Thursday 27 December 2007

Multiuser Cooperative Diversity and Virtual MIMO

MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) by definition requires multiple antenna but it is also possible to use one antenna with Co-operative Diversity to create Cooperative MIMO or Virtual MIMO.

Earlier this year, Nokia Siemens Network reported the following on Virtual MIMO:

Researchers at Nokia Siemens Networks have demonstrated in lab conditions how a virtual Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technique can be used for the uplink in LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks.

Tests at its labs in Munich, Germany, have shown how, using such an SDMA (Space Division Multiple Access) based technique, two standard mobile devices, each with only one physical transmission antenna, can communicate with a base station simultaneously and on the same radio channel.

On the uplink transmission, data rates of 108Mbit/s were achieved, double the usual speed, while the downlink managed 160Mbit/s.

The researchers say that while MIMO on the downlink primarily generates higher peak data rates for the end user, virtual MIMO on the uplink makes it possible for an operator to increase network capacity and better utilize the available spectrum.

Nokia Siemens also said the technique contributes to one of the crucial prerequisites for the success of LTE by reducing power consumption of LTE based devices to "acceptable levels" even when used for very high data-intensive applications and that this should be achieved at "moderate prices."

The researchers say that with virtual MIMO only one power amplifier and transmission antenna is necessary for each device, contributing to reduced production costs and power needs.

In the LTE test bed, developed and built in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications (Heinrich Hertz Institute), two co-operating end-user devices form a virtual MIMO system in which the antenna elements are distributed over the two devices. The two devices can be supplied simultaneously with data over the same frequency band using space division multiplexing.

The following is an extract from EURASIP Journal onWireless Communications and Networking:

Multihop relaying technology is a promising solution for future cellular and ad hoc wireless communications systems in order to achieve broader coverage and to mitigate wireless channels impairment without the need to use high power at the transmitter.

Recently, a new concept that is being actively studied in multihop-augmented networks is multiuser cooperativediversity, where several terminals forma kind of coalition to assist each other with the transmission of their messages.

In general, cooperative relaying systems have a source node multicasting a message to a number of cooperative relays, which in turn resend a processed version to the intended destination node. The destination node combines the signal received from the relays, possibly also taking into account the source’s original signal.

Cooperative diversity exploits two fundamentals features of wireless medium: its broadcast nature and its ability to achieve diversity through independent channels.

There are three advantages from this:

(1) Diversity. This occurs because different paths are likely to fade independently. The impact of this is expected to be seen in the physical layer, in the design of a receiver that can exploit this diversity.

(2) Beamforming gain. The use of directed beams should improve the capacity on the individual wireless links.The gains may be particularly significant if space-time coding schemes are used.

(3) Interference mitigation. A protocol that takes advantage of the wireless channel and the antennas and receivers available could achieve a substantial gain in system throughput by optimizing the processing done inthe cooperative relays and in the scheduling of retransmissions by the relays so as to minimize mutual interference and facilitate information transmission by cooperation.

Source: Multiuser Cooperative Diversity forWireless Networks by George K. Karagiannidis, Chintha Tellambura, Sayandev Mukherjee and Abraham O. Fapojuwo, Volume 2006, Article ID 17202

There are 3 main types of co-operative diversity which are self-explanatory in the diagram above:

Decode and Forward
  • Simple and adaptable to channel condition (power allocation)
  • If detection in relay node unsuccessful => detrimental for detection in receiver (adaptive algorithm can fix the problem)
  • Receiver need CSI between source and relay for optimum decoding

  • Amplify and Forward
  • Achieve full diversity
  • Performance better than direct transmission and decode-and-forward
  • achieve the capacity when number of relays tend to infinity

  • Coded Cooperation
  • transmit incremental redundancy for partner
  • Automatic manage through code design
  • no feedback required between the source and relay
  • Rely on full decoding at the relay => cannot achieve full diversity!
  • Not scalable to large cooperating groups.
  • Multihop Cellular Networks and ODMA

    While going through September issue of IEEE Communications magazine, I came across Multihop Cellular Networks (MCNs). The concept sounded familiar and another article confirmed my suspicion. MCNs is similar to ODMA for those who remember the early 3GPP specs. ODMA or Opportunity Driven Multiple Access was revolutionary concept but it was too advanced for that time and the chipset (and battery) technology was not that advanced to have it implemented successfully.

    The best place to understand ODMA is in 3GPP TR 25.924. Also see this.

    So what exactly is multihop cellular network (MCN)?

    To quote from IEEE Communications Magazine (Sep 07):

    MCN incorporates the flexibility of ad hoc networking, while preserving the benefits of using an infrastructure.

    The salient feature of MCN is that communications are not restricted to single hop; multihop transmissions are allowed.

    The advantages of using MCN include capacity enhancement, coverage extension, network scalability, and power reduction. However, there are still a number of open research issues that need to be solved in order to provide efficient and effective multihop transmissions in cellular networks in the future.

    From another article in the same issue:

    Existing architectures and protocols proposed for MCNs are very diverse and different in several aspects. Relay Stations (RSs) can be preinstalled by network operators or simply be other idle MHs who are not transmitting their own data. Also, depending on how radio resources are allocated for routing paths of active connections, different protocols at the medium access control and routing layers can be designed. Radio resources forMobile Hosts (MHs) at different hops may be allocated in timedivision duplex (TDD) or frequency-divisionduplex (FDD) mode. Frequency bands other than the cellular frequency band may be used for relaying. Finally, advanced techniques using cooperative diversity can be employed to enhance network performance compared to simple relaying schemes.

    Wednesday 19 December 2007

    Triple-play, Quad-play and now Penta-Play?

    We know that Triple-play consists of:
    • Phone/Voice (based on VoIP),
    • Internet and
    • Television (generally IPTV)

    and Quad-play also includes:

    • Mobile

    So now when i hear people mentioning Penta-play, i cant think of what is this 5th thing in Penta-play? They dont seem to mention anything. Does anyone know?

    Tuesday 18 December 2007

    CAMEL and IMS

    CAMEL is to CS domain what IMS is to IP domain. Since we are all moving towards IMS, eventually CAMEL would become obsolete. Another important thing with IMS is that it is access independent and defined for wireless as well as wireline technologies.

    IMS will take some time to be implemented and in the meantime CAMEL and IMS will co-exist. In the meantime operators may use CAMEL to control IMS to take advantage of the technology they have heavily invested in and have tested for some years.

    CAMEL control of IP multimedia calls forms a bridge between the CS mobile network and the IP multimedia network. The IMS is the IP-based communication system for mobile networks. Although IMS, which was introduced in 3GPP release Rel-5, is specified for the mobile network,
    it may also be used for wireline networks. In fact, the nature of IMS facilitates arbitrary access methods to be used.

    Some Useful Specs as follows:

    • 22.228: Service requirements for the IMS
    • 22.250: IP multimedia subsystem group management
    • 22.340: IP multimedia subsystem messaging
    • 23.228: IP multimedia subsystem
    • 23.278: CAMEL – IP multimedia system interworking
    • 24.228: Signalling flows for the IP multimedia call control based on session initiation protocol and session description protocol (discontinued after Rel-5)
    • 24.229: Internet protocol multimedia call control protocol based on session initiation protocol and session description protocol
    • 29.228: IP multimedia subsystem Cx and Dx interfaces; signalling flows and message contents
    • 29.229: Cx and Dx interfaces based on the diameter protocol; protocol details
    • 29.278: CAMEL application part specification for IP multimedia subsystems

    Further Reading: CAMEL: Intelligent Networks for the GSM, GPRS and UMTS Network by Rogier Noldus

    Friday 14 December 2007

    NTT DoCoMo's F801i Kids Phone

    TOKYO, JAPAN, December 10, 2007 --- NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight regional subsidiaries announced today that the FOMA™ F801i, a new child-friendly 3G mobile phone loaded with special features for the safety and convenience of children, will go on sale December 20.

    Building on the popular FOMA SA800i model that DoCoMo released in March 2006, the F801i offers many new or improved child-friendly features for security, theft/loss prevention, ease of use and more.

    In an emergency, the child can quickly switch on the phone's 100-decibel alarm, which produces two types of noise alternately. When the alarm is activated, the phone also emits a bright light (high-intensity LED) that is easily visible to people in the surrounding area.

    The phone can be set to automatically notify loved ones when the alarm is activated, and provide the handset's current location as well. Computer-generated phone calls can be placed to up to three registered numbers and messages can be sent to registered individuals who subscribe to the i-mode™ location service called imadoco search™.
    In addition, the child can discreetly message their location to a registered imadoco search user by simply pushing a button on the side of the phone.

    If the phone's power is switched off, a presetting can enable the handset to automatically turn back on (in as little as five minutes) and message the incident and the phone's location to a registered DoCoMo phone.

    An amulet-style remote controller worn by the child can be used to make a misplaced phone beep if within a range of about 10 meters (may vary with usage environment). If the user moves even farther from the handset, the phone can automatically lock (requires presetting). If the handset remains out of the amulet's range for more than five minutes, a message can be sent automatically to a registered DoCoMo phone.

    The F801i is ergonomically designed for easy use by small hands, and its waterproof body can withstand accidental immersion (up to 30 minutes at one-meter depth) or concentrated water sprays.

    The phone's soft-rectangle shape and round speaker grille enclosed by a ring-shape LED were conceived by renowned designer Kashiwa Sato to symbolize safety, peace of mind, creativity and the future.

    DoCoMo, as part of its corporate social responsibility program, provides education on the proper use of mobile phones by children. The Mobile Phone Safety Program involves workshops for students from elementary through high school, as well as for parents. DoCoMo has conducted more than 3,600 workshops for some 540,000 people throughout Japan since 2004. This program, along with services for site-access restriction, location information, etc., form a broad framework within which DoCoMo works to provide parents and their children with a safe and secure environment for using mobile phones.
    More Photos of the phone can be found at Akhiabara News website.

    Thursday 13 December 2007

    In 4G we trust

    So we have this again, LTE is being referred to as 4G. Firstly, this is not really news because i mentioned this in September. Check the post here. Also Verizon is not the first operator to commit to LTE future. AT&T has said the same before them. Regarding the terminology i said earlier that LTE is 3.9G, see here. But 4G sounds better than 3.9G and will confuse ordinary people less so...

    Anyway, an article titled "3G bad; 4G better be better" came to my attention:

    Not surprisingly, tech-savvy young adults are frustrated by the speed and connectivity limitations of 3G networks and expect both better speed and more reliable connectivity when 4G arrives, according to focus groups in the U.S. and Japan queried by Nortel and the consultant firm CSMG ADVENTIS.

    “There was uniform dissatisfaction with today’s UMTS or 3G networks, whether that was because the feeds just weren’t good enough, the applications that they were running, like video, just weren’t good enough.
    They look forward in the next generation of technologies to something that can deliver their expectations for these applications in ways that are easy, friendly and useful,” said Scott Wickware, vice president of wireless networks for Nortel.

    Wickware said that the focus groups, based in New York City, Seattle and Washington, D.C. in the U.S. and Tokyo and Osaka in Japan, had similar unhappy feelings about their 3G wireless services.

    “We expected the Japanese to have a different perspective on this because they’re perceived to be the most tech-savvy nation on the planet, but 25-year-old businesspeople in both countries seem to want the same thing,” Wickware said.

    Not coincidentally, what they want is what Nortel has been preaching: “this hyper-trend called mega-connectivity that says everything that could be connected to the network and would be beneficial to the network will be connected to the network,” Wickware said. “We couldn’t have scripted it any better because the feedback came back almost universally saying the same thing.”

    The feedback also indicated that users did not necessarily want a single multi-use device but preferred multiple devices connected to the network.
    “They don’t want just the mobile phone connected to the network or their PC, they want their camera, their MP3 player, their vehicle, they want everything. I think the trending is a single or dual-purpose device is what a lot of people want,” he said.

    Overall, he said, respondents are looking for more from future network services.

    “We asked them a wide variety of questions about what they wanted from 4G. We didn’t define 4G for them and lead them down the path to see what they had to say, but left it pretty wide open so we were getting top-of-mind stuff that wasn’t influenced by our views,” he said.

    Long time back i remember being so happy with Dial up Internet Connection but now i am not too happy with my 8M broadband. So i suppose the same goes for other technologies.

    Wednesday 12 December 2007

    FMC: The long wait

    FMC might take some time to roll out because nobody wants to fix something thats not broken.

    According to this old (and relevant) article:

    Despite the hype, heavy adoption isn’t expected until the next decade, analysts say. Dragging it down is carrier reluctance to market FMC services and tepid demand among cash-strapped U. S. companies still trialing products from established vendors and newcomers.

    “Why would [carriers] want to do anything to disrupt the nature of the return that they’re getting in tariffed services?” asks Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research, referring to wireline and wireless carriers such as Verizon and AT&T, which continue to see growing wireless revenue and fat profit margins of 40% to 45% every quarter. “Naturally, they are much happier to take your minutes of use and apply them to cell phones. Same would [be true for] a tariffed voice service. There’s really no incentive for them to rock that boat.”

    Both wireline service providers and cellular providers lose revenue when calls are moved off of their respective networks and onto the enterprise’s wireless LAN (WLAN). They lose additional revenue if the off-site traffic is routed to another enterprise network, Insight notes.

    A recent article on this topic says:

    It sounds like a simple concept, but FMC requires lots of technical stitching on the part of the carrier or vendor to smooth out the seams between the wired and unwired worlds. FMC melds several disparate infrastructures - such as TDM and packet VoIP, IP data, Wi-Fi and various flavors of cellular - into one. There are multiple instantiations of FMC from which an enterprise can choose, which makes the right FMC decision more difficult.

    But once the networks are stitched and the decisions about whether to opt for a carrier managed service or enterprise-centric FMC implementation are made, the benefits are manifold, industry experts say. They include the ability to be reached through one phone number wherever you are - at your desk, around campus, roaming about or at home - as well as reduced enterprise telecom costs by, for example, bypassing international mobile roaming charges when making cross-border calls.

    Enterprises also can save on telecom costs. In addition to bypassing international roaming charges, businesses can tame their out-of-control cellular bills by selecting one or two service providers or vendors to include cellular as a component of an overall FMC or unified communications package, Mathias says.

    As i said in the start, nobody is going to make a move on FMC till someone starts shouting and others start listening to him.

    Now, according to a report by The Yankee Group, one of the positives that FMC brings to the table—its cost-savings by moving mobile minutes off wireless and onto wireline devices— does not outweigh the trepidation of enterprise IT professionals and decision makers.

    “We see it as something that will hit eventually but in the short term probably not,” said Brian Kotlyar, research associate with The Yankee Group and author of the report, “Productivity is the Prettier Face of FMC.”

    Twenty-nine percent of the 302 IT decision makers surveyed for the report considered FMC a nice technology to have but not a critical application on their networking road map. Even more daunting, there is an adoption rate of less than 2 percent for the concept, the report said, so things aren’t taking off in that space even while it might be viewed as a positive.

    Finally some stats to put everything in perspective:

    Though FMC registers barely a blip on the radar screen, there will be 92 million FMC subscribers worldwide by 2011 and FMC revenue will amount to $28 billion by that time, representing 3% of overall mobile subscriptions globally, according to market research firm Informa Telecoms and Media. The firm says the United States will lead the way with 33.2 million subscribers.

    As a consequence, sales of dual-mode handsets will increase to 5% of global handset sales by 2011, Informa expects. Eighty-five percent of these sales will be to consumers adopting FMC services for convenience and cost benefits, although a "significant proportion of revenues" will be from enterprises adopting FMC as part of a unified communications strategy for more effective business interactions, the firm says.

    So is anyone doing something on FMC?

    If you want to read further:

    ZTE now shows off 2Mbps TD-HSDPA

    ZTE Corporation a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, showcased its 2M TD-HSDPA high-speed wireless downloading technology solution in line with the company’s theme of “Talking to the Future” at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress 2007 held from 12th to 14th November 2007 at The Venetian® Macau. The GSMA Mobile Asia Congress (formerly 3GSM World Congress Asia) is the sister event of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and is attended by mobile professionals and innovators from across Asia and around the world.

    With its 2M TD-HSDPA technology solution, ZTE clearly shows its vision to further enhance the TD-SCDMA concept and make it a part of consumers’ mobile wireless communication experience. ZTE’s 2M TD-HSDPA technology provides user endpoint’s downstream data rate as high as 2M, allowing users to enjoy smooth high-definition movies online, download documents in bulk, as well as experience many top-line multimedia functions. 2M speed rate is best achieved on 1.6M broadband single carrier, while 20Mbps can be achieved on multi-HSDPA carriers.

    HSDPA is a large volume mobile multimedia service 3G technology for GSM-based mobile phones developed by mobile operators to bring true broadband speed wirelessly. It incorporates AMC (Adaptive Modulation and Coding), HARQ (Hybrid Automatic Repeat reQuest), RRM (radio resource management) and MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Out-put) technologies, all of which significantly improve downstream data rate.

    “ZTE’s 2M TD-HSDPA showcase at GSMA Mobile Asia Congress Macau builds the momentum of our successful presence in PT/Wireless & Networks Expo Comm in Beijing, China last month,” says Mr. Liang Ming, International Marketing Director of TD-SCDMA products, ZTE Corporation. “As the first provider to showcase TD-MBMS mobile TV solution, we further solidify our remarkable capability in TD area with this solution. As a run-up to the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, ZTE is setting the stage as among the pioneers in providing users in the country with extraordinary TD-SCDMA wireless solutions.”

    Tuesday 11 December 2007

    Lets talk Femtocell

    Femtocell is back on agenda with activity from the Femtoforum. Femto Forum has formed four specific working groups to study the subject (femtocell progress) from multiple angles.

    The working groups include
  • over-the-air radio and physical layer issues;
  • networks and interoperability;
  • regulatory issues;
  • market issues.

    Each area is receiving support from both vendors and operators including such heavyweights as Rogers Wireless, UTStarcom, Motorola, NEC and Nokia Siemens Networks.

    Since the Forum is not a standards-setting body, it’s biggest goal is to “make sure that we can speed up the standards and that they’re appropriate and actually span across the different air interfaces, including the WiMAX area and the 3GPP and 3GPP2 interfaces,” said Simon Saunders, the Forum’s chairman. “Where there are commonalities, that helps to drive economies of scale.” Since the “absolutely core focus” for femtocells is the residential environment, “it’s very important to make all the pieces work together so the femto works well with the DSL or cable infrastructure behind it,” said Saunders.

    Meanwhile, IDATE (a consulting firm specialising in Femtocells) expects to see the femtocell market developing rapidly over the following years. While a lack of agreed standards and outstanding technical issues will inhibit major rollouts in 2008, network integration issues are likely to be solved by 2009.Coupled with cost reductions this should lead to a ramp up in volumes in 2009/2010. IDATE believes 10 million UMTS femtocells will be shipped in 2010, rising to 18 million in 2011.

    In another report the prediction is that there can be between 20 and 40 million users by end of 2012.

    An article in (sorry for subscribers only) argues that for Femtocells to be successful, Voice is not enough:

    The business case for femtocells involves a voice-only strategy, the potential for large incremental revenues is questionable, while an approach that positions femtocells as a platform for delivering multimedia services to the home will yield greater financial benefits.

    "One of the big advantages of deploying femtocells is the ability to offer good coverage and data speeds close to those of fixed-line access, in the very place where people are most likely to want them: in the home," Heath says. "Consequently, operators should be looking at services which fit these criteria, rather than simply offering cheap mobile voice minutes."

    He added that in Finland, where mobile subscribers enjoy good indoor coverage, traffic from fixed to mobile networks shifted 10 per cent in 2006 - the most ever for the country in one year. That migration proves, he said, that once mobile usage is perceived as being affordable, even though it might still be more expensive than fixed, people will adopt it.

    "Therefore, operators might not need to go as far as offering cheaper voice calls," Heath said. "Instead, they should look at carefully segmenting their customer base and target customers with little or no indoor coverage."

    Tal Givoly, chief scientist at Amdocs said the introduction of femtocells was not a big step forward in terms of technology or the ability to deliver new services. He said that many operators were actually aiming to deliver Telco 2.0 and become "purveyors of the digital lifestyle" but that femtocells were essentially a Telco 1.0 play and would not help operators achieve that objective. "First cases would have to be increased customer loyalty rather than substantially revised new services," he said.

    Mobile TV is one service that operators are eager to roll out and for which femtocells could be seen as a disruptive technology that saves operators a great deal of capex and opex. Heath said that DVB-H requires operators to invest a considerable amount in new infrastructure, requiring as it does a lot of new transmitters. He added that the development of a range of killer applications, including mobile TV, video and audio services, would significantly broaden the consumer appeal of femtocell services.

    As the market progresses toward triple- and quadruple-play offerings, consumers will most likely expect high-quality mobile TV, video and audio services, which will be difficult to deliver using 3G macrocell networks. Heath said that deploying femtocells could substantially reduce the investment necessary and achieve significant capacity and cost savings.

    Heath also says that although many network operators are offering mobile broadband services at attractive prices, they can do so only while 3G networks are relatively underused. "Without femtocells, they could soon run into QoS problems as mass take-up occurs," he said.

    Finally, if you want an alternative view to these analysis then you may want to read this report from Analysis.

    Femtocells, while likely to provide great benefits for mobile subscribers and improved in-building service for mobile operators are not a technological end game. On the contrary, the femtos, which improve in-building mobile connectivity, carry considerable commercial risk, according to a report, “Femtocells in the Consumer Market: business case and marketing plan,” published by Analysys.
  • Wednesday 5 December 2007

    UTRAN Network Sharing

    This is a new feature that the network operators are getting more interested in. The problem is that the Network side is more prepared than the handset side which still has some way to go.

    The possibility of sharing part or all of the network by two or more separated commercial entities was not considered in the initial specification work of 3GPP. However, as e.g. a result of partnerships, the need for two or more operators to share common network infrastructure has become an economically desirable goal. Meanwhile, changes to public network operating licence conditions make such sharing possible from a regulatory point of view.

    Some work has already been carried out in this area with the definition of the equivalent PLMN concept and partly with the introduction of Iu-Flex, but there is still the need to consolidate these activities under a coherent work plan.

    Network sharing is in a way similar to what is done by MVNO's who use the host network to offer services. In network sharing case the other operator would not generally be a MVNO and probably the equipment would belong to both of the operators along with the cost and revenue earned. This is easily possible if the network is not overloaded (as in case of 3 UK) but if its a long time existing operator (like Vodafone) than they may not have enough spare capacity to allow someone else to share their infrastructure.

    3GPP Specs for further reference:
    3GPP TS 23.251 - Network Sharing; Architecture and functional description
    3GPP TR 22.951 - Service aspects and requirements for network sharing

    Friday 30 November 2007

    LTE prophesized by 2010

    One of my friends passed me this car number plate and you can see that this photograph was taken in 1994. It predicts that LTE will be available in 2010 might be true after all ;)

    Thanks Vipin for passing this to me.

    Thursday 29 November 2007

    Concept Phone: Chinese Scroll Phone

    Another one of the concept phones, better known as "The Chinese Scroll Cellphone".

    It was designed by Yun Lang and has some obvious details that can be seen on the image:
  • the numeric keyboard is wisely placed on the scroll
  • it makes use of a flexible display, similar to the Nokia 888
  • you don’t need to unroll the scroll to make a call Yun Liang’s scroll cellphone takes its inspiration from how traditional Chinese paintings are unfurled.

  • More Statistics...24 Million LTE Subscribers in 2012

    This one comes from Juniper Research who claim that there will be 24 million subscribers by 2012.

    The report discusses how LTE is expected to be the long term successor in mobile broadband as it offers a migration path from existing 3G/HSPA technologies already in place. Juniper Research forecasts that, by 2010, LTE - the next generation of mobile broadband (after HSPA), should be going commercial and high definition could by then be a reality on devices.

    However, the report warns that LTE needs to continually evolve to remain competitive in cost and performance versus the other leading mobile data technologies set to be foremost over the next five years. The report predicts that HSPA will dominate mobile broadband network deployments, consistently accounting for about 70% of the total mobile broadband subscriber base until 2012. Mobile WiMAX is also expected to achieve single digit proportion of the subscriber base by 2012.

    Report author, Howard Wilcox says, "We expect 3GLTE to begin to achieve significant market traction towards the 2011 to 2012 timeframe. By 2012, for example, we forecast that 3GLTE will represent around 24 million subscribers globally. As the GSM Association has said recently, it is a natural follow-on from HSPA and will benefit from the extensive installed base of HSPA worldwide. Western Europe will account for over half of LTE subscribers in 2012."

    This should not come as a surprise in case LTE is launched by 2010 but i doubt that. At present not all operators have moved on to HSDPA even though the technology has been stable for over a year now. Then there are few operators who have moved on HSUPA. I know there are still some outstanding problems with HSUPA but overall its quite stable (except FDPCH probably)

    Once these are rolled out, operators are going to go on HSPA+ which is the real evolution as it still uses WCDMA base. Why would operators want to abandon the tried and tested technology for something new unless there is no other option.

    So my guess would be that these stats will be true but 2 years later than predicted. LTE will start seeing mass rollouts by 2012 (just in time for London Olympics) and by 2014 there will be 24-25 million subscribers.

    Sunday 25 November 2007

    NG-1: Another Technology?

    In an article in Indian Express, the managing director of Vavasi Telegence Farid Arifuddin mentions that they have developed the next-generation wireless access technology called NG1.
    This was originally conceptualised as a PhD program in the US. The network
    architecture of this technology is state-of-the-art and is based on IP. This
    platform can deliver both voice and high-speed mobile data simultaneously with
    several applications that have multi-dimensional ramifications. This is the most
    spectrum efficient and environment-friendly technology among the available (and
    likely to be available) ones. Apart from being spectrum efficient, we have the
    unique advantage to enable a large coverage area while we simultaneously cater
    to more subscribers within a cell site. These features make it the most
    cost-effective solution for the delivery of services.

    We earnestly believe that this technology will bring telecom revolution in India, because with the advantages we have in terms of technological superiority, we have a competitive edge and we intend to pass it on to our consumers both in terms of price and product advantages. Since we have a fully IP-based network architecture, with far less infra requirement, rollout time is shorter and can be far more efficient. Moreover, India has not been able to have any significant say in the technological evolution so far. This could bring about a paradigm shift in the long-term evolution of the telecom sector.

    Didnt find any more information except that this technology is being developed in China.
    Even the official website of Vavasi has very limited information.
    Somehow i have a feeling that this is an existing technology being recycled/repackaged as a new technology.

    India to be WiMAX-ed

    Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (known as BSNL), a public sector communications company in India, announced its Calcutta Telephones plans to launch WiMax in 40,000 villages and 70 cities, in India.

    India has chosen the IEEE 802.16e version of WiMax. It is expected to bridge the rural-urban digital divide by taking Internet and telephony to remote areas of the country.

    Dr SK Chakravarty, chief general manager, Calcutta Telephones, said the tender for the 40,000 villages would be floated within 10 days and the one for the 70 cities would be launched within two months.

    India’s Department of Telecom (DoT), has given the go-ahead to the public sector telecom operator to launch WiMax. Dr Chakravarty said: “Even before spectrum is released, DoT has given the 2.5 gigahertz frequency to BSNL for its WiMax operations.”

    Initially, WiMax would be only for fixed-line applications. Chakravarty said that WiMax was already operational on an experimental basis in the city, at the Kalyani exchange.

    According to Senza Fili Newsletter new technologies like WiMAX are typically successful first in developed markets where disposable incomes are higher and new devices and services are adopted earlier.

    However, we expect WiMAX will initially be better suited to emerging markets. We predict in 'WiMAX: Ambitions and Reality' that emerging markets will account for 55 per cent of WiMAX subscribers by 2012.

    Emerging countries may take the lead in mobile WiMAX growth due to two trends:

  • Demand for affordable, flexible broadband, coupled with the lack of wired broadband.
  • Widespread 3G, lack of spectrum, and non-committal operators will delay mobile WiMAX in many developed markets.

    The value of mobile WiMAX is not mobility per se. Up to half of mobile phone calls are placed from the home or office. The percentage should be even higher for data-centric devices and applications. Operators estimate that up to 80 per cent of WiMAX access will be from indoors, where subscribers are stationary.

    The true appeal of mobile broadband in developed and developing countries is ubiquitous high-bandwidth network access.

    In developing countries, however, mobile WiMAX will be positioned differently.
    Rather than targeting high-ARPU business users, early adopters or tech-savvy teens, mobile WiMAX services will attract first-time broadband users without a fixed line data connection who are nevertheless accustomed to mobile phones.

    These subscribers cannot afford both fixed and mobile subscriptions. Mobile WiMAX offers them both on a single contract and a single device. Operators can offer mobile broadband ahead of fixed broadband, adding value by combining fixed and mobile access.

    For instance, a retailer may need broadband in his shop, using both data and VoIP applications. After work he may take his WiMAX device home where he and his family can make VoIP calls or access personal email.
    WiMAX operators, both greenfield and established players, have been very active in markets such as Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and India.

    In most cases the initial focus is on fixed broadband access, where demand is known and devices, albeit expensive, are available. Most operators, however, see the potential for mobile access and want to enhance their networks when devices become available.

    Device availability is key. Operators are still dependent on a limited selection of form factors: desktop modems, PCMCIA cards and, soon, a few PDAs.

    Vendors need to offer new form factors, new functionality, and new price points, based on the specific requirements of emerging markets. The traditional model of marketing of low-cost, entry-level devices to emerging countries is no longer sufficient.
  • Thursday 22 November 2007

    IMS client

    This is a reponse to the question 'What exactly constitutes an IMS Client' that was posted by various people on ForumOxford.

    The main components of an IMS client, consist of the following:

    OS functions:

  • IMS specified protocols, such as SIP, SDP, XCAP, RTP etc. that are essential for IMS based services
  • IMS core functions, such as registration,session control, authentication , authorization, accounting, QoS etc.
  • IMS enablers for services, such as presence, IM, location, PoC etc.

  • API support:

  • IMS core APIs for the standard interfaces specified in the IMS framework
  • IMS enabler APIs for the standard enablers for services specified in the IMS framework

  • Application support:

  • IMS service enabler based applications, such as an IM client, presence client etc.
  • IMS core enabler based applications, where applications are not based on standard IMS service enablers
  • Applications that are hybrids consisting of customized combinations of IMS services enablers and IMS core enablers

  • The harmonization work in the IMS specifications is currently a work-in-progress with multiple standards development organizations on an industry-wide scale, and will have impacts on the evolution of the IMS client. Ericsson, PCTEL, and others have advertised various flavours of IMS clients. Overall both vendors and providers have a significant interest in the IMS framework, and the adoption timeframes are expected to be over the next few years, since it is a significant paradigm shift from the existing service delivery models.

    Vendors with IMS clients include Ericsson Mobile Platforms, Movial, Ecrio, Comneon (part of Infineon) and a bunch of others. Nokia probably has its own one in development as part of a future version of S60.

    Typically, the IMS software on a phone will consist of a 'framework' platform into which are plugged a bunch applications like PTT, IM, VCC, VoIP etc. The framework has a bunch of 'plumbing' protocols like the 3GPP flavour of SIP

    Unfortunately, there are no standards for how the framework-application integration works. You can't put Movial application easily on top of an Ericsson framework. Until that's fixed, there will be very few IMS handsets, because developers will not want to have to port IMS apps to a dozen different IMS frameworks.

    The OMTP has released some specifications about IMS phones which should help matters. There's also still a lot of questions about how the IMS part of the phone integrates with the non-IMS bits (SMS, browser, TV, IT applications , non-IMS SIP applications etc).

    Given the current membership of companies in the OHA initiative, it is anticipated that the IMS client will be supported. The IMS framework is expected to be enhanced to support both SIP, and non-SIP based applications in the future. The browser enabler is a standardized service enabler specified by OMA, which leverages the underlying IMS framework, and can be integrated with an IMS client. (For instance, NetFront has a client that supports the OMA browsing enabler as well as IMS.)

    The IMS framework provides a high-level of abstraction that enables applications to be developed and integrated without being impeded by the access technology specific nuances. SIP applications, or any other applications that are implemented without the IMS framework will be subject to both implementation and integration complexities, particularly in the mobile space, where the complexities of the RF link impact the implementation, integration, and the user-experience.

    Note: the IMS framework has several aspects to it in terms of hooks into the various underlying access technologies, as well as a common layer of abstraction and information hiding, which is invaluable for widespread third-party application development, as well for a reduction of integration complexities. The bearer-level aspects are being addressed with respect to the various prominent access technologies such as LTE, UMB, WiMAX and Packet Cable.

    According to Dean Bubley, entire Internet & IT community is negative towards IMS - Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype et al.

    IMS = walled-garden SIP, or perhaps more amusingly an "Internet Monetisation System".

    The problem is that IMS views everything as a billable 'service' - it doesn't seem to accept that certain applications are based on the customer owning or operating their own software. In the real world, customers want certain capabilities delivered as ongoing sbillable ervices (opex) and certain things bought, owned & used outright (capex)

    The current setup of the Internet is that centrally-controlled QoS and charging is anathema. IMS harks back to the legacy days of bundling access & service. That's fine for certain things, but totally inappropriate for the Internet, as that control adds latency & friction to development & innovation. I've heard IMS vendors talk about developers and "2 men & a dog in a garage", when what they actually meant was "2 men, a dog & a 30-person legal department".

    As a simple example - could you imagine that anything as mindbogglingly useful as PDF would have evolved had the Internet been based on IMS principles? Download the client for free & then use it in perpetuity as a browser plug-in? No, we would all have been charged for a usage-based 'document viewing service', and it would never have got the traction.

    The one thing that could change the situation is if one of the vendors - perhaps Cisco or Avaya - invented a private IMS architecture, that enterprises or large Internet firms could own. It would be deeply amusing if Merrill Lynch or GlaxoSmithKline deployed their own IMS's, and started charging interconnect fees to the telcos.

    Saturday 17 November 2007

    Blyk: MVNO based on adertising model

    Blyk is a new MVNO in UK which is trying out a unique MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator ... in case you didnt know) model.

    Launched last September, Blyk only allows youngsters aged 16 to 24 years old to subscribe (which gives a clear demographic signal to advertisers). And in exchange for receiving a maximum of six advertising messages per day, users get 217 free texts and 43 voice minutes a month to use. After that, Blyk subscribers, all of whom are pre-paid users, pay 10p (US$0.20) per text and voice calls are charged at 15p (US$0.30) per minute.

    Blyk launch is timed for the start of the new school term in the UK. It’s a smart move but it’s not surprising. Blyk has a very experienced team, headed by backer former Nokia president Pekka Ala-Pietila and Antti Ă–hrling, a branding veteran.

    Blyk already has an impressive advertising line-up, including Coca-Cola, Xbox, Adidas and McDonald’s. The MVNO had managed to attract a total of 40 advertisers at launch.

    “If Blyk understands its consumers, and if they can provide a relevant and contextual value-added platform which allows advertisers to be more timely and engaging with them, then it has a winning solution,” says Mark Renshaw, global digital strategist at Leo Burnett, an advertising agency. “Taking traditional display mass advertising into the mobile channel replicates an old model and does not take advantage or acknowledge the truly personal engaging experience that mobile can provide.”

    Renshaw envisages that advertisers will also be able to encourage Blyk subscribers to text and talk more. “The model may rely on users getting connected to interesting brand events,” he says, “and for this [mobile] contact method to become more and more key in users’ life. The ad-funded model may in fact be a recruitment tactic knowing that users will go over the free usage minutes and texts provided.”

    Blyk has good management pedigree. Pekka Ala-Pietilä, co-founder and CEO of Blyk, is the former president of Nokia Corp. The MVNO says it will go pan-European next year.

    Friday 16 November 2007

    VoIP: The Global appeal

    According to a report entitled "Demand for VoIP increasing worldwide", Global revenues from IP telephony sales grew to $6,908 million (£3,383 million) in 2006. Western Europe formed the largest base of subscribers to these VoIP services, producing income for supplier amounting to $2,639 million (£1,292 million). Senior analyst of Point Topic John Bosnell suggested that the increase in revenues had been prompted by more customers taking up 'triple-play' service bundles which feature VoIP, broadband and TV in one package.

    Asia Pacific was not far behind with USD 1.75 billion and North America with 2.41 billion revenue. Monthly ARPU was highest in North America at USD 20, followed by Western Europe and SE Asia with USD 15 each and the Asia-Pacific and Latin America with USD 10 per month each.
    Dean Bubbley in his new report says that evolution of mobile VoIP will rapidly eclipse voice over WiFi and become a mainstream form of communication. The analyst firm predicts that the number of VoIPo3G users could grow from virtually zero in 2007 to over 250m by the end of 2012. This is comfortably in excess of the expected number of FMC users with dual-mode VoWLAN/cellular phones.

    An interesting post in Forum Oxford by him highlights the following points:

    First off, I'd better define what I mean - I see 4 manifestations of VoIPo3G:

    - consumer or enterprise downloads to a 3G smartphone (or laptop) of software like Fring or Truphone or Yeigo, using 'over the top' VoIP on a flatrate data contract
    - partner models (eg deals between Skype / Fring & a carrier or retailer or MVNO, or maybe some enterprise models if Cisco or Avaya or Microsoft does something) typically preloading a proprietary VoIP client on a handset or PC
    - operator ‘non-telephony’ VoIP (eg PoC, multimedia telephony, some sort of other IMS voice app like conferencing)
    - operator primary-telephony VoIP (eg for use on an all-IP network like LTE or UMB & to some extent HSPA+ or Rev A networks). * this is the really big one on a 5-year view but obviously dependent on 3.5G rollouts*

    Basically LTE mandates VoIP - unless operators want to continue with a parallel circuit GSM or UMTS infrastructure in perpetuity. LTE-VoIP also the possibility of much higher spectrum efficiency for voice (in calls/MHz/cell) which is economically attractive given competition for spectrum & declining voice prices. It's also in the NGMN specs.
    What I've tried to work out is what could happen in the time between cellular networks being capable of OK-quality VoIP in relatively small numbers (ie now) vs. the point when they're optimised for large-scale carrier grade mobile VoIP (ie quite soon on CDMA, quite a while on HSPA/HSPA+/LTE)

    There's also issues like dependency on IMS, and whether operators want to simultaneously roll out a new radio tech (LTE) and transition their main revenue-earning service to VoIP - or if it makes sense to get some mobile VoIP experience before LTE rolls out. I think we'll see a lot more 3/skype type partnerships as 'toes in the water'.
    I also reckon that an increasing number of 3G-enabled PC will be given operator VoIP client software for particular use cases (eg VoIP-enabled IM, or for other PC-based phone calls for conferencing etc)

    Interesting to see
    this Taiwan operator-led VoIPo3G service as an early example.
    Probably worth saying as well that I'm not expecting all of an individual's telephony traffic to transition to VoIPo3G. Out of 3.5G coverage, it'll flip back to GSM or circuit UMTS for example, or might be WiFi indoors.

    My view is that overall, VoIPo3G is more important than VoWLAN. The obligatory 'big number' headline is 250m users by end-2012 (ie about 7-8% penetration of global mobile subs and perhaps 20% of global 3G+ subs), mostly driven by the operators' own VoIP services.That's against my expectations of a low single-digit % for VoWLAN penetration. There's a lot more granularity but I'm not going to delve into it here now.
    While VoWLAN has been qualitatively very important, the actual quantitative usage is really small. I don't see dual-mode phones or services being that prevalent for most operators. They're just too complicated to get right at a software level, because of the variety of ways in which WiFi is deployed (eg widespread use of private WiFi with its own security mechanisms). Whilst there's been a lot of work done over the last 3 years, most VoWLAN still has a lot of compromises.

    I reckon that the same amount of work on VoIPo3G will yield more tangible results for both independent providers and the carriers themselves. It should also fit quite nicely with other trends like femtocells and mobile voice mashups (ie embedding VoIP in other applications). It can also be hidden "under the hood" so the user just sees a normal phone service - and therefore should be easier to integrate with things like prepay servers.

    Not everyone agrees though. According to Russel Shaw, "At least not in North America, continent of my residence. Based on behavior patterns that significantly proceed VoIP, entrenched cell carriers will go to all marketing, regulatory, legal, lobbying and statutory costs to protect the current business models they believe are necessary to protect their investments in networks as they are now."

    In other news, according to Yankee Group, the market for mobile internet services remains largely untapped, according to industry analysts which claim that operators and service providers could be raking in as much as $66bn per year, instead of the $9.5bn they are taking at present. Yankee Group warned that the full extent of the mobile internet services opportunity remains unexploited because service providers and their technology partners are not overcoming barriers to adoption quickly enough.

    Finally, there is a warning for all VoIP users that the flexibility and openness ofSession Initiation Protocol (SIP) have made it a key building block forvoice-over-IP (VOIP) services, but SIP also makes carrier and enterpriseVOIP networks vulnerable to crippling attacks that could bring servicesdown for days, according to the latest report published by Light Reading'sVOIP Services Insider (, a subscriptionresearch service from CMP's Light Reading (

    SIP is subject to the same types of attacks -- including viruses anddenial-of-service (DOS) attacks -- that affect email communications, but asuccessful attack through SIP is likely to have a larger impact on theaffected network, notes Denise Culver, research analyst with LightReading's VOIP Services Insider and author of the report. "SIP enablesvoice traffic to traverse VPNs, potentially carrying with it all of thethings a hacker might want to attach to such a message," she says.

    "Whilethose in the email security world have had more than a decade to contendwith these issues, SIP security vendors are trying not only to address theissue of securing SIP messages but also to ensure that SIP can successfullytraverse a firewall at all."
    A big part of the problem with SIP is that vendors have rushed productsinto the market that don't make use of all the security measuresrecommended in the protocol standard, Culver adds. The standard'sflexibility is also an issue in making networks vulnerable to securitybreaches, she says: "Until vendors reach a point at which interoperabilityis not just a requirement but actually something they recognize in terms ofthe security it provides across SIP itself, the protocol will remaininherently flawed."

    Wednesday 14 November 2007

    IPTV Future

    IPTV is again in spotlight. This months Total Telecom magazine has some interesting articles on IPTV but its in the Print form and the online is a paid site :(. Anyway, i managed to find all that was required and here is the summary:

    BT is showcasing a new TV concept at this year’s Broadband World Forum that could dramatically change viewing habits and provide it with a lucrative source of revenue. Dubbed New Media 2 (or NM2), its latest project could allow a TV producer to develop the storyline of a new drama program based on feedback from viewers. Using the interactivity of an IPTV service, viewers would periodically be able to choose how a story should evolve — perhaps killing off their least favorite character or causing a young unmarried couple to tie the knot.

    BT Vision is “on track” to make its year-end target of serving 100,000 subscribers. Launched in December last year, the service had attracted just 20,000 customers by June, and BT has since been at pains to ramp up the offer and give it broader appeal. It recently signed a deal with Setanta, a sports channel delivered using digital terrestrial technology, and claims the inclusion of more sports content has had a major impact on growth. BT has also launched a "self-install" version of the service, so engineers do not have to go to each and every home.
    In other news, Millions of broadband users across the world are finding IPTV hard to resist, with customer numbers rising from 2,950,000 to 8,229,000 in the 12 months leading to June 2007. That is the finding of the DSL Forum, a lobby group for DSL broadband technology, based on new research commissioned from consultancy Point Topic. Most of the growth came from Europe, where the number of IPTV customers soared to 4,984,000 from 1,505,000 a year earlier. In the Americas, 660,000 broadband customers signed up to IPTV services, giving the region a total of 1,069,000 users, while the Asia Pacific added 1,189,000 customers to give it 2,176,000 subscribers.
    According to a TotalTele article: Despite massive investments and headline-grabbing contracts with many of the world's largest phone companies, only about 500,000 homes now get TV from phone companies using Microsoft software and technology. In a market where dozens of small companies have developed an expertise in key niches, from video servers to set-top boxes, Microsoft has tried to cover all the bases of delivering TV programming via Internet technology—an approach that for many carriers has proved harder and more expensive than expected to carry out on a large scale. But for the moment, the pace seems to be picking up on this slow march toward TV innovation, as plans to use Microsoft's Internet protocol TV products actually begin getting off the ground. AT&T (T), which by most accounts has been the poster child for Microsoft's disappointing progress, said in October that its U-Verse IPTV service had amassed 126,000 customers in the third quarter, from 51,000 in the second quarter. Ma Bell plans to make the service available to 8 million homes by the end of the year, up from 5 million now. Swisscom says it has lured 50,000 of Switzerland's 3 million homes away from cable and satellite rivals using Microsoft IPTV. A year after launching its BT Vision IPTV service, British Telecom Group (BT) will release figures on subscriber gains on Nov. 8. BT Vision Chief Executive Dan Marks says his target is to sign up 2 million to 3 million customers within three to five years. "It took longer than everyone wanted to get to this point, but we're pretty comfortable with the way things are going," Marks says. Microsoft continues to line up new business. On Nov. 5, Indian telecom powerhouse Reliance Communications announced a $500 million deal to begin delivering Microsoft's technology by April, 2008—four years after first announcing a partnership with Microsoft. Yankee Group analyst Vince Vittore expects an increase in 2008, though he won't predict how steep. "It's a complicated business," Vittore says. "But Microsoft is starting to get traction, and they've got the biggest carriers as key customers."
    Different providers have different views about IPTV. This report examines what the customers are willing to pay for and how much.
    Another issue is the competetion between IP Television (IPTV) and Internet Television (I-TV). With the devices converging, soon people may stop buying seperate TV and start using PC's for watching TV over Internet and this could cause serious problems for IPTV.
    When we talk about IPTV, different operators have different ideas and visions. This article talks about some of these conflicting visions and what it means for us.
    Finally, its not easy using the normal existing Phone lines for transmitting IPTV. This article gives an idea as to what is required.

    Tuesday 13 November 2007

    Carrier Ethernet Transport (CET)

    Another technology being discussed nowadays is Carrier Ethernet Transport (CET). Though this is not a wireless technology as such, it would still be very important as (can be seen from the diagram) the user data will be carried over this to the core.

    A simple and straightforward explanation was not as easy to find but here are some more details which will give you a good idea.

    Good source of introduction is this article from Meriton Networks:

    Carriers around the world are increasingly being pressured to provide new services while reducing their costs to remain competitive with changing regulations and new, non-traditional entrants into the marketplace. As carriers migrate to next-generation networks (NGNs) to reduce their costs and improve their ability to support high bandwidth-intensive services with guaranteed SLAs, they need a flexible, scalable optical transport
    infrastructure – especially in the metro network – that efficiently supports
    Ethernet and minimizes operational complexities.

    Carrier Ethernet Transport (CET) is an architectural approach to building scalable transport infrastructure for supporting Ethernet and the evolution to NGNs

    * Carrier Ethernet Transport integrates intelligent WDM (ability to do multi-degree switching at wavelength and sub wavelength levels) with
    Ethernet Tunnels, such as
    PBB-TE and T-MPLS .
    * Carrier Ethernet Transport (CET) provides the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of native Ethernet with the reliability and power of WDM to deliver unparalleled flexibility, efficiency and cost savings
    * Note that “Carrier Ethernet” comprises two distinct sub-segments: “Carrier Ethernet Services” and “Carrier Ethernet Transport”

    Carrier Ethernet Transport is an architecture for NGNs based on wavelength networking. Services from both wireless and wireline access networks are simultaneously carried on a single network infrastructure. Three levels of embedded transport networking switching capabilities (wavelength, sub-wavelength, and Ethernet tunnels) provide a cost-effective transport network that can support services with guaranteed service level agreements (SLAs).

    A good introduction is an article in Lightwave titled, "Carrier Ethernet transport: No longer 'if,' but 'how'". There are some very good diagrams explaining the concept and its difficult to reproduce them here.

    Another article in Converge! Network Digest suggests that CET is not the only way and there are alternative technologies available. The main advantage with CET is that it can reduce complexity compared to its main rivals.

    CET offers the following direct benefits to carriers as they migrate to NGN:
    • Maximizing the amount of Ethernet traffic that can be switched and routed without leaving the optical transport layer
    • Reducing the load on expensive MPLS systems and precious LSPs
    • Reducing the number of expensive optical ports required at metro/core hub points
    • Providing a circuit-orientated transport model similar to SDH/SONET – which has great benefits from an OSS and operational perspective
    Additionally, CET provides an architecture that clearly separates the service and transport layers. Separation is an important attribute to allow the independent and efficient scaling of the service and transport layers. Separation also allows the transport layer to focus on its main task in the network – to provide to the access and service networks a large volume of circuit-orientated point-to-point paths that are deterministic and reliable.

    Finally the article that made me curious about this subject was this article from Telecommunications Online (Part1 Part2) which is an interview of a Nokia-Siemens manager. Some interesting points as follows:

    Telecommunications: You mentioned CET. Although it’s still an early concept, how are service providers responding to the idea at this time?

    Bar-on: The perspective is very positive. CET is optimized transport Layer-2 carrier packet traffic. Traffic is growing tremendously. Sometimes you hear a number of 100 percent per-year growth in some carriers, but the average number would be about 70 percent. Everyone realizes the infrastructure needs to be packet-optimized. The way we present CET is it’s a combination of Ethernet and WDM. This has been positively received when looked at by carriers. You can have an argument as to what protocols to use, but CET is the next transport layer. Many carriers are looking for a migration from the current TDM- based infrastructure to a packet
    optical-based infrastructure.

    Telecommunications: Outside of traditional enterprise services, there’s a lot of talk about using Ethernet for wireless backhaul. Albeit it’s still early, are your carrier customers investigating Ethernet for that application?

    Bar-on: We do see a strong requirement from carriers doing wireless backhaul over Ethernet. It’s driven by two elements happening in the market:

    1. Base Station Migration: The base stations themselves are migrating from TDM/ATM to 4G or Ethernet. We have the luxury in that we manufacture both the base station and the transmission equipment. We have a dedicated solution because we understand both ends of the market. It’s quite clear that Ethernet will play a role in 4G deployments.

    2. Pseudowires: On the other side, carriers are looking to reuse their opex to carry 2G and 3G over Ethernet with Pseudowire rather than SONET/SDH networks. We see it mainly coming from competitive carriers that are trying to fight on the backhaul business to fight with traditional ILECs and PTTs. Having said that we at Nokia Siemens are providing a solution that addresses the current scenario where you have 2G, 3G, and a migration for 4G. What you see in both cases is this metro Ethernet network not only has to address not only Ethernet traffic, but also highly sensitive voice traffic over TDM. For that we believe that concepts like connection-oriented Ethernet can provide five-9s reliability for this kind of service. It’s no longer just about Ethernet access.

    Telecommunications: Earlier you mentioned Carrier Ethernet Transport (CET). One of the emerging debates to come out of the CET concept is the use of Provider Backbone Transport (PBT)/Provider Backbone Bridging-Transport Engineering (PBB-TE). How are these concepts resonating with the service provider community?

    Bar-on: We’re seeing that everyone is interested in that and want to see if it’s real. Major carriers in the U.S. are very interested in the technology and are in a position to see that it’s real and it’s working. If you look at the cycle of technology, we are probably in the early beginning of the deployment of this technology at least in the U.S. market. We see other groups in Europe going quicker and are leading the camp here, but no one can really ignore this thing. Even if I look at the RFPs by major U.S. carrier out in the market some of them are including requirements for PBT/PBB-TE. If you think about this now and where we were a year ago that’s a major step.

    Friday 9 November 2007

    Nokia tests 100Mbps Mobile Broadband

    Nokia announced earlier this week that the LSTI (LTE/SAE Trial Initiative) had achieved a 100 megabits-per-second data transfer speed in recent tests. LTE/SAE is an evolved version of today's mobile phone radio access technology designed for faster data transfer with a simplified architecture, using new transmission schemes and advanced antenna technology. Initial deployment configurations are specified to have downlink rates above 100 Mbps and uplink rates above 50 Mbps.
    The initiative, launched in May by telecommunications companies Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, France Telecom/Orange, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, T-Mobile and Vodafone, seeks to prove to the 3G Partnership Project (3GPP) the potential of LTE/SAE as a new standard.
    The LTE/SAE Trial Initiative is divided into three main phases;
    • Proof of concept
    • Interoperability
    • Trial
    Joint testing, and reporting of ongoing results will continue out to the end of 2009, with initial LTE system deployments planned for the 2010 timeframe.
    Between here and the 4G promised land are several hurdles. First, most carriers will need new radio spectrum to carry LTE services. Current 3G uses about 5MHz of spectrum for communication from the base station to the handset and 5MHz the other direction, while LTE will need about twice that much to deliver the promised speeds. Auctions in Europe for "3G extension" bands that could be used for LTE will probably be done by 2010, but current users may still be vacating it. In the U.S., parts of the 700MHz spectrum set to be auctioned early next year could be used for LTE.
    Note: If you are looking for any corporate or individual training relating to LTE, etc. do contact me.

    Nokia Aeon 'wearable' concept phone

    A bit old concept but still good enough.

    Nokia's concept phone, designed to highlight the company's focus on products that allow users to more readily stamp their personality on their gadgets. The concept phone, dubbed Aeon, combines two touch-sensitive panels mounted on a fuel-cell power pack. The handset's connectivity and electronics are built into the panels to allow them to be used independendently. When assembled, one panel would operate as the display, the other as the keypad. Since the buttons are entirely virtual, Aeon can flip instantly between a numeric pad for dialling, a text-entry pad for messaging, or a media-player controller.

    It's a cute idea and one that ties in with Nokia's expectation that phones will become essentially "wearable" devices - if foresees users removing one of Aeon's display panels and mounting it on a watch-like strap or worn as a badge.