Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Mobile Broadband: The Future Vision Document 2

Vision Paper incorporating comments and opinion from the online discusions on #MBBFuture

Available to download from slideshare here.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Small Cells Market Forecast - Feb 2012

• Informa Telecoms & Media expects the small market to experience significant growth over the next few years, reaching just under 60 million femtocell access points in the market by 2015. The following chart illustrates Informa’s forecasts (February 2012) for femtocell access point shipments.

• Mobile Experts published a new forecast claiming that 70 million small cells will be shipped by 2017, including femtocells deployed by mobile operators and picocells used for high-capacity urban networks. LTE small cells are a major part of the forecasted growth over the next five years, with more than 2/3 of small cells deployed in 2017 devoted to LTE-FDD or TD-LTE (Mobile Experts, February 2012).
• In-Stat predicts that due to skyrocketing demand for mobile data services the sale of small cell devices will hit $14 billion in retail value by 2015. These devices will include femtocells, picocells and microcells in areas where “macrocells would be overkill”. (In-Stat, January 2012)
• Mobile Experts published a report on small cell backhaul, claiming that more than 1.8 million small cell wireless backhaul unit shipments during 2016. (Mobile Experts – October 2011)
• IDate estimates that worldwide femtocell access point market will reach a cumulative total of 39.4 million deployed units by 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71% between 2011 and 2015. (IDate – September 2011)
• Infonetics anticipates that femtocells will gain mass-scale traction in 2012, at which point the year-over-year unit growth rate will jump to over 100%, and will stay at tripledigit levels in 2013. (Infonetics – September 2011)
• ABI Research estimates that Enterprise femtocells are to make up 36% of shipments by 2016 which relates to 50% of security gateway revenues (ABI Research – August 2011)
• Infonetics estimates that total global revenue from femtocells used in consumer, enterprise, rural and public spaces grew 45% during the past 4 quarters. (Infonetics – June 2011).
• Visiongain expects femtocell revenues will reach US $27 Billion in 2016 and that femtocells have entered into the growth stage of their lifecycle during 2011 (Visiongain – May 2011).
• Juniper Research predicts that Wi-Fi and femtocell networks will play a significant role in easing data traffic by carrying 63 percent of data traffic, or almost 9,000 petabytes by 2015 (Juniper Research – April 2011).
• Infonetics Research predicts that rapid acceleration in the market will happen during 2012, when femtocell shipments should exceed 5 million worldwide, driven by a diversification from the consumer and enterprise segments to rural and public spaces. (Infonetics Research – March 2011).
• Cisco expects that by 2015, over 800 million terabytes of mobile data traffic will be offloaded to the fixed network by means of dual-mode devices and femtocells. Without dual-mode and femtocell offload of smartphone and tablet traffic, total mobile data traffic would reach 7.1 exabytes per month in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 95 percent. (Cisco – February 2011)

Source: Small Cells Market Status from Small Cell Forum.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Voice over HSPA (VoHSPA) and CS over HSPA (CSoHS)

4G Americas has recently released a whitepaper entitled, "Delivering voice over HSPA". This paper describes the technological features that are being developed to make Voice over HSPA (VoHSPA) a reality. It describes the two potential options for VoHSPA. The first option leverages IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology developed in conjunction with Long Term Evolution (LTE), and is referred to as IMS Voice over HSPA or simply IMS Voice. The other option delivers voice by modifying existing circuit-switch based techniques so that those communications can be transmitted over an HSPA infrastructure, and is referred to as CS Voice over HSPA (CSoHS). Both the options are shown in the picture above. Note that there is no discussion about Over the top (OTT) type voice services like Skype, etc. 

The chief among benefits anticipated from VoHSPA are increases in the spectral efficiency of mobile networks. With these new techniques, voice calls can be delivered more efficiently from a spectral standpoint over Packet Switched (PS) rather than Circuit Switched (CS) networks freeing up radio resources for additional data traffic.

The 4G Americas report defines work completed by the GSMA for a minimum mandatory set of features defined in existing 3GPP Release 8 specifications (IR 58: IMS Profile for VoHSPA) that should be implemented in order to insure an interoperable, high quality, IMS-based telephony service over an HSPA radio access layer. In the white paper, 4G Americas recommends additional features, above the minimum mandatory features in IR 58, for VoHSPA either under an IMS or a CS approach, in order to minimize packet losses and variations in packet arrival times that can impair the quality of voice communications.

The whitepaper is available to download from here.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

RAN priorities during beyond Release 11 - Video from 3GPP

RAN priorities during beyond Release 11 from 3GPPlive on Vimeo.
An interview with Takehiro Nakamura, 3GPP RAN Chairman, filmed December 2011.

-RAN priorities during early Release 11 work
-Workshop on Rel-12 and beyond, to Identify key requirements
-How does LTE-Advanced change things ?

Related links:

Friday, 24 February 2012

'Mapped Security' Concept in LTE

When a UE registers on a network in 2G/3G or LTE, it has to perform Authentication. The Authentication Vectors are located in the USIM for the device and in Authentication Center (AuC) in the network. Once the Authentication is performed successfully, then the Keys for Ciphering and Integrity are derived and used during the call.

As I showed in my earlier post here, It is possible that the same AuC is used for 2G/3G and LTE networks. In this case if the UE has recently performed Authentication in one network then unless the keys are old, there is no need to perform the Authentication again in the other radio access technology (RAT). The Security keys (Ciphering and Integrity key) would be derived based on the keys in the previous RAT. 3GPP TS 33.102 and 3GPP TS 33.401 gives the details on how to derive the key from the previous RAT while in the new RAT using this mapped security concept.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

High level view on how SMS works in LTE

The following is from E\\\ whitepaper available here:

In 2010, 6.9 trillion text messages were sent globally and this figure is expected to break the eight trillion mark in 2011. This represents USD 127 billion in revenue for operators. LTE provides the same basic SMS features, such as concatenated SMS, delivery notification and configuration. However, the SMS delivery mechanism is somewhat different. A VoLTE device can send and receive text messages encapsulated within a SIP message. To receive a text message, the encapsulation process is invoked by an IP short-message-gateway in the IMS domain, and the gateway converts traditional Signaling System Number 7 (SS7) Mobile Application Part (MAP) signaling to IP/SIP.

To ensure that text messages are routed via the gateway, the home location register (HLR) of the recipient needs an additional function to return a routable gateway address back to the SMS-C on receipt of an SMS-routing request.

When a VoLTE device sends a text message, it should perform the encapsulation. The gateway extracts the text message inside a SIP MESSAGE signal before passing it on to the SMS-C.

However, if the VoLTE device is configured to not invoke SMS over IP networks, text messages can be sent and received over LTE without the need for any SIP encapsulation. A received text message will reach the mobile switching center server (MSC-S) of the mobile softswitch system in the same way as it does today. The MSC-S will page the device via the SGs interface with the Mobile Management Entity (MME) of the EPC system. Once a paging response is received, the MSC-S will pass the SMS on to the MME, which in turn tunnels it onto the device. Due to the support for SMS delivery and IP connectivity provided by LTE/EPC, MMS works seamlessly.

For more technically minded people, there is a whitepaper that covers SMS in detail available here.