Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Continuous Packet Connectivity (CPC)


Packet-oriented features like HSDPA and HSUPA (HSPA) in UMTS systems provide high data rates forboth downlink and uplink. This will promote the subscribers’ desire for continuous connectivity, where theuser stays connected over a long time span with only occasional active periods of data transmission, andavoiding frequent connection termination and re-establishment with its inherent overhead and delay. Thisis the perceived mode to which a subscriber is accustomed in fixed broadband networks (e.g., DSL) andmay make a significant difference to the user experience.

The Fractional-DPCH feature was introduced in Rel-6 to support a high number of HSDPA users in thecode limited downlink, where effectively a user in the active state, not being transmitted with any data, isconsuming only a very small portion of the downlink capacity.

In the uplink, the limiting factor for supporting a similarly high number of users is the noise rise. For sucha high number of users in the cell it can be assumed that many users are not transmitting any user datafor some time (e.g., for reading during web browsing or in between packets for periodic packettransmission such as VoIP). The corresponding overhead in the noise rise caused by maintained controlchannels will limit the number of users that can be efficiently supported.

Since completely releasing the dedicated connection during periods of traffic inactivity would cause considerable delays for reestablishing data transmission and a correspondingly worse user perception,the Continuous Connectivity for Packet Data Users intends to reduce the impact of control channels onuplink noise rise while maintaining the connections and allowing a much faster reactivation for temporarily inactive users. This is intended to significantly increase the number of packet data users (i.e. HSPA users) in the UMTS FDD system that can stay in the active state (Cell_DCH) over a long time period,without degrading cell throughput. The objective aims also at improving the achievable UL capacity forVoIP users with its inherent periodic transmission through reducing the overhead of the control channels.


Delay optimization for procedures applicable to PS and CS Connections

In Rel-99, UMTS introduced a dedicated channel (DCH) that can be used for CS and PS connectionswhen UE is in CELL_DCH state. In addition to CELL_DCH state, Rel-99 introduced CELL_FACH statewhere signaling and data transmission is possible on common channels (RACH and FACH) andCELL_PCH and URA_PCH states, where the transmission of signaling or user data is not possible butenables UE power savings during inactivity periods maintaining the RRC connection between UE andUTRAN and signaling connection between UE and PS CN. The introduction of the CELL_PCH andURA_PCH states, the need of releasing the RRC connection and moving the UE to Idle mode for PSconnections was removed and thus the Rel-99 UTRAN can provide long living Iu-connection PS services.

On the other hand, when UE is moved to CELL_PCH or URA_PCH state, the start of data transmissionagain after inactivity suffers inherent state transition delay before the data transmission can continue inCELL_DCH state. As new packet-oriented features like HSDPA and HSUPA in Rel-5 and Rel-6 UMTSsystems respectively provide higher data rates for both downlink and uplink in CELL_DCH state, the statetransition delay has been considered to be significant and negatively influencing the end user experience.

In addition to RRC state transition delay, the radio bearer setup delay to activate new PS and CS serviceshas been seen as problematic in UMTS, due to signaling delays on CELL_FACH state where only lowdata rates are available via RACH and FACH, and due to activation time used to synchronize thereconfiguration of the physical and transport channel in CELL_DCH state.

To secure future competitiveness of UMTS and enhance the end user experience even further, the delayoptimization for procedures applicable to PS and CS connections work is targeted to reduce both setuptimes of new PS and CS services and state transition delays to, but still enable, excellent UE powersaving provided by CELL_PCH and URA_PCH states.

During the 3GPP Rel-6 time frame, the work was focused on solutions that can be introduced in a fastmanner on top of existing specifications with limited effects to the existing implementations. In addition,the solutions which allow the Rel-6 features to be used in the most efficient manner were considered.The agreed modifications can be summarized as: introduction of enhanced support of defaultconfigurations, reduced effects of the activation time, and utilization of HSPA for signaling. Thus, fromRel-6 onwards, the signaling radio bearers (SRBs) can be mapped on HSDPA and HSUPA immediatelyin RRC connection setup and default configurations can be used in radio bearer setup message and RRCconnection setup message in a more flexible manner.

The utilization of default configuration and mapping of the SRBs on HSDPA and HSUPA will reducemessage sizes, activation times, and introduce faster transmission channels for the signaling procedures,thereby providing significant enhancement to setup times of PS and CS services compared to Rel-99performance.

In the 3GPP Rel-7 time frame, the work will study methods of improving the performance even further,especially in the area of state transition delays. As the work for Rel-7 is less limited in scope of possiblesolutions, significant improvements to both RRC state transition delays and service setups times are expected.


3GPP TR 25.903: Continuous connectivity for packet data users (Release 7)

3G Americas: Mobile Broadband: The Global Evolution of UMTS/HSPA3GPP Release 7 and Beyond

Housam's Technology blog on CPC

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Voice call continuity (VCC)




Voice call continuity requires maintaining a voice call when a mobile terminal moves from one cell to another for second generation Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) digital cellular communications systems. Operational for many years, this technique enables a conversation to continue when the Circuit-Switched (CS) call reroutes to use a new basestation as the mobile moves from one coverage area to another. The parties will perceive no break whatsoever.

Today, the scenario is rather more complicated, with calls being handed over not only from 2G to 2G cells and from 3G to 3G cells, but also between 2G GSM and 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) cells. This is relatively easy from an administrative point of view, given that generally the same cellular network is involved throughout.

Earlier work carried out within the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) envisaged telephony using packet-switched connections – Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – using either the 3GPP-defined IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) on the 3G Universal Terrestrial Access Network (UTRAN), or Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) radio access technology based on IEEE 802.11, and other standards. This was covered by the WLAN interworking work items.

However, until now, handover between CS and IMS (packet-switched) calls was not addressed. 3GPP is now investigating the problem of handing over a voice (or potentially video or other multimedia conversational service) call between the cellular network and a WLAN, possibly operated by a completely different service provider. Again, for conversational service, the hand-over has to be seamless, with no break in service perceived by either party to the call. Until recently, such handover had only been considered for services that are not real-time, such as file-transfer, where short breaks during the handover process are acceptable and probably go unnoticed by the user.

The approach taken by 3GPP is to have the WLAN operator use the information registered by the home operator for the mobile terminal subscriber in this sequence:

1. Validate the eligibility of the handover to happen at all
2. Manage charging for the call that is effectively transferred from one network operator to another

It is generally, though not necessarily, the case that WLAN hotspots are also well covered by cellular service. Thus, such handover may take place when cellular coverage is reduced to an unacceptable level, yet an adequate WLAN hotspot service is available. The handover is more likely to occur when spare bandwidth exists on the WLAN but where excess demand for cellular channels exists.

The goal is to maintain the conversational service call, thus optimizing the service to the users, which in turn will maximize the revenue accruing to the operator(s). 3GPP embarked on the technical activity required to enable this service by approving a work item on Voice Call Continuity (VCC) in the June 2005 meeting of its Technical Specification Group System Aspects and Architecture (TSG SA). In order to be accepted onto the 3GPP work plan, any work item needs to have the support of at least four supporting member companies, and no sustained opposition. The VCC work item has no fewer than 16 supporters, and its progress
can be tracked on the 3GPP website, www.3gpp.org. It is intended that this work be achieved in the Release 7 time frame.



3GPP TR 23.806: Voice Call Continuity between CS and IMS Study (Release 7)
3GPP TS 23.206: Voice Call Continuity (VCC) between Circuit Switched (CS) and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS); Stage 2 (Release 7)
3GPP TS 24.206: Voice Call Continuity between the Circuit-Switched (CS) domain and the IP Multimedia Core Network (CN) (IMS) subsystem; Stage 3 (Release 7)
3GPP TS 24.216: Communication Continuity Management Object (MO) (Release 7)

http://www.compactpci-systems.com/columns/spec_corner/pdfs/2006,04.pdf
http://www.huawei.com/publications/viewRelated.do?id=1146&cid=1802
http://news.tmcnet.com/news/it/2006/06/02/1667856.htm
http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-an-introduction-voice-call-continuity-vcc-/2007/05/02/2577864.htm
http://www.tmcnet.com/wifirevolution/articles/5861-voice-call-continuity-solution-dual-mode-wi-ficdma.htm

Monday, 18 June 2007

IMS strategies: Synopsis from IMS 2.0 world forum

From Ajit's Open Gardens Blog:

IMS 2.0 world forum is a must attend event .. I learnt a lot from it. Here is a brief synopsis of where I see IMS is heading to ..

Seek your thoughts and feedback especially you can identify other Operators with an interesting strategy and / or if you attended this event

As I could gather, there are six broad strategies:
a) Voice call continuity(VCC) / fixed to mobile convergence
b) Blended voice : voice tied contextually to messaging or rich media
c) SIP without IMS (Naked SIP)
d) Strategies from device manufacturers(especially Nokia and Motorola)
e) Real time IMS applications (multiplayer games and other such applications that need near real time blended media interaction within a session)
f) Abstraction of the core network

Most of the focus is around (a) Voice call continuity(VCC) / fixed to mobile convergence

This is a pity – but also understandable Operators are most familiar with voice
In its broadest sense, voice call continuity pertains to roaming within cellular and non cellular networks(such as roaming between cellular and wifi networks). A specific instance of this is
Fixed to mobile convergence for instance BT fusion

My personal view is:

a) I don’t quite know if I would be interested in FMC as a customer ..
b) I think its being sold on cost – which is not a good idea
c) I think it fulfils an industry goal(fixed and mobile networks trying to get new subscribers from each other’s networks in mature markets)
d) In general, voice is becoming cheap .. so I am not sure that a pure voice play is a good idea

Blended voice(b) and real time applications(e) are interesting but need device support. Devices supporting IMS fully are conspicuous by their absence!

In contrast, devices supporting SIP(c) - but not IMS are very much here and so are applications – for instance
movial

Abstracting the network layer through software APIs(f) – is the most interesting – but I felt very few Operators had the vision to embrace this strategy at the moment. The two big exceptions being TIM and Telia sonera - who are doing some very interesting work.

To recap, by abstracting the network layer, I mean : In an IP world, as the Mobile Internet mirrors the Internet, the Operator should focus on the core of the network and leave the edge of the network to third parties. Specifically, this means – identify the elements that can be performed ONLY in the core and then abstract them through APIs. This approach gets us away from the dichotomy of the ‘pipe’ vs. ‘no pipe’. It also means that the Operator retains control.

Finally, Operators in emerging markets like Globe telecom from Philippines were also impressive i.e. they understood the space, the issues specific to their market and how they could leverage IMS in their markets. Harvey G Libarnes, Head of innovation and incubations program , Globe Telecom, gave a very thorogh presentation

Finally, there are some interesting plays : such as Mobilkom with A1 over IP and France Telecom with IPTV strategy

To conclude:
a) At Operator level, IMS is still largely about voice and a defensive approach(such as FMC)
b) Lack of devices is the key question mark
c) Device manufacturers on the other hand have significant leverage(more on that soon)
d) Some operators are going to be very innovative – TIM and Teliasonera from amongst the attendees

Cognitive radio


Cognitive radio (CR) is a newly emerging technology, which has been recently proposed to implement some kind of intelligence to allow a radio terminal to automatically sense, recognize, and make wise use of any available radio frequency spectrum at a given time. The use of the available frequency spectrum is purely on an opportunity driven basis. In other words, it can utilize any idle spectrum sector for the exchange of information and stop using it the instant the primary user of the spectrum sector needs to use it. Thus, cognitive radio is also sometimes called smart radio, frequency agile radio, police radio, or adaptive software radio,1 and so on. For the same reason, the cognitive radio techniques can, in many cases, exempt licensed use of the spectrum that is otherwise not in use or is lightly used; this is done without infringing upon the rights of licensed users or causing harmful interference to licensed operations.

The only difference with SDR (Software Defined Radio) is that a cognitive radio needs to scan a wide range of frequency spectra before deciding which band to use, instead of a predefined one, as an SDR terminal does. One of the most important characteristic features of an SDR terminal is that its signal is processed almost completely in the digital domain, needing very little analogue circuit. This brings a tremendous benefit to make the terminal very flexible (for a multimode terminal) and ultrasmall size with the help of state-of-the-art microelectronics technology.

More Information at:

Friday, 15 June 2007

AT&T bets on LTE


AT&T says its next-generation roadmap leads to LTE, though it's evaluating the use of WiMAX technology for backhaul according to a report in Wireless Week.
AT&T's Chris Hill, vice president of Government Solutions for Mobility, commented during an interview at the Wireless Communications Association (WCA) conference that, "LTE provides similar throughputs, so we're taking a wait-and-see approach to WiMAX. We just don't see the value proposition for mobile WiMAX."
After reading this i started digging around on who is betting on WiMAX and i found an excellent summary:
Mobile wimax equipment which utilize beam-forming and MIMO technologies will become available towards the end of this year. Broadband wireless deployments using pre-802.16e compliant equipment have already begun. In Korea both KT and SK Telecom have implemented mobile broadband wireless networks in specific locations throughout the country.

Sprint/Nextel are deploying an 802.16e compliant mobile wimax network which will reach 100 million Americans by the end of 2008. BT will bid for 2.5GHz RF spectrum in the Ofcom auctions which will take place towards the end of the year 2007. Gaining such spectrum will allow the incumbent to deploy an efficient wimax service and compete with companies such as Vodafone for triple play services. Cable companies are gradually acquiring spectrum and are looking at distributing their content to mobile devices. Greenfield operators are expected to utilize mobile wimax technology in order to secure a 3G/4G market position by attracting consumers with an early new level of service. Clearwire is such a carrier with operations in the United States, Denmark, Belgium, Ireland and in Mexico (via MVSnet).

Equipment manufacturers are becoming increasingly active in mobile wimax. Vendors such as Samsung, Nortel Networks, Alcatel and Nokia-Siemens Networks are all involved in 802.16e projects globally. Motorola have just announced a major deal in Pakistan. Companies that have been heavily involved in operator proprietary broadband wireless implementations such as Alvarion and Proxim are also developing 802.16e compliant platforms. Various chipset providers such as Wavesat, Runcom Technologies and Beceem Communications are developing OFDMA chips and are testing their products for interoperability with solutions from other vendors. Dual mode handsets will be very popular with mobile wimax deployments with GSM/OFDMA and CDMA/OFDMA handsets dominating the market.

But there is confusion. Ericsson believe that by the year 2010 mobile wimax will account for only 5-10% of global broadband wireless revenues and are therefore more focused on broadband cellular technologies. Who is right? Availability of 2.5GHz spectrum is crucial to the success of mobile wimax particularly throughout the western world. In Europe HSPA is dominating the cellular market and this combined with the current unavailability of 2.5GHz spectrum throughout most of the continent is leading to little interest from mobile operators. In the U.S a lot of the 2.5GHz spectrum is owned by Sprint. The carrier will start its deployment by using 10MHz channels to deliver services and could use even larger bandwidths in the future.
Meanwhile in the US, everyone is concentrating on the 700MHz spectrum auction that will be happening soon. The spectrum is in the upper 700 MHz range, not the lower 700 MHz band where companies such as Qualcomm’s MediaFLO already are deploying services. It’s desirable for wireless carriers because at 700 MHz, fewer base stations are required than at higher ranges, making it more economical for buildouts. But numerous other parties also are interested in the spectrum, as evidenced in FCC filings. Everyone from Cyren Call Communications to Frontline Wireless and Google are giving advice on how to use the spectrum.
Among the more neutral players in the cacophony of lobbyists trying to affect the outcome of the auction is Nortel. The company has been sending executives to Washington, D.C., mainly to serve as educators around technologies that could be deployed in the space. Those include OFDM/MIMO and others around WiMAX, as well as evolutions of the GSM and CDMA technologies in long-term evolution (LTE) and ultramobile broadband (UMB), respectively.

“We are keeping a very close eye on where the 700 MHz auction goes,” says Danny Locklear, director of Nortel wireless product marketing. “We see this 700 MHz space as being a very large opportunity for us,” as well as for the overall U.S. market, where it will add more competition and improvements for end-users.

It’s important for companies like Nortel to be involved now, he explains, because typically there is an 18-month cycle from the time standards are developed to the actual product. Delivering products for a new or different band of spectrum is nothing new; vendors know how to do it, but it still takes time, not only in the hardware but software as well.

Discussions over 700 MHz are expected to continue through the coming months, with a final ruling possibly toward the end of the summer and an auction start time anywhere between the third quarter of this year and January of next year. Even then, some of the winners of the spectrum probably won’t be moving in immediately. Analog TV users currently in the spectrum have until the first quarter of 2009 to vacate.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Will WiMAX compete with 3G+



Various reports and discussions have started trying to compare WiMAX and HSPA/LTE and also justifying why WiMAX is better or vice versa. so will WiMAX compete with 3G+? To answer this problem lets go back to the beginning of 3G.

NTT DoComo launched the worlds first 3G system which it called as FOMA. Infact before FOMA it already had i-Mode available which was a revolutionary technology of its time. So instead of being so great and revolutionary, why was it not adopted by everyone. The answer is that it was a closed technology and not an open standard.

WiMAX is comparatively an open standard. Its Specifications are not available freely as is 3G. This gives 3G a definite advantage over WiMAX. Also 3G+ (which includes HSPA, HSPA+, LTE, MIMO, etc) has evolved from 3G which has in turn evolved from GSM. There is an inbuilt facility to move between 3G/GSM and perform Handovers, etc. This would be missing in WiMAX.

You may argue that once IMS is there, these problems wont be big as IMS would allow these handovers to take place. IMS is access agnostic. The problem is that it will take time for IMS to be adopted and for it to be completely functional. When this happens, by that time LTE would already be available. LTE uses the same Radio Technology as WiMAX and since it has evolved ffrom 3G/GSM, it would definitely be preferrred over WiMAX.

There was an article in Financial Express last week comparing WiMAX and 3G. Some important points from that:

But from what we do know, 3G/HSPA has several clear advantages vis-à-vis mobile WiMAX in terms of backward compatibility, standardisation, use of licensed spectrum and availability of infrastructure and terminals giving it an edge over WiMAX in terms of large scale economies leading to better affordability, availability, scalability and overall ruggedness of the 3G/HSPA standard. Further, the pace of adoption of HSPA has been remarkable. HSPA is already commercially available in Africa, America, Asia, Australia, the European Union and the Middle East. There is thus already a large ecosystem of global suppliers of components, subsystems, equipment and network design and implementation services in place for 3G/HSPA.

WiMAX on the other hand faces a number of challenges. Mobile WiMAX standards are still under evaluation. The capex for deploying WiMAX is upto 5-10 times higher than HSDPA because the size of mobile WiMax cells is upto 16 times smaller than the cells in an HSPA system, which would necessitate a larger number of base stations to cover the same geography.

Further, the prices of mobile WiMAX handsets as and when available, will be significantly higher than the cellular terminals, which are being developed in much higher volumes and offered at increasingly lower costs. Also WiMax has fragmented frequency bands. In Europe and the United States, WiMAX operates in 3.5GHz and 5.8GHz while in Asia Pacific it operates in 2.3, 2.5, 3.33 and 5.8GHz. This makes global or even pan-regional roaming rather difficult. Users visiting different countries will have to either hope that the visited country uses the same band or have their devices equipped with multiple modes to enable connectivity to other WiMAX based broadband networks. WiMAX systems also have a lower capacity for voice vis-à-vis 3G/HSPA networks, which will limit the potential market size that WiMAX can cater to.

Arthur D. Little and Altran Telecoms & Media have also produced a report for GSM Association comparing HSPA and Mobile WiMax for Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA). According to them:

HSPA is likely to account for the majority of investment in global mobile broadband networks over the next five years, finds a new study by Arthur D. Little. By comparison mobile WiMax will be a niche technology within the overall
global mobile broadband wireless access market, likely to account for at most 15% of this network equipment market and perhaps 10% of mobile broadband wireless subscribers by 2011-2012.

HSDPA (including HSUPA and HSPA+) is taking the lead as it is a natural migration path for a large number of GSM and UMTS operators already operating commercial networks in 3G spectrum. This will give rise to significant economies
of scale on handsets and user devices and a large ecosystem of global suppliers of components, subsystems, equipment and network design and implementation services. Hence this is the least risky and best understood route to offering broadband mobile services which can offer speeds comparable to first generation fixed DSL services.

According to a report in Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine:

The results of Arthur D. Little's modeling work shows that WiMax systems are expected to achieve significantly greater theoretical peak data transfer rates when deployed than today's commercial HSPA networks deliver now, such as theoretical speeds of e.g. 16.8 Mbps in urban areas vs 2-3 Mbps for HSPA. However, the coverage a WiMax base station can achieve, is substantially lower than HSPA, hence HSPA operators will be able to deploy a smaller number of base stations and sites to cover the same geography. Indications are that radio access network capex for current WiMax technology can significantly exceed HSDPA capex.

Another consequence of this characteristic of these two technologies is that an HSPA operator will be able to match its growing investment more clearly to the development of demand than mobile WiMax operators who will have to install more cell sites at the beginning to ensure coverage.

Arthur D. Little acknowledges that in the longer term, well into the second decade of this century, mobile broadband wireless systems will be characterized by technologies such as OFDMA and MIMO. Development of these technologies is being pursued by the 3G/HSPA ecosystem within the framework of 3G LTE as well as by WiMax. The long term future relative roles of 3G LTE and mobile WiMax, both of which face major development hurdles before they achieve the full promise of new, so-called 4G systems, is uncertain and will be influenced by continuing expected shifts in the priorities and competitive alignments of major players in the wireless industry which has undergone a number of consolidations in recent months.

In contrast to many other reports on HSPA, mobile WiMax and other broadband wireless technologies, the Arthur D. Little study highlights and assesses all the factors - strategic, competitive, commercial, regulatory and political as well as technological that influence operators' choices of wireless network technology.

Evidence for the potential complementary nature of HSPA and WiMax can be seen in the increased interest in multi-mode user devices and roaming capabilities across the technologies. This development, which reflects the widespread anticipation of the central role of OFDMA and other technologies involved in WiMax and 3G LTE in all eventual future broadband wireless networks, is a welcome change from the provocative and misleading headlines that have appeared over the past two years which imply that mobile WiMax threatens the viability of today's HSPA and related technologies

With Intel promising WiMAX chips on all its laptops in future, only time will tell how far WiMAX will and if this comparison holds true.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Cellular Multi-Mode Madness












At the moment you can get most places with UMTS2100 including limited coverage on Vodafone NZ. The future looks a lot more difficult. With the Telecom announcement today NZ will be getting what is called an E-GPRS network operating at 850MHz. This will offer GSM/GPRS/EDGE. For real 3G as in HSDPA you will still need 2100MHz but as we all know this frequency is limited in what it can offer in terms of coverage and in-building penetration.



It has been rumored that Vodafone are trialling a UMTS900 network in NZ which certainly makes sense. With this 3G band Vodafone needs 60% less cells sites for the same coverage footprint currently offered on their UMTS2100 network. They can also use the same antennas and feeders currently used for GSM900 but the downside is that they will need to give up at least 2.6MHz of their existing GSM spectrum to act as a guard band between GSM and UMTS. It doesn't sound like much but it does cut into voice capacity.



UMTS900 is very new and only this year have the first tests calls been completed in Europe. Being new means a lack of devices which is a similar position Telstra found themselves in with their NextG network. NextG operates at 850MHz but this is UMTS (HSDPA) and not the same as the Telecom E-GPRS network. Same frequency different technology.



Over the last year more and more data devices have been appearing to support UMTS850. These devices are tri-mode as in they support UMTS850/1900/2100MHz so they work on Telstra (850), Cingular (850/1900) and the 'rest of the world' (2100).



In NZ Vodafone is adding a new spin by playing with UMTS900. At this stage there are no UMTS850/900/2100MHz devices and I am not sure what (if any) radio issues will be faced with building such a product. Given that UMTS900 has been trialled in Europe and that 900 is the dominant global GSM band it is quite feasible that 900/2100MHz will rule supreme with 850/1900MHZ relegated to side frequencies operating in different pockets around the world. Although, as voice usage grows carriers are running out of 900MHz spectrum. But then again they could also choose UMTS800 (not to be confused with UMTS850) and IP Wireless (the company that supplies technology to Woosh) is tinkering with UMTS450 which has traditionally been used for CDMA450. On top of that we have UMTS1700, UMTS2600, UMTS1800 and now talk of UMTS2500.




Will add some more details on this soon.


Wednesday, 6 June 2007

IMT Advanced = 4G



In this story on Telecom TV, is says:

Working under a mandate to address "systems beyond 3G", the working party has now come up with a name for the future mobile systems. Thankfully, they are veering away from 4G and are calling it 'IMT-Advanced'.

A simple search on Google returned some useful information from Telecom ABC:

International Mobile Telecommunications - Advanced (IMT-Advanced) is a concept from the ITU for mobile communication systems with capabilities which go further than that of IMT-2000. IMT-Advanced was previously known as “systems beyond IMT-2000”.


It is foreseen that the development of IMT-2000 will reach a limit of around 30 Mbps. In the vision of the ITU, there may be a need for a new wireless access technology to be developed around the year 2010 capable of supporting even higher data rates with high mobility, which could be widely deployed around the year 2015 in some countries. The new capabilities of these IMT-Advanced systems are envisaged to handle a wide range of supported data rates according to economic and service demands in multi-user environments with target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility such as mobile access and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access.


To support this wide variety of services, it may be necessary for IMT-Advanced to have different radio interfaces and frequency bands for mobile access for highly mobile users and for new nomadic/local area wireless access.


Together with the introduction of the name IMT-Advanced, the ITU introduced the generic root name IMT. The generic root name IMT covers the capabilities of IMT-2000, including future development of IMT-2000, and IMT-Advanced.

Meanwhile a story in ChinaTechNews is suggesting that Datang Telecom has already written a Draft on 4G and is working on 3G&4G convergence. Cannot find much more on this right now.

For more on 4G technologies, either read this story on Network World or 3G4G website.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Things our phone will do in next 10 years



Interesting article in Cnet on "10 things your mobile will do in next 10 years"

1. Wallet: This would be quite cool when available. Have been hearing about this for years now. Apparently very popular in Japan and S.Korea where people are not using credit cards anymore and instead using Phones.

A much better idea would be to have a universal recognition kind of chip which i can use as Credit card, Smart Card for Trains (In london we have Oyester cards) and then i can use this for accessing company door, garage door , etc. This would be a real killer app but doesnt look like will happen in near (or far) future

2. Internet: In December, ABI Research said that almost 50 million people used social-networking sites on their mobile phones. That number is expected to grow to 174 million by 2011. It would be cool to be able to browse using your phone. Mosst of the sites i use (including mine) are not mobile friendly and this is the thing that is turning people off the net.

3. Location: Already too many phones supporting GPS and A-GPS. The chips are becoming cheaper with cost of around $5 so the manufacturers should have no problem. In future we will get disscounted packages where we will have to receive adverts which would be location specific. Nokia has some applications which can compete with TomTom for getting directions, etc.

4. Search: Hardly anything needs to be mentioned for this.

5. TV: Have written enough on Mobile TV already. IMS Research forecasts that by 2011 there will be more than 30 million mobile TV subscribers in the United States. The firm also predicts that almost 70 million handsets capable of receiving mobile TV will be shipped in the U.S. in 2011.

6. Simplified surfing: From the Cnet article

Ever notice how many clicks it takes to find the one thing you're looking for on your phone? It's worse than counting how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. But handset makers and mobile operators are
hard at work trying to make phones easier to navigate and simpler to use.


The upcoming
iPhone from Apple is a perfect example of how user interfaces will be improved. Apple fans are confident that the company has come up with another slick and intuitive
design, just as it did for the iPod.


One aspect of the iPhone's interface that has been publicized is its use of sensory technology to detect when the device is rotated. This allows the phone to automatically render pictures on the screen in portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) format. That allows the user to determine which format is best for viewing whatever is on the screen, be
it a Web page, video, or photo.


In the future,
motion-sensing technology, similar to that used in the Nintendo Wii game console, will also allow people to navigate their cell phone menus or the mobile Internet
with a flick of their wrists.


But motion sensing is just one piece of the puzzle. Operators such as Verizon Wireless are redesigning their content menus
to reduce the number of clicks users must endure to find what they want. Ryan Hughes, vice president of digital media programming for Verizon Wireless, said he believes that user interfaces will be customizable so that users can decide
for themselves which applications will be displayed on their phones most prominently.


Motorola is already offering a customizable interface on the
Razr 2, which the company claims will make searching for contacts, accessing applications, and messaging much easier.

7. Brainier radios: Maybe in future SDRs (Software Defined Radios) may become more common and popular and yes the technology will become feasible. Also multiple radios on the chpset would mean Handovers will be possible from 3G to WiMax, Wifi, etc.

8. Personal Cell: Everyone seems to be talking of Femtocell. Where we will have a small 3G base station in our home. We could use it for Voice or High Speed data. No need for the POTS and use mobile for everything. This will still take some time as the operators dont fully understand the benefits of offering cheap data.

9. Perfect Camera: Today roughly 41 percent of American households own a camera phone. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to buy a phone today that doesn't have a camera. By 2010 more than 1 billion mobile phones in the world will ship with an embedded camera, up from the 589 million camera phones that are expected to be sold in 2007, according to market research firm Gartner.

10. More music on the phone: Mobile phone users around the globe are expected to spend $32.2 billion on music for their handsets by 2010, up from $13.7 billion in 2007, according to Gartner. This can only happen when Music Video/Audio becomes cheaper though. Personally i would prefer listening to FM Radio rather than music but i am not sure how much demand there would be and ofcourse the operators dont gain anything.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Mobile TV in Top Ten of mobile services


In a report published by Analysis, the global advisers on telecoms, IT and media, Mobile TV shows up in the Top ten most used non voice services on mobile phones.
This new report identifies the top ten services from a large number of non-voice services worldwide, and provides detailed case studies and analysis of these leading services to help others replicate their success. The report provides unique guidance to mobile operators (as well as MVNOs and third party service providers) on the best opportunities to increase their non-voice service revenues.
1. Vodafone’s Casa FASTWEB DSL service (Italy)
2. O2’s SMS service (UK)
3. 3’s 3G mobile TV and video streaming service (UK)
4. T-Mobile’s BlackBerry email and instant messaging service (USA)
5. Sprint Nextel’s CDMA2000 EV-DO Revision A mobile broadband service (USA)
6. 3’s DVB-H mobile TV broadcasting service (Italy)
7. KDDI au’s EZ Chaku-uta Full music downloading service (Japan)
8. SK Telecom’s Cyworld Mobile community portal service (South Korea)
9. NTT DoCoMo’s DCMX mobile credit service (Japan)
10. Vodafone’s MiniCall ‘voice SMS’ service (Egypt)
Mobile TV services are a key element of the 3G service mix that has enabled 3 UK to claim non-voice ARPU of more than USD25 per month, which is currently the highest in the world”, says Dr Mark Heath, co-author of the report.

“In Italy, mobile TV subscribers of 3’s DVB-H service generate 60% higher ARPU than its other mobile customers. While some mobile TV services, such as Virgin Mobile’s DAB-IP service in the UK, are making slow progress, 3 shows that it is possible to make a short-term success of mobile TV.”