Thursday, 19 November 2009

LTE = Windows Vista and HSPA = Windows XP

Moray Rumney in Forum Oxford made us aware that 3GPP has published a link on their homepage to address concerns with aspects of LTE deployment covering:
  • Support for voice
  • Supoort for SMS
  • Readiness of IMS
  • Support for emergency calling
Dean Bubley, a well known analyst provided the following response:

It takes a very narrow view that "maturity" equals "fully specified". It still maintains that "The voice solution for LTE is IMS VoIP and it is fully specified" and that any other solution is merely a "transition".

In other words, it makes LTE sound unsuitable for those operators which are IP-centric but which do not believe in IMS as a suitable control/service solution.

3GPP is trying to use LTE as a lever to force unwilling operators to adopt IMS. This will fail.

SMS-over-SGs has some serious shortcoming as well as costs, but is probably OK as a short term solution.

I am moving to the view that current LTE is the equivalent of Windows Vista, while HSPA = XP

I think a lot of operators will wait until "Windows 7" becomes available, either LTE Advanced or perhaps Rel 10 LTE.

Very interesting. He has put forward a great analogy of Windows OS that reflects concerns of many of us.

You can follow the complete discussions here.


Ulf Nilsson said...

The notion that LTE is not suitable for non-IMS VoIP is not correct.

The system supports any VoIP solution you want to deploy - the reason 3GPP is saying "IMS" is that IMS is their solution and they want to promote it.

Also, there is really nothing appearing in later releases that would make it "more open to non-IMS solutions" so again the reasoning is not consistent.

Anonymous said...

The connection between LTE and Voice is irrelevant. This is especially so with advancements in dual(or more)-band handsets that will be able to run 3G voice and LTE data in parallel.

One thing that keeps getting forgotten about in this discussion of LTE voice, is that LTE is *NOT* meant for voice - it is a wireless DATA network. The fact that you can also carry voice over data means that someday, through some variant of VoIP (or IMS) you could have voice on LTE. In fact you can run Voice on top of 3G data or HSPA data today, so running it on top of LTE won't be an issue. It is more of an issue of how interconnect is done, how multiple accesses networks are managed and the relevant local/mobile numbers are handled.

So my take on things is:
LTE will deploy in commercial environments that have pressing needs to give higher throughput to end DATA customers or to those operators that want greater efficiency across their radio network. However this does not mean they can turn off 3G/HSPA networks - and probably won't for a while. However through many advancements, it is possible to either support 3G/HSPA on the same equipment as LTE or there would be a possibility to simulate it - femto-like?

There are no 3G only operators in the world - well there are, but they ALL roam on 2G networks in some way. So if the operators are unable to turn off 2G networks, are they really going to be turning off 3G/HSPA networks soon? The question is more around which equipment vendor will come up with 2G/3G/HSPA/LTE NodeBs and the relevant support structure to replace existing equipment.

So this is far from WinXP vs Vista debate where the two are mutually exclusive - LTE and 3G/HSPA and even 2G are not mutually exclusive and in some case they're all mandatory (handset and network side of things)

Zahid Ghadialy said...

Anonymous, things are not as simple as you are making them out to be. I wish they were.

You can post your viewpoint on Forum Oxford whose link is provided and I am sure you will get an insight to the problems of Voice over LTE.