Sunday, 12 February 2012

Discussion on 'Offload' and 'Onload'

An interesting discussion on Twitter about Offload and Onload that is reproduced below. Discussions have been edited for clarity:

@StevenJCrowley: Exhibit 1: In last year's VNI, Cisco estimated that in 2014, 23% of US mobile data would be offloaded. It's close to 50% today.

@dmavrakis: it depends how you define offload. Some of this 50% may be simple WiFi access rather than offload.

@StevenJCrowley: From what I see I'd suggest Wi-Fi (or femto) access is offload if the device is 2,3,4G capable but does not access a macrocell

@dmavrakis: So if I buy a SIM-only handset and not even put a SIM in and use WiFi, it's considered offload?

@StevenJCrowley: Seems to me that's not considered offload because without a SIM it's not a 2,3,4G capable device.

@StevenJCrowley: BTW my old AT&T iPhone 3G won't work as a Wi-Fi-only device without an old inactive SIM still in it. Don't know about iPhone 4.

@disruptivedean: I agree with @dmavrakis . Most smartphone WiFi use if "private WiFi", not offload. Some may even be onload (or "OTT WiFi")

@disruptivedean: Easy way to think of it: anything you'd do on an iPod Touch isn't offload WiFi if you do the same thing on iPhone

@disruptivedean: Other example: if I use WiFi to connect my phone to my printer (or corp WLAN) = traffic never destined for 2G/3G

@simonchapman: app downloads (500MB+ for some games), AirPlay etc are much greater than 2/3/4G use. Where is 50% figure from? 

@SteveLightley: the actual presence of decent connectivity encourages higher capacity activity. Is that offload?

@disruptivedean: I refer to extra use as "elastic". See chart on p18 of my Carrier WiFi paper

@StevenJCrowley: Decent connectivity / more use is offload, as 3G4G w/o Wi-Fi is onload. U.S./FCC/Cisco perspective

@StevenJCrowley: I define "onload" as a 2nd operator capturing traffic via WiFi, eg Vodafone handset + O2 WiFi app

@dmavrakis: Also core network onload via WLAN gateways without local breakout.

@disruptivedean: A thought about "offload". I only "onloaded" to 3G data on my PC in the first place because WiFi wasn't everywhere I needed it. Now it is.

@StevenJCrowley: 50% rough estimate. AT&T said 40% of iPhone traffic on Wi-Fi in early 2010. Its Wi-Fi network data tripled since

@StevenJCrowley: Does not include femto offload. See also "#2" from this blog post

@StevenJCrowley: AT&T recently said macrocell data growth down to 40% a year.

@StevenJCrowley: I like Dean's chart. Offloading important in U.S. from 4G spectrum requirements issue.

@StevenJCrowley: And here spectrum debate is more political than technical, thus broad brushes.

@StevenJCrowley: It's basically, "We need spectrum to stream NetFlix." "No, you're inside and can use Wi-Fi."

@StevenJCrowley: Dean's and Ofcom's analyses are the types of things current FCC should be doing but doesn't

@disruptivedean: The whole spectrum reqts issue likely to take a hit as data growth << expected on many networks. S-curve not exponential

@disruptivedean: To be fair, Cisco is between a rock & a hard place with VNI. Scared people into making sure it didn't come true. Self-denying

@Gabeuk: To everyone discussing offload on my Twitter today, the premise seems wrong... connectivity & access is the start point. Will elaborate l8er

@SteveLightley: I struggle to understand how if it would never have happened how it can be classed as offloaded

@SteveLightley: a VoIP call on an ott or mno app IS offload but Netflix in Starbucks over wifi is not

@SteveLightley: looking forward to gabe's view on access etc when he gets here! 

@TMFAssociates: AT&T seems to have changed its tune over the last year as well

@StevenJCrowley: AT&T will spin it. "If only we had more spectrum we could have sent more data." Etc.

@dmavrakis: Arguably spectrum is the MNO's most valuable possession. Isn't it natural that they want more?

@StevenJCrowley: More spectrum than needed is an idle asset that costs the company money.

@TMFAssociates: But if you corner the market then you can foreclose the possibility of competition

@dmavrakis: I agree conditionally. Twitter is again not the best medium for this discussion

Couple of interesting posts related to the above:

What is your opinion?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Evolution towards ALL-IP Single RAN (SRAN)

Presented by Matthias Sauder and Dr. Volker Sebastian, VodafoneD2 GmbH in the 2nd FOKUS FUSECO Forum 2011, Berlin 17-18 Nov. 2011

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Adding new dimensions to the future phones - Smell

I am going to be involved in two events in the coming months to discuss about Evolution of Devices in the future. The first of them is the LTE World Summit that I have been going to for years and have recommended to lots of clients, colleagues and friends. In there I will be discussing about 'The Future Device' in the Breakfast briefing. In June I am chairing a session on 'Where Next For Devices' in The Future of Wireless International Conference. As a result I would be discussing some ideas on the blog with the intention of getting some valuable feedback and comments.

Smell has been associated with the mobile devices for a long time. There are two concepts floating around. The first is a phone that can smell the environment for certain odour or harmful gases and depending on what it smells, alerts the user or some authority. An example of this are the phones being developed by US Department of Homeland Security to smell poisonous gases. Another example is the e-nose concept developed by Imec, Belgium. There are other concepts being developed around m-health to help people with Asthma.

The second of these concepts are the devices that can emit smell. The simplest form of this would be like the Sony phones that emit fragrance for a few months and then a new sheet can be inserted for them to keep emitting a fragrance. A while back it was reported that Samsung has filed a patent for something similar.

Nokia had shown years back the 'Scentsory Concept' mobile that can transmit smell based on the environment to the other party who can get the feeling of where the other person is. Since then they have shown other concepts but I dont recall seeing much on smell. The 'HumanForm' concept I blogged about last year showed that we would be able to feel the environment but it was surprisingly quiet about smell part.

There is an interesting TEDx video in which Jenny Tillotson, who would be presenting her latest research in the Future Wireless conference mentioned abaove, is explaining some of these concepts on transmitting smell electronically. Video embedded below:

I would be very interested in hearing more on this topic from the readers.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The intelligent pipe and next-generation billing

Presented by Marc Price, VP of Technology, CTO Americas in the LTE North America 2011 conference

See also the earlier posts on Policy and Charging here and here.

Monday, 30 January 2012

More on Policy and Charging in LTE

Continuing on the Policy and Charging in LTE from the previous post here.

Presented by Erik P. Neitzel, DMTS, Technology Development Group, U.S. Cellular in the LTE North America 2011 conference

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Standardisation on M2M at ETSI M2M platform

Presented by Marylin Arndt, ETSI TC M2M Vice-Chairman in the 2nd FOKUS FUSECO Forum 2011, Berlin 17-18 Nov. 2011

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Diameter Infrastructure Required for LTE (Data) Roaming

Diameter protocol seems interesting especially since we are moving to All IP Networks. This old post gives a comparison of SS7 and Diamater protocol.

You can learn more about Diameter at the Diameter Learning Center.