Showing posts with label Keima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Keima. Show all posts

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Presentations on Macro Cells and Millimetre-wave Technology from recent CW (Cambridge Wireless) events


CW (Cambridge Wireless) held a couple of very interesting events from 2 very popular groups.

The first one was on "5G wide area coverage: macro cells – the why and the how". This event looked at the design and optimisation of the macro cell layer and its role within future heterogeneous networks. You can access the presentations for limited time on CW website here.

The presentations available are:
Related posts that may be of interest:


The second one was on "Commercialising millimetre-wave technology". The event reviewed the commercial opportunities at millimetre-wave frequencies, what bands are available and what licensing is needed. You can access the presentations on CW website for limited time here.

The presentations available are:

We recently made a video to educate people outside our industry about non-mmWave 5G. It's embedded below.


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

AI and Analytics Based Network Designing & Planning

Recently I blogged about how Deutsche Telekom is using AI for variety of things. The most interesting being (from this blog point of view), fiber-optic roll-out. According to their press release (shortened for easy reading):

"The shortest route to the customer is not always the most economical. By using artificial intelligence in the planning phase we can speed up our fiber-optic roll-out. This enables us to offer our customers broadband lines faster and, above all, more efficiently," says Walter Goldenits, head of Technology at Telekom Deutschland. It is often more economical to lay a few extra feet of cable. That is what the new software-based technology evaluates using digitally-collected environmental data. Where would cobblestones have to be dug up and laid again? Where is there a risk of damaging tree roots?

The effort and thus costs involved in laying cable depend on the existing structure. First, civil engineers open the ground and lay the conduits and fiber-optic cables. Then they have to restore the surface to its previous condition. Of course, the process takes longer with large paving stones than with dirt roads.

"Such huge amounts of data are both a blessing and a curse," says Prof. Dr. Alexander Reiterer, who heads the project at the Fraunhofer IPM. "We need as many details as possible. At the same time, the whole endeavour is only efficient if you can avoid laboriously combing through the data to find the information you need. For the planning process to be efficient the evaluation of these enormous amounts of data must be automated." Fraunhofer IPM has developed software that automatically recognizes, localizes and classifies relevant objects in the measurement data.

The neural network used for this recognizes a total of approximately 30 different categories through deep learning algorithms. This includes trees, street lights, asphalt and cobblestones. Right down to the smallest detail: Do the pavements feature large pavement slabs or small cobblestones? Are the trees deciduous or coniferous? The trees' root structure also has a decisive impact on civil engineering decisions.

Once the data has been collected, a specially-trained artificial intelligence is used to make all vehicles and individuals unidentifiable. The automated preparation phase then follows in a number of stages. The existing infrastructure is assessed to determine the optimal route. A Deutsche Telekom planner then double-checks and approves it.


In the recent TIP Summit 2018, Facebook talked about ‘Building Better Networks with Analytics’ and showed off their analytics platform. Vincent Gonguet, Product Manager, Connectivity Analytics, Facebook talked about how Facebook is using a three-pronged approach of accelerating fiber deployment, expanding 4G coverage and planning 5G networks. The video from the summit as follows:

TIP Summit 2018 Day 1 Presentation - Building Better Networks with Analytics from Telecom Infra Project on Vimeo.

Some of the points highlighted in the video:
  • Educating people to connect requires three main focus areas, Access, Affordability and Awareness – One of the main focus areas of TIP is access. 
  • 4G coverage went from 20% to 80% of world population in the last 5 years. The coverage growth is plateauing because the last 20% is becoming more and more uneconomical to connect.
  • Demand is outpacing supply is many parts of the world (indicating that networks has to be designed for capacity, not just coverage)
  • 19% of 4G traffic can’t support high quality videos today at about 1.5 Mbps
  • Facebook has a nice aggregated map of percentage of Facebook traffic across the world that is experiencing very low speeds, less than 0.5 Mbps
  • Talk looks at three approaches in which Facebook works with TIP members to accelerate fiber deployment, expand 4G coverage and plan 5G networks.
  • A joint fiber deployment project with Airtel and BCS in Uganda was announced at MWC 2018
  • 700 km of fiber deployment was planned to serve over 3 million people (Uganda’s population is roughly 43 million)
  • The real challenge was not just collecting data about roads, infrastructure, etc. New cities would emerge over the period of months with tens of thousands of people 
  • In such situations it would be difficult for human planners to go through all the roads and select the most economical route. Also, different human planners do thing in different ways and hence there is no consistency. In addition, its very hard to iterate. 
  • To make deployments simpler and easier, it was decided to first provide coverage to people who need less km of fiber. The savings from finding optimal path for these people can go in connecting more people.
  • It is also important for the fiber networks to have redundancy but it’s difficult to do this at scale
  • An example and simulation of how fiber networks are created is available in the video  from 07:45 – 11:00.
  • Another example is that of prioritizing 4G deployments based on user experience, current network availability and presence of 4G capable devices in partnership with XL Axiata is available in the video from 11:00 – 14:13. Over 1000 sites were deployed and more than 2 million people experienced significant improvement in their speeds and the quality of videos. 
  • The final example is planning of 5G mmWave networks. This was done in partnership with Deutsche Telekom, trying to bring high speeds to 25,000 apartment homes in a sq. km in the center of Berlin. The goal was to achieve over 1Gbps connection using a mixture of fiber and wireless. The video looks at the simulation of Lidar data where the wireless infrastructure can be deployed. Relevant part is from 14:13 – 20:25.
Finally, you may remember my blog post on Automated 4G / 5G Hetnet Design by Keima. Some of the work they do overlaps with both examples above. I reached out to Iris Barcia to see if they have any comments on the two different approaches above. Below is her response:

“It is very encouraging that DT and Facebook are seeing the benefits of data and automation for design. I think that is the only way we’re going to be able to plan modern communication networks. We approach it from the RAN planning perspective: 8 years ago our clients could already reduce cost by automatically selecting locations with good RF performance and close to fibre nodes, alternatively locations close to existing fibre routes or from particular providers. Now the range of variables that we are capable of computing is vast and it includes aspects such as accessibility rules, available spectrum, regulations, etc. This could be easily extended to account for capability/cost of deploying fibre per type of road. 

But also, we believe in the benefit of a holistic business strategy, and over the years our algorithms have evolved to prioritise cost and consumers more precisely. For example, based on the deployment needs we can identify areas where it would be beneficial to deploy fibre: the study presented at CWTEC showed a 5G Fixed Wireless analysis per address, allowing fibre deployments to be prioritised for those addresses characterised by poor RF connectivity.”

There is no doubt in my mind that more and more of these kinds of tools that relies on Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be required to design and plan the networks. By this I don’t just mean 5G and other future networks but also the existing 2G, 3G & 4G networks and Hetnets. We will have to wait and see what’s next.


Related Blog Posts:

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Automated 4G / 5G HetNet Design


I recently heard Iris Barcia, COO of Keima speak after nearly 6 years at Cambridge Wireless CWTEC 2018. The last time I heard her, it was part of CW Small Cells SIG, where I used to be a SIG (special interest group) champion. Over the last 6 years, the network planning needs have changed from planning for coverage to planning for capacity from the beginning. This particular point started a little debate that I will cover in another post, but you can sneak a peek here 😉.

Embedded below is the video and presentation. The slides can be downloaded from SlideShare.





Related posts:

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Summary of Cambridge Wireless Event on Small Cells, 3rd Oct. 2012



We had another successful Small Cells SIG Event (jointly powered by the Radio Technology SIG) in Cambridge Wireless on the theme “Radio Challenges and Opportunities for Large Scale Small Cell Deployments”. I will be looking at the presentations in detail in separate blog posts as there are interesting bits and pieces from each of them that can easily be overlooked. Here is a high level summary of this event.






We had over a hundred delegates in this event and as one of the speakers admitted privately, they were expecting to see around a dozen people and were a bit overwhelmed by the number and caliber of the people. The delegates included small cell vendors, chipset vendors, test & measurement vendors, operators, industry analysts, regulators, etc. It was a lovely day to be in Cambridge with the sun shining the whole of morning and the afternoon to show us the best of the Downing college.


The event was kicked off by Prof. Simon Saunders, formerly the founding chairman of Small Cell Forum who talked about the long journey the small cells (or Femtocells as they were then known) have gone through, the benefits and the road ahead.


This was followed by a talk from Julius Robson of CBNL, who was also representing NGMN. The focus of the talk was on backhaul.



Nick Johnson, CTO of ip.access was the next speaker who started his presentation with humorous note. His presentation was titled "Building the World’s Largest Residential Small-Cell network" but as he said he was very tempted to change the title to “How to Screw Up the World’s Largest Residential Small Cell Deployment”. His talk had lots of real life examples on where and how things can go wrong and how to make sure they dont. If they do, what lessons should be learnt. Some of these problems have been faced by me too in various test scenarios. It was a very interesting talk.


After the break we heard a presentation from Steve Brown of Telefonica O2 UK. The talk was a bit familiar for me (and my blog readers) as I have already blogged on similar information in the past. It was though new information for the audience and could see that they were enjoying this information. A lot of questions were asked after the presentation and also in the panel discussion at the end. There is some interesting new information that I will blog later on.



The final talk was by Iris Barcia of Keima who talked about "Small Cell Network Design".

Finally we had a panel discussion with lots of interesting questions. Once the discussions finished there were people discussing and debating issues among themselves for a long time. I am looking forward to the next event in January in London on the topic "Lets get real!" where we are hoping to be able to hear from some more operators/vendors on the deployment and rollout issues. More details available on the Cambridge Wireless page here.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Twitter et al. for Small Cell Planning

A recent report in Light Reading mentioned about using Twitter for planning of Small Cells network. In fact for quite a while, a UK based company, Keima has been using this technique to help plan small cells deployments in the US. I used some of their research in my presentation in the Optimisation conference; see here.

A map using the Keima tool showing the activity on the Social Networks for London is as follows.



It would be very interesting to see the above during olympics.

If you are interested in learning more about the tool see Keima's presentation from MWC here and their video here.

Keima’s Simon Chapman will be presenting to the Cambridge Wireless Small Cells SIG event on 3rd October on the topic "Deploying bigger numbers of smaller cells". Here is a summary of things going to be discussed by them:



We discuss how "small cells" are a natural evolution of network design principles started with A.H. Ring in 1947. We discuss the practical consequences of managing interference while rolling out more cells in the next few years than all the previous deployments put together.

We consider processes for achieving cost-effective, spectrally efficient network capacity and establish the most influential: the location of small cells. Given the importance of location we demonstrate mechanisms for identifying demand hotspots using publicly available datasets and show that this knowledge alone has a significant impact on the eventual network capacity.

Finally, as we look at the immediate areas in and around demand hotspots, we discuss the associated issues of selecting thousands of utility poles or building-side mountings; of managing wired or wireless backhauling; of lowering latency; of repurposing the macro

To register for the event please click here.