Wednesday 7 November 2007

Nokia 888 concept phone

A personal mobile communication device which lets you be free and fun. It is light, simple and carefree. You can change its form according to your needs during the day. You dont have to carry it in your pocket or on your wrist. You can carry it anywhere, in anyform. You can roll it, bend it, put on your clothes like a clip. It also makes some form changes that makes it more ergonomical: i.e. when you want to talk on the phone, the body form turns into the form of the good old telephone. You can personalize these forms and record them. So it fits you the best in the way that you have chosen. Also e-motions let you send forms to other 888 users: i.e. you can send a heart shape to your girlfriend or a dancing figure to your friends to call them to the party tonight. This way you can talk without words.

Tamer Nakisci explains in detail about this work.

Technologies that are used
It uses liquid battery, speech recognition, flexible touch screen, touch sensitive body cover which lets it understand and adjust to the environment. It has a simple programmable body mechanism so that it changes forms in different situations.
The functionality of design
You dont have to carry it in your pocket or on your wrist. You can carry it anywhere, in anyform. You can roll it, bend it, put on your clothes like a clip. It also makes some form changes that makes it more ergonomical: i.e. when you want to talk on the phone, the body form turns into the form of the good old telephone. You can personalize these forms and record them. So it fits you the best in the way that you have chosen. The functions that it has also create a feeling of electronical pet, as it senses your moves, understand what you want, respond you in the best way. It learns you, to fit you better.Also e-motions lets you send forms to the other 888 users. It could be the shape of a heart or a small dance. This way you can talk without words.

How the user interacts
E-motions… It means electronical motions that 888 has. You can send and receive forms from / to friends. You can send a heart shape to your girlfriend, so her telephone turns into an icon of heart. Or you can send a dancing form to your friends to call them to the party tonight. This is the fun side of the product. If we look from the functionality side, 888 is quite flexible. You can put it into your pocket, roll it and make it smaller, or put on your wrist when you want to make a video call on the go. If you want to talk like a normal telephone, there you have your telephone shape. We go through a lot of places and situations in the daily life, so it seems like one form is not enough.

What is unique
You can change the form of the body. Not just the color. And you can do the same by sending an e-motion to your friend.

The inspiration
The idea is that “the perfect form” does not exist. “Form follows you” We create the perfect form for each function.
Designer: Tamer Nakisci

Tuesday 6 November 2007

SFN for MBMS in Release 7

MBMS in Release 6, can combine signals from different cells and this can be used to boost the reliability of the received signal. Though this concept is good, the other neighbouring cells are still causing interference since the adjacent cells are not orthogonal due to different scrambling codes. If the same scrambling code were to be used in all cells and the cells were to be synchronised, the other cells’ interference would turn into multipath
propagation. The received signal looks as if there is only a single base station transmitting, but with more multipath components. Therefore, this approach is called an SFN (Single Frequency Network).
Similar approach is also used in other Mobile-TV technologies like DVB-H.

The SFN approach is available in Release 7 and can be implemented with relatively minor modifications to the radio network while providing a major gain in the broadcast data rates. On the other hand, SFN transmission requires that the whole 5 MHz carrier is allocated for MBMS usage only, which requires that the total amount of spectrum for the operator is large enough.
Source: WCDMA for UMTS – HSPA Evolution and LTE, fourth edition. Edited by Harri Holma and Antti Toskala, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Broadcast Views

Interesting article from, i had missed earlier. Mobile TV is one of my pet topics so if you see me not mentioning about some important article then do mention it here.
Important points highlighted below:

As we approach the final quarter of 2007, however, the future of mobile TV is,
if anything, more uncertain. As individual carriers in different markets adopt their preferred technologies, the list of 'standard' broadcast solutions seems to be growing at the same rate as new services are launched.

In Europe, during the summer, the EC finally backed DVB-H for mobile TV rather than remaining technology neutral. In Japan and South Korea, service uptake on existing ISDB-T, and T-DMB and S-DMB, is continuing to build, albeit slowly. In the US, Verizon and AT&T have both selected Qualcomm's MediaFLO solution, which launched in March and Verizon has already gone live.

Meanwhile, BT Movio's, and therefore Virgin Mobile's, DAB solution in the UK folded due to poor uptake less than one year after launch, along with Crown Castle's DVB-H solution in the US.

On Europe, David McQueen, principal analyst Informa Telecoms&Media says: "It is possible to see the logic of support for a single mobile TV standard for Europe. GSM as a de facto standard allowed economies of scale in the industry, and made roaming easier. In theory, therefore, choosing DVB-H, is like getting the whole of Europe to go down the GSM route. Also, you are backing the frontrunner."

But backing a frontrunner that won't arrive in some markets until 2012 seems a trifle premature; at least, so says ROK TV CEO, Bruce Renny: "You have got to look at when this service is going to be available in the UK. I can tell you, 2012 at the earliest when the last of the analogues is switched off. Now 2012 in the mobile environment is a lifetime away. I mean, a month is a long time in the mobile entertainment space, quite apart from five or six years."

A recent report from Dutch analyst house Telecompaper revealed that, although three operators (KPN, Vodafone and Orange) in the Netherlands offer mobile TV, only 1.4 per cent of subscribers has watched TV using a cellphone. In fact, from a list of 22 unique data services, mobile TV was the least popular.

M:Metrics, meanwhile, found that the number of subscribers that watched any commercial programmed mobile TV and/or video, once or more, in a month in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK combined, in the three months ending July 2007, was 2,386,795. It looks like a fair size number, but in reality it's only 1.12 per cent of subscribers.

In a recent strategic report Mobile TV: Broadcast Network Rollouts, Business Models and Handsets, Informa Telecoms&Media predicts the market for broadcast mobile TV devices grew from 0.81 million in 2005 to just over four million in 2006. These devices are expected to find their way into 12.3 per cent of new handset sales by 2012, representing an expected market of 178 million phones.

The ITM report states that an inflection point is expected to occur in 2009 as network rollout and device availability allow for the market to reach some level of critical mass. Informa goes on to predict that there will be 335.6 million broadcast mobile TV users worldwide by 2012, up from a mere 12.1 million expected in 2007, with an inflection point expected in 2009-2010.

According to Informa, a number of possible scenarios emerge that could enhance or dilute mobile operator strengths in the mobile TV value chain.
First, the 'discrete' business model, where the MNO chooses to provide TV services only over its own cellular networks, or via network optimised solutions, with no other broadcast network interaction. Second, the 'principal' business model, where the MNO is lead player in the broadcast TV industry, which includes some level of interaction with broadcast network services. Third, a 'converged' business model, where the MNO and others in the value chain work in cooperation to take advantage of the complementary nature of cellular and broadcast networks. And fourth, the 'bypassed' business model, where the MNO is bypassed altogether by a broadcast network operator in providing mobile broadcast TV, but may still provide an uplink.

There are advantages and disadvantages that go along with each of the above scenarios. The discrete model will appeal most to those operators that have already invested in a 3G network, since it requires minimal further investment and it ensures that the MNO retains full control of the service and therefore will derive the optimal revenues.

Not surprisingly, most of the noise coming from tech vendors at the moment surrounds rolling out new kit as part of a broadcast solution. Detractors of the discrete model point out that a unicast offering is limiting and would have a detrimental effect on other 3G services in the cell. Therefore, they say, operators need to embrace either a principal or converged model.

"We already have mobile TV on networks with 3G. So if you have invested in a 3G network it is very cheap to deploy a service," points out Alban Couturier, mobile TV product manager, Thomson. "But for users the data cost is high. Which puts people off. Using DVB-H you have lots of costs to deploy, but new customer additions are cheap. Once you reach critical mass, the costs become very low. You can't have that with 3G," he says.

One firm only too happy to be involved in Vodafone's discrete model is British Sky Broadcasting. Steven Nuttall, director commercial group, British Sky Broadcasting, speaking on a recent webinar, outlined how pleased he is with the pace of mobile TV in the UK: "A year or so into running a service, we've got several hundred thousand customers, paying real money to use it. We've got millions of people using more general mobile services, many of which are video, so I don't know at what point you would say that video is a mass market. I think it is reasonable to say that at a minimum we're pretty close to that point already."

ROK TV's Renny says his firm offers a discrete solution for carriers that have yet to rollout 3G networks. "There are 100 million people worldwide who have signed up to 3G. It sounds impressive, but that's about three per cent of the global mobile market. A 100 million uptake across a three billion market place is, in anyone's language, niche."

ROK offers the ability to stream video over what Renny says are vastly underused GPRS networks. "I think linear TV over mobile phones will prove very popular indeed. The question is how many people will be willing to pay a subscription service to receive linear TV on their mobile phone? Particularly, when you get all that at home for free. The notion of 'build it and they will come' is flawed," he says.

Renny points out that TV on the mobile is not the same as broadcast TV. "It isn't viewed in the same way, it is delivered through a different vehicle and it is a different animal completely. Broadcast TV available on mobile phones will prove popular, but only as a value add in a general mobile bundle. As a stand alone subscription service it will have very limited uptake indeed," he says.

Another firm that advocates taking full advantage of existing resources is IPWireless. The firm's TDtv offering uses the 5Mhz of UMTS TDD spectrum that the majority of 3G operators across Europe have at their disposal. Thanks to the 3GPP specified MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Services), operators can take an existing 3G network and render it multicast, rather than unicast.

The firm had a multi-operator trial in the UK city of Bristol last year. CMO Jon Hambidge told MCI the technology matches DVB-H and MediaFLO in terms of available channels and he is confident that an operator in Europe will go live with the service sometime next year.

"A lot of people are questioning the need for broadcast services," says Hambidge. "One of the reasons is that they are very expensive. I've seen some economic analysis on DVB-H showing that it has a very hard time breaking even down at a ??????5 type level. I think the economic analysis we've seen shows that TDtv, for an MNO, is going to breakeven somewhere around a five times lower price point. So it really keeps mobile TV as a 3G service."

While ROK's Renny may think the 'build it and they'll come' scenario is flawed, Qualcomm would disagree. The San Diego firm's subsidiary MediaFLO USA rolled out its mobile TV solution across America going live in March 2007. Subsequent to that, Verizon launched a service on the network, and will soon be followed by AT&T.

"There are a lot of challenges with that pure wholesale approach," says Omar Javaid, VP of global strategy and business development at Qualcomm. "The interesting thing about mobile TV is that it is a converged service and there are so many different industries involved. When the telecommunications industry is looking at it, they're looking at it primarily from an infrastructural and technology approach, and what tends to get missed in that equation is the whole content rights issue."

Javaid highlights a common assumption that the free-to-air broadcasters will simply provide their content for mobile TV platforms. While the content providers will maintain that the rights for free-to-air broadcast do not extend to this kind of platform. So the content rights need renegotiating, and they're not free. "When you work out the match it becomes much more expensive. Both from a wholesale perspective and then subsequently a retail perspective. I don't think it is impossible to do, but somebody ends up having a pretty marginal business," he says.

Each of the networks under consideration for delivering mobile TV has their own advantages and drawbacks. The most recurrent themes are the ability to provide a one-to-many broadcast topology, network and device costs, reception quality, regulation, spectrum allocation and efficiency, handset manufacturer and network vendor support, and technology fragmentation in different geographic regions.

Broadcast networks use spectrum allocation and one-to-many broadcast efficiently, unlike many of the mobile TV point-to-point offerings available over cellular networks, even 3G, which put the network under enormous strain. The broadcast network technologies, such as DVB-H, MediaFLO and DMB, are far more efficient in terms of time and bandwidth usage, which means they are more cost effective, but they do not enable fully interactive content, something that the cellular networks can provide. However, fragmentation of the market into different technologies using different frequencies is a major risk for the nascent mobile broadcast TV market.

For now, the most sensible plan looks like the one advocated by Anders Kalvemark of Ericsson: "I think we will see various types here. Our main strategy is that the operators will have their own 3G networks and then they will enable broadcast capabilities, which could be NGN, so the evolution of 3G. Dedicated broadcast networks will probably arrive, they already have in a few countries, but it is obviously a large investment. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a consortium of operators coming together to set up these types of network."

Alban Couturier of Thomson: "3G operators should leverage existing services by offering a hybrid of services. They should offer the most popular channels over broadcast, but they should offer the long tail over 3G because it is ideally suited for video on demand."

Of the four models described by Informa Telecoms&Media, it is possible that, for the longer term success of the mobile TV industry, cooperation and understanding between the players in the value chain, providing a converged solution will ensure the best possible experience for the customer. This allows broadcast media to be combined with, and used to complement, cellular communications to enrich the user experience and encourage interactivity. There will undoubtedly be problems with implementing this scenario with so many large brands fighting turf wars. But, if the industry can overcome its natural competitiveness in this instance, it will allow the delivery of new revenue sources for all in the value chain.

However, mobile operators currently offer mobile video and TV services over their own 2.5G and 3G networks and the advent of broadcast networks in the mobile space will undoubtedly affect their stature in the ecosystem. Although much is made regarding operators providing a return channel for interactive services, a potential future scenario could be one where even the provision of this channel is taken away as return channels become more prevalent through the broadcast network, weakening the position of the mobile operator in the mobile TV value chain.

In contrast, the migration by the operators to next-generation 3.5G and 4G networks could also negate the need by the operator to involve broadcast networks in the provision of mobile TV as these will allow for greater speed and bandwidth to provide a more cost-effective mobile TV offering.

Back in 2006, Virgin Mobile's head of mobile TV Paul Coombes told MCI his firm was launching using a DAB solution because it was "available". Right now, that choice seems like folly. Not surprisingly, neither BT nor Virgin wanted to comment for this piece. In fairness, there really are no sure things in this industry. But right now, trying to back a winning solution looks more like an expensive gamble rather than a sound investment.

TD-MBMS ready to roll out

Spreadtrum Communications Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE) have announced that the ZTE R&D Centre (Shanghai) has demonstrated TD-MBMS network services using Spreadtrum's TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS dual-mode chipset solution.

As a new TD-SCDMA multimedia service, TD-MBMS targets the mid to high-end segments of the 3G mobile market. TD-MBMS is now technically feasible on the TD-SCDMA network built using ZTE's equipment. With the adoption of Spreadtrum's SC8800D TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS dual-mode chip and platform, TD-MBMS could be applied to mobile phones, providing smooth images and clear sound. This successful demonstration of MBMS based on the TD-SCDMA standard indicates that the TD-MBMS technology is ready for commercialization.

This new TD-MBMS development is another step in the joint commercialization of TD-SCDMA by Spreadtrum and ZTE, following the strategic partnership agreement between Spreadtrum and ZTE announced on August 29, 2007. Dr. Datong Chen, CTO of Spreadtrum, said, ''We are very pleased to be a part of ZTE's successful demonstration of the industry's first TD-MBMS services. We believe this not only enriches the growing level of 3G TD-SCDMA multimedia services, but also enables TD-SCDMA mobile phones to satisfy the diverse requirements of its targeted users. In addition, Spreadtrum's TD- SCDMA/GSM/GPRS dual-mode chip and platform can equip the handset manufacturers with competitive technical advantages of TD-SCDMA mobile phones." Mr. Yuhong Duan, ZTE's General Manager of TD products, said, ''ZTE has been focused on the research and technical evolvement of the TD-SCDMA standard for several years, and it is the first to support TD-MBMS on the system side in the industry.

Saturday 3 November 2007

LTE Training now in good shape

We have recently provided 'Introduction to Long Term Evolution (LTE) and System Architecture Evolution (SAE)' training to couple of companies and have received positive feedback on them.
We also provide with high quality detailed training material that is approximately 150-200 pages for each day of the training
In case if your company or anyone you know is planning some training on LTE, please recommend us.

Friday 2 November 2007

Turbo 3G ... HSDPA by Stealth

Telenor (Norway) announced the launch of its Turbo 3G network last week. They call it as the first step towards Mobile Broadband. Reading the footnotes gives the game away as they do mention that 'The technical term for Turbo-3G is HSDPA'

This does make it sound better than the normal HSDPA network which would be difficult for laymen to understand. Nut why not simply call it Fast 3G or Super fast 3G (but this term may be better for LTE).

Anyway, their maximum downlink speeds of 3.6Mbps is not very impressive as the theoretical speeds of 14.4Mbps is possible.

Thursday 1 November 2007

Interesting Symbian Statistics

  • Symbian now has almost 1300 employees
  • In the first half of 2007, 34.6 million Symbian OS-powered smartphones were shipped. So we're up to roughly 70 million a year, out of around a billion 'phones' sold per year. So 7% of all phones are powered by Symbian OS. And, interestingly, worldwide sales of desktop and laptop PCs aren't much higher and are set to be overtaken - so the smartphone will become the dominant computing form factor in the next year.
  • Looking at 'smartphones', i.e. those which can be extended using native applications (as opposed to Java midlets), Symbian OS now has a 72.4% market share (as at the end of Q2, 2007), up from 70% a year ago. If you're interested, Linux is in second place, with 13.3%, Microsoft in third with 6.1% for Windows Mobile and RIM (Blackberry) in fourth with 5.3%.
  • Apparently there are now 7888 native third party applications written to run on Symbian OS, and this number is up by almost 50% from a year ago.
  • There's been a lot of interest in starting to develop software for Symbian OS, with (apparently) over 70,000 downloads of the starter PDF on the Symbian web site.
  • China's a big growth area, sales of Symbian OS-powered phones in China already account for over 12% of Symbian's market. As with India, this can only grow and grow, despite the wide availability of cheap knock-off devices.
  • You're probably wondering how Apple's iPhone is doing. Leaving aside questions about whether it's a true smartphone or not, it's currently selling at 1.3% of worldwide smartphone sales (but 12% of smartphone sales in the USA).

Tuesday 30 October 2007

VoIP: Not fashionable anymore

People who have used VoIP calls to make international calls will no doubt no the number of option available nowadays. Yesterday '3' released a VoIP phone in conjunction with Sykpe. While this will definitely be a boon for a lot of people, it makes me wonder how many similar deals will be coming soon.
An analysis in Register says, 'VoIP is Dead. It's just another feature, now'.
Think of Skype as a kind of parasitic virus that threatens to bring the host to its knees - but which can't survive without a living host. Bloggers and mainstream newspapers are another good example.

How so?

Well, Skype has no network of its own - it's simply an open protocol (SIP is more than one protocol, but bear with me) wrapped up in some proprietary bits. Apart from a few authentication servers, its only real asset is its "brand" - which isn't the most concrete or tangible line item to have on your balance sheet.

So at bottom, Skype needs somebody's else's network on which to operate. And because Skype has next to no income, and because its users can melt away as rapidly as they joined, it has no chance of attracting the capital investment needed to build a real network of its own, either.

(This is a problem for the entire VoIP sector - how do you attract capital when the price of the product itself is tending to zero? Only a fool would possibly see this as a good investment. Fortunately for Skype, it found its fool in the shape of Meg Whitman of eBay, who was dazzled by the Swedes' "front loaded" [translation: fictional] business plan).

All this means is that Skype is a kind of freestyle MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) - only without any contractual commitments, and utterly dependent on the generosity of hosts to permit it to operate. This isn't a problem when the access network is a commoditised and unrestricted internet connection - such as the home or the office network. But it's a huge problem when the user is out and about - because there's no ready host for the parasite to attach itself to.

So today Hutchison Wampoa, which owns the 3 networks, called Skype's bluff.

Hutchison has been pushing VoIP to the trapdoor for a while now. It recently killed the alternative "host" for the Skype-organism, by blowing away the business model for public Wi-Fi. 3 UK's excellent high-speed HSDPA network blankets much of the country - and you can access it from a laptop with a monthly tariff that's about the same as the price of an hour's Wi-Fi. If you're already a 3 subscriber, the network will throw in a USB dongle for free. If you need mobile data, you'd be bonkers to sign up to a Wi-Fi plan.

RIP, public Wi-Fi.
Ovum has another interesting analysis titled, '3 cosies up to Skype'

The bigger operators, such as Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange, have all taken flak recently for alleged hostility towards customers using VoIP on their networks. Now, here comes 3, not only encouraging its customers to use VoIP, but bending over backwards to make it easy for them. That this initiative is being taken by 3 is no coincidence, of course. As the smallest and newest of the UK mobile operators, 3's best hope for growth is to disrupt the status quo wherever it can.

In the short term, 3 may be able to use the Skype phone effectively to boost its subscriber numbers. In the long term, though, if 3 is successful with the Skype phone, the X-Series and similar projects, it might end up creating its own strategic problems. Imagine the scenario: on your mobile phone you use Skype for phone calls, Hotmail for messaging, Google for search and directions, YouTube for TV and music. What do you need your mobile operator for? The answer could turn out to be: subsidising phones, carrying data packets, and dealing with problems & complaints. Does that add up to an attractive business?

Whatever the case, VoIP is no longer an 'it' term and maybe the next time i am upgrading the phone, i may think of getting one with VoIP hotkey on it.

Monday 29 October 2007


Image above shows a Mobile Phone with and without SDR

Since LTE will have highly flexible bandwidth and it would be possible to use phones in many different bands with facility for reprogramming if the operator you are using your phone with has completely different frequency band it is being proposed that Software Defined Radio (SDR) be used with LTE.

I am not aware as of now a practical mobile device with SDR so this would be an interesting leap if adopted by the mobile manufacturers.