Currently viewing the tag: "4G LTE"

Samsungs-5G-technologyMore frequently, I see media comments about 5G or hear questions about 5G wireless technology. I mostly ignore it ,but as there’s steady increases in the amount of daily hype around it, I’m wondering why?

This year was a big year for 4G and many geographies are in some phase of either enjoying it, dealing with the choices of multiple carriers that provide it, or about to get it deployed.

4G LTE initial deployments have been initially, largely, 20MHz of spectrum per operator for a typical speed of 13-35MBps to end users. It is a bell curve, as there are 5Mhz geographies and multi-carrier deployments too but most users seem to be served in suburban and urban areas from 20MHz channels.

Following initial launch , some of the largest carriers have gotten busy deploying VoLTE (Voice over LTE), and some have been extending spectrum with additional bands to boost speeds/deal with capacity issues. Just recently, a major operator had an open discussion about reducing 3G spectrum and reforming to 4G, which is a major milestone in the adoption of 4G LTE.

On the other hand, some major consumer wrinkles still exist such as seamless global roaming, basic 4G LTE global/universal availability (especially indoors or rural environments), advanced feature roll outs such as multi-carrier, broadcast multicast, VoLTE everywhere and so on. The good news is there is some progress evolving…

Verizon Wireless and AT&T Move Toward Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Interoperability; Working With Other Providers to Expand Interoperability Across the Industry

So the 4G LTE networks are turning up and our carrier friends have even started adding multiple carriers/spectrums to extend the capacity.

Now begin 5G hype.5g-internet

SO, just looking through the internet you will get a sense that 5G is more 4G LTE. At this point that’s dead on, as there’s no standard written yet for 5G. Furthermore, there’s not really compelling business case to push it forward at the moment. But back to the technology for a moment. Each generation, or G, of wireless brought a fundamental improvement that was dramatically/disruptively different than before. 2G enhanced usability but more importantly dramatically improved capacity. 3G the same, plus integrated mobile wireless broadband. 4G’s story is around efficiency and capability. Cheaper to deliver to end user, faster for the end user etc… Currently 5G seems to be more of the 4G, like better SON, bigger channels. Many point to the speed milestone of achieving 1Gbps over the air, but at what efficiency? Haven’t really seen a disruptive or game changing technology that could be leveraged into a disruptive business plan yet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If all we are talking about is gigabit wireless, then there’s WiFi already and more levels of MiMO and more spectrum we can apply to 4G to brag that we got there without any G changes… If we are talking about 100Gbit for everyone, then on the other hand, some breakthroughs that I think are 5G are:

Full duplex communication (Using the same channel to talk bi-directionally simultaneously). Currently wireless is half duplex in channel, either employing a Time Division Duplex (TDD) approach to share the air or a separate path for a channel to and from the user.

Lighter, Cheaper Radio Wave Device Could Transform Telecommunications

UUUULLLLTTTTRRRRRAAA wideband. I mean, let’s go to 1GHz or greater channels. I think this could be the basis of a peer to peer wireless system that could undo and disrupt the carriers. Optical counts. I don’t want to buy a WiFi router from home because my Samsung OLEDs have transceivers.

Ultra Wide Band Radio

Merger of access and backhaul technology into a single standard– Whatever you use over the edge, should be so efficient, it wouldCWS-100 be stupid to use something different as backhaul etc…regardless of PHY layer access (fiber, microwave/RF etc..) This also begs for meshing and peer to peer which is on everyone’s mind already, but the technology itself needs to be absolutely extensible and scalable from end user through the internet.

Security- Meaningful security features. We don’t really have any.

Cognitive radio– meaning every device sort of negotiates with whatever else is out there and uses whatever is available for the best purpose. No more fixed channel/technology assignments. Who needs youtube when you can just massively directly distribute your bits directly from your security cam, refrigerator etc…? Anyway, who is going to be able to manage the Internet of Everything/IoT (although many want you to pay them to try.) The complexity of EVERYTHING communicating with everything else is beyond human ability to control in a 1:1 fashion. Like the universe. Dark matter filaments->Galaxies etc.. too big of a scale.

CogNet: Next-generation Cognitive radio Networks


WiFi->LTE/5G Merger – There’s really no need for WiFi and LTE. A single standard would be much more efficient for all with no difference between unlicensed and licensed networking technologies. Buy one for home or use the big one on the mountain for a fee. Same devices. Meter turns both ways. You are the carrier too.




This ATTVZW_throughputs_testis great stuff but there’s still reality to deal with. Today’s 4G LTE networks are by far not very mature.. The whole business case of 4G LTE is to reduce the cost per bit for mobility users dramatically. Without doing much, just overlaying LTE over 3G will reduce your over the air costs theoretically. The carriers should be dramatically be saving money with the migration of users onto 4G LTE from 2G/3G but somehow that mega shift is not very loud on the balance sheets. The primary reason for this is the raw state of deployment. The average efficiency is somewhere around 20% of the potential, over the air, and that’s money just circling the drain.

I’m still waiting/looking forward, as a consumer, to leveraging Broadcast Multicast Services for some more interesting services like better local media for things like traffic/audio/video that can be done far better than just Youtube etc… VoLTE with its HD Voice everywhere, CoMP for better throughputs with existing sites etc…

Before we begin the 5G hype cycle in earnest, 4G LTE has many levers to pull. There are many more efficiency enhancing measures in future/upcoming revisions of the the networking standards and there’s a whole new way of operating as I mentioned previously that dramatically shifts that cost/bit line down that the operators have not scratched the surface on yet. Let’s not defer the work we need to do today to the undefined 5G hype just yet. This baby was just born.

PS: Let’s move the needle from <20% efficiency to >50% efficiency (very achievable, just ask me) and let’s unleash amazing transformations of this business.


Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving if you are US based, else hope everyone enjoyed having the US off. Happy ThanksgivingI have a number of big, urgent and interesting projects going on that each have NDA type of agreements and so between the time and the mouth shutting agreements, it is severely putting a damper on my ability to bring attention to events going on in our world. This too shall pass and I will sputter out some tidbits here and there for the next few months.

Interesting things catching my eye with respect to (wrt) the wireless world include:

eSRVCC is an improvement to the SRVCC where instead of having the home network be the voice anchor, the visited network anchors aspects of the voice calls. This will streamline network-network communications and reduce latency, thus improving end user experience.
Here are before and after network diagrams.
I think the debate about LTE vs FTTH pricing is an interesting one. The intuitive answer is there is a competitive advantage to wireless however in the US there is a major premium on wireless data pricing. This is a very interesting thing that I’m hoping globalization can help. If there were true price competition (assuming identical services) then I bet the pace of change would be astonishing. Can’t wait to see how this goes in Japan.
The FCC is debating allowing DISH use the PCS band adjacent to the G block (H block) for LTE and this is, in and of itself is mildly interesting. But more interesting is the impact it could have on DISH’s plans to use their adjacent spectrum for LTE. Remember DISH came up with 20×2 MHz channels with the acquisitions of DBSD and TerreStar earlier. The FCC is open to DISH’s use but they are looking to add adding power restrictions in the UE TX band…to me limiting DISH’s opportunity, for example to deploy TD-LTE. I’m not sure why the filtering requirements cannot be sharpened on both sides of the spectrum but they never seem to do this. (Band 12 and Channel 51) 
The transformation of the mobile ecosystem is under our noses. See this chart.

Finish and Irish auctions of 800MHz are interesting just to help ecosystem for infrastructure add low bands…hopefully that ends up adding 700MHz capability to everything too.

Have a good one…Oh two more interesting tidbits…

Network Planning for LTE-Advanced

2012 LTE NA: What is a “Thinking Network”?

 I admit, I’m slightly geeky, this seems like Friday fun to me, and more interesting than watching NASCAR but to each their own…Someone at Ericsson woke up on the good side of the bed the other day. The key points to me were 19Mbps @ 435Mph, from a jet. That’s a good day to be an RF guy. I get a kick out of these things…

BTW, I doubt this is truly the first test, many of you don’t turn your electronics off in the airplanes since we hear them ringing at 10K feet. Busted!

Geeky LTE salaciousness:

The Doppler effect, which limits how fast the user can move in a straight line to or from the LTE radio base station, was successfully tested and internet connectivity was maintained while flying at more than 600km/h in a straight line toward the LTE radio base station. A seamless handover from one radio base station to the next was possible while flying at a speed of 500km/h, without any visible disturbances to a video stream used to monitor the stability of the internet connection.

Enjoy the show!

Ericsson’s PR the other day said

What happens with an internet connection via LTE/4G on board of a jet plane flying 700km/h? Ericsson’s tests reveal that 4G is robust enough to handle extreme situations.

4G is the fastest developing system in the history of mobile communication. Today’s LTE networks are capable of providing speeds of over 100Mbps.

Consumers in high-speed trains around the world need reliable 4G connections without any interruptions and Ericsson needs to make sure its network equipment supports this requirement. This was the inspiration for tests that went above and beyond anything Ericsson has done before.

“We tested a high-speed 4G connection using an aircraft flying fast at low altitude.”, said Ola Melander, Master Project Manager for R&D at Ericsson.

“We continuously evaluate our systems and this was a good opportunity to test a 4G network in Sweden. The commercial network used for the tests was not altered for extreme mobility testing. Our radio and core network products proved to be robust and it was very interesting to see how well these performed.”

For the tests, a routine flight with a training jet from Saab Aeronautics carrying two Ericsson engineers with PCs fitted with LTE dongles, took off in Linköping, Sweden. While flying over Västervik at 300 meters above ground, measurements were taken to determine the impact of the Doppler effect, handover performance and video stream stability.

The results showed that the PCs were able to connect to the internet with a maximum downlink speed of 19 megabits per second while flying at 700km/h and with the force of 4G.

The Doppler effect, which limits how fast the user can move in a straight line to or from the LTE radio base station, was successfully tested and internet connectivity was maintained while flying at more than 600km/h in a straight line toward the LTE radio base station. A seamless handover from one radio base station to the next was possible while flying at a speed of 500km/h, without any visible disturbances to a video stream used to monitor the stability of the internet connection.

When the test was completed, there was a sense of achievement but preparations are already underway for further tests at even higher speeds. As the saying goes: The sky is the limit!

“We are very pleased with the results from this test,” says Per Narvinger, Head of Product Line LTE at Ericsson. “Ericsson’s standard radio and core network products were used in the network that was in commercial service and there were no problems to connect from the aircraft.”

About LTE

  • LTE is the global standard for the fourth generation of mobile broadband (4G), supported by all major players in the industry. It is the fastest developing system in the history of mobile communication.
  • Today’s LTE networks are able to provide speeds over 100Mbps. The technology allows for speeds in excess of 300Mbps and Ericsson demonstrated the next step of LTE at MWC 2010, with speeds up to 1.2Gbps
  • Currently 105 LTE operators has launched commercial services, 11 of these are LTE-TDD deployments and the rest is LTE-FDD. 299 operators have publicly committed to the technology across 93 different countries with a large number of LTE trials currently in operation.
  • In the first year of rollout 150 million people had access to LTE networks, and today 455 million people have access to commercial LTE networks.
  • Ericsson’s Traffic and Data report predicts that by 2017 half of the world’s population will be covered by LTE/4G networks. Smartphone subscriptions will number around three billion in 2017 – compared to 700 million in 2011.
  • Ericsson predicts that 85 percent of the world’s population will be covered by high-speed mobile internet in 2017 and mobile data traffic will increase 15-fold between 2011 and 2017.

Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of communications technology and services. We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-time solutions that allow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely, in sustainable societies around the world.

Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Information and Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries. Today more than 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks and we support customers’ networks servicing more than 2.5 billion subscribers.

We operate in 180 countries and employ more than 100,000 people. Founded in 1876, Ericsson is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2011 the company’s net sales were SEK 226.9 billion (USD 35.0 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ, New York stock exchanges.

 Again, This seems more interesting than watching NASCAR but to each their own… NASCAR fans, that was HANDOVER not HANGOVER.

Happy Friday

 So last year had a story about saving 50% power consumption just by enhancing content strategies. I’ve been keeping my eyes on that one, therefore when I saw these, my triggers went off. I have about 4 technologies that are not earth shattering but each add up to dramatically slice power consumption for mobile devices. Here goes..

 BTW, this latest batch of technology is fundamental and is useful for all 4G LTE devices being used in most any way.

Firstly. there is a company called Quantance that has introduced a seriously kick butt power amplifier device for UEs. Their Q845 is a single chip 0.18μm component that enables Envelope Tracking (ET) for power amplifiers (PA) therefore, when combined with a relatively efficient PA component the effective power efficiency can approach 50% vs typical 35% seen in today’s designs. Here is their nifty graphic that shows the benefits: 

Quantance calls their ET technology qBoost. This is a significant improvement for LTE mobile radios. Don’t forget that this ET approach improves linearity of the PA. This will be realized as greater dBs TX power and improved Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) for greater throughputs in the uplink at the reduced power.













Second, let’s consider the improvement researchers Xinyu Zhang and Kang G. Shin of the University of Michigan outlined…That was a strategy called E-MiLi (Energy-Minimizing idle Listening.)  

A new “subconscious mode” for smartphones and other WiFi-enabled mobile devices could extend battery life by as much as 54 percent for users on the busiest networks. 

 This was targeted for WiFi and saves around 44% of total radio power. Their paper is here

Lastly there is Dockon. Dockon explains their technology best as:

DockOn’s CPL antenna technology is based on the concept of increasing efficiency and bandwidth by exciting magnetic and electric radiators together from a single feed location. This concept, referred to as “compound antenna theory”, has been perfected by DockOn for use in a wide variety of commercial applications and implemented on a variety of substrates including rigid/flex PCB, stamped metal and Laser Direct Structuring (LDS).

Their white paper can be found here.

So overall this increased antenna efficiency will increase the amount of RF power coming into and out of the antenna, therefore improving performance and battery life (less TX adjusting required since RX is better.)

 Beyond the constant improvements in processors that we are hearing about, both ARM designs and graphics processors, there is a new memory standard , double data rate type four synchronous dynamic random-access memory (DDR4). Note, the standards organization, JEDEC defines this standard. 

This memory is faster for greater performance and offers a theoretical savings of 20% overall. Samsung is now sampling these modules for servers etc and so the mobile devices seem to be more like 2013ish, but nonetheless an important technology to keep our eyes on. 

There is the simple list of 4 complementary technologies that can offer power savings in devices beyond the traditional process shrinks that are now expected in the processor domain. 

Good day..

Links: DockonJEDECQuantanceUniversity of Michigan, Wikipedia




With publication forecasted for mid-2012, JEDEC DDR4 will represent a significant advancement in performance with reduced power usage as compared to previous generation technologies. When published, the new standard will be available for free download at
DDR4 is being developed with a range of innovative features designed to enable high speed operation and broad applicability in a variety of applications including servers, laptops, desktop PCs and consumer products. Its speed, voltage and architecture are all being defined with the goal of simplifying migration and facilitating adoption of the standard.
A DDR4 voltage roadmap has been proposed that will facilitate customer migration by holding VDDQ constant at 1.2V and allowing for a future reduction in the VDD supply voltage. Understanding that enhancements in technology will occur over time, DDR4 will help protect against technology obsolescence by keeping the I/O voltage stable.
The per-pin data rates, over time, will be 1.6 giga transfers per second to an initial maximum objective of 3.2 giga transfers per second. With DDR3 exceeding its expected peak of 1.6 GT/s, it is likely that higher performance levels will be proposed for DDR4 in the future. Other performance features planned for inclusion in the standard are a pseudo open drain interface on the DQ bus, a geardown mode for 2667 Mhz data rates and beyond, bank group architecture, internally generated VrefDQ and improved training modes.
The DDR4 architecture is an 8n prefetch with bank groups, including the use of two or four selectable bank groups. This will permit the DDR4 memory devices to have separate activation, read, write or refresh operations underway in each of the unique bank groups. This concept will improve overall memory efficiency and bandwidth, especially when small memory granularities are used.
Additional features in development include:
  • Three data width offerings: x4, x8 and x16
  • New JEDEC POD12 interface standard for DDR4 (1.2V)
  • Differential signaling for the clock and strobes
  • New termination scheme versus prior DDR versions: In DDR4, the DQ bus shifts termination to VDDQ, which should remain stable even if the VDD voltage is reduced over time.
  • Nominal and dynamic ODT: Improvements to the ODT protocol and a new Park Mode allow for a nominal termination and dynamic write termination without having to drive the ODT pin
  • Burst length of 8 and burst chop of 4
  • Data masking
  • DBI: to help reduce power consumption and improve data signal integrity, this feature informs the DRAM as to whether the true or inverted data should be stored
  • New CRC for data bus: Enabling error detection capability for data transfers – especially beneficial during write operations and in non-ECC memory applications.
  • New CA parity for command/address bus: Providing a low-cost method of verifying the integrity of command and address transfers over a link, for all operations.
  • DLL off mode supported
To facilitate comprehension and adoption of the DDR4 standard, JEDEC is planning to host a DDR4 Technical Workshop following the publication of the standard. More information and details will be announced coincident with publication.

Looking towards the future, JEDEC’s JC-42 Committee for Solid State Memories stands at the forefront of the ongoing effort to produce next generation memory device standards.


 I continue to  be toiling down here in the LTE kitchen and will be done soon. So CNET has a simple LTE info graphic that is more or less the flip side of the technology oriented info graphics from yesterday. Have fun.

Yesterday, the FCC reached cross border 700MHz agreements with Canada and Mexico. This is really probably accelerated for the Public Safety uses of the spectrum but we all will benefit. Good job FCC. Full PR after the break….

Links: FCC.GOV

Read Full Article →

I have been pretty busy lately and needed a chuckle. Here is today’s (Thanks to Vlad @

Verizon’s LTE network takes the night off, leaves a bunch of Thunderbolt users bewildered

By Vlad Savov posted Apr 27th 2011 7:19AM
Is your fancy new phone lacking that certain extra G that makes it special? Worry not, it’s not just your device, Verizon’s entire LTE network seems to be having problems as outages have been reported from across the US. We tested our own Thunderbolt in San Francisco this morning and it was indeed making do with only 3G connectivity. It’s important to note that Verizon’s 3G network seems to be ticking along quite alright, it’s just 4G service that’s down at the moment. Some folks have reported losing both 3G and 4G connectivity, but that’s owing to a documented issue with 3G provisioning on the Thunderbolt — we’ve noted the way to overcome that problem in a previous post. For now, just enjoy your regular-speed mobile internet until the super-fast stuff is fixed and back up. 

Update: The Verizon Wireless Twitter account has confirmed the issue, and that the company’s network engineers are “working to resolve quickly.”



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