Currently viewing the tag: "3GPP"

Dishint Been a while… I’ve been collaborating and innovating but I thought I would register my approval of a Dish + Sprint + Clear tie up. Firstly let me say I don’t think Softbank would be willing to let the opportunity slip away so low ($25.5B US) but I like the idea of an all wireless triple play. Yes, after a decade of talking about ‘Triple Play” it could finally happen. 

Some reasons that I like the idea of this combination:

  • Pricing for TV and mobile telephony in the US is high and not falling due to relative mon/du opolies of dominant incumbents
  • Dish and Sprint have both looked to use spectrum in alternative ways- seems like they could finally put something new out when together.
  • Sprint’s extreme risk averse culture sure could use a shake up, overall, it is really is slow to make decisions.
  • A triple play offer that’s true- not a reseller play, could offer some interesting future technology through integration
  • Both subscriber bases could grow marginally
  • Synergistic (did I just say that?) spectrum for LTE Advanced!
  • Saves a combined company CAPEX by not having Dish rush to build a nationwide LTE network (good for subs, but takes a very long time, so small likelihood of success)

They both also have ‘oddball’ spectrum, 2.6/2.3GHz [TDD]/800MHz [FDD] @ Sprint plus the 2200MHZ [FDD] @ Dish and could be merged into a very fast LTE-Advanced spectrum with some changes @ 3GPP…Heck even Verizon doesn’t have that much spectrum that close together to put up initially, although they have lower bands which have better RF propagation characteristics than the 2.2GHz.

Interestingly, Dish has set top boxes in homes and Sprint has femtocells deployed, so there is CPE in millions of homes. A combined devices makes a lot of sense but has been difficult to pull off between competitive issues etc…

Here is Dish’s site about the merger

Overall I think this could be a win for the US subscribers!

we win

 

Reuters Story:

Dish tries to trump SoftBank with $25.5 billion Sprint offer

From the Dish site:

Offer Letter

On behalf of DISH Network Corporation (“DISH”), I am submitting this proposal for a merger between DISH and Sprint Nextel Corporation (“Sprint”). Our proposal provides Sprint shareholders with a superior alternative to the pending Sprint/SoftBank transaction. It provides a superior cash proposal and affords your shareholders the opportunity to participate in a combined DISH/Sprint, which will benefit from substantial synergies and a significantly-enhanced strategic position.

don_t_cry_Stunning_photographs_of_animals_in_the_womb-s390x320-80891-475 Have been hopping around the various LTE and SON related standards bodies and thought I would take a shot at organizing all of the links into a central location so that I don’t have to save them in my browser anymore.  The bookmarks are so out of control I’m embarrassed so I’m outsourcing. Anyway, I don’t recall a similar list anywhere so that was another justification.

I will continue to refine. Got some ideas about how to make more usable but that will have to wait for a rainy day…

See the menu above labeled Standards Bodies to see what I mean.

 

Ahead of the signaling show (who knew?) that starts tomorrow … I have been noticing a flood of information including various press releases about LTE roaming. I don’t have much that I can say publicly other than what I can observe in the public domain. So I wanted to point out some recent examples.

As you may or may not know, there’s some real challenges to LTE roaming around the radio interface, such as the ability of a device to operate everywhere based on radio bands supported, other than that, nearly all other big issues are primarily in the business domain if you exclude VoLTE for the moment.  I thought it would be interesting to have a look at some of the public info out there regarding LTE roaming.

Firstly, why LTE roaming? Simple, there are LTE subs nearly everywhere now. Chart above shows something like 100M now. Unlike 3G with the different flavors, this is interesting because multiple (or greater number of) networks could potentially host foreign subs in a given location and since the subs are substantially on a single standard, a greater number to deal with.

As you can probably guess, there are 3 domains the situation exists in. Firstly is from the network standards point of view. 3GPP and others have been working on filling in the gaps to help the situation. Release 9 and 10 fix some roaming holes in the standard (actually just standardized the fixes) and go a long way. Beow Sybase has a network diagram for your viewing pleasure. You may recognize that Diameter is a key protocol between the networks and it’s relatively new into the marketplace. Verizon and others are still discovering the ins and outs of using it. 

Next up is the obligatory network diagram that shows at a glance the network topology of the roaming signaling situation.

The second domain is the network OEM perspective. There are several players in this space like Sybase, Diametriq, and Syniverse to name a few. They offer products to assist with the roaming infrastructure and or provide hosting services to enable it. 

For example, here is an interesting slide deck describing a Diameter Signaling Controller from Diametriq. Notice the comments about operator challenges and the complexity just within the diameter protocol universe.


And Syniverse announces hosted Diameter services…

Syniverse Solutions Ready SmarTone for LTE Interoperability 

Here is Syniverse’s deck that’s fairly interesting titled, Preparing for LTE Roaming

Outside of that there is 3G roaming that already has lots of glue in place. It gets complicated when considering that LTE networks can communicate much easier over the wire to each other, however using a completely different protocol set and network topology than what is in place, yet the 3G fallback is highly desirable (Voice or edge data coverage.

Some service providers like Global Telecom have taken the initiative to be a first mover in this area. 

Globe beats rival telcos with LTE roaming function

Ultimately having some service providers go first will help to accelerate the LTE roaming marketplace in general.

The final domain of LTE roaming challenge belongs to the UE. The recently launched iPhone5 and iPads do have LTE, which will increase demand based on their historical popularity, however these devices are based on Qualcomm RTR8600 technology limitations that do not facilitate a single chipset for all bands, therefore there are different models that can use different sets of spectrum. Sysbase’s William Dudley recently posted about the iPhone5 and roaming in:

iPhone 5: A Catalyst for LTE Roaming?

Smith Micro Software is offering something in this space, a mobile based solution that focuses the smartphone on using WiFi to offload and presumably avoid roaming over LTE.

To me, until there is a simple solution that allows a single device to utilize all LTE bands being deployed this is the biggest hurdle for LTE roaming to become widespread. However, when it finally does happen, the commercial possibilities are exciting as the increased competition will improve choice and pricing globally thus fueling more adoption perhaps in the Machine to Machine (M2M) space where we will be able to have all of our cars, homes and non phone type gadgets LTE enabled.
Just an observation.

Full Syniverse PR below…

Read Full Article →

This was updated with a lot of media at the bottom for your viewing pleasure… 

The other day Anritsu announced that Samsung had demonstrated eMBMS with Anritsu’s Rapid Test Designer (RTD) and MD8430A to simulate the LTE network environment. Soon after, ISO MPEG and ITU-T VCEG announced they have been working towards High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) , a standard that looks like it will be known as h.265 and offers approximately 40% better compression (smaller file sizes or stream bit rates) than MPEG4 which is state of the art today.

 

 

So looking backwards at 3G, Qualcomm introduced Gold Multicast (ignoring Platinum since it was not widely adopted and utilized Out Of Band [OOB] transmissions using OFDM) and this enabled up to 3 of 128Kbps Broadcast media channels in the 1.25MHz channel where as the 3GPP had defined in WCDMA up to 6 128Kbps MBMS channels in 5MHz.

Today, 3GPP Release 9 eMBMS enables 20 256Kbps broadcast channels in 5MHz. The only additions required to the network are an Multicast Control Element (MCE), and of course control over the gateways (PGW/SGW) to distribute media…this could be a dedicated PGW/SGW too.

Network Diagram Showing eMBMS

New Channels for eMBMS in LTE Release 9

eMBMS in LTE allows non-exclusive and overlapping of the 256 Multimedia Broadcast Single Frequency Network (MBSFN) areas. This means broadcast can be localized to a very small area or as large as the entire network. Also note, the deployment may be on existing or dedicated carriers.

The serendipitous part of this is with the h.265 algorithm allowing a 40% overall reduction in bandwidth, there are stronger reasons to deploy LTE. The efficiency gain by reducing the unicasts of information and broadcasting (one to many) is a significant benefit to network operators while the end users can receive new services such as broadcast media/TV services over existing LTE infrastructure. For example, it becomes possible to stream HD 720P content, up to 5 channels worth in 5MHz. This combined capability becomes a viable new way to deliver information. Heck, network operators could silently reduce network loading too by offloading popular content like YouTube or things like push to talk groups or conference calls to eMBMS channels…Interesting!

Links: Anritsu, PR Newswire, h265.net, Rohde & Schwarz

Evolved MBMS – broadcast and multicast in LTE

Rohde & Schwarz LTE webinar on August 25, 2011

Download (PDF, 42KB)

Tektronics Press Release Below:

Samsung Demonstrates Broadcast Services Over LTE Using Anritsu’s Rapid Test Designer (RTD) and MD8430A

RICHARDSON, Texas, Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, has successfully demonstrated clear reception capabilities of LTE Broadcast services using evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) technology using Anritsu’s (www.anritsu.com) Rapid Test Designer (RTD) and MD8430A to simulate the LTE network environment.

eMBMS technology allows the LTE network infrastructure to be used for the delivery of broadcast services, such as TV. It enables carriers to adjust coverage and capacity as needed, allowing for more efficient use of network resources. Samsung Electronics and Anritsu (two long-time leaders in new mobile technologies) have collaborated to bring this new technology to market.

Anritsu’s RTD delivers a rich set of test features using its fast and flexible flowcharting user interface. The Samsung engineers were able to create the eMBMS demonstration using RTD’s graphical script design to drive the execution of the test simulation on an Anritsu MD8430A LTE signaling tester.

“Anritsu is delighted that Samsung, the world’s largest cell phone maker, has selected the technology-leading capabilities of the RTD and MD8430A to verify the implementation of eMBMS capability in its devices,” stated Kenji Tanaka, Executive Vice President at Anritsu. “Samsung’s demonstration shows how Anritsu’s RTD helps LTE device makers prove their leading-edge technology in an intensely competitive market where reducing the product launch cycle time is critical to success.”

“We have used Anritsu test equipment from the very beginning of our LTE development programs,” said Inyup Kang, Executive Vice President at Samsung Electronics. “Anritsu’s RTD and MD8430A have made a significant contribution to our leading position in the LTE device market.”

About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2011 consolidated sales of US$143.1 billion. Employing approximately 206,000 people in 197 offices across 72 countries, the company operates two separate organizations to coordinate its nine independent business units: Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and LED. Recognized for its industry-leading performance across a range of economic, environmental and social criteria, Samsung Electronics was named the world’s most sustainable technology company in the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.

About Anritsu
Anritsu Company is the United States subsidiary of Anritsu Corporation, a global provider of innovative communications test and measurement solutions for more than 110 years. Anritsu provides solutions for existing and next-generation wired and wireless communication systems and operators. Anritsu products include wireless, optical, microwave/RF, and digital instruments as well as operations support systems for R&D, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance. Anritsu also provides precision microwave/RF components, optical devices, and high-speed electrical devices for communication products and systems. With offices throughout the world, Anritsu sells in over 90 countries with approximately 4,000 employees. To learn more, visit www.anritsu.com.

 

SOURCE Anritsu Company

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RELATED LINKS
http://www.anritsu.com
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1jRJA)

eMBMS Demonstration (Japanese)

h.265 Overview

Qualcomm h.265 demonstration/comparison to h.264.

Update: Cisco came out with a post today (23JULY12) titled, “Evolving to LTE- Cisco’s Seamless Migration for CDMA Operators.” Have a look at that resource too. Their primary motivation is the recent purchase of Starent and so have CDMA and LTE gear to offer. From their page: (Seems a little like boilerplate from their HSPA but it’s cool they put it out!)

What You Will Learn

… This paper will outline how mobile operators can prepare their networks to support 4G broadband services that will improve the user experience and yield new revenue opportunities. Specifically, we will discuss how Cisco can assist operators in their move toward Long Term Evolution (LTE), a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard that represents a significant advancement in mobile technology.

With industry-leading mobile infrastructure solutions from Cisco, operators can:

  • Gradually transition from 2G/3G to 4G without a comprehensive network upgrade
  • Support 2G/3G and 4G functionality on a single platform
  • Meet LTE requirements for increased data rate capacity, reduced latency, and improved spectral efficiency
  • Provide transparent roaming between High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network and LTE network
  • Take a phased approach to migrating the HSPA network to LTE by upgrading the core network to Evolved Packet Core (EPC) elements without an overlay Radio Access Network (RAN)

The downloadable page is here..

I hear a lot of confusion around 4G LTE/3G CDMA hand up and hand down, so I wanted to put some various notes I had to bear on helping to keep some of you guys straight on this topic. Now WiFi 802.x is technically an InterRAT type of hand over but I think it would be more clear if I outline that separately.

Here’s the lay of the land. Part A is the device piece and Part B is the network piece.

Overview

Focus here will be the common but difficult transition between LTE and CDMA (3GPP2.) A great number of end users via Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, MetroPCS, Cspire and others share this pain so we will talk about it.

Next piece is how to fit all the evolutionary pieces together. I think Nokia came up with this handy chart…

 So here is the QCOM and Nokia chart summarized…in matrix form

Key point here is there are tradeoffs for the various configurations, such as use more battery to get more seamless coverage options, or notice the crazy amount of upgrades to the 3GPP2 network and device that is required for this ‘seamless’ experience? It’s not free by a long shot. It’s debatable in my mind as to the benefits of the eHRPD, sSRVCC and eCSFB dual radio service but there are operators moving forward on this plan. 

Here’s the typical UE architecture for a dual radio device BTW…

Now for the network piece. Here’s how it all goes together. Firstly we have the circuit switched domain….

The basics are Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB) operates by enabling paging (1X MT calls), SMS, and registration of the UE by tunneling messages through the LTE domain via interfaces like the S102. Don’t forget the UE basically operates either as a LTE data device, while monitoring pages etc, or is in conversation state on the 1X network while monitoring the LTE domain. The standards groups revisited CSFB and came up with eCSFB to greatly reduce the transition time by getting the 1X traffic channel ready before the transition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how it goes together in the packet domain:

 

High Rate Packet Data handover essentially allows a seamless user experience when the device leaves the LTE coverage area, by enabling a session transfer to the 3G domain. The full transition could take up to 7 seconds! Enhanced HRPD (eHRPD) improves the transition time. So there is an optimized handover with a 5-7 second transition time and optimized handover with <300ms transition. To make this happen, most everything has to be upgraded but it’s all possible now.

 

 

 

 

So there are all of the parts to the story. It’s up to you to decide what you think is the best way. Personally, I think Verizon has been working hard to have LTE everywhere 3G is, therefore reducing or eliminating the need for all of these handover crutches once they deploy VoLTE. Else, there are lots of levers and knobs that can help save the day until the VoLTE roll out.

Presentation about eSRVCC and VoLTE

Download (PDF, 237KB)

 

 

 

 

I just wanted to add a link to Qualcomm’s latest HD Voice Video. It has some good description of the voice improvements going into their chipsets. This is probably a strong reason not to jump off their platform but there are other ways to create these same improvements.

HD Voice is starting to get some attention with the recent launches by Orange and Sprint. As the hypeometer’s needle climbs, there will be a lot of attention focused in this area. I just wanted to put a few facts out there to keep it all straight. These operators have actually different technologies behind their HD Voice launches that eventually merge at VoLTE. I saw some silliness about the HD Voice launches in AnandTech and other places so let’s get started…

Technologies

First a brief history of the universe, starting with current voice technologies used with 3G networks.

Narrowband voice coding has been used in digital cellular systems since the beginning. Today’s smartphones typically employ EVRC for CDMA2000/3GPP2 based networks with a fraction of those employing the more advanced EVRC-B algorithm and AMR for UMTS/3GPP networks. EVRC and AMR are CODECs to transform voice into digitized speech using low amounts of bandwidth/throughput with a primary technique being limiting the input frequency ranges.

This chart shows the tradeoffs involved…

The measurement of voice is based on sampling a population of listeners that rate the quality of the spoken sentences after coding and decoding by an algorithm. Listeners are asked to (subjectively) rate the recordings they heard vs a reference standard. The reference standards are like (A) direct recording of voices or (B) Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) at 64Kbps known in standards as G.711. Here is an example of the rating questions:

This is an experiment to determine the perceived quality of speech over the telephone. You will be listening to a number of recorded speech samples, spoken by several different talkers, and you will be rating how good you think they sound.
Use the single headphone on the ear you normally use for the telephone. On each trial a two- sentence sample will be played. After you have listened to the sample, determine the category from the list below which best describes the overall quality of the sample. Press the numeric key on your keyboard corresponding to your rating for how good or bad that particular passage sounded.
Select the category which best describes the sample you just heard for purposes of everyday speech communication.
The OVERALL SPEECH SAMPLE was:
5 – EXCELLENT
4 – GOOD
3 - FAIR
2 – POOR
1 – BAD

EVRC compresses each 20 milliseconds of (300-3200 Hz), 16-bit sampled speech input into output frames of one of three different sizes: full rate of 171 bits (8.55 kbit/s), half rate of 80 bits (4.0 kbit/s), eighth rate of 16 bits (0.8 kbit/s). EVRC has a peak bitrate of 8.5Kbps, a minimum of 0.8Kbps and ‘conversational’ planning rate of 6Kbps. 

3GPP2 EVRC Standards:  3GPP2 C.S0014-D

The AMR (Adaptive Multi-Rate) codec encodes narrowband (200-3400 Hz) signals for each 20 milliseconds of 8000 Hz at variable bit rates ranging from 4.75 to 12.2 kbps with toll quality speech starting at 7.4 kbps. AMR has a peak bitrate of 12.2Kbps, minimum of 4.75Kbps, ‘typical’ conversational rate of 4Kbps.

3GPP AMR Standard: TS 26.071

The goal of these narrowband VOCODERs is to reduce bandwidth during a conversation while delivering acceptable call quality. You will achieve near ideal speech quality but not full lifelike sound in perfect network conditions.

If you are reading this then likely you have first hand experience with the voice coders used in 3G networks. Moving forward …

Qualcomm (the main commercial influence for EVRC) has developed a more advanced (newer) line of CODECs they call 4GV which include EVRC-B and EVRC-WB (wide band.) Alternatively, there is a small consortium of companies that drive patents for AMR including Voice Age, Nokia, Ericsson, and France Telecom, and they have evolved their narrowband AMR with AMR-WB (you guessed it, wide band.) Lastly, there is SiLK, propelled by Skype. 

 

 

 

 

EVRC-WB is based on a split band coding paradigm in which two different coding models are used for the signal by independently sampling the low frequency (LF) (0-4 KHz) and the high frequency (HF) (3.5-7 KHz) bands.

MOS: 3.24( Street Noise, 15 dB SNR  )

EVRC-WB white paper by Qualcomm      EVRC-WB test results from 3Gpp2 testing

3GPP2 EVRC-WB Standard C.S0014-D_v1.0_EVRC

AMR-WB provides improved speech quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz.

  • Configuration A (Config-WB-Code 0): 6.6, 8.85, and 12.65 kbit/s (Mandatory multi-rate configuration)
  • Configuration B (Config-WB-Code 2): 6.6, 8.85, 12.65, and 15.85 kbit/s
  • Configuration C (Config-WB-Code 4): 6.6, 8.85, 12.65, and 23.85 kbit/s
MOS: 3.14 ( Office Noise, 15 dB SNR  )
3GPP AMR-WB Standard TS 26.204
AMR-WB Whitepaper by VoiceAge

Comparison of AMR-WB and EVRC-WB…

SILK negotiates one of four modes during call setup: Narrowband (NB): 8 kHz sampling rate o Mediumband (MB): 8 or 12 kHz sampling rate. Wideband (WB): 8, 12 or 16 kHz sampling rate. Super Wideband (SWB): 8, 12, 16 or 24 kHz sampling rate. The purpose of these modes is to allow the decoder to limit the highest sampling rate used by the encoder.

MOS: 3.22 ( Office Noise, 15 dB SNR   )

Skype: Silk Data sheet and IETF Standard

Nokia paper comparing Silk and AMR-WB. (Note they are a patent holder for AMR-WB and the paper does slant that way.)

HD Voice is a broad term marketed by operators that seems to refer to the voice coding, more specifically the use of the wide band CODERs like AMR-WB and EVRC-WB. Therefore, under typical conditions, the additional bandwidth used will provide a more lifelike sound between the caller/called.

Operator Deployments

Orange in the U.K. began marketing HD Voice in September of 2010. They have a 3GPP based UMTS network thus they are using the AMR-WB vocoder. They have 7 handsets on their website as supporting the AMR-WB vocoder.

Sprint recently announced the launch of HD Voice with their launch of HTC EVO 4G LTE. Apparently they are using Transcoder Free Operation (TrFO) to support this feature. The basics of this are the 2 end points (Caller and Called) must have the EVRC-WB supported to be able to enjoy the additional sound quality. (It also means the network accepts Service Option 73 requests…)

VoLTE

3G phones have the VOCODERs built into the device and they only work with the connected 3G network infrastructure for voice calling. VoLTE uses an IP Multimedia System (IMS) architecture, that essentially is an application that runs over the LTE channel. The devices (UE) have an IMS client that uses Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) signaling to place calls. The IMS is functionally equivalent to their 3G counterparts but slightly more flexible as you can have various architectures such as distributed, localized, centralized etc… Some interesting flexibility exists in the IMS client, as it is possible for the IMS client to have variable VOCODERs and the IMS has a flexible architecture that will allow support for various VOCODERS. This probably means you can upgrade/downgrade to/from HD voice while mobile, and operators will likely support (free/incremental cost) wide band coding when on high rate connections such as WiFi, femotcells etc.. This makes life more interesting. 

On the flip side, the only official VOCODER supported with 3GPP for LTE networks right now is AMR. Some of you need to push SILK and EVRC-B into the 3GPP standards. Mobile calling could be so much more interesting than it is today.

OK, that was a huge wind up for a little paragraph. The point is HD Voice is available on a few operators over 3G today and likely available almost everywhere with VoLTE using mostly wide band VOCODERs that provide higher MOS scores but also use slightly more bandwidth than 3G voice calls. It will be interesting to see how OTT providers like Skype fit in as they can easily integrate into the IMS/3GPP/VoLTE architecture and may have more to offer in some cases.


 It’s time for yet another 3GPP oriented conference in Barcelona, Spain. This time the LTE World Summit is gathering to pitch discuss signaling in LTE networks. A good topic since there is plenty of room for improvement and optimization of some of the clunkier signaling. The US operators have had issues with one protocol, Diameter in particular (remember, it’s the successor to the older RADIUS), and have even withstood some outages due to issues with handling of this protocol. 

I love innovation and there are a couple of companies that are getting my attention. An example is Diametriq and their competitors such as Traffix Systems and Tekelec in the Diameter space. BTW, check out Tekelec’s cool Diameter iOS/Android reference app. 

Side note, 3GPP recognizes the shortcoming of Diameter and is working on a Diameter 2.0….

Another side note, iBasis seems the least innovative, like hey we have a voice roaming clearinghouse and we want to be included in the future so here’s a PR with no thought to improving the market out…uh, whatever.

Zahid at 3G4Gblog has some first hand looks at the presentations, go check it out.

 

Links: 3G4Gblog, Diametriq, LTE World Summit, Traffix, TekeleciBasis

 

May 22nd – LTE World Summit Focus Day / Master Classes

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

LTE World Summit Focus Day – Handling the surge in signaling traffic

  • What is Diameter Signaling and how will it inevitably affect your network?
  • When is the right time to deploy Diameter signaling solutions?
  • Analysing the marriage between IMS and LTE
  • Roaming in the LTE World – the role of Diameter signaling
  • Effectively handling the increased data with load balancing
  • Smart phone growth implications
  • Tracking and preparing a network for the oncoming surge in signaling traffic

May 23rd – LTE World Summit Day 1

Conference Keynotes

Track 1 – Executive Summit – Re-thinking business models

  • Alternative business models – partnership opportunities
  • Toll-free mobile broadband
  • Infrastructure sharing
  • Wholesale perspectives
  • Multi-play offerings
  • Handling an LTE auction
  • MVNO LTE opportunities
  • Green LTE

Track 2 – Small cell / Picocell / Femtocell / Hetnets

  • Breaking down the fundamental challenge of increased data consumption
  • Numbers and types of cells required
  • When will there be wide adoption?
  • Alignment and cooperation with fiber metro network
  • Flexible backhaul and transition solutions

Track Sponsor

InterDigital

Track 3 – Handling the mobile data explosion

  • Resource planning – moving capacity around the network to handle surges in data
  • SON – providing the optimum user experience
  • Policy Control
  • OSS / BSS
  • Optimisation
  • FMC – Requirements of a fiber network to handle the increasing data traffic
  • Backhaul

Track Sponsors

Samsung

Track 4 – Voice over LTE Networks

  • VoLTE updates from leading operators
  • Circuit switch fallback
  • The role and importance of IMS
  • Voice enabled devices – what does the future hold?
  • Service delivery requirements, design considerations and the network architecture
  • Monetising an intelligent core network

Track Sponsors

Accenture

Track 5 – OTT and applications; working with developers and 3rd parties

  • OTT players – their plans to deliver over LTE networks
  • OTT – how are they driving revenues for operators?
  • Video and premium content on LTE networks
  • Partnering with 3rd parties
  • App stores
  • Is there a killer app for LTE?
  • RCS

Track 6 – Mobile Backhaul; WiFi Offload

  • Mobile network integrated WiFi
  • The Impact of LTE Small Cells and Backhaul Scalability
  • How a fiber-multiplay operator can benefit from incorporating LTE into their offerings
  • Mobile Data Explosion – The Backhaul Perspective
  • Reducing churn with a public Wi-Fi plan
  • Backhaul Optimisation considerations over LTE networks
  • Designing and deploying a Sync-E backhaul solution
  • How LTE can help increase operator flexibility and improve the bottom line

May 24th – LTE World Summit Day 2

Conference Keynotes

Track Sponsor

Track 7 – Executive Summit

  • Pricing and tariff considerations
  • Real-world speeds and feedback from commercial LTE deployments
  • How do you increase ARPU over LTE networks?
  • LTE as the DSL replacement strategy
  • Field test updates and results
  • Leading operator strategies towards the future of 2G / 3G networks

Track 8 – Spectrum Management & Regulation; Roaming

Track Sponsor

  • Regulatory responsibilities
  • Spectrum re-farming
  • Interference cancellation – maximising spectrum efficiency
  • Do you really need to roam on an LTE network?
  • Roaming trial updates
  • Device manufacturer & chipset viewpoints
  • What is the spectrum of choice and how to reduce fragmentation

Track Sponsor

InterDigital

Track 9 –Handling the mobile data explosion

  • Resource planning – moving capacity around the network to handle surges in data
  • SON – providing the optimum user experience
  • Policy Control
  • OSS / BSS
  • Optimisation
  • FMC – Requirements of a fiber network to handle the increasing data traffic
  • Backhaul

Track Sponsor

Track 10 – TD LTE; LTE-Advanced

  • Switching from WiMAX to TD LTE
  • TDD vs FDD
  • Device considerations – dongle and handset’s differing requirements
  • Commercial TD networks in place
  • Time frames and expectations of LTE-Advanced
  • The first movers – what is on the horizon?

Track Sponsor

Track 11 – Devices / Smartphone Developments

  • Device announcements and developments
  • Device manufacturer views and plans – band fragmentation
  • Voice on LTE handsets
  • The continuing dongle opportunity – developments and pricing strategies
  • NFC

For view the full agenda, please downoad the conference brochure by clicking here

OK, OK, sorry I couldn’t resist. Argela comes out with their FENG, Femto Notification Generator that is and I decided it was too good to pass up an opportunity to be punny. (Yes I pundit…kidding, kidding…)  So FENG is a network function designed to integrate into 3GPP WCDMA and 3GPP2 1X CDMA based core networks, but seemingly not LTE yet but this is probably a matter of time, and sniffs message flow over the Iu-h, Iu-CS, and A’ and MAP interfaces (switch and BSC interfaces) and creates notifications based on network events (messages) such as registrations etc… And note, this is targeted to work with small cells…These notifications are sent to their companion product, the Apps-on Femto Application Server which in turn can notify an application developed with their API to intercommunicate. Typical demonstrations that we gave back in 2004 were actions based on a mobile entering a room such as turning the lights on or off when leaving etc etc… To my knowledge, this is the 2nd commercialized product of this type with Mavenir having a similar capability through their mOne product with the exception Mavenir supports LTE networks. 

Either way, it’s only a matter of time before application providers begin taking us down the connected, Minority Report future of tomorrow. I do think this is a good product announcement.

Full PR is below…

Links: Argela, Mavenir

Bottom line is Argela has their FENG’s out…

Argela’s New Femtocell Product Solves the Problem of Network Detections Critical for  
Value-Added Services and Applications on Small Cell Networks

SUNNYVALE, CA, May 16, 2012– Argela, the next-generation telecommunications solutions provider, today announced its newest femtocell product – the Femto Notification Generator, FENG.  Developed specifically for mobile network operators, the Femto Notification Generator is a key component for offering revenue-generating, value-added services through a femtocell network. Providing immediate data, FENG generates the femtocell-related notifications necessary for many femtocell services and location-based applications.
FENG detects these femtocell-related events by sniffing the operator’s network with the following standard interfaces: Iu-h, Iu-CS, A-Interface, and MAP.  Some of the femtocell events which are detected include entries to and exits from the femtocell network in addition to femtocell registrations and deregistrations.  After immediately detecting important femtocell events, Argela’s FENG then notifies Argela’s APPs-on Femto Application Server which in turn, immediately notifies the applications.  Argela’s two products, the FENG Femto Notification Generator and Argela’s APPs-on Femto Application Server, work together as part of a complete femtocell application solution.
“We wanted to develop a solution that is independent from the femtocell and the femtocell gateway so that any mobile operator could offer value-added services and applications even after they have already deployed their femtocell service,” explained Argela’s VP of Sales, Mr. Oguz Oktay. “It is the notifications issued by our FENG product which enables operators to offer the location-based services and applications through their femtocell network.  And, it is the applications which transform femtocells from a telecom device to a channel for revenue-generating services.”
Argela provides next-generation telecommunication solutions and network infrastructure software to telecom operators and offers a range of small cell products and solutions including femtocells powered by their SmartFemto technology.  The Femto Notification Generator is the newest addition to the Small Cell product line and is a key product in Argela’s Femto Application Suite.   As part of this Suite, Argela also offers femtocell applications including: PromoZone, Track-U and the award-winning, ADz-on Advertising Application.
“At Argela, we are continually innovating and developing new products to help operators and service providers optimize their networks,” said Mr. Bulent Kaytaz, Argela’s CEO. “The Femto Notification Generator is our most recent innovation enabling mobile operators to offer value-added femtocell applications.  It was our aim to provide a complete femtocell application solution for mobile operators so that they may increase the ROI of their femtocell deployment through offering value-added services to their subscribers.”
About Argela
Argela is an award-winning, next-generation, telecom solutions provider.  Collaborating with telecom and mobile operators around the world, Argela provides innovative and integrated turn-key solutions for operators to help them generate new revenue, improve customer satisfaction, contain costs, and decrease churn. Argela’s solutions portfolio includes the award-winning Argela iTV, the award-winning advertising platform, Argela ADz-on, Avatar, IN applications, convergence solutions, and an entire product line of SmartFemto and Small Cell Solutions.   As a member of The Small Cell Forum, Argela is actively addressing the key issues of the femtocell and small cell markets which include defining and developing industry standards which are critical for the deployment of femtocells around the world.  For more information, please visit www.argela.com.
Contact:
ARGELA
Melissa Blythe Johnson
Marketing and Sales Manager
[email protected]
+1.408.400.9601

I noticed that several Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are announcing their new 1GBps WiFi products. See, while WiFi 802.11n and LTE are both at their 4G commercially, the IEEE standards development for the next G for WiFi has been underway for some time. These new product announcements are based on a 5G WiFi, IEEE 802.11ac. Funny thing is many of the new features are in Release 9 or 10 of the current 3GPP LTE standards so I think it’s safe to assume there is some cross pollinating of the standards from this point forward. Wiki had a good summary for the 5G WiFi features:

New technologies

  • Wider channel bandwidths
    • 80 MHz and 160 MHz channel bandwidths (vs. 40 MHz maximum in 802.11n)
      • 80 MHz mandatory for stations (STAs), 160 MHz optional
  • More MIMO spatial streams
    • Support for up to 8 spatial streams (vs. 4 in 802.11n)
  • Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO)
    • Multiple STAs, each with one or more antennas, transmit or receive independent data streams simultaneously
      • “Space Division Multiple Access” (SDMA): streams not separated by frequency, but instead resolved spatially, analogous to 11n-style MIMO
    • Downlink MU-MIMO (one transmitting device, multiple receiving devices) included as an optional mode
  • Modulation
    • 256-QAM, rate 3/4 and 5/6, added as optional modes (vs. 64-QAM, rate 5/6 maximum in 802.11n)
  • Other elements/features
    • Single sounding and feedback format for beamforming (vs. multiple in 802.11n)
    • MAC modifications (mostly to support above changes)
    • Coexistence mechanisms for 20/40/80/160 MHz channels, 11ac and 11a/n devices
Sound familiar? MU-MIMO and 8 stream support should for sure. See the table below for 802.11ac PHY rate scenarios.
Scenario Typical Client
Form Factor
PHY Link Rate Aggregate
Capacity
1-antenna AP, 1-antenna STA, 80MHz Handheld 433 Mbit/s 433 Mbit/s
2-antenna AP, 2-antenna STA, 80MHz Tablet, Laptop 867 Mbit/s 867 Mbit/s
1-antenna AP, 1-antenna STA, 160MHz Handheld 867 Mbit/s 867 Mbit/s
2-antenna AP, 2-antenna STA, 160MHz Tablet, Laptop 1.73 Gbit/s 1.73 Gbit/s
4-antenna AP, 4 1-antenna STAs, 160MHz
(MU-MIMO)
Handheld 867 Mbit/s to each STA 3.47 Gbit/s
8-antenna AP, 160MHz (MU-MIMO)
– 1 4-antenna STA
– 1 2-antenna STA
– 2 1-antenna STAs
Digital TV, Set-top Box,
Tablet, Laptop, PC, Handheld
3.47 Gbit/s to 4-antenna STA
1.73 Gbit/s to 2-antenna STA
867 Mbit/s to each 1-antenna STA
6.93 Gbit/s
8-antenna AP, 4 2-antenna STAs, 160MHz
(MU-MIMO)
Digital TV, Tablet, Laptop, PC 1.73 Gbit/s to each STA 6.93 Gbit/s
Probably the thing 3GPP will use next is the new 256-QAM modulation in 802.11ac. This would be very useful for small cells, heck just make the standards the same and be done with it. :)
Pretty interesting Netgear page is here.

NETGEAR INTRODUCES INDUSTRY’S FIRST 802.11AC WIFI ROUTER

NETGEAR Announces the R6300 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router based on Broadcom’s 802.11ac router platform delivering Internet Speeds Up To Three Times Faster than 802.11n

 

SAN JOSE, Calif. — April 26, 2012 — NETGEAR®, Inc. (NASDAQGM: NTGR), a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, today announced the availability of the NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router; the first 802.11ac dual band gigabit WiFi router enabling 5th generation WiFi (5G WiFi) at gigabit speeds. The router is also backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n which provides optimum interoperability with legacy WiFi devices.

The NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router, powered by Broadcom’s 5G WiFi IEEE 802.11ac chips, is up to three times faster than today’s 802.11n routers. With an elegant new design that fits perfectly in consumers’ living spaces, the router increases the coverage area for HD streaming in the home. The NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router has speeds of up to 1300 Mbps on 5GHz and 450 Mbps on 2.4GHz enabling consumers to download web content from any device in the home in a fraction of the time it would take on a similar 802.11n device.

The upcoming 802.11ac wireless standard is the world’s fastest WiFi, providing gigabit WiFi speeds allowing for web content to download faster, and large video or music files to synch more quickly. The increased speed of 802.11ac technology is ideal for mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, by providing three times the performance for a similar amount of battery consumption of devices utilizing the current 802.11n WiFi standard.

  • Other advanced features of the NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router include:
  • NETGEAR Genie®: This free app for PCs, Macs, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets enables home users to control, monitor, repair, and manage their home networks easily through a simple, elegant dashboard. NETGEAR customers can download the utility at http://www.netgear.com/genie or from the Google Play or App Store.
  • NETGEAR MyMediaTM: The NETGEAR Genie mobile app feature provides the ability to find photos, video or music files anywhere on the network and play them on a DLNA media player.
  • AirPrint TM Support: The NETGEAR Genie app enables users to print on any USB or networked printer directly from an iPad or iPhone.
  • Guest network access: The NETGEAR Genie app makes setting up a guest network simple. Guests and visitors can go online through the router without the need for secure login information. The guest network also prevents users from seeing and accessing a household’s computers, printers, storage devices and other home network devices.
  • ReadySHARE® Printer: Makes it easy to turn any existing USB printer into a fully functional networked printer that is fully compatible with Macs and PCs.
  • Media Server-DLNA: The R6300 Router is DLNA ready and can stream to any DLNA compatible device in your house, including the latest Smart TVs, Blu-ray players, media players, game consoles, handheld devices, tablets and more.
  • NETGEAR Live Parental Controls: Centralized, flexible, and reliable parental control solution for all the devices on the network, including Macs, Windows PCs, smartphones and tablets, for a safe online environment for children and teenagers. No subscription is required.
  • Automatic WiFi Security: Comes with wireless security turned on out-of-the-box, complete with a pre-configured network name and password, protecting home WiFi networks by default.
  • Easy Installation: No CD required so users can set it up with smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks, and even MacBook Air.
  • 2 USB ports: To simultaneously support USB storage and USB printer on the router.

“802.11ac is the next-generation of WiFi connectivity and is set to revolutionize the way we consume content wirelessly by delivering Internet speeds up to three times faster than consumers are used to experiencing,” said David Henry, vice president of product management, retail products at NETGEAR. “NETGEAR’s leadership in the industry, and collaboration with Broadcom to introduce the first 802.11ac router, will future proof your network by ensuring your home is capable of supporting new faster 802.11ac devices as they begin to roll out this year.”

Pricing and Availability
The NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router will be available in May starting at $199.99.

More Information
Learn more about the NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router at www.netgear.com/R6300 and more about 802.11ac/5G WiFi, the next generation in WiFi at www.netgear.com/80211ac and www.5GWiFi.org.

 

HD Voice is starting to get some attention with the recent launches by Orange and Sprint. As the hypeometer’s needle climbs, there will be a lot of attention focused in this area. I just wanted to put a few facts out there to keep it all straight. These operators have actually different technologies behind their HD Voice launches that eventually merge at VoLTE. I saw some silliness about the HD Voice launches in AnandTech and other places so let’s get started…

Technologies

First a brief history of the universe, starting with current voice technologies used with 3G networks.

Narrowband voice coding has been used in digital cellular systems since the beginning. Today’s smartphones typically employ EVRC for CDMA2000/3GPP2 based networks with a fraction of those employing the more advanced EVRC-B algorithm and AMR for UMTS/3GPP networks. EVRC and AMR are CODECs to transform voice into digitized speech using low amounts of bandwidth/throughput with a primary technique being limiting the input frequency ranges.

This chart shows the tradeoffs involved…

The measurement of voice is based on sampling a population of listeners that rate the quality of the spoken sentences after coding and decoding by an algorithm. Listeners are asked to (subjectively) rate the recordings they heard vs a reference standard. The reference standards are like (A) direct recording of voices or (B) Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) at 64Kbps known in standards as G.711. Here is an example of the rating questions:

This is an experiment to determine the perceived quality of speech over the telephone. You will be listening to a number of recorded speech samples, spoken by several different talkers, and you will be rating how good you think they sound.
Use the single headphone on the ear you normally use for the telephone. On each trial a two- sentence sample will be played. After you have listened to the sample, determine the category from the list below which best describes the overall quality of the sample. Press the numeric key on your keyboard corresponding to your rating for how good or bad that particular passage sounded.
Select the category which best describes the sample you just heard for purposes of everyday speech communication.
The OVERALL SPEECH SAMPLE was:
5 – EXCELLENT
4 – GOOD
3 - FAIR
2 – POOR
1 – BAD

EVRC compresses each 20 milliseconds of (300-3200 Hz), 16-bit sampled speech input into output frames of one of three different sizes: full rate of 171 bits (8.55 kbit/s), half rate of 80 bits (4.0 kbit/s), eighth rate of 16 bits (0.8 kbit/s). EVRC has a peak bitrate of 8.5Kbps, a minimum of 0.8Kbps and ‘conversational’ planning rate of 6Kbps. 

3GPP2 EVRC Standards:  3GPP2 C.S0014-D

The AMR (Adaptive Multi-Rate) codec encodes narrowband (200-3400 Hz) signals for each 20 milliseconds of 8000 Hz at variable bit rates ranging from 4.75 to 12.2 kbps with toll quality speech starting at 7.4 kbps. AMR has a peak bitrate of 12.2Kbps, minimum of 4.75Kbps, ‘typical’ conversational rate of 4Kbps.

3GPP AMR Standard: TS 26.071

The goal of these narrowband VOCODERs is to reduce bandwidth during a conversation while delivering acceptable call quality. You will achieve near ideal speech quality but not full lifelike sound in perfect network conditions.

If you are reading this then likely you have first hand experience with the voice coders used in 3G networks. Moving forward …

Qualcomm (the main commercial influence for EVRC) has developed a more advanced (newer) line of CODECs they call 4GV which include EVRC-B and EVRC-WB (wide band.) Alternatively, there is a small consortium of companies that drive patents for AMR including Voice Age, Nokia, Ericsson, and France Telecom, and they have evolved their narrowband AMR with AMR-WB (you guessed it, wide band.) Lastly, there is SiLK, propelled by Skype. 

 

 

 

 

EVRC-WB is based on a split band coding paradigm in which two different coding models are used for the signal by independently sampling the low frequency (LF) (0-4 KHz) and the high frequency (HF) (3.5-7 KHz) bands.

MOS: 3.24( Street Noise, 15 dB SNR  )

EVRC-WB white paper by Qualcomm      EVRC-WB test results from 3Gpp2 testing

3GPP2 EVRC-WB Standard C.S0014-D_v1.0_EVRC

AMR-WB provides improved speech quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz.

  • Configuration A (Config-WB-Code 0): 6.6, 8.85, and 12.65 kbit/s (Mandatory multi-rate configuration)
  • Configuration B (Config-WB-Code 2): 6.6, 8.85, 12.65, and 15.85 kbit/s
  • Configuration C (Config-WB-Code 4): 6.6, 8.85, 12.65, and 23.85 kbit/s
MOS: 3.14 ( Office Noise, 15 dB SNR  )
3GPP AMR-WB Standard TS 26.204
AMR-WB Whitepaper by VoiceAge

Comparison of AMR-WB and EVRC-WB…

SILK negotiates one of four modes during call setup: Narrowband (NB): 8 kHz sampling rate o Mediumband (MB): 8 or 12 kHz sampling rate. Wideband (WB): 8, 12 or 16 kHz sampling rate. Super Wideband (SWB): 8, 12, 16 or 24 kHz sampling rate. The purpose of these modes is to allow the decoder to limit the highest sampling rate used by the encoder.

MOS: 3.22 ( Office Noise, 15 dB SNR   )

Skype: Silk Data sheet and IETF Standard

Nokia paper comparing Silk and AMR-WB. (Note they are a patent holder for AMR-WB and the paper does slant that way.)

HD Voice is a broad term marketed by operators that seems to refer to the voice coding, more specifically the use of the wide band CODERs like AMR-WB and EVRC-WB. Therefore, under typical conditions, the additional bandwidth used will provide a more lifelike sound between the caller/called.

Operator Deployments

Orange in the U.K. began marketing HD Voice in September of 2010. They have a 3GPP based UMTS network thus they are using the AMR-WB vocoder. They have 7 handsets on their website as supporting the AMR-WB vocoder.

Sprint recently announced the launch of HD Voice with their launch of HTC EVO 4G LTE. Apparently they are using Transcoder Free Operation (TrFO) to support this feature. The basics of this are the 2 end points (Caller and Called) must have the EVRC-WB supported to be able to enjoy the additional sound quality. (It also means the network accepts Service Option 73 requests…)

VoLTE

3G phones have the VOCODERs built into the device and they only work with the connected 3G network infrastructure for voice calling. VoLTE uses an IP Multimedia System (IMS) architecture, that essentially is an application that runs over the LTE channel. The devices (UE) have an IMS client that uses Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) signaling to place calls. The IMS is functionally equivalent to their 3G counterparts but slightly more flexible as you can have various architectures such as distributed, localized, centralized etc… Some interesting flexibility exists in the IMS client, as it is possible for the IMS client to have variable VOCODERs and the IMS has a flexible architecture that will allow support for various VOCODERS. This probably means you can upgrade/downgrade to/from HD voice while mobile, and operators will likely support (free/incremental cost) wide band coding when on high rate connections such as WiFi, femotcells etc.. This makes life more interesting. 

On the flip side, the only official VOCODER supported with 3GPP for LTE networks right now is AMR. Some of you need to push SILK and EVRC-B into the 3GPP standards. Mobile calling could be so much more interesting than it is today.

OK, that was a huge wind up for a little paragraph. The point is HD Voice is available on a few operators over 3G today and likely available almost everywhere with VoLTE using mostly wide band VOCODERs that provide higher MOS scores but also use slightly more bandwidth than 3G voice calls. It will be interesting to see how OTT providers like Skype fit in as they can easily integrate into the IMS/3GPP/VoLTE architecture and may have more to offer in some cases.

 

VoLTE

VoLTE

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is the next big thing. In fact, in 24 months, virtually all LTE enabled smart phones will support it. Curious?
Small Cells

Small Cells

Small Cells, previously known as 'femto' or 'pico' cells are possibly a savior to network operators. They offer capacity and coverage to the end user and are inexpensive for the network operator. Why aren't they everywhere?
Public Safety

Public Safety

LTE is and ideal technology for Public Safety use. See Why.