Tuesday 29 April 2008

3GPP Release-9 Features

HSPA+ in Release-7 and Release-8

Thought of adding this while I am in mode of making lists. So whats in HSPA evolution in Rel-7 and Rel-8. Lot of people are unaware that HSPA+ was big enough to finish off in Rel-7 and was definite to spill over in Rel-8

HSPA+ Features in Release 7

  • Higher Order Modulation Schemes

    • Advantages and weaknesses of higher order modulation
      - Interference Sensitivity
      - QPSK
      - 16-QAM, 64-QAM)
      - Consequences
      - Behavior in Time Variant Mobile Radio Channels
      - Behavior of a time variant mobile radio channel
      - Effect of amplitude variations
      - Effect of phase variations

    • 16-QAM for the S-CCPCH (DL)
      - MBSFN only
      - Interleaving
      - Modulation
      - Scaling factors

    • 64-QAM for the HS-PDSCH (DL)
      - Interleaving
      - Constellation Rearrangement
      - Modulation
      - Related UE Categories

    • 16-QAM for UL (4-PAM for the E-DPDCH)
      - HARQ Rate Matching Stage
      - Interleaver
      - Modulator
      - UE category

    • Overview Advantages and Disadvantages
      - Higher peak data rate
      - Better resource utilization
      - Blind choice of modulation scheme
      - High SNIR requirement
      - More TX power requirement
      - Low range
      - Small cell environment
      - Restrictions of use for high UE moving speeds

    • Channel Estimation Algorithms
      - Normal Algorithm
      - Gathering pilot information
      - Channel estimation
      - Data detection
      - Advantage
      - Disadvantage
      - Advanced Algorithms
      - Shorter channel estimation window
      - Moving channel estimation window
      - Adaptive detection
      - Turbo detection
      - Advantages
      - Disadvantages

    • Performance16-QAM in the UL
      - Performance on Link Level 16-QAM in the UL
      - Performance of BPSK compared to 4-PAM
      - Influence of non-linearity of the power amplifier
      - Performance on System Level
      - Behavior with increasing load
      - Maximum versus average throughput

    • Higher Order Modulation Testing
      - Test Setup for 16-QAM in the UL
      - RF components
      - Discussion of the setup
      - Selected Performance Requirements for 16-QAM in the UL
      - BPSK vs. 4-PAM
      - Effect of RX diversity
      - Effect of high degree of multipath
      - Effect of high UE moving speed

  • MIMO

    • Introduction to MIMO Technology
      - The Basics: Signal Fading Physics between TX and RX
      - Scattering
      - Refraction
      - Reflection
      - Diffraction
      - Multiplexing Dimensions
      - The Multipath Dimension
      - MIMO General Operation

    • MIMO Feedback Procedure (PCI)
      - Motivation of Spatial Precoding
      - Plain MIMO
      - Multiple rank beamforming
      - Spatial Precoding
      - Codebook, PCI and CQI Loop
      - Codebook
      - PCI and CQI loop

    • MIMO Algorithms
      - Linear MIMO Algorithms (Preparation work, Equalizer at the end of the processing chain,
      - Equalizer at the beginning of the processing chain), Non-Linear MIMO Algorithms

    • MIMO Performance
      - MIMO Performance on Link Level (SISO vs. SIMO, SIMO vs. MIMO, 2x2 MIMO vs. 4x2
      - MIMO, 16-QAM vs. 64-QAM), Performance on System Level (MIMO vs. SIMO, 50% vs.
      - 75% power allocation, 0% vs. 4% feedback errors)

    • MIMO Tests
      - Official Test Setups (Test NodeB, Fading simulator, Noise generator, UE under test, Single stream test setup, Double stream test setup), Quick and Easy Test Setups (The
      easiest test setup, A more reliable test setup: The MIMO circle), Selected Performance
      - Requirement Figures (Conditions, 64-QAM performance, Dual stream MIMO
      performance, Single stream MIMO performance)

  • Continuous Packet Connectivity (CPC)

    • Basic features
      - Uplink Discontinuous Transmission (DTX), Downlink Discontinuous Reception (DRX)

    • RRC message ID’s
      - DTX and DRX Information

    • CPC Timing
      - Uplink CQI transmission

    • Example for Uplink DPCCH Burst Pattern for 10 ms E-DCH TTI
      - Uplink DRX, Downlink DRX

    • Uplink DPCCH preamble and postamble
      - Uplink DPCCH preamble and postamble for the DPCCH only transmission, Uplink DPCCH preamble and postamble for the E-DCH transmission, Uplink DPCCH preamble and postamble for the HS-DPCCH transmission

    • Example of simultaneous Uplink DTX and Downlink DRX

    • CPC and Enhanced F-DPCH
      - Timing Implications for CPC + Enhanced F-DPCCH

  • Upgraded L1 Signaling

    • HS-SCCH Review of Rel. 5 and 6
      - HS-SCCH Frame Structure, HS-SCCH Part 1 and 2 Forward Error Coding Chain, UE
      specific masking of Part 1 and Part 2, HS-PDSCH Code Allocation through Part1 of HSSCCH,
      - Transport Block Size Determination – TFRI Mapping

    • HS-SCCH of Rel. 7
      - HS-SCCH Overview of Rel. 7 (HS-SCCH type 1, No HS-SCCH, HS-SCCH type 2, HSSCCH
      type 3), HS-SCCH Type 1 (HS-SCCH Type 1, HS-SCCH Type 1 for Configured 64-QAM Operation, HS-SCCH Orders, 64-QAM Constellation Versions), HS-SCCH Type 2 (for HS-SCCH less operation) (Use of the HS-SCCH-less operation, Procedure HSSCCH-less operation), HS-SCCH Type 3 (HS-SCCH Type 3 Overview, Modulation and
      Transport Block Number , HARQ Process Number, Redundancy Version and
      Constellation Version)

    • HS-DPCCH of Rel. 7
      - HS-DPCCH ACK/NACK (ACK-NACK of primary TB in R5, Preamble and postamble in
      R6, ACK-NACK of 2 TB’s in R7), HS-DPCCH PCI and CQI type A and B (CQI in case of
      no MIMO operation, PCI and CQI in case of MIMO with 1 TB (CQI type A), PCI and CQI
      in case of MIMO with 2 TB’s (CQI type B))

    • E-AGCH and E-DPCCH
      - Changes in the E-TFCI tables, Changes in the AG tables, Changes in the SG tables

  • MAC-ehs Entity versus MAC-hs

    • UTRAN side MAC-hs Details – CELL_DCH only
      - Flow Control, Scheduling/Priority Handling, HARQ, TFRC selection

    • UE side MAC-hs Details – CELL_DCH only
      - HARQ, Reordering Queue distribution, Reordering, Disassembly

    • UTRAN side MAC-ehs Details
      - Some advantages of MAC-ehs compared to MAC-hs , Flow Control, HARQ, TFRC
      selection (~ TFRI), LCH-ID mux, Segmentation

    • UE side MAC-ehs Details
      - HARQ , Disassembly, Reordering queue distribution, Reordering, Reassembly, LCH-ID demultiplexing

    • Differences in the MAC-ehs and MAC-hs Header
      - MAC-hs Header Parameter Description
      - MAC-hs SDU , , MAC-hs Header of MAC-hs PDU), MAC-ehs Header Parameter Description
      - MAC-ehs Header Parameter Details
      - HARQ Process Work Flow in UE – MAC-hs / MAC-ehs
      - Split HS-DSCH Block Functionality
      - Practical Exercise: MAC-hs contra MAC-ehs
      - MAC-hs / MAC-ehs Stall Avoidance
      - Timer-Based Scheme
      - Window Bases Scheme
      - MAC-(e)hs Reordering Functionality – Timer / Window based

  • Flexible RLC PDU Sizes

    • The RLC AMD PDU – Rel. 7 Enhancements
      - The Poll (POLL) super-field
      - RLC AMD Header Fields
      - Release 7 Enhancement of the HE-Field and LI

    • Comparison of RLC-AM between Rel. 6 and Rel. 7
      - RLC-AM Overhead using fixed or flexible PDU size
      · RRC State Operation Enhancements

    • Transport Channel Type Switching with HSPA in R6
      - Transport Channel Combinations between UL and DL, Radio Bearer Multiplexing Options in Rel. 6

    • Operation of UTRA RRC States in Release 7
      - UE Idle mode, CELL_DCH state

    • HS-DSCH Reception in CELL_FACH and XXX_PCH
      - Overview (UE dedicated paging in CELL_DCH, CELL_FACH and CELL_PCH, BCCH
      reception in CELL_FACH, FACH measurement occasion calculation, Measurement
      reporting procedure), (1) Operation in the CELL_FACH state (DCCH / DTCH reception in
      CELL_FACH state , User data on HS-DSCH in Enhanced CELL_FACH state), (2) Operation in the CELL_FACH state – Cell Update, (3) RRC Idle to transient CELL_FACH
      (Common H-RNTI selection in CELL_FACH (FDD only), H-RNTI selection when entering
      Connected mode (FDD only) ), Operation in the URA_PCH or CELL_PCH state (Data
      Transfer in CELL_PCH with dH-RNTI, State Transision from CELL_PCH to CELL_FACH
      to CELL_DCH, CELL_PCH and URA_PCH enhanced Paging Procedure)

HSPA+ Features in Release 8

  • Overview of HSPA+ Related Work Items in R8

    • Requirements for two branch IC

    • CS voice over HSPA

    • Performance req. for 15 HSDPA codes

    • MIMO + 64-QAM

    • Enhanced DRX

    • Improved L2 for UL

    • Enhanced UL for CELL_FACH

    • R3 Enhancements for HSPA

    • Enhanced SRNS relocation

  • MIMO combined with 64-QAM

    • New UE Categories
      - Data Rate, Soft IR memory

    • L1 Signaling of MIMO and 64-QAM
      - Modulation Schemes and TB Sizes (Signaling on the HS-SCCH type 3, Dilemma to signal
      on the modulation schema and TB number field, Solution), CQI Signaling, CQI Tables

Interested readers can refer to Alcatel-Lucent presentation in HSPA+ Summit here.

There is also an interesting Qualcomm paper titled, "Release 7 HSPA+ For Mobile Broadband Evolution" available here.

3GPP Release 8 Features

Many people are surprised to hear that the Rel-8 of 3GPP is much more than just LTE/SAE. Here is a list of features:

  1. Maintenance of TISPAN documentation
  2. FS on 3G Home NodeB
  3. FS on Multimedia Session Continuity
  4. FS on CS Domain Services over evolved PS access
  5. FS on Transferring of emergency call data – in-band modem solution
  6. FS on Improved network controlled mobility between LTE and 3GPP2/mobile WiMAX radio technologies
  7. FS on IMS Application Server Service Data Descriptions for AS interoperability
  8. FS Restoration Procedures
  9. Registration in Densely-populated area
  10. Lawful Interception in the 3GPP Rel-8
  11. IMS Enhancements for support of Packet Cable access
  12. Study on Non 3GPP access NSP
  13. Support of Service-Level Interworking for Messaging Services
  14. Feasibility Study of Mobility between 3GPP-WLAN Interworking and 3GPP Systems
  15. Study on Requirements for seamless roaming and service continuity between mobile and WLAN networks
  16. Study on Stage 2 aspects of IMS Service Brokering
  17. Study of Requirements of IP-Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Convergent Multimedia Conferencing
  18. Study on support of a Public Warning System (PWS)
  19. Study of VCC support for Emergency Calls
  20. Study on centralized IMS services
  21. Study on centralised IMS service control
  22. Consumer protection against spam and malware
  23. 3G Long Term Evolution
  24. GERAN support for GERAN - 3G Long Term Evolution interworking
  25. Local Charging Zone Requirements
  26. Enhancements to BS30 Bearer service for Videotelephony
  27. IMS Enhancements Rel-8
  28. NDS Authentication Framework Extension for TLS
  29. Study on Value Added Services for Short Message Service
  30. Value Added Services for Short Message Service
  31. Study on Paging Permission with Access Control (PPAC)
  32. Paging Permission with Access Control
  33. GAN Enhancements
  34. Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System
  35. FS on Extended Support of IMS Emergency Calls
  36. Study on System enhancements for the use of IMS services in local breakout
  37. Study on Services Alignment and Migration
  38. Study on A-interface over IP
  39. Study on Multi-User Reusing-One-Slot
  40. Study on Optimized Transmit Pulse Shape for Downlink EGPRS2-B
  41. Study on InterWorking Function between MAP based and Diameter based interfaces
  42. Study on Evaluation of the inclusion of Path Loss Based Technology in the UTRAN
  43. LCS for 3GPP Interworking WLAN
  44. All-IP Network (AIPN)
  45. 3GPP System Architecture Evolution Specification
  46. CT aspects of System Architecture Evolution
  47. FBI Phase 2
  48. Rel-8 Feasibility Studies
  49. IMS Centralised Service Control
  50. IMS Multimedia Telephony and Supplementary Services
  51. MTSI Video - Dynamic Rate Adaptation/Signalling of Image Size
  52. eCall data transfer Phase 2: Comparison of alternative in-band modem solutions and standardization of one in-band modem solution
  53. Requirements and Test methods for Wideband Terminals
  54. Extending PSS and MBMS User Services for optimized Mobile TV
  55. IMS initiated and controlled PSS and MBMS User Service
  56. Storage and easy access of ICE numbers on USIM
  57. IP Interconnection of Services
  58. Network Selection for non-3GPP Access
  59. Charging for multi-phases services
  60. Home NodeB / eNodeB
  61. 3GPP2 Input to Common IMS
  62. Rel-8 Improvements of the Radio Interface
  63. OAM&P 8
  64. OAM&P Rel-8 Studies
  65. Study of Element Operations Systems Function (EOSF) definition
  66. Study on SA5 MTOSI XML Harmonization
  67. Study of Common Profile Storage (CPS) Framework of User Data for network services and management
  68. Study of Management for LTE and SAE
  69. Study on Charging Aspects of 3GPP System Evolution
  70. Study of System Maintenance by Itf-N
  71. Study of Self-Organizing Networks (SON) related OAM interfaces for Home NodeB
  72. Study on Self-healing of Self-Organizing Networks (SON)
  73. Personal Network Management (PNM)
  74. eCall Data Transfer – Requirements
  75. IMS System enhancements for corporate network access
  76. IMS Service Brokering enhancements
  77. Network Composition
  78. FS on Scope of future HSPA Evolution for 1.28Mcps TDD
  79. FS on Synchronised E-DCH for UTRA FDD
  80. Study on Dual-Cell HSDPA operation
  81. (FS on) Service continuity between mobile and WLAN networks
  82. I-WLAN NSP
  83. Interworking Wireless LAN Mobility
  84. Multimedia Priority Service
  85. Multimedia interworking between IMS and CS networks
  86. Conferencing enhancements for Mp interface
  87. Enhancements for VGCS Applications
  88. Contact Manager for 3GPP UICC applications (formerly ""Enhanced USIM Phonebook"")
  89. Charging Management small Enhancements
  90. Harmonization of Gq'/Rx for Common IMS
  91. IMS Service Continuity
  92. Interworking between User-to-User Signaling (UUS) and SIP
  93. Support of Overlap signalling
  94. OSA Rel-8
  95. Rel-8 RAN improvements
  96. Combination of 64QAM and MIMO for HSDPA (FDD)
  97. Security Enhancements for IMS
  98. Generic Bootstrapping Architecture Push Function
  99. Support of (G)MSC-S – (G)MSC-S Nc Interface based on the SIP-I protocol
  100. IMS Stage-3 IETF Protocol Alignment
  101. New multicarrier BTS class
  102. Support of Customised Alerting Tone Service
  103. Facilitating Machine to Machine Communication in GSM and UMTS (M2M)
  104. SI on AS-MRFC media server control protocol
  105. AS/MRFC stage 2 and 3 work
  106. (Small) Technical Enhancements and Improvements for Rel-8

Thursday 24 April 2008

US MME Industry to cross $6 Billion by 2012

Revenue from mobile media and entertainment (MME) services in the US will more than double during the next five years, according to the latest research from Analysys. US MME services (excluding messaging, and mobile browsing and data charges) generated US$3.1 billion in revenue in 2007, and Analysys Research forecasts that revenue will grow to $6.6 billion in 2012, at a compound annual growth rate of 16.3%. The strongest growth will not occur until after 2010, as the technical and market environment for MME services improves, according to the latest Analysys report, Mobile Media and Entertainment in the US: forecasts 2007-2012.

Key trends that are driving market growth include:
  • Improvements to service accessibility: mobile Web browsing platforms will improve and facilitate access to off-deck content, and presentation of off-deck content will become more streamlined and user friendly.
  • Wider availability of content, driven in part by higher-generation network and device penetration: "As 3G, 3.5G and Qualcomm's MediaFLO network coverage increases, a greater range of services will become available to a wider audience, and off-deck content markets (both operator-billed and non-operator-billed) will develop," said Katrina Bond, co-author of the report. "Non-operator-billed revenue from MME content and services will increase significantly during 2007-2012, and will account for $1.3 billion, or nearly 20%, of MME revenue by 2012."
  • Improvements to service usability: providers have not focused enough on the end-user experience for MME services, and users' frustration when the experience does not meet their expectations has inhibited the growth of some services.
  • Simplified and more attractive pricing of MME content and applications, as well as mobile data access: complex pricing, high data charges, and unfavorable revenue-sharing arrangements for content providers have inhibited growth in the MME market.

Analysys Research forecasts that MME services will account for 12.3% of non-voice service revenue in the US by 2012. Mobile TV and VoD services will experience the highest growth rate of any MME service during the next five years. When combined, broadcast and unicast TV and video services will account for 36% of MME revenue by 2012. By contrast, revenue from personalization services will decline from 47% of total MME revenue in 2007 to 17% in 2012.

"Operators, content providers and device manufacturers will have to work together to increase subscriber awareness of MME offerings and to ensure straightforward pricing, and simpler purchase and delivery processes,"said Alexandra Rehak, co-author of the report. "It is also critical that the user experience of MME services be compelling and complementary to the subscriber's experience of entertainment across other media."

Security Upgrade from Release 7

For those familiar with the 3G Security (Ciphering + Integrity) architecture will know this well that there is only one Integrity algorithm (UIA1) defined and it is mandatory. On the other hand there are two ciphering algorithms (UEA0 and UEA1) defined. UEA0 in reality means no Ciphering ;). UIA1 and UEA1 are both based on Kasumi algorithm. UEA1 is f8 and UIA1 is f9 algorithms of Kasumi. (Please feel free to correct my terminology if you think its wrong).

From Release 7 there are some additional provisions made for increasing the security.

First lets talk about GSM. Initially only a5_1 and a5_2 algorithms were defined for GSM. They have not been compromised till date and are still secure. Still some new algorithms have been defined to make sure there is a backup if they are ever compromised. a5_3, a5_5 and a5_8 have been defined for GSM/GPRS and GEA3 defined for EDGE.

For UMTS, UEA2 and UIA2 have been defined. They are based on 'Snow 3G' algorithm. Kasumi is a 'blockcipher' algorithm whereas Snow 3G is 'streamcipher'. The interesting thing as far as I understand is that even though this is defined and mandatory for UEs and N/w from Rel7, it wont be used but will only serve as backup. More on this topic can be learnt here.

More detailed information on UIA2 and UEA2 is available here.

There are some enhancements coming in the SIM as well. At present all the Keys are 128bits but there should be a provision that in future, 256 bits can be used.

There are some extensive overhauling of IMS security as well but I havent managed to get a good understanding of that yet.

All the reports from the 3rd ETSI Security Workshop held on Jan 15-16 2008 are available here.

Tuesday 22 April 2008

More on LTE-Advanced

LTE-Advanced should be real broadband wireless networks that provide equal or greater peak data rates than those for wired networks, i.e., FTTH (Fiber To The Home), while maintaining equivalent QoS. Smooth introduction of LTE-Advanced should be possible on top of LTE system.

High-level requirements
•Reduced network cost (cost per bit)
•Better service provisioning
•Compatibility with 3GPP systems


WRC 07 identified the following new bands for use by IMT/IMT-Advanced:

  • 450−470 MHz band,
  • 698−862 MHz band,
  • 790−862 MHz band,
  • 2.3−2.4 GHz band, and
  • 3.4−3.6 GHz band.

Not all of these bands are available on a worldwide basis. These bands are in addition to the bands currently specified in 3GPP. Specification for C-band should not be restricted to 3.4 – 3.6 GHz, but cover 3.4 to 3.8 and even 3.4 to 4.2 GHz as these will likely become available in some countries.

Channel Bandwidth

  • Channel bandwidths up to 100 MHz to be specified
  • However, for many operators consecutive allocation of 100 MHz unlikely
  • optimised performance needed for smaller bandwidths of e.g. 50 MHz low cost/complexity (i.e. not fully flexible) resource aggregation to be considered
Interworking with legacy 3GPP RAT
  • Full low complexity (for NW and terminal) interworking with 3GPP RAT, so operator de facto has flexibility on technology to deploy, when and where. The networks of most operators will be a combination of multiple 3GPP RAT for many years to come.
  • Network Sharing: Support for at least all currently specified Network Sharing features, also to facilitate cost-efficient roll out of LTE-Advanced, including, but not limited to, rural area coverage.
Working Methods
  • As LTE-Advanced should be an evolution of LTE, it is essential that it is specified as part of the 36-series of specifications.
  • It is also essential work is performed to a large degree by the experts that developed LTE, and thus work ideally should be performed in existing Working Groups.
  • LTE-Advanced will likely constitute the next significant development step for LTE, but (smaller) stand-alone enhancements and additions to LTE should be possible, and progressed in parallel.
  • Some of these smaller enhancements, as well as the “corrections” to LTE Release 8 could/should be captured in Rel.9, where SAE considerations will lead to relatively short Release completion time-frame.
More details on LTE-Advanced workshop in China here.

The workshop docs are available here.

LTE-Advanced = IMT-Advanced = 4G(or 5G?)

The 3GPP TSG RAN workshop on IMT-Advanced was held (in the week after the RAN WG meetings) on April 7-8, 2008 in Shenzhen, China hosted by ZTE Corporations. The main conclusions from the workshop are:
  • LTE Advanced shall be an evolution of LTE.
    o LTE terminal shall be supported in LTE-advanced networks.
    o An LTE-Advanced terminal can work in an LTE part of the network.
    o Primary focus of LTE-Advanced is low mobility users.
  • All requirements/targets in TR25.913 apply to LTE-Advanced.LTE-Advanced requirements shall fulfill IMT-Advanced requirements within the ITU-R time plan
  • For LTE-Advanced:
    o Same inter-RAT interworking capability with at least same performance as in LTE Release 8
    o Intra-RAT handover performance shall be same or better than LTE Release 8
  • As a way forward for LTE-Advanced it was agreed:
    o TSG RAN email reflector for LTE-Advanced will be established (the new reflector is called 3GPP_TSG_RAN_LTE_ADVANCED and it is available since 21.04.2008)
    § Email discussions on LTE-Advanced requirements will be started on this reflector (moderator: Takehiro Nakamura, NTT DoCoMo, LTE-Advanced SI rapporteur).
    o A new TR will be created (after the workshop it was decided to create TR 36.913 "Requirements for LTE-Advanced") to include LTE-Advanced requirements and updated by RAN WG meetings in May 2008 referring to structure of 25.913 and outcome of the workshop.(note: Allocation of the TR number 36.xyz was done after the workshop.)
    o Review of the outcome of this workshop and kick-off of discussions about LTE-Advanced requirements and technical solutions in RAN WG meetings in May 2008 in Kansas City.The goal is to complete LTE-Advanced requirements at RAN #40 in Prague end of May 2008 according to agreed work plan (i.e. TR 36.913 will be provided to RAN #40).

Sunday 20 April 2008

Forum Oxford Conference 2008

A lot of leading mobile industry visionaries and enthusiasts met under the banner of "Forum Oxford Conference 2008". Lots of ideas were generated and discussed. I was fortunate to attend this event for the second year running. For those who may not know, I started this blog after attending this event last year. I was a bit surprised to see far less attendance then last year even though the fees were peanuts compared to many other conferences. Maybe people dont realise the value of these kinds of events.

Here is summary of some presentations which is in my own words and that of other bloggers and people who have posted on this topic. You may want to read more on these here.

The first topic was - "Pictures are better on Radio" by Mark Selby, Vice President, Industry Collaborations, Nokia

A survey of what people use their mobiles threw some interesting results:
  • Voice - 12%
  • Browsing - 8%
  • Games - 4%
  • Messaging - 37%
It is interesting to realise that mobile usage for voice is decreasing.

Mobiles can be used for 4 reasons:
  • Create
  • Consume
  • Interact
  • Connect
The BBC has 200 journalists trained to use high end 3G cameraphones as personal broadcast-trucks-in-the-pocket. Radio is a social media ie where PC users might use the internet as a chat board, radio listeners can send in their comments via SMS and DJ's can comment on them, recognize new listeners who have not commented yet, etc.

How many people control their own wife/partner?
We don’t think of it in that way because it is a relationship. In the same way, we as an industry cannot hope to ever ‘control’ a customer

Back in the 70s, Convergence was a set of three arrows pointing to a yellow cloud (IT, Media and Telecoms) and everyone expected to ‘solve’ the problem in a matter of months

DRM is an odd concept. If you threw a device into a window, can you blame the manufacturer for the damage to the window? If not, how can we hope to legislate against devices?

OVI is an open platform customers can choose which feeds they can display on OVI(for instance CNN etc etc) – not necessarily from Nokia. Abolish the word user generated content!!

By 2012, 25% of stuff will be created, edited, etc by Mobile devices.

You can get an idea of Mark's presentation by checking out this and this.

The next presentation was Jonathan MacDonald on Blyk:

The biggest problem Blyk users complain about, is that they want more of the ads.
They have already 100,000 users.
To learn more about Blyk see this and this.

The next was "Browser extensions (DOM extensions) and accesssing device API's" - David Pollington, Vodafone:

You can download this presentation with comments on Mobile Monday site here.

The next one was "How to Integrate Facebook with IMS" by Niklas Blum, Fraunhofer FOKUS:

This was a very interesting presentation and there were some strong statements made like CS will dissaper and SIP centered platforms will be everywhere. The market will become open services centred and the result will be convergence.

A similar presentation to this one is available here.

The next one was "iPhone Applications" by William Volk, MyNuMo:

Apple created a new ecosystem. That’s the key difference. So should others(hear hear!)

The main thing people like iPhone is because it has browser that works.

The developers like iPhone because it has this discovery mechanism by which new applications and games get detected. Advertised sponsered games generate 11% click thru. Bowling Game (non advertised) generated 2.95% click thru.

Next was "Youth and Mobile and Music and TV" by Luciana Pavan, MTV:

Comments from their youth survey included "mobile is the symbol of coolness" and "mobile is my best friend". They have two camera crews shooting MTV content such as Jackass, one group shooting for the TV screen, the second for mobile. Same content, two approaches to producing, optimized for each screen type. (Clever...).
Flux on MyMTV in Japan - best user-generated videos will end up on broadcast MTV Japan.
MTV MVNO in Belgium has 16% of the subscriber base.
And at MTV Germany the FunkySexyCool mobile dating service had similarities to Flirtomatic.

Next was "Delivering Global Mobile Service" by Cameron Doherthy, Mobile Concierge:
There was some interesting demonstration of how Blackberry can be used for lots of services like booking airline tickets and golf games.

Then Alan Moore on belaf of Xtract spoke on "Social Marketing Intelligence, the Black Gold of the 21st Century":

Lines are made by man! Nature has networksCustomers connect, corporations broadcast!

His main focus was operators who have become more like bitpipes whereas if they are clever they can use this data and exploit it for their own benefit. Their product can help them with a lot of this analysis. You can get a gist of his presentation here.

Then there was this debate between Tomi Ahonen and Dean Bubley about "Will the future of internet be shaped by mobile or is the PC still in control".

Even though the conclusion was that the PC is still in control, personally i feel mobile will be the one that will dominate. See my earlier post here.

Simon Cavill from Mi-Pay spoke on "Mobile Initiated Financial Services in the Developing world":

This was the mind-boggling presentation. Not that they can move money on mobile, and that it can be done cross-borders, but that international transfer of airtime is emerging as a monetary instrument. Not only "printing money" but as Simon said, they are now creating a whole new currency. Simon also pointed out that where mobile phones are aspirational in the West, they are much more so in the developing world. A phone is the most desired item in Africa. Airtime could be the euro of the developing world!

Then we had "Mobile Social Networking" by Antonio Vince Stabyl of itsMY:

Do we ‘Caralize’ airlines? I.e. develop a new format based on an earlier format?Doctors and other demographics who have never heard of online social networks, are directly adopting mobile social networks. 4 seconds after an earthquake – they had the first images. That’s the power of mobile!New mediums have new leaders

Finally Christian Lindholm of Fjord spoke on "Dawn of New Mobility. Thoughts on the future of Mobiles, Services and Their Adoption"

Key design principles ..
How much can you do with one hand?
What’s the largest device that can fit inside a pocket
A ‘PC’ is a swear word in Nokia!

You may also be interested in a related presentation here.

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Thursday 17 April 2008

Tridgets and Trivergence

These terms (and ideas) have been pioneered by accenture:

"Trivergence" describes an emerging device architecture where the network is used to separate the physical device from its data and its controls.

But normal people don’t go around discussing architectures. For most people, a device is just a device – even if it depends on a global network, massive datacenters, and tons of software residing outside the device itself for its functionality.

For example, most
reviews of Apple’s latest iPod focused on the touch screen, battery life, picture quality, and look and feel. But it is the "outside the box" elements that sync your music library, deliver Podcasts and movies, learn your preferences, and, in general, turn the iPhone into something far beyond an old fashioned "portable music player."

We need some way to communicate that these new devices are more than just devices. According to Webster, a "device" is "a piece of equipment or a mechanism designed to serve a special purpose or perform a special function." Triverged devices are not a "piece of equipment" – they are one piece of a complex system brought together by a network.

To get this idea across, we need to say it in a word rather than a sentence. And I have a suggestion for that word: "Tridget."

These terms came to my attention from an article in telecoms.com which contains Interview with Andy Zimmerman, head of Accenture Global Communications. Summary of important point from that as follows:

"They're trying to imitate the Apple model, not only with the UI but also the services behind it. Right now, I feel like there is a device renaissance going on, where the device vendors are the ones that are attracting the imagination and attention of the consumers and, frankly, the carriers are not really doing that."

Ultimately, Zimmerman believes that no one sector - be it the vendors, the internet players, the carriers - will truly be able to dominate the others. The inter-dependency is too great, he says. That said, he feels the device players have the upper hand because, "so much of the user experience around mobile tends to be hardware related."
If the carrier community has a job ahead of it, he says, it is to learn to be comfortable with its unique attributes and to learn to effectively exploit them. Operators have assets relating to the end user - like presence, identification, authorisation and credit information - that give them a richer customer relationship than other members of the value chain, says Zimmerman. "But they haven't been particularly proactive about bringing those to the table," he says.

"I have a feeling that the carriers don't appreciate what they could provide that could be enabling for a lot of different kinds of service providers. Maybe they should be thinking about getting a dollar from every ten dollar transaction, rather than getting the whole ten dollars..."

Zimmerman talks about 'Tridgets', a "combination of content, device and the software that is used to manage the service." A mobile phone is a tridget, as is an iPod. So to is a wifi-enabled pacemaker, implanted next to somebody's heart. "In 20 years there could be a trillion tridgets in the world to be managed, all of which will be network enabled, and almost all of them mobile," he says. "If you can get a dollar a year out of each one, in terms of some information or service around the network to enable it, that's $1tn, which is the size of the current telecommunications industry."

Despite this, he argues that there is a rough 50/50 split in the carrier community today, with one half ready to accept a redefined role, and the other convinced that it needs to play end-to-end to avoid being marginalised. "It depends on the individual personalities, and where their company is at the moment," he says. "There are a fair number of executives out there who say that they're never going to be in the [end-to-end] business, and that they should focus on the enabling business."

These are the players that are positioning themselves effectively and pragmatically, he suggests

"My sense is there's still some room for consolidation among around software and among second tier vendors. Cisco has done a tremendous job in terms of M&A but they have a particular focus on emerging tech and much smaller companies. It's interesting that they have chosen not to do a big merger, even when there have been assets out there which, when you look at the relative valuation, would have been easy for them to pick up."

At the Mobile World Congress, Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin made a plea for consolidation in the handset operating system space, arguing that there are too many options to allow for the creation of an ecosystem in which interoperability and universal application development thrive. Zimmerman is no more optimistic about the chances here:
"With smartphones, there's so much still to be determined in terms of who's going to dominate. So I can't see the leading players gravitating around particular standards to help world hunger, as it were, if they think there is still a chance of picking up market share with their own products. The dynamic right now is not quite right for that sort of thing."

You can also read his article in MWC here. A very interesting point from that:

But the Tridget opportunity is too large to be dominated by any one company. David Clark, one of the architects of the original Internet and now a professor at MIT, has predicted a trillion networked devices in 15 to 20 years. A trillion is a very large number and it implies that Dr. Clark expects almost all electric devices – maybe even down to light bulbs – will evolve into Tridgets.

You may also be interested in reading the following bloga from Accenture:

Monday 14 April 2008

Qualcomm shows off MediaFLO Mobile TV

Qualcomm Incorporated, a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and data solutions, today unveiled the first-ever MediaFLO™ technology demonstration broadcast over the air to an in-vehicle entertainment system. The innovative mobile TV demonstration shows the flexibility of the MediaFLO platform as well as the exciting and unique delivery methods it can enable in a wide variety of scenarios.

The in-vehicle demonstration features a sport-utility vehicle outfitted with two rear headrest television screens with VGA resolution. The MediaFLO receiver, integrated in the rear center console, will receive live streaming television broadcasts on the MediaFLO platform at QVGA resolution. The center console controllerallows users to launch the electronic channel guide, change channels and access optional features of the MediaFLO System.

The MediaFLO in-vehicle demonstration can be seen at the MediaFLO booth (Central Hall, #C2946) at the National Associated of Broadcasters (NAB) show, April 14 - 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

MediaFLO enables a rich mobile multimedia experience comprising high-quality video, audio, data and interactiveservices. Since the MediaFLO platform employs a dedicated mobile broadcast network, it does not require direct line-of-sight, unlike satellite-based TV transmissions, and video quality and signal strength won’t be compromised in crowded metropolitan areas. Furthermore, the platform has been designed for superior mobile reception and can operate efficiently under normal driving conditions on roads and freeways.

MediaFLO is a mobile broadcast platform for the delivery of high-quality entertainment and information, including streaming video and audio, Clipcasting™ media, IP datacasting and interactive services. FLO™ is an open, globally recognized air interface technology standardized by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and recommended by ITU-R for the broadcasting of multimedia and data applications. Invented for mobility, MediaFLO is designed to increase capacity and coverage, as well as reduce costs for multimedia content delivery to mobile devices. More information about MediaFLO is available at www.mediaflo.com.

See Also:

Saturday 12 April 2008

Quad Play Coming Soon

From the Complete Blog:

It seems like most people these days buy their cable TV, Internet and home phone service from one provider in one nice and neat package. Whether it’s to consolidate billing or to save a few bucks, bundling seems to be catching on.

The real growth opportunity, as most telcos see it, is in bundling cell phone service with existing services. Cell phone service clearly falls under the umbrella of telecommunications, and even though most telcos don’t operate a cellular network themselves, they have been open to creating partnerships with carriers in the past. Including cell phone service in telco bundles would turn the “Triple-Play” into the “Quad-Play” and give telcos a new level of product (and marketing) integration.

But will consumers really go for it?

According to a Compete survey conducted this month, they just might. 35% of survey respondents indicated that they would be either “likely” or “very likely” to purchase cell phone service from their telco provider. It also appears that these consumers can be influenced given the right product and marketing messages. Below is a chart of features that would affect consumers’ decision to purchase cell phone service from their telco provider.

If telcos can articulate the value proposition for bundling cell phone service in with other telco services, it looks like consumers will be accepting. So let’s invite another guest to the party and bring on the Quad-Play!

I would personally definitely not mind Quad Play as I am already having something similar to Triple play at home. The main factor for me would be the ability to forward phone from landline to mobile and free calls from home number to my mobile number and vice versa

You may also want to read an earlier blog of Quintuple Play.

GSM + HSPA = 3 Billion Subscriptions

3G Americas, a wireless industry group advocating for the GSM family of technologies in the Americas, today announces the technology milestone of 3 billion GSM and UMTS/HSPA subscriptions worldwide, based upon research and projections by Informa Telecoms and Media. Today, 88% of the world's 3.5 billion mobile wireless subscriptions are to the GSM family of technologies.

GSM mobile wireless technology continues to outperform most of the communications technologies ever invented. By comparison, there are only 850 million personal computers worldwide, forecast to reach 2 billion in the year 2015 (Forrester, June 2007). Three billion GSM/HSPA subscriptions is nearly triple the number of people accessing the Internet around the world, 1.1 billion. Fixed landline phones number just over this, at 1.3 billion globally. The closest technology in terms of number of electronic devices is the number of television sets. But even that number falls a full billion short of the 3 billion GSM/HSPA milestone, with an estimated 2 billion television sets in use today (Source: Communities Dominate Brands blog, Tomi Ahonen, January 2007).

Read complete press release here.

Whats this ENUM business

In the recently concluded Unified Communications 08, one of the presentations was titled "The Magic of ENUM". I didnt get a chance to attend that but tried to dig out what this magical thing called ENUM is.

The following is from The IP Multimedia Subsystem by Travis Russel:

In the SIP domain, subscription addresses use the form of a Universal Resource Identifier (URI). This is analogous with the Universal Resource Locators (URLs) we use to reach Web sites on the Internet, but they are assigned to subscriptions for reaching individual subscribers. It is the concept of the URI that makes communications models in the IMS unique. The ability to reach a subscriber based on these very personal identities rather than numbers, and to apply these addresses to all forms of communications, is the purposeof the SIP protocol within the IMS.

A URI can take two forms. A SIP URI uses the same form as an e-mail address, consisting of
username@domain. The first part of the address is typically the username of the subscriber, while the last part is the domain name of the network provider where the subscription resides. The last part of the domain name (.com, .org, etc.) defines the type of organization according to Internet rules. SIP also supports addresses in the form of telephone numbers, referred to as TEL URIs. A TEL URI uses the same form as a SIP URI, substituting the telephone number for the user name. These are used most commonly when a call is originated in a non-SIP domain, or when a call is being placed to a non-SIP network (such as a call from the IMS to a wireline subscriber in the PSTN). The TEL URI is a good example of interoperability between legacy PSTN and IMS.Since legacy networks will continue to support the use of telephone numbers for some time to come, there remains a need to translate these telephone numbers into public identities for use within the IMS.

The actual conversion process is provided through a function known as ENUM. This function translates an E.164 telephone number into a SIP or TEL URI. The ENUM function does not translate the identity into an IP address, however. This remains the function of the Domain Name Server (DNS). We will talk more about these functions later. Eventually, TEL URIs may disappear completely as we become more and more accustomed to using SIP URIs for all communications. This is still a long way off, however, and something we may not see for decades.

For more information see the following book:

You may also be interested in the following presentations:

Tuesday 8 April 2008

Nokia E61: Why do i need on PC?

Recently I have been using my computer quite less and that is because I realised that I can do quite a lot using my E61. Please note that if you get Inspired by this post to buy E61 (though thats not my intention; I just want people to explore the millions of Applications out in the market) better go for E61i as that has an additional 2MP camera.
So let me tell you what appications I generally use and how I can do this using my Phone:
  • Browser: I have a default browse in E61 but thats not great. So I downloaded Opera Mini Browser and that can do quite a lot. Maybe sometimes If there is Java related stuff i struggle.
  • Web Based Mail: I can use my browser for web based mail but since I am on Yahoo or Gmail, i can download their mobile apps. You will be amazed by what they have on offer.
  • Maps and Directions: I cant use Google Maps using my browser so I downloaded the Maps application. Very useful.
  • VoIP calling: I found that I cannot use Skype on E61 :( but then I found Fring which is much better and I can call Skype users as well ;)
  • I am able to read Word, PPT and XLS files by default but you can also download Quick Office.
  • PDF: You can download Acrobat Reader from Nokia Site.
  • Other Apps: Nokia E61 website has many applications which you can use to make your life very simple.
If you think I may be exaggerating then why not look at this another opinion here.

So why do I need the computer?

Monday 7 April 2008

Motorola's loss, whose gain?

In an earlier post, I mentioned about Motorola closing down its handset business. In a news item couple of weeks back, there was an announcement that the company will be breaking into two:

Motorola announced plans to separate its struggling handset business from other operations forming two separate publicly traded companies after months of agitation from frustrated investors. The suburban Chicago-based cell phone maker has been under pressure from billionaire investor Carl Icahn for changes meant to revitalize its cell-phone business. The cell phone unit has seen its sales and stock price plummet with the company unable to produce second act to the once-popular Razr phone.

Motorola said the handset business will operate separately from another company that will encompass its home and networks business, which sells TV set-top boxes and modems, and its enterprise mobility solutions, which sells computing and communications equipment to businesses.

"Our priorities have not changed with today's announcement," Chief Executive Greg Brown said in a statement. "We remain committed to improving the performance of our Mobile Devices business by delivering compelling products that meet the needs of customers and consumers around the world."

Schaumburg-based Motorola said it hopes the transaction will be tax-free, allowing shareholders to own stock in both of the new companies. If the deal is approved, the two units would be separated in 2009.

Brown said Motorola will launch a search for a new chief executive of the Mobile Device business as it works to regain favor with customers and its No. 2 position in the cell phone market.

Motorola lost that spot last year to rival Samsung Electronics Co.
Finland's Nokia Corp. is the industry leader.

"We believe strongly in our brand, our people and our intellectual property, and expect that the Mobile Devices business will be well-positioned to regain market leadership as a focused, independent company," Brown said.

Wednesday's announcement was just the latest shake-up at Motorola, which rode the success of the iconic Razr phone from 2005 to 2006, but has stumbled since amid stiff competition.

Motorola Inc. is laying off 2,600 employees across the company, resulting in a pretax charge of $104 million for the first quarter, the Schaumburg-based telecommunications equipment-maker disclosed in a regulatory filing Thursday. In a separate statement, Motorola said the layoffs are part of a previously announced plan to cut costs by $500 million this year. Executives had disclosed the cost-reducing program at the beginning of 2008 and warned that it could mean job losses. Motorola's employee head count totaled 66,000 at the end of 2007, according to the annual report it filed in February.

There are rumors linking Dell and ZTE to a buyout of the handset business part but we dont know for sure.

So who will gain from this?

There are many upcoming handset manufacturers who may benefit directly from this. Apple, ZTE, RIM and HTC are the obvious candidates that come to my mind. A somewhat old (Feb) news item from my Inbox can give us some clues:

RIM and ZTE took places among the world's top ten largest mobile phone makers in 2007, new research from Gartner claims.

Despite only being available in four markets: US, UK, Germany and France, the iPhone transformed Apple into the tenth largest handset maker in the fourth quarter of 2007, the analysts informed.

RIM took sixth place while low-cost handset manufacturer ZTE, which specialises in delivering devices to emerging markets, took seventh place.

Apple holds 0.6 per cent of the market while sixth-place RIM has 1.2 per cent. Motorola saw its share fall to 11.9 per cent from 21.5 per cent. Nokia (40.4 per cent) and Samsung (13.4 per cent) continue to dominate global handset sales.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi observed: "The global mobile devices market will remain relatively immune to a recession in the US and Western European economies as the majority of growth in 2008 will come from emerging markets. The mature Western Europe and North America markets are driven by operator contract terms and replacement cycles and will account for just 30 per cent of the global mobile devices market in 2008.”

700 MHz Spectrum - Google: Loser or Winner?

Google on last Thursday revealed for the first time that it had been among the bidders for the federal 700-megahertz spectrum auction, which provides access to the Internet via mobile devices. Didnt we already know?

But the Mountain View-Calif.-based company now says that was all part of the game plan.

Google had said last July that it would guarantee a minimum $4.6 billion bid if the Federal Communications Commission would grant four license conditions the company sought for the spectrum. The FCC granted just two, giving open access to outside applications and devices, but Google proceeded with a bid.

"Google's top priority heading into the auction was to make sure that bidding on the so-called 'C Block' reached the $4.6 billion reserve price that would trigger the important 'open applications' and 'open handsets' license conditions," wrote two of the company's lawyers on the corporate blog. "We were also prepared to gain the nationwide C Block licenses at a price somewhat higher than the reserve price; in fact, for many days during the early course of the auction, we were the high bidder. But it was clear, then and now, that Verizon Wireless ultimately was motivated to bid higher (and had far more financial incentive to gain the licenses)."

Most observers had already assumed that Google had, in fact, bid, and some had even worried that the company would win the auction, which could have added risk to the company's business operations.

The company's lawyers said that the auction "doesn't mark the end of our efforts toward greater wireless choice and innovation."

"We will weigh in at the FCC as it sets implementation rules for the C Block, and determines how to move forward with a D Block re-auction," they wrote on the blog.

The FCC plans to use the D block for public safety networks.

It appears everything went as planned for Google. It didn't have to cough up any money in the 700 MHz auction but it ensured the open-access provisions (at least most of them) that it fought for at the FCC. But with the same faces, namely Verizon and AT&T, emerging as winners in the auction, the auction isn't going to change the face of the wireless telecom industry as industry pundits had hoped.

As exciting as it would have been to see a newcomer to the wireless landscape, incumbents such as Verizon have the wherewithal to spend billions on licenses and billions more to build out network infrastructure. That's their core business. And with the 700 MHz band the last of the so-called beach-front property, operators were prepared to drive the price up to a hefty level, especially given the fact that new 4G networks need a nice chunk of extra spectrum, about 20 megahertz, to deliver the broadband data speeds that are advertised.

Verizon Wireless was the big winner for the 700 MHz auction after winning the Upper C Block of spectrum, which is laden with open access provisions. Google did not win any licenses. Satellite television company EchoStar subsidiary Frontier won a significant amount of licenses in the E Block--enough to give the company a nationwide footprint. Verizon Wireless not only won the coveted C Block, but also most of the A Block and 77 licenses in the B Block, which contained the smallest licenses in the auction. For its part, AT&T managed to scoop up 227 of the smaller slices of spectrum.

Friday 4 April 2008

FMC + M-to-M at home and outside

I was lent a copy of Fixed Mobile Convergence book that was recently released by McGraw Hill. Very interesting book if you are involved in some way or other in FMC world. If you think you missed out on many conferences on FMC (and saved thousands of pounds) then investing in this book will provide you with far more information and may make you an expert.

Here is a snippet of something I always like reading and think will be big in future:

Improved availability, reachability, and cost savings enabled by FMC can be applied not only to communication between humans or humans and machines, but also to communication between machines themselves, for instance, intelligent devices with microprocessors running applications—machine-to-machine (M-to-M)—with far-reaching consequences.

To date, the solutions offered by telecom service providers have almost always involved a human user at one endpoint of a communication session. With the mass deployment of wireless networks and microprocessor-based remote sensing devices, this paradigm is about to change, with literally millions of devices capable of connectivity
being readied by manufacturers in different industries.

The solution in Figure above allows persons and remote applications to monitor the status of stationary and semistationary objects in the home zone and control their behavior based on policies, changing conditions, and other factors. The home-zone objects may interface with the home-zone M-to-M controller via low-power, close-proximity technologies such as ZigBee, defined in IEEE 802.15.4 specifying Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN), and Z-wave (a proprietary standard developed by a company called Zensys), or more mainstream Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies (depending on specific implementations).

The applications relying on such a symbiosis of M-to-M and FMC may include inexpensive and easy-to-install,8 standards-based, remote monitoring and control equipment. In residential applications, for example, communicating thermostats, security systems, and lighting, as well as numerous mobile assets belonging to a household such as vehicles, pets, and family members, can be enabled to maintain uniform connectivity and create an M-to-M ecosystem, as depicted in Figure above.

If this interests you then information on the book as follows:

Thursday 3 April 2008

CTIA Wireless 2008

When: April 1-3, 2008
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

I am collecting links on CTIA08 on this page. Please feel free to contribute yours.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

Just keep texting

Last year I blogged about SMS being the killer App and it seems to be still going strong. Sprint recently launched $99 plan known as Simply Everything allows unlimited voice and texts. These plans will make people more addicted to texting.

A recent study by Portio Research confirms continued healthy SMS growth. ABI predicts the overall mobile messaging market will grow to become a US$212 billion market opportunity by 2013, while Portio Research argues SMS will be least a US$67 billion revenue opportunity during the same period.

Yet while it’s clear SMS growth is showing no signs of slowing down, wireless operator margins have not grown with the wireless consumer’s appetite for low-priced service sets. Industry research points out SMS revenues will only see a 28 percent increase from 2007 to 2012. This means all-you-can-eat plans by Sprint and other wireless operators, coupled with increasing competition, will minimize the rise of new SMS revenue.

A quick search about SMS news gave some very interesting results:

Interesting list, isnt it?