Monday, 14 June 2010

Conformance, Interoperability and Field testing via GCF

Sunday, 13 June 2010

MBMS, Digital TV and IP Triple Play in China

Apparently according to this report by Xuefei (Michael) Peng, MBMS is alive and kicking in China with around 200,000 users already. I cant find more info so if anybody who can fill more info is more than welcome.

The government of mainland China has formulated a general plan to launch triple-play services, integrating telecom networks, broadcast and TV networks, and Internet together.

From 2010 to 2012, China will focus on the trial integration of broadcast and TV services and telecom services (including Internet services), dealing with any related policies. From 2013 to 2015, based on the trial experience, China will promote the integration nationwide.

In the coming five years, various sectors will prepare in different ways to meet the goals stated in the general plan. Telecom operators such as China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom will invest more to promote IPTV services and accelerate FTTX deployment. Meanwhile, broadcast and TV operators will accelerate cable-TV network integration and interactive TV services development and will more actively develop value-added Internet services.

Broadcast and TV operators are currently strong in video content and wireless broadcast, while telecom operators own two-way fixed-line networks, mobile networks, and Internet services.

The differences between broadcast and TV operators across different regions and the uneven distribution of telecom fixed-line networks and mobile networks can offer cooperation opportunities.

Notably, almost all provinces of China already have launched IPTV services. The total number of IPTV service users in China has exceeded 5 million. However, problems with IPTV content must be solved, and the price for IPTV services also needs to be lowered to attract more users and compete with digital TV.

Meanwhile, the transformation of cable-TV networks from one way to two way has been sped up. Two-way cable-TV networks now cover over 24 million users. In the coming three years, broadcast and TV operators will invest over US$5 billion to continue to change 100 million one-way cable-TV links into two-way cable TV.

Eventually, through cable-TV networks, broadcast and TV operators hope to run Internet access services. This has been in trial use in some provinces. In order to run Internet access services, however, broadcast and TV operators need to rent bandwidth from telecom operators, greatly increasing the potential cost of service.

Another aspect of the triple play involves the conversion of mobile services to triple play. Mobile-phone TV is an emerging service in China. Up to now, mobile-phone TV services based on the China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting (CMMB) standard have reached 1.5 million users. However, the current CMMB standard only supports one-way communication. So the users can only receive broadcast-TV programs via mobile.

On the other hand, mobile services based on the broadcast multicast Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS) standard serve about 200,000 users. The growing 3G user base will convert to the MBMS standard. Additionally, the government policy will affect the mobile-phone TV market too. So it is not clear yet which mobile-phone TV standard will dominate the industry in the future.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Running live networks on Renewable Energy sources

We have been hearing for years that Solar energy could be used to run remote BTS/Node B so i was glad to see that they are deployed in practise and are working well. It was very interesting to see hear Pradeep de Almeida, Group Chief Technology Officer, Dialog Telekom Plc, Sri Lanka in the LTE World Summit.

The picture above lists the features from an ideal renewable energy powered BTS or Node B (or eNodeB for that matter). The picture below shows one of the real life deployments in Sri Lanka.


It was very interesting to hear that the power generated using the Solar and Wind approach is generally in surplus and this extra energy could be sold to the power companies or can be used to provide an outlet point where the people can come and charge their phones.

The return of investment (ROI) for these kind of deployments could be as low as 2 years and can be as high as 4 years. The time for ROI will be reduced for countries where diesel (used for generators) is expensive and will be increased when diesel is cheap. That is why we may not find environmently friendly approaches in Middle East for quite some time because of cheap oil.

You can read more about the Dialog Telekom green energy initiative here and here.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Your number’s up


In what sounds like the plot of a horror movie, a Bulgarian cellphone company has reportedly suspended the number 0888-888-888 after every single person who was assigned to it in the last 10 years died.

A spokesperson for Bulgarian firm MobilTel refused to comment, telling the Telegraphthat they don’t discuss individual numbers. But the newspaper tracked down the phone number’s eerie history and discovered that each owner had met an untimely end.

The first owner was the former MobilTel CEO, Vladimir Grashnov. In 2001, the 48-year-old died of cancer, although some speculated that he was radioactively poisoned by a business rival.

The number was then passed on to Konstantin Dimitrov, a Bulgarian mafia boss and owner of a $775-million drug smuggling empire. He was shot by a lone assassin in 2003 while eating out with a model in the Netherlands. He was 31.

The third and final owner was Konstantin Dishliev, a real-estate-agent-by-day and a drug-lord-by-night, who secretly ran a massive cocaine trafficking ring. In 2005, after police intercepted $200-million of the white stuff on its way in from Columbia, Mr. Dishliev was assassinated outside a restaurant in Bulgaria’s capital city.

After being temporarily suspended during the investigation into Mr. Dishliev’s death, the number is said to have been de-activated for good. Now anyone who calls is greeted with a recorded message saying the phone is “outside network coverage.”

So are the deaths merely coincidence or proof of a cell phone curse?

Whatever the case, MobilTel could stand to profit off the number by selling it to someone in China, where the number eight is considered lucky. In 2003, a Chinese airline paid 2.33-million yuan (US$280,723) for the phone number 8888-8888.



Thursday, 3 June 2010

Quick preview of 3GPP Release-11 Features and Study items


Release 11 Features

Advanced IP Interconnection of Services

The objective is to specify the technical requirements for carrier grade inter-operator IP Interconnection of Services for the support of Multimedia services provided by IMS and for legacy voice PTSN/PLMN services transported over IP infrastructure (e.g. VoIP). These technical requirements should cover the new interconnect models developed by GSMA (i.e. the IPX interconnect model) and take into account interconnect models between national operators (including transit functionality) and peering based business trunking. Any new requirements identified should not overlap with requirements already defined by other bodies (e.g. GSMA, ETSI TISPAN). Specifically the work will cover:

• Service level aspects for direct IP inter-connection between Operators, service level aspects for national transit IP interconnect and service level aspects for next generation corporate network IP interconnect (peer-to-peer business trunking).
• Service layer aspects for interconnection of voice services (e.g. toll-free, premium rate and emergency calls).
• Service level aspects for IP Interconnection (service control and user plane aspects) between Operators and 3rd party Application Providers.

To ensure that requirements are identified for the Stage 2 & 3 work to identify relevant existing specifications, initiate enhancements and the development of the new specifications as necessary.


Release 11 Studies

Study on IMS based Peer-to-Peer Content Distribution Services

The objectives are to study IMS based content distribution services with the following aspects:

- Identifying the user cases to describe how users, operators and service providers will benefit by using/deploying IMS based content distribution services. such as with the improvement of Peer-to-Peer technology. The following shall be considered:
- Mobile access only (e.g. UTRAN, E-UTRAN, I-WLAN);
- Fixed access only (e.g. xDSL, LAN);- Fixed and mobile convergence scenarios;
- Identifying service aspects where IMS network improvements are needed to cater for content distributed services for above accesses;
- Evaluating possible impacts and improvements on network when IMS based content distribution services are deployed;
- Identifying QoS, mobility, charging and security related requirements in the case of content distribution services on IMS;
- Identifying potential copyright issues;


Study on Non Voice Emergency Services

The Non Voice Emergency Services could support the following examples of non-verbal communications to an emergency services network:

1. Text messages from citizen to emergency services
2. Session based and session-less instant messaging type sessions with emergency services
3. Multi-media (e.g., pictures, video clips) transfer to emergency services either during or after other communications with emergency services.
4. Real-time video session with emergency services

In addition to support the general public, this capability would facilitate emergency communications to emergency services by individuals with special needs (e.g., hearing impaired citizens).

The objectives of this study include the following questions for Non Voice Emergency Services with media other than or in addition to voice:

1. What are the requirements for Non Voice Emergency Services?
2. What are the security, reliability, and priority handling requirements for Non Voice Emergency Services?
3. How is the appropriate recipient emergency services system (e.g., PSAP) determined?
4. Are there any implications due to roaming?
5. Are there any implications to hand-over between access networks
6. Are there any implications due to the subscriber crossing a PSAP boundary during Non Voice Emergency Services communications (e.g., subsequent text messages should go to the same PSAP)?
7. Do multiple communication streams (e.g., voice, text, video emergency services) need to be associated together?
8. What types of “call-back” capabilities are required?9. Investigate the load impact of Non Voice Emergency Services in the case of a large scale emergency event or malicious use.

Non Voice Emergency Services will be applicable to GPRS (GERAN, UTRAN) and to EPS (GERAN, UTRAN, E-UTRAN and non-3GPP).


Study on UICC/USIM enhancements

The intent of this study item is to identify use cases and requirements enabling Mobile Network Operators to distribute new services based on the USIM, to improve the customer experience and ease the portability and customisation of operator-owned and customer-owned settings from one device to another (such as APN and other 3G Notebook settings, graphical user interface, MNO brand, Connection Manager settings,…), and help in reducing operation costs and radio resources usage.


Objectives of this study item are:

-To identify use cases and requirements for new USIM
-based services taking into account the GSMA Smart SIM deliverables;
- To identify use cases and requirements for the USIM used inside terminals with specialised functionalities (e.g. radio modems, 3G Notebook terminals) taking into account the GSMA 3GNBK deliverables;
- To identify use cases and requirements to drive the evolution from the traditional USAT to a multimedia USIM toolkit support, with a particular aim to the Smart Card Web Server;


Study on Alternatives to E.164 for Machine-Type Communications

M2M demand is forecast to grow from 50M connections to over 200M by 2013. A large number of these services are today deployed over circuit-switched GSM architectures and require E.164 MSISDNs although such services do not require "dialable" numbers, and generally do not communicate with each other by human interaction.


Without technical alternative to using public numbering resources as addresses, and considering the current forecasts and pending applications for numbers made to numbering plan administration agencies, there is a significant risk that some national numbering/dialling plans will run out of numbers in the near future, which would impact not only these M2M services but also the GSM/UMTS service providers in general.


The Objective is to determine an alternative to identify individual devices and route messages between those devices. Requirements for this alternative include:

- Effectively identify addressing method to be used for end point devices
- Effectively route messaging between those devices
- Support multiple methods for delivering messages, as defined by 22.368
- Support land-based and wireless connectivity
- Make use of IP-based network architectures
- Addressing/identifiers must support mobility and roaming- support on high speed packet
-switched networks when available and on circuit-switched networks
- Consider if there are security issues associated with any alternatives

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

ZTE shows off its green credentials

ZTE has long been focussing on green(er) network and recycling. They launched their new generation 'green base stations back in 2006. They have also been recently cited for their energy saving technology. They also have a solar powered phone which is unfortunately not available in UK. Their Omni-RAN network can help reduce the OPEX by two thirds. Their focus has not only been on Mobile phones and networks but on the fixed lines as well.

So it was not at all surprising to hear Xiaodong Zhu, CTO of ZTE European marketing in the LTE World Summit talking about the end to end green networks. Green technology is not only helpful to for the 'green credentials' but it can also help reduce Opex which can help recover any additional investments (if any).

More manufacturers will hopefully follow the lead.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

LTE Femtocell Enhancements for Release-9

LTE Release 9 provides further functionality to support more efficiently HeNBs operation and to provide a better user experience. The key functionality added the Radio Access Network for HeNBs in Release 9 are:

• A novel Hybrid Cell concept
• Management of out-of-date CSG info
• Inbound Mobility (including proximity reports)
• Access Control
• Operation, Administration and Maintenance for HeNB
• Operator controlled CSG list
• RF Requirements for TDD and FDD HeNBs

Nomor Research have recently released a paper that covers all these issues and much more. Titled "LTE Home Node Bs and its enhancements in Release 9", its available to download here.