From the monthly archives: "September 2012"

 It’s been a hectic week, juggling a few different projects and situations. Most importantly, I’m working on a test of the iPhone 5 for a customer, so we’re having to meter what is put here with what they need to know. Updating them shortly.

Later, we will fill you in on an issue with the iPhone 5 CDMA (A1429) and LTE. This will help understand why some of you rant and rave about the slow LTE data speed and why some of you rant and rave about how fast LTE is. There’s a pretty simple reason but let us confirm with a few tests and will fill you in about that later…

Stay tuned!

 So there were tons of rumors swirling around the blogosphere and the actual media regarding the iPhone 5. Turns out, once again, the leaks from the 3rd party manufacturing companies revealed most of the hardware story correctly. On a side note, does anyone else find it weird that the leaks from Apple’s manufacturing chain make it to the press and others, say, Samsung who fancies themselves as an Apple does not get the benefits of this type of leaking? I also noticed that Sammy has hired some agencies to make/post unflattering comments…(searches show patterns) it’s so very childish…anyway…wait one more thing, I wonder if you could outsource/crowdsource negative blog posts to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk?  ok…

Here are my observations on the iPhone 5 LTE related design features.

 First: LTE inclusion in iPhone 5. 

Firstly, yes, it’s LTE enabled!

To me, the vast majority of ‘typical consumers’ will now begin to use LTE thanks to Apple’s marketshare and their inclusion of LTE in an easy to use package. 

As I mentioned previously, I do believe FaceTime video conferencing, as an application, will drive utilization of LTE bandwidth but it’s really only part of a bigger package of capabilities the iPhone brings to the market. And yes, not biased, Android will soon have all of these capabilities too.


I was looking at the iPhone 5 LTE availability and saw (from Apple’s site):

Model Number2

LTE Band Support3


Supported LTE Networks

Model A1428
(GSM model)


17 (700b MHz)

United StatesAT&TCanada

  • Bell (including Virgin)
  • Rogers (including Fido)
  • Telus (including Koodo)

Model A1429
(CDMA model)

(2100 MHz)

(1800 MHz)

(850 MHz)

13 (700c MHz)

25 (1900 MHz)

United States

  • Sprint
  • Verizon


Model A1429
(GSM model)

(2100 MHz)

(1800 MHz)

(850 MHz)

GermanyDeutsche TelekomUnited KingdomEverything Everywhere

  • Orange
  • T-Mobile


  • Optus (including Virgin)
  • Telstra


  • SK Telecom
  • KT

Hong KongSmarToneSingapore

  • M1
  • SingTel
  1. Data roaming depends on supported bands and carrier policies. LTE roaming may not be available. Contact your carrier for more details.
  2. To identify your iPhone 5 model number, see Unlocked iPhone 5 models may support LTE networks outside the country of purchase when using a valid SIM from a supported carrier. Contact your carrier for more details.
  3. LTE band support is based on the iPhone 5 model number and configuration for either CDMA or GSM networks. Band support does not guarantee support on all LTE networks running on the same bands.

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. Click here to see complete list.

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Reverb  Networks just issued a press release (see below) that they were awarded US patent 8,229,363 for detecting interference via SON. The way I read it was the UE submits everything seen during scanning and the sites already in the neighbor list are removed and therefore the reminder are interferers. The overview in the patent text is:

An embodiment of the invention is directed to method for detecting interference in cell sites of a wireless communications network, … receiving signal code power measurements from the mobile devices in the cell site; and determining sources of signals being transmitted to the mobile devices in the cell site based on the signal code power measurements. In addition, the method includes generating a list of sources providing signals to the mobile devices in the cell site and then removing sources included in an active set for each mobile device thereby creating a list of interfering sources. The interfering sources are, for example, sources not assigned to provide wireless communication services to a mobile device in the cell site, but whose source signal is still being received by the mobile device.

Let’s ignore Automatic Neighbor Relations (ANR) or even Neighbor List Tuning (NLT) seen in CDMA networks for the moment. Patent 8,229,363 is going to be helpful to Reverb if they can keep it. This technique seems like it would be beneficial for all, hope they license it FRAND [Fair and Non Discriminatory] style. 

This won’t win me friends but…these guys deserve a gold star for getting this patent. I have looked at probably over a hundred LTE patents for curiosity’s sake and the industry is very lucky I am not consulted by the USPTO before granting patents. On the other hand, I haven’t looked at other similar patents, maybe they did this defensively?

Patent is here.

Reverb PR:

Reverb Networks Awarded Patent for SON-based Interference Detection

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Advanced Techniques Used in Automated SON Solutions

Sterling, Virginia – Reverb Networks, a leading developer of intelligent Self-Optimizing Network solutions designed to provide mobile network operators with improved operational and spectral efficiencies, announced today that it has received a patent award from the US Patent and Trademark Office for automated interference detection techniques using measurements from mobile devices, a key component of SON-based network optimization for UMTS and LTE wireless networks.

Reverb’s interference detection patent, USPTO number 8,229,363, follows the Minimization of Drive Test (MDT) principle identified in emerging 3GPP technical specifications.  Interference sources are typically identified in mobile networks by using test mobiles and receivers in an orchestrated drive test setting, a process that is both time consuming and labor intensive.  Motivated by the MDT principles of automating data collection from OSS and standard device-based measurements, Reverb’s intellectual property outlines a method of identifying and ranking interference sources.  These techniques are incorporated in the Interference Reduction feature of Reverb’s InteliSON®, a fully automated, closed-loop SON solution.

“The interference detection patent award bolsters Reverb’s IPR portfolio in SON technology,” said Magnus Friberg, CEO. “This award, combined with our other issued and pending patents, demonstrates Reverb’s unique technology for automating network optimization with our InteliSON platform.  We will continue to drive innovation in SON technology as we further deploy our leading edge solutions in 3G and 4G networks worldwide.”


I’ll give you one guess why LTE usage in the US is about to explode? Say it together… ready… 

Yep, iPhone 5. If the rumors are true and they follow the precedent of implementing LTE in iPad, then it’s reasonable to assume that iPhone5 is going sport LTE. Now, per our previous discussions, the design choices will guide how many markets a single SKU can support (hopefully they chose wisely) but I am going to be optimistic and think it would support 700, 800, 950, 1800, 1900 and 2100 handily. The next challenge would be global roaming but let’s hash that out later. 

From a utilization perspective, if 50% of the iPhone users are in urbanized areas where LTE is deployed, it’s safe to assume that most of these will be using LTE instead of HSPA+/EVDO. The data model shows that iPhone users are averaging around 1GB per month currently so I would expect that to nearly double quickly given the new capabilities of the LTE channel.

Here is our previous discussion regarding how the iPad parts were chosen BTW.

Next, prediction, at the application level, video chatting may finally get BIG thanks to Apple’s Face Time.   They have done a good job of making video conferencing simple to the point I think people are likely to begin using this en masse’ soon. Ohhh yeah, Contrary to the doom and gloom types, Face Time over LTE will not crash the network. It’s really a small bandwidth service as compared to high definition streaming (gaining popularity) or downloading those huge work PPTs and PDFs. (uh huh) Factor in the general mobility and individual sectors won’t stay loaded…more likely people will go indoors anyway and end up on WiFi…but even when out and about, Face Time WILL NOT CRASH LTE NETWORKS. 

Simple example:

1 sector capacity= 70Mbps (10MHz 2×2 MIMO such as Verizon or ATT) … Toss out 50% for no SON, poor optimization etc… = 36Mbps…

1 FaceTime user bandwidth 175Kbps (peak) x2 (Uplink and downlink) = 350Kbps (numbers from fairly popular mouths range from 392Kbps to 150Kbps)

(See this interesting link on Face Time bandwidth and this one too… )

36Mbps/350Kbs = 102 simultaneous (instantaneous), non throttled, FaceTime users PER SECTOR. A typical site usually has 3 sectors, sometimes 4 or 6…

So if you are a tech blogger and go to a major conference or iUnveiling on campus, and there are more than 102 smokers outside since you are likely to be on WiFi inside, you may find yourself competing for bandwidth but the hogs are more likely to be YouTube streaming (have seen 3Mbps!) and not necessarily just FaceTiming…





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