Monday 31 October 2011

Phones with Flexible Screens in 2012

From PC World:

Samsung Electronics said Friday that it is aiming to launch mobile phones with flexible displays next year, with tablets and other portable devices to have these displays soon after.
The company said it was aiming to follow on the success of its Galaxy S II smartphone, which has now sold 10 million units in five months.
The comments came as the company discussed its earnings for the three-month period through September. Samsung said its overall profit fell 23 percent from a year ago to 3.44 trillion Korean won (US$3.1 billion), dragged down by its chip and display operations, but operating profit at its mobile unit more than doubled in the period.
"The flexible display, we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part," said spokesman Robert Yi during an earnings call. "The application probably will start from the handset side."
Yi said tablets and other mobile devices with flexible displays would follow.
Samsung has shown flexible OLED (organic light emitting diode) displays inside rigid cases that kept the screens curved. The technology has material within each pixel that generates light, making it perhaps more suitable for flexible screens than LCDs, which would require both a flexible screen and a backlight.

This is a Video from CES 2011 in January:

I like this concept of bendy phones. The following Nokia video shows how this could really be useful.

Toshiba shows something similar at SID 2010.

News via WebProNews.

Saturday 29 October 2011

'Twisted Radio Waves': Could they be the way out of Spectrum Crunch?

A recent infograph from, summarises the Spectrum Crunch that we may be facing soon. Though in reality its not as bad as it may seem initially, we still have to find a way out of this. Carrier Aggregation can only help to a certain extent as we still need spectrum to do the aggregation.

The following is from a recent article in discover magazine:

Italian astrophysicist Fabrizio Tamburini says a solution may lie in making better use of the frequencies already in use. In a recent paper, he demonstrated a potential way to squeeze 100 times more bandwidth out of existing frequencies.

The idea is to twist radio waves like corkscrews and create multiple subfrequencies, distinguished by their degree of twistedness. Each subchannel carries discrete data sets. “You can tune the wave with a given frequency as you normally do, but there is also a fingerprint left by the twist,” Tamburini says. He and Swedish colleague Bo Thidé hit upon the approach while studying waves warped by the immense gravity of black holes. This past June, the scientists set up a custom dish in Venice and successfully broadcast video encoded in both twisted and normal radio waves across St. Mark’s Basin. (Note this type of wave-twisting is fundamentally different from the better-known circular polarization of light.)

The next step is to design small, cheap smartphone antennas that can transmit and receive the warped signals. If the industry’s appetite for bandwidth is any indication, it may not be long before twisted-radio technology shows up in your new gadgets.

If you are a Physics buff, you can check the paper out here.

The picture above is from Wikipedia section on Light orbital angular momentum.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Femtocell Backhaul Options

Any others?

There is also this interesting presentation from Maravedis on Non-Line-of-Sight (NLoS) backhaul, embedded below:

Wednesday 26 October 2011

New 4G Americas whitepaper on HSPA evolution in 3GPP standards

Some forecasts put HSPA at over 3.5 billion subscribers by the end of 2016. Operators with HSPA and LTE infrastructure and users with HSPA and LTE multi-mode devices will be commonplace. There are 412 commercial deployments of HSPA in 157 countries, including 165 HSPA+ networks. Thus, with the continued deployment of LTE throughout the world, and the existing ubiquitous coverage of HSPA in the world, HSPA+ will continue to be enhanced through the 3GPP standards process to provide a seamless solution for operators as they upgrade their networks. While LTE, with 33 commercial deployments to date and over 250 commitments worldwide, will be the mobile broadband next generation technology of choice for HSPA, EV-DO, WiMAX and new wireless operators, HSPA will continue to be a pivotal technology in providing mobile broadband to subscribers.

The white paper explains that as 3GPP specifications evolve, their advanced features help to further the capabilities of today’s modern mobile broadband networks. With each release there have been improvements such as better cell edge performance, increased system efficiencies, higher peak data rates and an overall improved end-user experience. 3GPP feature evolution from Rel-7 to Rel-10 has pushed possible HSPA peak data rates from 14 Mbps to 168 Mbps. Continued enhancements in 3GPP Rel-11 will again double this capability to a possible peak data rate of 336 Mbps:
  • Rel-7: 64QAM or 2X2 MIMO => 21 or 28 Mbps
  • Rel-8: DC + 64QAM or 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 42 Mbps
  • Rel-9: DC + 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 84 Mbps
  • Rel-10: 4C + 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 168 Mbps
  • Rel-11: (8C or 4X4 MIMO) + 64QAM => 336 Mbps
“If operators are able to gain new additional harmonized spectrum from governments, they will no doubt deploy LTE, However, it is clear that HSPA+ technology is still exceptionally strong and will continue to provide operators with the capability to meet the exploding data usage demands of their customers in existing spectrum holdings,” Pearson said.

The paper is embedded as follows:

This paper and other similar papers are available to download from the 3G4G website here.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Donor eNB (DeNB) and Relay Node (RN)

Extracted from 3GPP 36.300:

The eNB hosts the following functions:
- Functions for Radio Resource Management: Radio Bearer Control, Radio Admission Control, Connection Mobility Control, Dynamic allocation of resources to UEs in both uplink and downlink (scheduling);
- IP header compression and encryption of user data stream;
- Selection of an MME at UE attachment when no routing to an MME can be determined from the information provided by the UE;
- Routing of User Plane data towards Serving Gateway;
- Scheduling and transmission of paging messages (originated from the MME);
- Scheduling and transmission of broadcast information (originated from the MME or O&M);
- Measurement and measurement reporting configuration for mobility and scheduling;
- Scheduling and transmission of PWS (which includes ETWS and CMAS) messages (originated from the MME);
- CSG handling;
- Transport level packet marking in the uplink.
The DeNB hosts the following functions in addition to the eNB functions:
- S1/X2 proxy functionality for supporting RNs;
- S11 termination and S-GW/P-GW functionality for supporting RNs.

E-UTRAN supports relaying by having a Relay Node (RN) wirelessly connect to an eNB serving the RN, called Donor eNB (DeNB), via a modified version of the E-UTRA radio interface, the modified version being called the Un interface. The RN supports the eNB functionality meaning it terminates the radio protocols of the E-UTRA radio interface, and the S1 and X2 interfaces. From a specification point of view, functionality defined for eNBs, e.g. RNL and TNL, also applies to RNs unless explicitly specified. RNs do not support NNSF. In addition to the eNB functionality, the RN also supports a subset of the UE functionality, e.g. physical layer, layer-2, RRC, and NAS functionality, in order to wirelessly connect to the DeNB.

The architecture for supporting RNs is shown in Figure 4.7.2-1. The RN terminates the S1, X2 and Un interfaces. The DeNB provides S1 and X2 proxy functionality between the RN and other network nodes (other eNBs, MMEs and S GWs). The S1 and X2 proxy functionality includes passing UE-dedicated S1 and X2 signalling messages as well as GTP data packets between the S1 and X2 interfaces associated with the RN and the S1 and X2 interfaces associated with other network nodes. Due to the proxy functionality, the DeNB appears as an MME (for S1-MME), an eNB (for X2) and an S-GW (for S1-U) to the RN.

For more details see - 3GPP TS 36.300 : Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA) and Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN); Overall description; Stage 2 (Release 10)

Sunday 23 October 2011

Femtocells for Low Energy Buildings

Exactly three years back I posted an article about 'Femtocells for Radiation Proofed Homes' and when I saw this presentation by Elisa, Finland, It just validated with the research what I had mentioned. With the government push for more low energy infrastructure and at the same time the new technologies using higher frequencies, this problem is going to keep getting worse. Untill ofcourse the coming of 'Wireless Friendly Buildings'.

Elisa's presentation as follows:

Saturday 22 October 2011

Ericsson Video: Using LTE to broadcast Danish elections

Danes elected a new parliament September 15. As four teams from TV 2 moved between party headquarters, Parliament House and celebration sites, they used standard off-the-shelf LTE terminals to upload interviews to the tv-station, which in turn broadcast the content live to viewers on their channel.

The solution is provided by operator TDC, on the network supplied and managed by Ericsson.

Friday 21 October 2011

'Internet Trends' and 'Mobile Internet Trends' by Mary Meeker

Came across this article from InformationWeek based on this presentation by Mary Meeker. Few points to note from the article:

Mobile: Mobile subscriber growth is continuing at a pace that matches the meteoric rise of Internet adoption, a rate that puts other technologies like TV to shame. Meeker cited 35% year-on-year mobile 3G subscriber growth and noted that smartphone shipments have surpassed feature phone shipments in the U.S. and Europe. She also highlighted the explosive growth of iPhone, iPad, and (particularly) Android.

User Interface: Interface matters. "Before Steve Jobs, computers were utilitarian tools for computation," said Meeker. "After Steve, computers became beautiful objects we could use in thousands of ways to aim to make life better." In the wake of the iPhone and the iPad, there's a revolution in the way we interact with computers, through touch and voice, while mobile. "We think the next big things are the things on the sides of your head," said Meeker. "Those would be your ears." She was referring to the innovation seen in voice recognition, sound creation and sharing, and audio interfaces like headphones recently.

America Leads In Mobile Innovation: Despite the general economic doldrums in the U.S., American companies are leading the way toward the mobile era. Made-in-the-USA smartphone operating systems--Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile--have gone from 5% market share in 2005 to 65% today. "The pace of innovation in Silicon Valley may be unprecedented," said Meeker.

Mobile Devices Are Empowering People: Some 85% of people in the world have access to the wireless grid, more than have access to electricity. Over 200 million farmers in India receive payments via mobile devices. Meeker pointed out how instrumental such devices have been during disasters like the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan. "When people look back at this era that we're living in now, they'll say this was the time people got empowered by mobile devices," said Meeker.

The video of her talk is embedded below:

Couple of presentations from her are embedded below:

Tuesday 18 October 2011

HD Voice - Next step in the evolution of voice communication

Nearly 2 years back I blogged about Orange launching HD Voice via the use of AMR-WB (wideband) codecs. HD voice is already fully developed and standardized technology and has so far been deployed on 32 networks in almost as many countries.

People who have experienced HD voice say it feels like they are talking to a person in the same room. Operators derive 70 percent of their revenue from voice and voice-related services, and studies show that subscribers appreciate the personal nature of voice communication, saying it offers a familiar and emotional connection to another person.

HD voice is also a reaction to the competition faced by the operators from OTT players like Skype.

Below is an embed from the recent whitepaper by Ericsson:

For more information also see:

Friday 14 October 2011

Gartner Hype Cycle - Internet of Things

Click on the picture to enlarge

Interesting pic showing the Hype Cycle for different technologies. I picked it up from this interesting presentation on Internet Of Things here.

Monday 10 October 2011

What is GELTE?

GSM, EDGE and LTE Interworking.
This presentation available to download from here.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Simultaneous Voice and LTE (SVLTE)

When LTE is an overlay to a CDMA/EV-DO network, the current de facto standard for voice delivery is Simultaneous Voice and LTE (SVLTE). In this arrangement, voice service is deployed as a 1x service running in parallel with LTE data services. For this solution to work, the handset needs to have two radios that are on simultaneously. The problem that is obvious is that the power consumption would generally be higher as two radios are on when the voice call is ongoing. The advantage (and I think its a big advantage) is that the data speeds are not affected by ongoing voice call and at the same time the state machine is simple.

For some reason this idea is not very popular for the 2G/3G evolution to LTE as the reliance will be on the CS Fallback. I had discussed this idea in the LTE World Summit and had blogged about it, you can read more details and comments here.

There is also a recent whitepaper from Huawei that covers these issues going towards VoLTE. Its available here.

Edit 06/10/11: Changed the acronym of SVLTE from 'Simultaneous Voice Over LTE' to 'Simultaneous Voice and LTE' as this is correct and referred to elsewhere.

Monday 3 October 2011

LTE Survey from Telecom Asia and Maravedis

Click on the pic. to enlarge

Interesting survey results. As seen in Fig. 2 above if Video and P2P is the main drivers for LTE for some operators, soon they may end up in trouble as the users will consume as much as allowed and given opportunity. An interesting thing though is that the operators are thinking of a fallback strategy that includes Wifi, Femtocells and Picocells (Fig. 3). Finally (Fig. 4), interesting to see that operators believe in launching Smartphones for LTE, I guess CS Fallback is the only possible option for the time being (and maybe for some time to come).

You can read the complete report below:
If its too difficult to read the embed, go to Slideshare here and download presentation.

Saturday 1 October 2011

Future Mobile devices: Winners & Losers in technology

NTT DOCOMO announced a range of futuristic ideas and products that they are going to demo at CEATEC this month. Some of the products/ideas as follows:

Extra-high-speed, next-generation LTE service

  • Experience the first Xi-compatible tablets “docomo Tablet GALAXY Tab 10.1 LTE SC-01D” and “docomo Tablet ARROWS Tab LTE F-01D,” set for October release.
  • Try out new broadband services for the high-performance Xi network, including internationally popular services and games such as Hulu and Qik Video.

Smartphone-ready device to measure acetone in breath for diet support

  • The compact device measuring acetone for diet support that can easily be used anywhere and anytime.
  • Visitors blow into the smartphone-connected device to measure acetone in their breath-the higher the concentration, the greater the level of hunger.
  • The device also identifies when people are burning fat, based on the concentration of acetone in their breath, which rises when body fat is being burnt.

Smartphone jacket for ultra-high-speed battery charging

  • This special battery jacket for smartphones achieves a full charge in just 10 minutes. A recharging indicator will show how the jacket will charge a smartphone 10~15 times faster than conventional charging devices.

Smartphone jackets for various purposes

  • Three types of special jackets for smartphones that are equipped with sensors that can be customized to measure ultraviolet light and bad breath, gamma radiation and body fat.

Environmental sensor network

  • Presentation of real-time atmospheric data (temperature, humidity, wind direction/speed, precipitation, ultraviolet intensity) collected by DOCOMO’s nationwide network of approximately 2,500 environmental sensors, and a demonstration of visualizing the data using augmented reality.

The DOCOMO booth will also offer a mobile handset recycling service, where visitors can drop off old and unwanted mobile phones, rechargers, battery packs and stands. This service is open to all mobile phone users regardless of their carrier, and mobile phones will be destroyed using specialized tools to ensure the protection of personal information.

You can watch these in action here:

I also recently attended a Cambridge Wireless Handset SIG event and David Wood gave an interesting presentation that is embedded below:

Other presentations from that event available here.