Friday 21 November 2008

LTE Roll out updates from the 4th LTE World Summit in London

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got the opportunity to attend and meet with the industry experts in the 4th LTE world summit. There were some very interesting discussions and debates and some announcements about the rollout of LTE. Here is a quick summary of the announcements and news. I am sure to have missed some and will expand on some of the topics in later posts.

Karri Mikkonen, Director, Corporate Strategy, TeliaSonera in his presentation said that TeliaSonera to be an early LTE adopter with rollout planned Mid 2010. They have already bought licenses in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Baltics. According to them LTE enables very convenient mobile data usage scenarios, and is one tool to win battle in mobile data, among others.

Bill Huang, General Manager, China Mobile Research Institute gave a very interesting perspective on mobiles in China which I will expand in a later post. According to his presentation, China Mobile will be deploying TDD based LTE (TD-LTE) option probably around 400Mhz spectrum. Trails will start by Mid 2009 and pre-commercial launch will happen around end of 2009. By Q2, 2010 there will be large scale commercial trials involving around 15,000 base stations.

Remi Thomas, Director of NGMN project and head of Network Strategy, France Telecom, France said FT plans to introduce HSPA+ and opt for 'wait and see' approach for LTE. The earliest they want to even think about LTE is after 2010 and if practical the rollout may occur in 2012. Even with HSPA+ they will opt for all the software changes only and not go for any hardware changes. So we wont see MIMO anytime soon with HSPA+ according to them. They also have plans to rollout LTE Femtocells when available to check the technology and iron out the problems with LTE technology.

Erik Ekudden, Vice President, Group Function Technology, Ericsson, Sweden in his presentation said that E\\\ will be commercially releasing equipment in 2009. Terminal HW including support FDD and TDD modeof LTE. For FDD, initial support will be for IMT core band of 2.1GHz and also IMT extension band of 2.6GHz and US 700MHz spectrum. For TDD the initial support will be for IMT extension center gap in 2.6GHz spectrum and 2.3 TDD band in 2.3GHz band.

In a question answer session, Dr Howard Benn, Director of Cellular Standards, Motorola Mobile Devices mentioned that Motorola already has a working LTE UE but not in Form factor (probably development board). He did not expand on the details.

Nick (Norikazu) Yamasaki, Manager Standards Strategy section, Emerging Technologies and Spectrum Division, KDDI Corp. in his presentation said that KDDI is a CDMA2000 operator but since with UMB nearly dead (my words) they have decided to eveolve to LTE. LTE deployment willbe started around 2012 but will co-exist with the CDMA 2000 network which they will support for another 10 years. Right now they have EV-DO Rev.A but they may also opt for Rev.B

One of the big problems that was discussed many times in the conference was that Release 8 LTE standards have no solution for the normal CS voice call. There are some hacks around it but voice part will only be solved in time for Release 9. This could delay decisions by some operators to roll out LTE networks untill after Release 9. I will write a post on this later.


Anonymous said...

400MHz in China? Is it bandwidth or spectrum band?

Anonymous said...

Could you explain me the presentation of NSN?

Zahid Ghadialy said...

400MHz is the spectrum band.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean "no solution for the normal CS voice call"? How about CS fallback?

Anonymous said...

I am Rémi Thomas and I am a little bit surprised by your report about the France Telecom strategy regarding LTE.

Regarding the LTE roadmap I was asked when the operators could roll out LTE, my answer was twofold:
- As the standard is being completed now, we may anticipate that commercial HWs will be available in 2010;
- then around 2 years are necessary in order to obtain a commercial service with a sufficient Quality of Service for the end users; meaning that a commercial launch with a good QoS could technically happen in 2012.

I don’t understand how you translated that in:
“The earliest they want to even think about LTE is after 2010 and if practical the rollout may occur in 2012.”

I insist that a clear distinction shall be made between “rollout” which generally refers to the deployment of equipments and “commercial launch” which refers to a network state where the service can be sold to real customers.
All the operators which deployed a mobile network know that it is not sufficient to put equipment on the sites: after that there is a long tuning phase to guarantee stability, interworking and Quality of Service simply because we cannot sell a service which does not work. And in addition it is necessary to guarantee that sufficient devices are available and interwork correctly with the network. Making a demo, organising a Friendly Users Trial or selling a service are quite different steps.

Then it is unfair to state that France Telecom have opted for a “wait and see approach for LTE”.
First I stated that we need new frequency resources to cope with the growth of the data traffic and that we choose to put new technologies in the new frequency resources.
In addition I showed some slides before the questions; I give hereafter the text of the slide which remained on the screen at the end of the short introduction:
“The different forecasts show a continuous increase of the data traffic.
This will yield the roll out of new radio technologies with improved spectrum efficiency and higher average cell throughputs.
As a consequence we will introduce HSPA+ and then LTE at some point in time because LTE is the closest to the NGMN objectives as shown by the studies conducted by NGMN.”

In addition I insisted that we want to test and trial LTE as soon as possible. As a matter of fact we are already testing it through our active participation to LSTI and as soon as this becomes technically relevant we plan to deploy LTE equipments on our sites. I stressed that such tests will help the industry.

Last but not least on two other items your report is really not accurate.
Regarding the MIMO for HSPA+ I stressed during the conference that this is costly as this necessitates intervening on the sites but I did not exclude it as I stated that we may use it if, for instance, there would be delays in the LTE availability.

Regarding femtocells for LTE I answered that we may use them in a second phase but that our first LTE deployment is likely to be a classical one, namely with macro cells or micro cells.

Sincerely yours.

Rémi Thomas, France Telecom.

Zahid Ghadialy said...

Remi, Apologies for the misunderstanding and thanks for correcting me :)