had a trial at Orange and T-Mobile in the UK (which have just agreed to merge), but in that pilot each 5MHz segment only gave rise to 14 TV channels per operator. The new standard could support 40 separate TV channels if two operators shared their TDD spectrum.
The GSMA announced its support and is backed up with additional support from both IPWireless and Ericsson as well as operators Orange, Softbank and Telstra.
There have been recently quite a few bad news for DVB-H and on top of that IP Wireless has announced that Samsung is going to be releasing phones with IMB support so it may be that we will see IMB sometime next year.
The GSMA paper that details IMB service scenarios and System requirements is embedded below:
CODEC stands for “COder-DECoder,” but is also known as an enCOder-DECoder and COmpression-DECompression system when used in video systems. Codec's are important as they compress the voice/video data/packets so less bandwidth is required for the data to be transmitted. At the same time it has to be borne in mind that the capacity to withstand errors decrease with higher compression ratio and as a result it may be necessary to change the codecs during the voice/video call. This calls for flexibility as in case of AMR (Adaptive Multi Rate) Codecs.
Voice codecs on higher layers have been designed to cope with packet loss to a certain extent since there is not usually time to wait for a repetition of the data. This is why data from circuit-switched connections is not repeated when it is not received correctly but simply ignored. For IP sessions, doing the same is difficult, since a single session usually carries both real-time services such as voice calls and best-effort services such as Web browsing simultaneously. In UMTS evolution networks, mechanisms such as ‘Secondary PDP contexts’ can be used to separate the real-time data traffic from background or signaling traffic into different streams on the air interface while keeping a single IP address on the mobile device.
UMTS uses the same codecs as GSM. On the air interface users are separated by spreading codes and the resulting data rate is 30–60 kbit/s depending on the spreading factor. Unlike GSM, where timeslots are used for voice calls, voice capacity in UMTS depends less on the raw data rate but more on the amount of transmit power required for each voice call. Users close to the base station require less transmission power in downlink compared with more distant users. To calculate the number of voice calls per UMTS base station, an assumption has to be made about the distribution of users in the area covered by a cell and their reception conditions. In practice, a UMTS base station can carry 60–80 voice calls per sector. A typical three-sector UMTS base station can thus carry around 240 voice calls. As in the GSM example, a UMTS cell also carries data traffic, which reduces the number of simultaneous voice calls.
The following is an extract from 3G Americas white paper, "3GPP Mobile Broadband Innovation Path to 4G: Release 9, Release 10 and Beyond: HSPA+, SAE/LTE and LTE-Advanced,":
Real-time flows (voice/video) based on rate adaptive codecs can dynamically switch between different codec rates. Codec rate adaptation allows an operator to trade off voice/video quality on one side and network capacity (e.g. in terms of the number of accepted VoIP calls), and/or radio coverage on the other side. Operators have requested a standardized solution to control the codec rate adaptation for VoIP over LTE, and a solution has been agreed upon and specified in the 3GPP Rel-9 specifications, which is provided in this paper.
CODEC RATE ADAPTATION BASED ON ECN
Given previous discussion in 3GPP (3GPP S4-070314) it was clear that dropping IP packets was not an acceptable means for the network to trigger a codec rate reduction. Instead an explicit feedback mechanism had to be agreed on by which the network (e.g. the eNodeB) could trigger a codec rate reduction. The mechanism agreed on for 3GPP Rel-9 is the IP-based Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) specified in an IETF RFC. ECN is a 2 bit field in the end-to-end IP header. It is used as a “congestion pre-warning scheme” by which the network can warn the end points of incipient congestion so that the sending endpoint can decrease its sending rate before the network is forced to drop packets or excessive delay of media occurs. Any ECN-based scheme requires two parts: network behavior and endpoint behavior. The first part had already been fully specified in an IETF RFC106 and merely had to be adopted into the corresponding specifications (3GPP TS 23.401 and 3GPP TS 36.300). The network behavior is completely service and codec agnostic. That is, it works for both IMS and non-IMS based services and for any voice/video codec with rate-adaptation capabilities. The main work in 3GPP focused on the second part: the endpoint behavior. For 3GPP Rel-9, the endpoint behavior has been specified for the Multimedia Telephony Service for IMS (MTSI - 3GPP TS 26.114). It is based on a generic (i.e. non-service specific) behavior for RTP/UDP based endpoints, which is being standardized in the IETF.
Furthermore, it was agreed that no explicit feedback was needed from the network to trigger a codec rate increase. Instead, the Rel-9 solution is based on probing from the endpoints – more precisely the Initial Codec Mode (ICM) scheme that had already been specified in 3GPP Rel-7 (3GPP S4-070314). After the SIP session has been established, the sending side always starts out with a low codec rate. After an initial measurement period and RTCP receiver reports indicating a “good channel,” the sending side will attempt to increase the codec rate. The same procedure is executed after a codec rate reduction.
Figure 6.8 depicts how codec rate reduction works in Rel-9:
Step 0. The SIP session is negotiated with the full set of codec rates and independent of network level congestion. The use of ECN has to be negotiated separately for each media stream (e.g. VoIP).
Steps 1 and 2. After ECN has been successfully negotiated for a media stream the sender must mark each IP packet as ECN-Capable Transport (ECT). Two different values, 10 and 01, have been defined in an IETF RFC106 to indicate ECT. However, for MTSI only 10 shall be used.
Step 3. To free up capacity and allow more VoIP calls and/or to improve VoIP coverage, the eNodeB sets the ECN field to Congestion Experienced (CE) in an IP packet that belongs to an IP flow marked as ECT. Note that the ECN-CE codepoint in an IP packet indicates congestion in the direction in which the IP packets are being sent.
Steps 4 and 5. In response to an ECN-CE the receiving MTSI client issues an RTCP message to trigger a codec rate reduction.
Note that ECN operates in both directions (uplink and downlink) entirely independent and without any interactions. It is very well possible to trigger codec rate adaptation in one direction without triggering it in the other direction.
ONGOING WORK IN 3GPP
A new work item called, Enabling Encoder Selection and Rate Adaptation for UTRAN and E-UTRAN, has been created for 3GPP Rel-10. Part of this work item is to extend the scope of the codec rate adaptation solution agreed in Rel-9 to also apply to HSPA and non-voice RTP-based media streams.
Nokia publicly underlined its commitment to broadcast-mobile-TV standard DVB-H with the recent unveiling of the mobile TV edition of the Nokia 5330 and its pretax, presubsidy price tag of €155 (US$230), after some in the industry had questioned its enthusiasm for launching new DVB-H devices. Nokia also quelled any suggestions that it might start supporting the MBMS standard with its future device launches.
The price is a massive drop from the €550 price tag carried by Nokia’s last fully DVB-H-compatible handset, the N96, which launched in 3Q08. So the official line from Nokia is this: “All is well on the good ship DVB-H.”
Meanwhile, In China, China Unicom has launched 3G telecom services in 268 cities across the country, said Li Gang, another deputy general manger for Unicom Group, noting that the WCDMA network supports a 14Mbps download data transmission speed and a 7.2Mbps upload data transmission speed.
Notably, the carrier has adopted the most advanced R6 technology in its core WCDMA network to smooth a WCDMA-to-EPS migration in the future, according to Mr. Zhang.
The China Unicom network is expected to support MBMS and HSPA+64QAM technology in the first phase of a further evolution, shore up a HSPA+MIMO technology in the Phase II evolution, and prompt a LTE technology in the Phase III evolution, said Mr. Zhang, adding that the network will present a 100Mbps download speed and a 50Mbps upload speed after the Phase III evolution.
Read more here. Back in September,Orange Moldova announced the launch of the world's first mobile telephone service offering high-definition (HD) sound. The service will provide customers with a significantly improved quality of service when making calls. Unlike for other mobile technologies such as multimedia capabilities, this is the first time since the 1990s that mobile voice technologies have been subject to a significant evolution.
This is the second step in Orange’s HD voice strategy, following on from the launch of a high-definition voice service for VoIP calls in 2006. Over 500,000 Livephone devices have already been sold in France and the range will be extended to other Orange countries over the coming months.
The first mobile handset integrating high-definition voice capability that will be launched by Orange Moldova is the Nokia 6720c. This innovative handset integrates the new WB-AMR technology, which is widely expected within the industry to become a new standard for mobile voice communications.
Thanks to the Adaptive Multi Rate-WideBand (AMR-WB) codec, double the frequency spectrum will be given over to voice telephony over traditional voice calling. Orange boasts that the result is "near hi-fi quality" and "FM-radio quality", which seems an odd comparison.