Friday, 3 January 2014

2014 Mobile Internet Prediction Survey

Interesting presentation by Chetan Sharma listing what we can expect in 2014. Slide 9 as shown in the picture above highlights the breakthrough categories. Good to see that LTE-B ('B' for broadcast) has not made it into this list. My guess is that connected cars and wearable computing will be in the news constantly throughout the year.

The complete presentation as follows:

Friday, 13 December 2013

Advancements in Congestion control technology for M2M

NTT Docomo recently published a new article (embedded below) on congestion control approaches for M2M. In their own words:

Since 3GPP Release 10 (Rel. 10) in 2010, there has been active study of technical specifications to develop M2M communications further, and NTT DOCOMO has been contributing proactively to creating these technical specifications. In this article, we describe two of the most significant functions standardized between 3GPP Rel. 10 and Rel. 11: the M2M Core network communications infrastructure, which enables M2M service operators to introduce solutions more easily, and congestion handling technologies, which improve reliability on networks accommodating a large number of terminals.

Complete article as follows:

Other related posts:

Monday, 9 December 2013

Rise of the "Thing"

Light Reading carried an interesting cartoon on how M2M works. I wouldnt be surprised if some of the M2M applications at present do work like this. Jokes apart, last week the UK operator EE did a very interesting presentation on Scaling the network for the Rise of the Thing.

A question often asked is "What is the difference between the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) and 'Machine to Machine' (M2M)?". This can generate big discussions and can be a lecture on its own. Quora has a discussion on the same topic here. The picture above from the EE presentation is a good way of showing that M2M is a subset of IoT. 

Its also interesting to note how these 'things' will affect the signalling. I often come across people who tell me that since most M2M devices just use small amounts of data transfer, why is there a need to move from GPRS to LTE. The 2G and 3G networks were designed primarily for Voice with Data secondary function. These networks may work well now but what happens when the predicted 50 Billion connected devices are here by 2020 (or 500 Billion by 2030). The current networks would drown in the control signalling that would often result in congested networks. Congestion control is just one of the things 3GPP is working on for M2M type devices as blogged earlier here. In fact the Qualcomm presentation blogged about before does a decent job of comparing various technologies for IoT, see here.

The EE presentation is embedded as follows:

Another good example website I was recently made aware of is - worth checking how IoT would help us in the future.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Quick summary on LTE and UMTS / HSPA Release-12 evolution by 3GPP

A quick summary from 3GPP about the Release-12 progress (Jun. 2014 release planned) from the recent ETSI Future Mobile Summit. Presentation and video embedded below

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

ETSI Summit on Future Mobile and Standards for 5G

Edited from the original in 3GPP News:

The ETSI Future Mobile Summit has heard how the mobile internet will evolve over the next ten to fifteen years, and how 3GPP systems will ensure future stability as the network copes with an explosive growth in complexity and usage.

With 3GPP providing the evolutionary framework for mobility, via its Releases of new functionality and features, the more radical thinking, at the Summit, came in the form of Research projects and some future focused industry initiatives, such as the WWRF, the METIS Project and the DVB Project.

In his keynote address, Mario Campolargo - of the European Commission - introduced a new initiative on research & innovation that will provide momentum to funded work on research. The 5G Public Private Partnership is being launched as a blueprint for the deployment of 5G, in the years after 2020. 

In summing up the Summit’s main themes, the ETSI CTO, Adrian Scrase identified some certainties; “...traffic will continue to increase, connected devices will increase dramatically over time, new device types will significantly contribute to that increase (e.g., probes, sensors, meters, machines etc) and new sectors will bring new priorities (e.g, critical infrastructures).”

On the concept of 5G, Mr. Scrase reported that ultra-reliable 5G networks should, among other things, enable the tactile internet, the perception of infinite capacity and bring in augmented reality.

Download the presentations:
5G, the way forward!
Mario Campolargo, Director, Net Futures, DG Connect, European Commission
A new initiative 5GPPP, to accelerate and structure research & innovation."...Industry to co-create the "vision" and build global convergence by end 2015.
Who needs 5G?
Hans D. Schotten, University of Kaiserslautern
Long Term Evolution of LTE (linear evolution) or Something new (5G)?
Why 5G?
Rahim Tafazolli, Director of CCSR and 5GIC, The university of Surrey
Perceived infinite capacity, a new communication paradigm for 5G and Beyond
The 5G mobile and wireless communications system 
Afif Osseiran, Project Coordinator of METIS
Explanation of 5G scenarios (selected) and examples of 5G technology components
Next generation wireless for a cognitive & energy-efficient future
Nigel Jefferies, Wireless World Research Forum Chairman
"New technology challenges: huge number of nodes, latency , energy efficiency, backhaul and over the air signaling design...May require a whole new approach to: physical layer, air interface and spectrum usage, resources management & optimization..."
 3GPP RAN has started a new innovation cycle which will be shaping next generation cellular systems
Spectrum for 5G, a big deal?
Jens Zander, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology  
 A World Divided - The coverage world versus the capacity world
Opportunities for TV services over future mobile networks
Nick Wells, Chairman Technical Module, DVB
 Can broadcasters and mobile industry cooperate to define a new worldwide standard that will benefit both broadcasters and mobile industry?
3GPP core network & services evolution
Atle Monrad, 3GPP CT Chairman
Architecture evolution, More new nodes, CS-domain removal?, new ways of design of networks?
The impact of NFV on future mobile
Uwe Janssen, Deutsche Telekom, lead delegate to Network Functions Virtualisation ISG
 The challenge for Operators, Suppliers and Standards Bodies
The tactile internet - Driving 5G
Gerhard Fettweis, Technical University of Dresden
 3D Chip-Stacks & High-Rate Inter-Chip Communications, Monitoring / Sensing, Tactile internet - Latency Goals
Summit conclusions
Adrian Scrase, ETSI CTO, Head of 3GPP MCC
 Includes the 'Standardization Challenges' raised by the Summit.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Bandwidth is not the answer – it’s stationarity

Martin Geddes did an interesting presentation in Future of Broadband workshop. The ITU has the following write-up on that workshop

Eye-opening, evangelical and extremely well attended: this afternoon’s Future of Broadband workshop was all about exploding established concepts on how telcos should go about improving both customer experience and their bottom line.
Ranking broadband in terms of speed is the standard approach, but speed is not the only thing that matters in this business, according to Martin Geddes of Geddes Consulting, running the workshop in conjunction with Neill Davies of Predictable Network Solutions.  He illustrated his point with a series of examples drawn from customers accessing broadband at different speeds – but with unexpectedly different experiences.
Slower broadband, whether over cable, satellite or fibre, in many cases offered a better quality of customer experience than the faster variant. Why? Variability, or rather lack of variability, is the key. A stable service, even it is slower, enables POTS-quality VoiP, whereas a highly-variable, faster service delivers a less satisfactory customer experience – and, by definition, an unhappier customer.
“The hidden secret of networking is that the network delivers loss and delay between packets,” said Geddes, “There is more to broadband than speed or capacity: with many customers wanting lots of different things at once, we also need an absence of variability, and that is what we call stationarity.”
Looked at from the network operator side, there are two key areas to consider: what is driving the cost of broadband and pushing capex sky high, and how to retain and increase your customer base to bring in the revenue. The answers, it seems, are not immediately obvious.
To start with, the knee-jerk telco reaction of pouring capex into infrastructure upgrades and increased capacity is simply not the way to ensure good quality of service and happy customers.  Demand for broadband is highly elastic, expanding to consume whatever supply is on offer and creating a “jack-hammer effect” – which produces variability. Paradoxically, increased investment in bandwidth may be behind that very poor service which leads to customer churn and the panicked assumption that another upgrade is necessary – an “investment cycle of doom.”
This is a deep systemic problem in the industry investment machine. Rushing to premature upgrades masks the real core issue, that of quality of service.  The presenters demonstrated this in heaven-hell model, where full network capacity and happy customers is telco heaven – and the converse, unhappy customers and underused network, is of course telco hell.  Getting the balance is not easy, as increasing local networks pushes down the quality of experience for applications with strong stationarity requirements – exactly what the customer is after.
For Martin, there is a tiny root cause of this: all current packet-based infrastructure relies on it being idle and keeping queues empty to ensure good quality. So your assets must stay idle to keep your customer. The solution lies in thinking about how to reframe both this problem, and the exact nature of the resource the operators are selling.
“Don’t make packets move for their own sake, but focus on customer experience. Change the resource model,” urged Martin. “Throw away the bandwidth model and thought process.” Efficiently allocating resources to customers is more important than bandwidth. Increase capacity, but only in a very targeted way.  In other words, meet heterogeneous  demand with a differentiated product.
This, then, is how to ensure a future of broadband heaven: understand that quality of experience is a function of loss and delay. Characterize your supply requirements properly. Work out what customers are after, certifying fitness of purpose for a particular, actual customer demand rather than a generalised one-size-fits-all concept. And, in the words of the workshop presenters: “Don’t sell bandwidth – sell differential experiences.”

His presentation is embedded as follows:

Thursday, 21 November 2013