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Showing posts with label Vodafone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vodafone. Show all posts

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Making LTE fit for the IoT

Another presentation from the #FWIC2013. This presentation by Vodafone covers some of the areas where the LTE standards are being tweaked for making M2M work with them without issues.


Another area is the access barring that I have blogged about before here. This will become important when we have loads of devices trying to access the network at the same time.

The presentation is embedded below and you can also listen to the audio here.


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Is the Global Mobile Roaming model broken?

Yesterday, I noticed some heavyweights discussing roaming prices on Twitter. It is embedded below using the new Twitter embed feature:


Those who follow me on Twitter may have noticed me ranting about the roaming prices recently so I thought that this is a perfect opportunity to put my thoughts down.

As being discussed above, I went on the websites of two UK operators and found out about their roaming rates to India and The USA and they are as follows:


 It should be noted that there is a better rate available with some kind of bundle opt-in from both the operators and I have not shown about the other UK operators but they offer a similar sort of rate so I am not trying to single out O2 and/or Vodafone.

Since LTE is 'All-IP' network my interest is more from Data point of view rather than the voice point of view. A colleague who went to India recently decided that enough is enough and he bought a SIM in India locally. Apparently is just a bit too difficult to get SIM in India if you are not an Indian resident, nevertheless he somehow managed it. The rates as shown below was INR 24 for 100 MB of data.


Rs. 24 is something like $0.50 or £0.35. You see my problem regarding the data rates? People may be quick to point out here that India has the cheapest data rates in the world. On the other hand we look at US, the rates are as follows:

Even if we assume $15 / 1GB data, its far cheaper than the roaming rate which may be something like,  £3/MB = £3000/GB or £6/MB = £6000/GB.

I blogged about all the interesting developments that have been happening in LTE World Summit regarding the roaming solutions but what is the point of having all these solutions if the operators cant work out a way to reduce these costs. Or is it that they do not want to reduce these costs as they are a good source of income?

The operators complain that the OTT services are taking business away from them and turning them into dumb data pipes but to a lot of extent its their fault. People like me who travel often dont want to spend loads of cash on data and have worked out a way around it. Most of the places I visit have WiFi, most of my work is not urgent enough and I can wait till I am in a WiFi coverage area. In some parts of the world, still I have to buy an expensive WiFi access but compared to the roaming rates, its still cheap so I have stopped complaining about it. My decision to book a hotel depends of reviews, free breakfast and free WiFi. Some of our clients who give us their phone to use abroad strictly inform us that data should not be turned on unless its a matter of life and death.

If the operators dont change their strategies and work out a better solution for the roaming rates I am afraid that their short term gains will only lead to long term pains.

Do you have an opinion? I am interested in hearing.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A quick summary of #SCWS2012 in tweets

Summary of the interesting announcements and things that happened in the Small Cells World Summit 2012

DAY 1

@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

Day 1 Summaries:



DAY 2

@Ubiquisys: First speaker this morning : Matthew D Brown, Marketing Product Manager, Femtocell, Optus Australia

@lesanto: Matthew Brown Marketing Product Manager Femtocell, Optus Aus. "delivering femtocells to market isn't just about technical aspects"

@stewartbaines: Optus: coverage is still the massive factor in acquisition and retention in Australia

@small_cells: Matthew is treating us to a case study on marketing femtocells to the challenging Australian mobile market

@small_cells: "we decided to include the additional benefit of unlimited calls in a femtocell tariff"

@LisaGCisco: Optus 3G Home Zone provides a value add with unlimited calling according to Optus Product Manager Matthew Brown

@small_cells: Optus consumer marketing video promises 5 bars of mobile signal and unlimited calls - a dual message

@small_cells: Optus marketing strategy was to lead strongly with coverage message and value proposition of tariff

@SmallCell_Forum: Optus Australia: unlimited femtocell voice calls cheaper than a latte

@small_cells: "we managed to mitigate the negative effect of it seeming like they were paying for coverage, hence the unlimited calls package"

@small_cells: "our initial commercial pilots taught us about the big challenge of integrating the femtocell with a variety of different modems"

@small_cells: "this product needs a seamless deployment, it must just plug and play - the consumer is short of patience with set up"

@stewartbaines: Optus: key to residential femto success...5 bar coverage AND differentiated (free standard national) calling from home

@small_cells: Optus have a lot of useful experience with consumer femtocell deployment, it's well worth learning the lessons they've learned!



@stewartbaines: I never realized my femto should be 1m away from my WiFi. You learn something new everyday!

@small_cells: "customers really enjoy the benefit of the connectivity, they absolutely love it - the challenge is how to price that service"

@small_cells: Great presentation from Matthew, lots of useful practical information from the Optus femtocell experience

@stewartbaines: Optus: next steps is presence-based apps and further differentiated pricing.

@stewartbaines: Optus: we're looking for presence-based apps/services for femtos. Anyone got a case study?

@small_cells: next speaker : Xiaojia Liu, Deputy General, Manager of Technology, China Unicom

@small_cells: "wireless network evolution is ongoing"

@small_cells: "more than 40 launches of the LTE network and 200 more commitments"

@small_cells: "LTE-A requires a 1gbs downlink"

@small_cells: "limited coverage of macro sites will become a very big problem"

@small_cells: Service Development Trends: Phones once used for voice call and SMS - now various uses and services including HD TV.

@Ubiquisys: As smartphone use grows, user habits have changed. There are now billions of 'always-on' customers

@small_cells: "40 - 60% mobile calls taking place indoors" leading to connectivity and capacity issues

@small_cells: "densely populated areas lead to more interference between installed femtocells requiring better interference handling technology"

@small_cells: "two deployment scenarios: Hotspot scenario and rural scenario - both requiring different solutions"

@Ubiquisys: Dense scenario is more suited to #China. Need a flexible, intelligent interfence coordination method #Chinacom

@small_cells: "main objective scenario : coverage (for) holes and hotspots"

@small_cells: "one objective of small cells is to minimise CAPEX and OPEX"

@Ubiquisys: Broadband resource, cost per unit and construction complexity should be taken into account in deployment #Chinacom

@small_cells: "small cells seem more flexible and give more choices for operator deployment"

@small_cells: "small cells bring more: higher capacity, better micro-offload, enhanced user experience"

@small_cells: "with small cells we can do more"

@stewartbaines: Is China Unicom suggesting handover between individual HeNBs?

@MarcianoGilbert: China Unicom: 2 small cells rollout scénario: Hotspot (close, semiopen, open for M2M use) & rural; Wifi + Cellular in tandem.

@Ubiquisys: Operators could provided new types of revenue-generating services in small cell development

@SmallCell_Forum: China Unicom: Small Cell Forum has important role in standardisation, comms, cooperation and IoT testing for small cell evolution

@LisaGCisco: Xiao Han China Unicom underscores key role of Small Cell Forum in increasing industry adoption through standardization and IOT

@MarcianoGilbert: China Unicom 10 provinces for precommercial network in small cells #ALU @SmallCell_Forum @Alcatel_Lucent

@lesanto: *very* detailed presentation from China Unicom - hope the slides are available for careful study later...

@SmallCell_Forum: China Unicom: X2 interface is a key component for managing interference in LTE: welcomes news that SCF is working on X2 interop

@small_cells: Next speaker: Mike Schabel - VP LightRadio, Alcatel-Lucent "Metro Cell : Thinking outside the box"

@small_cells: MS "I'd like to share our experiences with introducing LightRadio"

@small_cells: "there is a lot to extract from spectral efficiency - 1x or 2x capacity improvement"

@small_cells: "operators continue to lobby for more spectrum, including adding wi-fi"

@small_cells: "but we really need to look at spatial efficiency - outdoor metro cells are a part of that efficiency"

@stewartbaines: ALU: spectral efficiency can get 1.5x more capacity. Spatial efficiency can get 10x more capacity

@small_cells: we'll have an expanded number of nodes, as many as tens of thousands - and they could be anywhere

@small_cells: "but the box is probably the smallest part of the picture that needs to be solved"

@small_cells: "we have recognised just how important the beyond the box solution is"

@small_cells: "there's a large number of deployment challenges that need to be solved"

@small_cells: "ecosystem partners are likely to change, the whole value chain is up for grabs again"

@small_cells: "we need to talk about the box, I can't escape talking about the box"

@small_cells: it's important that the box is modular to meet the challenges of multiple deployments

@small_cells: "the box is in the public eye so we focussed on the look of the box"

@small_cells: "everything but the kitchen sink has to go into this box"

@small_cells: "you have to be careful about the design of the box, pay attention to details like heat dissipation"

@thinksmallcell: ALU 70% data traffic offload is the tipping point for commercial viability of a dedicated small cell carrier.

@thinksmallcell: ALU recapping that spatial efficiency (small cells) essential to meet forecast capacity growth of 25x

@stewartbaines: No silver bullet for metrocell backhaul. "I can't keep up" says Schnabel, ALU. Need every possible option

@thinksmallcell: ALU forecast 10x growth in cellsites for metro cells. OPEX more significant than CAPEX

@thinksmallcell: ALU explaining MetroDock - pluggable radio cards for compact metrocell. Is this the "radio blade server" for city lampposts?

@small_cells: "Backhaul : No silver bullet - requires comprehensive options"

@stewartbaines: If you can hang a Christmas light, can you really hang a metrocell?

@small_cells: "Site selection: no longer about RF positioning. Need to balance site availability, power, and backhaul"

@thinksmallcell: ALU claim to have automated design tool balancing RF location, backhaul and power for commercially viable best fit for#metrocells

@Alejandro_Avren: ALUH site acquisition major challenge for metrocell deployment..scramble has already begun

@small_cells: "what's not practical is to find an ideal site with no backhaul, that won't solve the problem"

@small_cells: "installation & commissioning a massive challenge, must design the product to make it easy to install without high-skilled labour"

@small_cells: "we have been going through and learning a tremendous amount of lessons with LightRadio"

@thinksmallcell: ALU saying they fully support X2 interface which would facilitate multivendor #HetNets

@small_cells: Next speaker : Will Franks CTO and co-founder of Ubiquisys

@small_cells: "smart cells is a hot topic in the industry"

@small_cells: "small cells serve 4 locations : Home : Enterprise : Urban : Rural "

@small_cells: "data wasn't the original driving factor it was voice quality and capacity"

@small_cells: "Now we are in the post data revolution era"

@small_cells: "we talk about metro cells on lampposts but 70% of mobile data is consumed indoors"

@stewartbaines: Ubiquisys: enterprises femtos are 1/4 cost of picos and DAS. Good news as most enterprises don't have DAS or picos due to cost

@small_cells: "rural backhaul is very costly, femto based technology with satellite backhaul speeds up rural deployment"

@small_cells: "small cells - a 7.7billion dollar opportunity!"

@small_cells: "one of the great things about metro indoor is there are a lot of sites - the real hotspots are indoor"

@small_cells: "50,000 public access small cells deployed - 200,000 open access femtocells deployed"

@Ubiquisys: Will Franks: Ubiquisys has 50k metro indoor small cells deployed around the world, mostly in Asia

@small_cells: "example Metro indoor hotspots stats: 90% of phones are smartphones : data to voice ratio is 10:1 : 10,000 data session in 24 hrs

@small_cells: "data dominated by chatty smartphone apps - signalling procedures per UE in busy hour - up to 50 users"

@Ubiquisys: Will Franks: traffic is dominated by data/signalling. Data is dominated by chatty smartphone apps. Users are highly transient.

@small_cells: "transient users - ave 7 mins in cell - different profile to wi-fi users who tend to dwell longer"

@small_cells: "cafe hotspot : people get their coffee and immediately fire up their browser or social network"

@small_cells: 'Map' of cafe hotspot cell usage shows data data data - lots of chatter but very little talking!

@Ubiquisys: Will Franks: small cells cover specific areas where traffic is heavily correlated

@small_cells: "challenges are not data use but cell overload, camp-on attempts, data vs signalling"

@small_cells: "our aim is zero touch deployment, making it as simple and as hands off as possible"

@Ubiquisys: Will Franks: The challenge for public access hotspots is no longer about headline data rates or call capacity

@small_cells: "hotspot robustness : these cells are 100% utilised in busy times and have to be able to manage themselves"

@small_cells: "smart cells are about extending the cloud to the edge of the network"

@small_cells: "why smart cells : it's about user experience"

@small_cells: "smart cells provide high-speed, short-range signal with low contention"

@small_cells: "Ubiquisys teamed up with Intel to put a comms-tuned compute platform in a small cell to make a smart cell"

@small_cells: "there are no standards issues with smart cells at all"

@Ubiquisys: Will Franks: Smart cells = small cell + hi spec server + clever apps

@small_cells: "proactive and predictive cache used to cut backhaul traffic - improves user experience"

@theshipster: Ubiquisys Will Franks: In Japan, small cells, with satellite backhaul, take rural coverage deployment time from 1 yr to 1 day

@small_cells: "more smart cell applications: cellular - wi-fi policy management : video / ad server : CDN clients : "

@Ubiquisys: With proactive smart cell caching, first play of a video plays from cloud, subsequent of same file play from cache

@small_cells: "small cells come in many flavours : home femtocells, enterprise small cells, metro indoor, metro outdoor and rural"

@Ubiquisys: Smart cells: optimise end UX, optimise backhaul performance, offer new edge cloud apps for service products

@MarcianoGilbert: Colt on stage promoting new business model managed femto services or How MVNO can distribute femto as a service

@Ubiquisys: Femto as a Service (FaaS) from a fixed service provider can accelerate deployment in buildings. Len Schuch of Colt

@small_cells: "enterprises have to embrace BYOD and Colt certainly are"

@Ubiquisys: FaaS opens the door for more mobile operators to deploy small cells

@small_cells: "demand and supply - don't believe the data crunch is a myth"

@small_cells: "near-time data growth has exceeded the value of last years Cisco VNI analysis"

@small_cells: "it's not just background data and email it is about delivering QoS"

@small_cells: "by 2016, 70% of data will be video"

@small_cells: "it's not 75kbps per sub spread over 6h it's 10Mbps per sub in 30s bursts"

@small_cells: "you can deliver high quality with low throughput but as soon as throughput increases you loose QoS"

@small_cells: "it's generally the backhaul which is the limit to throughout..."

@MarcianoGilbert: New thermodynamic demo on stage . After PV=NRT you have macro + small cell * hetnet = high QoS*high throughput

@Ubiquisys: Here's a slide visualising that smart cell proactive caching capability




@thinksmallcell: ip.access say X.2 interface isn't sufficient for purpose today. It needs to be for true multi vendor #HetNets

@small_cells: Speaker now is Hiroyuki Hosono Radio Access Network Development Dept at NTT DoCoMo

@small_cells: NTT DoCoMo already rolling out LTE products

@small_cells: by last March 30% Japanese population could access LTE, that'll be up to 70% by end of 2012!

@Alejandro_Avren: By end of 2012, NTT will cover 70% of population with LTE coverage

@small_cells: Japan will have almost total LTE coverage by end 2014

@small_cells: NTT DeCoMo have already signed up 2.2 million LTE subscribers and expect to hit 10m by end of 1q 2013.

@small_cells: "NTT DeCoMo see two main advantages for LTE femtocells : expanded coverage and traffic offload"

@small_cells: "approx 12 x data growth expected between 2011 & 2015 - we need to satisfy that future traffic demand"

@small_cells: "we will develop femtocell networks to help meet future data demand" NTT DeCoMo

@thinksmallcell: NTT DoCoMo forecast 12x mobile data traffic growth between 2011-2015. LTE #femtocells essential

@small_cells: "we may limit data speed of heavy users" NTT DeCoMo

@Alejandro_Avren: BH Telecom: more smart phones sold last year than PCs

@small_cells: "in 2011 more smartphones than PCs were sold"

@Ubiquisys: The number of smartphones sold exceeded PCs last year. In a few years the no of smartphones will dwarf PCs. #BHTelecom

@Ubiquisys: We are watching Adnan Hatalasevic talking about business solutions and synergy design for small cells and Wi-Fi

@small_cells: Next speaker Steve Price, Gen Manager, Comms and Infrastructure division, Intel

@small_cells: "I'd like to talk about building intelligence into the overall network"

@small_cells: watching a 'what happens in one internet minute video' ....http://techbullets.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/internet-in-one-minute-intel.html



@small_cells: "mix of social networking and mobile users has changed the way we work and socialise. Now think ahead to 2015"

@stewartbaines: Here is that Intel internet minute infographic:



@small_cells: "what kind of network do we need for 2015 when there will be twice as many connected mobile devices as today?

@small_cells: "if done correctly you can increase revenue and decrease operating expenses"

@small_cells: "small cell base stations redefine HetNet economics"

@small_cells: "what is a smart cell? All small cells have some intelligence but now we are taking Intel's datacentre skills to the operator"

@small_cells: "the consumer with a mobile intelligent device can upload as much as he downloads, networks have to be symmetrical"

@small_cells: "we believe smart cells need massive storage abilities and high performance CPUs"

@small_cells: "smart small cells allow you to take advantage of value added services and offer better user experience"

@small_cells: "putting intelligence in a device increases cost, so we wanted to determine the economic benefits of smart small cells"

@small_cells: "we found there was a reduction in network operating costs of 22% when using smart cells, mainly from backhaul savings"

@Ubiquisys: Smart cells are more expensive than standard small cells, but fewer are needed to accomplish the same results @intel

@small_cells: "Summary business case findings: Improvements are seen in OpEx savings, specifically, in network OpEx"

@small_cells: "smart cells help with operator bottom line, beyond capacity and coverage"

@small_cells: "local caching and filtering eliminates peak hours overload"

@Ubiquisys: Conclusion: Smart Cells help with operator bottom line, beyond capacity and coverage @intel

@small_cells: we are in the midsts of a very exciting time in mobile comms - and the smart small cell is a key aspect of this revolution

@small_cells: "even Moore's law can't keep up with where the networks are going"

@small_cells: "silicon alone can't solve the thirst for bandwidth"

@Ubiquisys: Doug Pulley of @mindspeed is now talking about small cell architecture for RAN evolution

@small_cells: Next speaker : Doug Pulley - CTO Wireless, Wireless Business Unit - MindSpeed

@small_cells: "Small Cell Networks - Taking the strain - how many small cells to cover London - or the world!"

@small_cells: "Cell Traffic Dimensioning - what does it really take to overwhelm a cell?"

@small_cells: "internet video will be driving much of future mobile data traffic"

@small_cells: "is there a busy hour? most reports show traffic usage is fairly constant from 8-8"

@small_cells: "people are consuming data via multiple devices, my kids use three simultaneously - I don't know how they do it!"

@small_cells: Mindspeed's study suggests a London wide small cell network with over 71,000 base stations --- and 19 million needed worldwide!

@thinksmallcell: Mindspeed research study estimates global need for 19,059,612 small cells globally to meet Cisco VNI data traffic forecast

@small_cells: "all this detail helps specify and build the best small cell SoC solutions"

@small_cells: Next speaker is Viraj Abhayawardhana Specialist Strategy at BT talking about backhaul...

@small_cells: "BT provides fixed backhaul to all major mobile operators in the UK"

@small_cells: "BT Openzone has the biggest WiFi footprint in the UK. 16 wireless cities in the UK. 4 million UK hotspots"

@small_cells: "BT investing £2.5b extending fibre infrastructure close to home"

@small_cells: "Small Cells: How to identify sites, how to acquire sites, how to manage sites cost effectively, how to manage teams & field force

@small_cells: "street lamps came out top for small cell location"

@small_cells: "to reduce backhaul we must reuse as much capability as possible so we must try to leverage the fibre roll out"

@small_cells: "backhaul isn't just about access it's all about integrating, building an end to end OSS is a significant cost"

@SmallCell_Forum: BT: "Comedy and small cells: it's all about the timing"

@small_cells: "small cells have challenges in sites, backhaul and power - and costs have to come down"

@small_cells: "to solve backhaul problems, end to end service delivery and maintenance should be considered"

@Ubiquisys: Now in the conference room: OMA and @SmallCell_Forum cooperation - new enablers for new enhanced apps, from @telecomitaliaTw

@Ubiquisys: Digital use case at home: The Home wakes up and is aware of owners' presence, and gets adaptive to them! @telecomitaliaTw

@Ubiquisys: Shopping mall use case: Device tells you "Your favourite green ties today discounted" @telecomitaliaTw

@Ubiquisys: Now up at #SCWS2012, Yoav Volloch from @Broadcom: 3G/4G/5G multi RAT small cells

@Ubiquisys: Licensed vs Unlicensed: LTE enjoys better frequency bands, while Wi-Fi supports carrier aggregation @broadcom

@Ubiquisys: Broadcom believes a small cell is a multi RAT access point that manages the entire spectrum over a given cell range

@Ubiquisys: The business model for open access femtocells can be the same as ‘selling power to the grid’ @Broadcom

@Ubiquisys: Small cell solutions were born due to the practical need to increase 3G license spectrum capacity @broadcom

@Ubiquisys: Small cells are not low cost Macro cells; they have their own personality@Broadcom

@Ubiquisys: The final session of the day - a panel on new technologies reshaping the business case for small cells

@Ubiquisys: We get very hung up on presence + location aspect, but a valuable app is getting flat-rated local calls in coverage area

@stewartbaines: should enterprises get free at-desk mobile calls if they have a femto? And what of PBX integration?

@stewartbaines: Operators should think of the commercial value of presence & location from small cells

@Ubiquisys: @SmallCell_Forum asked consumers 'what apps would you pay for?’ Many were excited about having a home phone network

@Ubiquisys: #SCWS2012 in pictures http://ubiquisys.com/small-cells-blog/small-cells-world-summit-2012-in-pictures/ - Is that you I see?

Day 2 summary blogs



Small Cell Forum 2012 Award Winners


Day 3


@small_cells: First Speaker - Andy Sutton, Principal Network Engineer at Everything, Everywhere.

@small_cells: "small cells could be interpreted as anything non-macrocell"

@small_cells: "two different scenarios : capacity or coverage?"

@small_cells: "Femto provides in-building coverage for voice services"

@small_cells: "Public Access external small cells for capacity"

@small_cells: "we anticipate supporting voice as well as data on our public access small and pico cells"

@small_cells: "we're likely to see an improvement in spectral efficiency"

@small_cells: "if we deploy a 3g solution today we want to see an evolution path to LTE"

@small_cells: "on average we look at small cells costing 1/10th the cost of a macro"

@small_cells: "key performance indicators should ideally be the same as the macro network"

@small_cells: "you could open a new area of coverage and this is a different scenario to simply adding capacity to an existing hotspot"

@small_cells: "small cells are a game changer in terms of how we architect networks"

@small_cells: "both LoS and NLoS have a part to play in small cell backhaul"

@small_cells: "backhaul could be fully integrated with macro network or completely decoupled with an overlay (underlay) solution"

@small_cells: "we will see small cells rolled out in volume to support mobile network evolution"

@small_cells: "small cell sites must have a very low TCO in the region of 10% of that associated with macro sites"

@small_cells: "several backhaul solutions will be required to meet all likely deployment scenarios"

@small_cells: "reducing latency could be a significant battleground in the LTE market"

@small_cells: Yoshihito Shimazaki Deputy Division Head, from Softbank

@small_cells: Yoshito will talk to us about the status of LTE small cells

@small_cells: "in Japan data usage is crazy"

@thinksmallcell: everything everywhere say 3G metro cells will gain real traction during 2013. Expects dual carrier 3G before LTE

@small_cells: "What is the key to mobile market up-growth -- Market share : ARPU improvement : Market Value Improvement "

@small_cells: "four competition elements to win: 1 Network 2 service 3 charge rate 4 customer service "

@small_cells: "number of Softbank base stations: 190,000 -- excluding home femtocells"

@small_cells: "by May 2012 Softbank had deployed 121,850 home femtocells, the figure continues to rise"

@small_cells: very dense deployment of small cells in metropolitan Tokyo

@small_cells: "outdoor cell sites cannot cover all indoor areas in downtown Tokyo"

@small_cells: "femto to macro handover is very important to indoor"

@thinksmallcell: SoftBank almost completed trial of handover from inbuilding Femto to macrocell. Improved abnormal call drop rate by 3.5%

@small_cells: "we got the number one tv commercial by deploying the white dog"

@small_cells: "smartphone data traffic is 10X more than a feature phone"

@small_cells: "mobile network traffic will grow 12X from FY2010 to FY2016"

@small_cells: "Tokyo data use is very crazy, I can't believe it"

@stewartbaines: SoftBank: mobile distribution in Japan. Check out the Tokyo spike





@small_cells: "we are deploying a multi-layer cell architecture"

@small_cells: "we need a very strong co-operative interface coordination"

@small_cells: current speaker : Jang Ahn Kwon Chief Marketing Officer & VP, Contela Inc.

@thinksmallcell: korea has >50% smartphones, 7M LTE subs today, 14M by end 2012. Competition is fierce

@thinksmallcell: LTE congestion in Korea came sooner than expected

@small_cells: "home small cell needs to be dual mode to support 3G and LTE for legacy handsets"

@thinksmallcell: Korea residential femtocells need to be dual mode 3G and LTE say Contela. Not everyone in a family will have LTE handsets

@thinksmallcell: Contela achieved 60Mbps downlink and 25Mbps uplink performance on their LTE femtocell field trials

@small_cells: Current speaker : Jie Zhang - Ranplan "small cell deployment in heterogeneous networks"

@small_cells: Fascinating coverage mapping slides from Jie Zhang - graphically illustrating coverage benefits of small cell deployment

@small_cells: "Intelligent Cell Optimisation (ICO) shows where small cells should be located"

@disruptivedean: After listening to comments at #SCWS2012 , I think that some forms of carrier WiFi will make sense outdoors. But indoor proposition trickier

@small_cells: it seems European homes are better at blocking mobile signals that US homes...

@small_cells: "providing better coverage throughout the entire home gets the whole family on the operator's plan"

@small_cells: "does it work? does it really offer long lasting value to the subscriber and operator"

@small_cells: current speaker is "Michiel Lotter, VP of Engineering Nextivity Inc.

@small_cells: "95% of customers who installed cel-fi remained with operator (as opposed to churning away)"

@small_cells: "50% of mobile users worldwide don't have access to broadband, meaning femtos are not an option"

@small_cells: Next speaker: Andy Germano Vice Chairman Small cell Forum

@small_cells: "why small cell service? 5 bar indoor coverage"

@small_cells: "small cells allow for application sweetspot"

@small_cells: "small cells can help deliver the intelligent home"

@small_cells: "small cell networks can help deliver location based services"

@small_cells: "small cells enable shopping 2.0"

@small_cells: "8 different demos of small cell enabled apps going on at recent small cell forum"

@small_cells: "consumers want small cell services and are willing to pay"

@Alejandro_Avren: Sunrise Switzerland now on the main stage, presenting their project status on their femtocell deployment

@small_cells: "Sunrise is under pressure to constantly add capacity, enhance the user experience, & keep a lid on total cost of ownership"

@Alejandro_Avren: Sunrise: 16 time data usage increase expected by 2017, doubling every year until 2014!!

@small_cells: "avoid problems- avoid low price users eating up too much capacity : maximise utilisation of spectrum : deploy smart wi-fi offload

@small_cells: "the congested 3g cell rate is increasing whereas the footprint of the congested cells remains the same"

@small_cells: "demanding environmental factors in Switzerland will favour the use of small cells"

@small_cells: "Sunrise will continue to use the femto and is ready for wide-spread deployment"

@small_cells: "main purpose: to deliver cost efficient object special coverage to compliment macro base station portfolio"

@small_cells: Sunrise will "continue to use femto as a retention and business enabler tool"

@small_cells: "fair use policies reduce levels of data use growth temporarily but they cannot reverse the skyrocketing demand for mobile data"

@small_cells: "small cells vendors need to support SON for HetNet as well as an effective small cells management"

@small_cells: next speaker: Jean-Christophe Nanan, RF systems engineer at Freescale - small cells call for scaleable architecture

@small_cells: Final speaker is Joseph Byre Analyst at the Linley Group

@small_cells: "Mobile bandwidth is increasing"

@small_cells: UK is depressingly blue on a map showing LTE enabled areas in red :0(

@small_cells: "funding for bandwidth increases and alternatives is decreasing, pressuring OEMs and Chip Cos."

@small_cells: "ARPU rising only 3%"

@small_cells: "Base station costs falling from $40K"

@small_cells: "Moore's Law enables cost reduction but heats up competition among chip companies"

@small_cells: "to defend or capture share, chip companies are rushing in to supply base station processors"

@small_cells: "the opportunity for system vendors is an opportunity for chip factors"

@small_cells: "markets tend to ramp later than expected but ramps tend to be bigger than forecast"

@small_cells: "market drivers for femtocells are problematical"

@small_cells: "shipment growth has only just begun - enough data to define a trend?"

@small_cells: "vague plans by major operators to deploy"

@small_cells: "causes for concern - technology dynamics: ..."

@thinksmallcell: NEC's outdoor metrocell. Looks pretty solid and durable to me. Believed to be Ubiquisys technology inside.



Day 3 Roundups



FINAL Roundups


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


If you enjoyed reading this why dont you let me know by clicking the 'Very Useful' checkbox below this post.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Joyn = SMS v2.0?


'Joyn' is the brand name for the RCS services that have been around in the name for a long while. Yesterday someone sent this link for the Fierce Wireless article that had the link to the above Vodafone video.

In theory this sounds great but in practice it may be a bit difficult for operators to sell. One of the selling point for this service is that it is going to be part of the standards so independent of the platform. Android and iOS are the two most popular platforms and more and more users are adopting them. The OTT apps are now available on both these platforms, meaning that it will have mass market adoption. If some other platforms have to succeed then they have to make these most popular apps available on their platform or they will not survive. Microsoft has been rumoured to have paid Rovio to develop the first Angry Birds for the WP platform and they may have to do the same again since the new Angry Birds space is not available on the Windows mobile platform.

In any case, Joyn may be good and it can provide enhanced services but I have a feeling that it may be a bit too little and too late to succeed.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Femto Hacking in UMTS and LTE

Couple of weeks back, The Hacker’s Choice (THC) made available some documents about how the Vodafone's (UK) Femtocell (a.k.a. SureSignal) is unsecure and can be hacked. Everyone seemed to jump on this bandwagon with some news articles even sounding like the whole Vodafone network has been hacked and hackers may be sending messages and making calls via your phone number.

In the end it came to light that the problem was fixed over a year back when Vodafone was made aware of this problem. THC is still arguing that there is an architecture fault and the Femto can be compromised.

As a result I decided to think about what could happen if the Femtocell is hacked.

Lets take case of UMTS Femtocell. A simple network architecture with femtocell (oficially known as Home NodeB) is as follows:
As you can see, the signalling over the air interface is encrypted and integrity protected. If a hacker is able to get into the Femto and able to listen to all the packets using some tool like WireShark, he would be able to get hold of the Ciphering and Integrity Keys as they come in cleartext in the RANAP Security Mode Command message.

It wouldnt be difficult to have a device that can listen to the conversations once provided with this keys. In fact if the hacker is able to listen to the messages, there is no reason he cannot stick his own messages at the right interval (when a voice call is ongoing) to send SMS and would appear that the message actually went from the phone number. Note that this message would be inserted in the Home NodeB and would be a NAS message. The end user would generally never find out that a message has been sent on behalf of his phone.

One thing that should be remembered though is that the phone would have to be in the range of the Femtocell and connected successfully to the network (via the Femto). One question someone may have is that can I not reverse engineer the key so that I can clone the SIM card. Fortunately for us, this is not easily possible. There are multiple levels of protection and generally it would be difficult to get the algorithms for generating the key. Also it should be noted that the authentication algorithms are confidential and only the operators know the algorithm.


Now lets look at the LTE Femtocell (a.k.a. Home eNodeB) as shown below:

One of the differences you may notice is that the signalling from Femto to the Core Network over S1 is encrypted and Integrity Protected. In case of the LTE Femto, there are multiple keys and only the required key (Kenb) is provided to the Femto. See the key hierarchy below:



This would sound like an ideal protection from the end user perspective but some of the problems still remain. If the hacker can get hold of the Kenb which is sent in cleartext over the S1 interface via Initial Context Setup Request message then he could easily use it to listen to the packets. Since there is no voice support as of yet in LTE, it would only be the packets that the hacker can listen to.

As you may notice, there is now an Integrity and Ciphering on the S1 interface for the UE messages, the hacker cannot get hold of the Kasme or the master keys K, CK and IK. This means that he cannot insert rouge messages that would for example send unsolicited SMS on behalf of the user as he would be able to do in case of UMTS.

There is a small caveat though. There are multiple Ciphering and Integrity algorithms defined in the standard. No ciphering is defined as eea0 algorithm. In Release-8 of LTE, there was no possibility to have Integrity switched off as there was no eia0 algorithm defined. In Release-9 though, the new eia0 has been defined which means that the network can set the Integrity to NULL. I am sure that the network would not want to do so as it makes absolutely no sense but the hacker can force it to do so.

When the Network requests the UE to send the capability information, the hacker can force it to say that it only supports eia0 and eea0 which would mean that the integrity and ciphering in the call would be off. To be honest, this is quite a difficult thing to do in real time and also the network would not accept a UE that does not support other Integrity and Ciphering algorithms.


3GPP has already forseen these kind of threats that could be affecting the networks in the future when they roll out the Femtocells. As a result they have produced 3GPP TR 33.820 that lists all the possible threats and the best practices that can help to minimise the chances of the network being compromised. If that document is too big and technical, you can go though this presentation as it summarises some of the problems.


Feel free to comment or correct any mistakes that you think I have made.

Monday, 23 May 2011

LTE World Summit 2011 - Pics and Notes from Day 2

Continuing my notes for the 2nd day of #LTEWS.

Mark Newman from Informa reminded us that there have been lots of hype in the early days of 3G about the revenue, etc. and nowadays he is seeing similar hype about M2M.

CTO of Vodafone Germany, Hartmut Kremling spoke about their their LTE launch that was in Dec. 2010. They launched the LTE in 800MHz band and it has been convenient for them as they are reusing the existing GSM infrastructure.

Since they already support other technologies and spectrum, he was worried initially that LTE 800 was be the 5th network and LTE 2.6GHz will be their 6th network but due to the use of SDR and Integrated antennas in the network that support GSM/UMTS/LTE, they have managed to keep the cost and complexity down.

With LTE, Speed is the killer as the users can get high speed access to their services. Right now they have 20K customers that are using LTE.

They have also launched Easy Box that contains Voice and Integrated services. They have received positive feedback and the download speeds is generally 5-6 Mbps.

Yegor Ivanov of Yota, Russia spoke about how they moved their existing infrastructure from WiMAX to LTE. They already have 1million+ customers on their WiMAX network.

Yota is going to build a shared infrastructure for all the big 4 russian network operators. He is expecting to have 70 million people covered by 2016. Right now the LTE revenues are 4 times lower than their existing 3G revenues.x

Finally, Andrea Folgueiras from Telefonica Germany had an interesting presentation and sense of humour. When she started her presentation she mentioned that she has been with them for 20 years. So as to not give her age, she said she started with them when she was 10 :)

Telefonica believes in LTE for best mobile and data experience. They have 800MHz which would be used for national rollout and also 2.6GHz that would be used for dense areas. They will prioritise the services based on different QoS.

Finally they think that the paradigm has changed from 'Always on' to 'Always in touch'

There is more information available on the twitter conversations.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Mobile Phone Antennas and Networks

We all remember the so called 'Antennagate' where the iPhone 4 loses coverage due to the way its held. As can be seen from the above picture, there are a lot of antennas already in the phones and yes they are on the increase with LTE and other technologies being added all the time.

Apple admitted the fault and claimed to have fixed the problem but its well known in technical circles that the fix is more of a software hack which doesn't really fix the problem just pretends to fix it. That is why the networks dread it and you can find awful lot of information on the web about the problems.

In a recent Cambridge Wireless event, I heard an interesting talk from Trevor Gill of Vodafone and one of the slides that caught my attention was the impact of these poorly designed phones on the network. The slide is embedded below.

It is estimated that the RF performance of iPhone4 is around 6dB worse than most other 3G phones. What this means is that you may be getting 4 bars of reception on your other phone where iPhone4 may be having only 1 or 2 bars or reception. So if the reception is poor with 1 or 2 bars, iPhone4 may have no reception at all.

To fix this problem, either the networks can increase the number of base stations to double the existing amount which is a huge cost to the networks and extra radiation or the phones can fix it themseles by having an extra antenna. In fact as the slide says, extra antenna on each phone would translate to increase in network capacity by 20-40%, cell area by 30% and cell edge throughput by 40-75%.

One final thing that I want to mention is that testing (RF, RRM, Conformance, etc.) are mandated by the networks for most phones but they overlook the testing procedure for phones like iPhone. What this means is that they do get a lot more new customers but they get new sets of problems. If these problems are not handled well, the impression they give is that the particular network is rubbish. Another thing is that the devices use a certain build/prototype for testing but the one that they release may contain other patches that can cause chaos. One such problem was Fast Dormancy problem that I have blogged about here.

Hopefully the networks will be a bit more careful and will put quality before quantity in future.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

6th ETSI Security Workshop

6th ETSI Security workshop was held last month. There were some very interesting areas of discussion including Wireless/Mobile Security, Smart Grids Security, etc.
All presentations are available to download from here.