Currently viewing the tag: "WiFi"

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.


I’ve been really busy building things and talking to people but one announcement made me cheer. Parallel Wireless is combining several elements such as HetNet, backhaul, LTE, SON and some Software Defined Networking (SDN) concepts into a product. rtr4bjo9



(No, this image has nothing to do with that.)


They are introducing what they call, a Converged Wireless System (CWS but not to be confused with College World Series), that integrates the backhaul and the access products as others have done, (ex: Athena Wireless) but with more integration into other environments like the P25 radios used by first responders, WiFi, etc… I think it’s an interesting package. Good for them for thinking beyond just the access and working on the integration of the HetNet into the macro network through their controllers.

Parallel Wireless has a tough road ahead as they try to compete in a crowded market (of mostly vaporware!) but I fully applaud the thinking and energy!

Overview Video:

Related announcement by customer EE (UK.)


02 December 2014


  • EE set to connect more than 1,500 communities by the end of 2017
  • World-first technology successfully trialled in Cumbria village of Sebergham, with all 129 households and small businesses receiving data and voice connectivity from only three ‘meshed’ small antennas
  • New EE micro network changes the economics of mobile coverage by removing the requirement to build large masts and install sub-ground cables

From the Parallel Wireless material:

  • Urban HetNet optimization for VoLTE
  • Rural and suburban network extension, urban infill, urban capacity enhancement
  • Land Mobile LTE (LMLTE)
  • “Bring Your Own Coverage” with in-vehicle instant deployables
  • Hosting the 3G or P25 IP network backbones
  • Greenfield macro with On-Tower Macrocell eliminating the eNodeB in the cabinet

Converged Wireless System (CWS) is a high capacity 3GPP compliant carrier-grade multi-RAT eNodeB that leverages the latest silicon to deliver more capabilities from commodity components. Coming in different form factors including outdoor and in-vehicle, CWS delivers instant, reliable and cost-effective coverage anywhere and features:

  • 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi
  • Built-in flexible backhaul: Fiber, Ethernet, LTE Backhaul, multi-radio mesh SDN backhaul enabled by LAC

CWS leverages open APIs on LAC. The nodes are self-configured and self-managed via LAC and can be deployed easily. LAC enabled orchestration provides hands free maintenance of CWS base stations along with the following benefits:

  • SON-based interference mitigation for access and backhaul
  • SON-controlled dynamic RF power adjustment
  • Software-defined radio (SDR) capabilities that enable future proof for additional bands or band reconfigurations
  • Integrated resilient synchronization


Parallel Wireless is reimagining the RAN and building solutions that will enable and accelerate the long term transition from today’s 4G LTE to tomorrow’s 5G cellular networks.

In the span of a past decade we’ve gone from a majority of voice-only 2G networks to widespread data-first LTE networks. In the decade to come, expectations are for wireless networks to rival the capacity and speed we experience on wired networks today. In the same way that the architecture for voice-only 2G networks was inappropriate for data-first networks, the architecture of today’s LTE rollout will face serious challenges cost-effectively achieving the capacity and coverage aspirations for 5G.

The only known way to realize the vision for 5G networks is densification. We need more radios covering more bands in more places. This means the average carrier will have multiple bands of LTE spectrum. This means we will have more radios than ever before from multiple vendors. This means we will have a true unified HetNet versus independent 3G/LTE networks or separate macro, femto, and metro cell networks.

All of this points to the need of more intelligent coordination and orchestration in the RAN. We are well on our way to this future with our introduction of the LTE Access Controller  and Converged Wireless System. Our roadmap and vision will introduce more capabilities and continue to incrementally evolve the network. We look forward to sharing more as we fully realize this vision.

84kb cropped version The Small Cell Americas Conference and Small Cell Forum events are taking place this week in Dallas, Texas. This makes me think back in time….smallcellsamerica I first started discussing small cells as a product in 2002, at Samsung, and 11 years later we have progressed very little in the way technology normally goes. From what I can say, there have been 3 major hurdles that have not helped here. 

1. Big iron OEMs make lots of $ from macro cells. They have not seen a business plan that makes sense to them, you know where they introduce a product that essentially cannibalizes their existing revenue stream and converts $40K units into $400 units.

2. The operators are not exactly sure what to do here. Firstly, they have a business model that is pretty tight. They price a flashy new user device at an attractive price (normally break even or lossy), then subsidize this purchase with the anticipated 2 year service revenue. Notice there was no cell in the spreadsheet that was for small cell in that revenue plan. I’ve witnessed arguments between company executives over whom would actually ‘pay’ for the device, example, is it a marketing expense or is it an operations expense? Let’s call this one chicken and egg.

The egg: chickenegg1

They ask themselves, what will the consumer think of us, or another way, does sending a consumer a small cell signal to the public that our coverage is poor (even if it really is, and forget that it’s cheaper to operate a good network than a poor one)?

Here is an example of the back of napkin numbers that US wireless guys go through in this argument….

Per New subscriber: (So operators outside of the US have a similar calculation, but with smaller numbers- US customers are just gouged that way and, no, Called Party Pays is not the difference.)

  1. New device cost: -$899
  2. Customer Paid: $200
  3. Lifetime Service Revenue: (ARPU X 24) ($109.67x 24 = $2632.08)
  4. Small Cell Cost:$599
  5. Total Adjusted Revenue: $2033.08

Then they say something like, “Now you can plainly see we can’t afford this device at this price” and you are supposed to agree.

Naturally, the chicken would be:

…a small cell to ensure this coverage is perfect at that spot. Don’t forget, the OEM’s are not exactly cheering on the operator’s executives to figure this one out either. Count on these OEMs to throw anything that is really smoky on this campfire pow wow.

3. Exactly what is the business plan for the small cell manufacturer? Before chipsets came to the rescue, they needed to spend many millions on R&D to create a small cell, all very hard to justify at really low unit prices without large commitments in volume. Compounding the problem here: operators not promising small cell unit volume based on challenges above. This situation marginally improved when Qualcomm, Ubiquisys, MindSpeed+picochip, TI etc came with that piece but there are still large investments to make to bring one to market. R77_Small_Cells_T1

So, making a low cost device is not without market promise of volume. Unfortunately, there have been very limited distributions of small cells from operators and the numbers aren’t there.  I won’t talk about the other costs (based on complexity) of integrating the SIP based femto core into the networks- that’s a fiasco story for another day.

There are other hurdles but they are minor in comparison. Anyway, for all the promise of small cells, the only definitive thing that’s happened is WiFi is everywhere. You know, THAT, Wifi, that the carriers haven’t been able to monetize… It’s getting depressing- ugh, I’ll stop here…but as you know the story continues…We can finish this chat later….

Oh yeah- here’s a cool presentation from today’s conference….


The unprecedented growth in mobile data consumption, driven by smart phones and other data intensive devices, highlights the need for improved coverage and increased data throughput for subscribers. More than 70% of mobile voice and data traffic is generated indoors (Informa 2008). Unfortunately, macro base stations are located outdoors. Providing coverage from the “outside in” can result in a poor end user experience. In a macro network, user experience can be affected by several factors:

  • Cell size
  • Users distance from the cell tower
  • Backhaul
  • Number of users
  • Traffic levels

Femtocells allow operators to target capex where it is needed by bringing the network access point closer to the mobile user. This enables a higher data connection and an improved user experience. Qualcomm’s femtocell platform helps mobile operators stay competitive and respond to emerging technologies, while increasing coverage and the overall mobile network capacity with greater spectrum reuse for the operator. The Qualcomm platform will provide a flexible, fully integrated System on Chip (SoC) that allows equipment manufacturers and operators to deliver a best-in-class solution with the highest levels of integration and performance.

Increased interference is a concern when operators consider dense femtocell deployments to improve performance. Qualcomm has completed extensive performance analysis, simulations and field tests and developed innovative techniques to address the issue of interference management. These techniques and algorithms will ensure that the femtocell platform delivers a reliable user experience as a mobile phone moves from femtocell to macrocell.

Qualcomm is an active member of the Femto Forum and a key contributor to the Femto Forum white paper, Interference Management in UMTS Femtocells. As a result of research associated with this paper as well as extensive simulation and analysis done independently, Qualcomm has determined four key areas to successful interference management.



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…




Last Friday, in the US, the 10th of August, Sprint announced it had awarded Samsung and Alcatel Lucent contracts to provide small cells. Currently, Airwalk provides enterprise class small cells and Airvana their residential (femto) small cells for CDMA 1x/EVDO. This recent announcement seems centered around LTE, Samsung’s part to play focused on indoor small cells (they provided the first 400K CDMA femtocells) and ALU most likely a LightRadio win, thus outdoor focused with WiFi potential too. Further, it’s most likely that Samsung’s small cell will again be alone (head start of 9-15 months) in it’s ability to interwork CDMA and LTE as they roll their own chipsets whereas the other vendors are part of Qualcomm’s ecosystem. 

This is a first ‘major’ announcement, and NOW we can expect full wide scale deployment of small cells….See, there we go, ip.access just announced a few hours ago they also have 5 customers.

This could be the first chess move towards Sprint moving towards VoLTE too…

Full PR below…

That took forever…



See the cool concept small cell from ip.access? They focus on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE where as the Samsung focus is more CDMA and LTE, and ALU just LTE and WiFi for now…



Alcatel Lucent’s Cool Light Radio:

Links:,, Samsung, ip.access

ip.access Press Release

14th August 2012

ip.access on target for Small Cell LTE Roll-out

First units already shipped to customers

Cambridge, Aug 14th 2012: ip.access today confirmed that it had already shipped an LTE-only version of its new E-100 dual mode access point to five customers for laboratory and field trials. This is an important staging point in the process of moving towards full commercial deployments and represents the company’s first LTE product shipments.

Announcing the shipments, ip.access CEO Simon Brown said: “Customer interest has been strong in the E-100 and we have invested in accelerating the programme in order to meet that demand.

“Indeed, our commitment to increased R&D into understanding and delivering on all the end-to-end requirements of the developing small cell network layer – from access points to network gateways and management systems – is now paying dividends; gaining recognition and support from network operators, system integrators, our partners and the industry in general.”

The E-100 is a small cell Access Point targeted for use in enterprises and public indoor environments. The device will provide simultaneous 4G and 3G mobile phone signals with data speeds of up to 150 Mbps and 42 Mbps respectively and will also be able to support WiFi as an optional module.

ip.access founder and CTO Nick Johnson said: “Small cells will have a vital role to play in delivering LTE’s promise of high-speed data for the mass-market and the E-100 will allow operators to quickly deploy that capacity exactly where it is needed.”
The E-100 will be integrated into ip.access’ nanoConverge end-to-end small cell solution architecture, allowing operators to deploy the E-100 alongside the company’s existing 3G small cells using the same gateways and network management system.

Last month, judges at the Small Cells Forum industry awards gave ip.access a special award for its Network Orchestration System small cell layer next generation management tool and its nanoConverge combined 3G/LTE network gateway.


Samsung Press Release

August 10, 2012 in Mobile

SAMSUNG Network Infrastructure to Complement Sprint Network Vision with LTE Small Cell Deployment Program Award

Samsung will leverage its strong business alliance with Sprint, and expertise in 3G and 4G infrastructure and managed services to improve coverage and speed for Sprint customers

DALLAS and KANSAS CITY – August 9, 2012 – Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the United States and a leading provider of 3G and 4G network infrastructure, has been chosen to help develop Small Cell Network Infrastructure for Sprint’s (NYSE: S) Network Vision Program. Sprint’s Network Vision is a multi-year initiative to enhance Sprint customers’ network experience, including improvements in coverage, quality and speed by deploying multi-mode base stations capable of supporting various spectrum bands.

Sprint and Samsung engineers collaborated to develop products to significantly expand the coverage and capacity of the Sprint network utilizing Samsung’s small cells. For these small cell rollouts, Sprint plans to deploy a heterogeneous network, or HetNet, that targets high traffic indoor areas and hundreds of high capacity public venues such as stadiums, conference centers, office complexes, hotels, and airports.

“Our ongoing work with Sprint’s Network Vision demonstrates Samsung’s commitment to developing custom solutions with our leading carrier customers. This new award will allow Sprint to meet increasing demand for coverage and capacity while consolidating multiple legacy networks and spectrum bands in a single platform,” said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile. “The deployment of our small cell technology will enhance Sprint’s network and demonstrates the strength of Samsung’s infrastructure offering.”

Samsung initially became involved in the Network Vision program in December 2010. The two companies also collaborate closely to deliver Sprint’s 56 million customers nationwide 4G LTETM devices including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Samsung Galaxy S III® wireless handsets.

“Network Vision is all about improving the network experience for our customers,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president of network operations for Sprint. “We are excited to expand our relationship with Samsung with their inclusion in the small cell program and provide customers with the cutting edge network they need to keep up with the cutting edge phones Sprint offers.”

With more than 30 years of telecommunications experience, Samsung is the only telecommunications infrastructure vendor providing end-to-end solutions for all major network technologies from chipsets and infrastructure, to mobile devices.

Samsung, Galaxy, and Galaxy S are all trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. All other company names, product names and marks are the property of their respective owners and may be trademarks or registered trademarks.

About Sprint Nextel 
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 industries, during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and

About Samsung Telecommunications America

Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, a Dallas-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., researches, develops and markets wireless handsets, wireless infrastructure and other telecommunications products throughout North America. For more information, please visit

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

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

ALU Press Release

Sprint to leverage Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio to bring high-capacity 4G LTE mobile broadband coverage and speeds to busy public locations

lightRadio Metro Cells to be deployed on Sprint’s network to deliver extra capacity and better quality connections in locations such as stadiums and campusesOverland Park, Kan. and Paris – August 6, 2012 – Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and U.S. service provider Sprint (NYSE: S) are today announcing an agreement to deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio™ Metro Cells to augment coverage in high-traffic areas. Metro cells are mini base stations that can easily be deployed indoors or outdoors on lamp posts or street signs, inside shopping malls or stadiums to provide enhanced capacity. They can also fill gaps in coverage – created by buildings – in densely populated urban locations. Sprint’s initial deployment will focus on indoor applications, including entertainment venues, transportation hubs and business campuses. By deploying metro cells, Sprint expects to deliver a better broadband experience to more of its subscribers in these high-traffic areas and will help reduce costs in the process.The growing adoption of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices has resulted in an increased demand for Internet access, video and other mobile data services. At sporting events, popular shopping venues and other social and business occasions, large numbers of people are accessing social networking sites, sharing videos, playing Internet games and making voice and video calls, putting stress on mobile service providers’ cellular networks. This can lead to dropped calls, slower data connections and reduce the subscriber’s mobile broadband experience.To address this fast-growing demand for data, Sprint is building an all-new network, an initiative known as Network Vision. This new network will include the deployment of a new, improved 3G network and 4G LTE. Small cell technology complements the Network Vision plan by providing a lower cost infrastructure to expand coverage and capacity in targeted high usage areas. “Sprint is a leader in innovation, and as such, we want our customers to enjoy the latest high-bandwidth services and applications,” said Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president-Network. “With Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio Metro Cells we will be able to increase our coverage and capacity where it’s needed.”Robert Vrij, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas Region and head of Global Strategic Alliances, said enhancing mobile broadband coverage in busy public areas is a top priority for many service providers. “As a leader in small cell technology, Alcatel-Lucent is in an ideal position to address this challenge,” he said. “By selecting our lightRadio Metro Cells, Sprint can offer its customers the quality of mobile broadband experience they expect, keeping them connected wherever they are.”Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio technology supports the full range of wireless technologies, including 2G, 3G and 4G LTE, and Wi-Fi. This provides mobile operators with the capability to grow their network capacity to meet exploding demand for data services with higher speeds and in a smaller physical space. lightRadio also addresses many other operator challenges, including reducing power consumption for a greener footprint and providing a deployment solution that helps operators bridge the digital divide for people without Internet access.Alcatel-Lucent will provide Sprint with the lightRadio™-based Metro Cell portfolio of products which are capable of supporting outdoor, urban hotspot, rural and indoor applications.

To date, Alcatel-Lucent has 39 commercial small cell deployment agreements and more than 20 ongoing trials.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 industries, during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at external or external and external

Sprint Nextel Media Contact:

Kelly Schlageter

[email protected]

About Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU)The long-trusted partner of service providers, enterprises and governments around the world, Alcatel-Lucent is a leading innovator in the field of networking and communications technology, products and services. The company is home to Bell Labs, one of the world’s foremost research centers, responsible for breakthroughs that have shaped the networking and communications industry. Alcatel-Lucent was named one of MIT Technology Review’s 2012 Top 50 list of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” for breakthroughs such as lightRadio™, which cuts power consumption and operating costs on wireless networks while delivering lightning fast Internet access. Through such innovations, Alcatel-Lucent is making communications more sustainable, more affordable and more accessible as we pursue our mission – Realizing the Potential of a Connected World.With operations in more than 130 countries and one of the most experienced global services organizations in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The Company achieved revenues of Euro 15.3 billion in 2011 and is incorporated in France and headquartered in Paris.For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on:, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog: and follow the Company on Twitter: external link the Alcatel-Lucent Press Office:[email protected]

Metro announces they sold their first VoLTE phone in the Dallas market tonight (07Aug12), the LG Connect 4G Android™. This is a necessary step for Metro as they will now be able to offer simultaneous voice and data for the first time now (SVLTE) and helps address the lack of spectrum they face in a few markets. I imagine they will w

ant/need to go down from AMR 14.4 voice coding in the future (default for VoLTE) due to the lack of efficiency compared to the EVRC-B that they are using today but they can surely start there. Also note, with the IMS client on the LG Connect, this device can also technically (InterRAT) handover to a WiFi channel (assuming they have deployed edge security and ePDG in the network), so they can technically have offload very rapidly, no small cells to deploy. This could be very interesting.

BTW, SK Telecom and LG Uplus announced their launches today too, so there was apparently a race on to be the first in the world, although the Korean launches seem to feature HD voice with a wideband Vocoder.

Gold/silver/bronze finish for US and S.Korea…


The full Press Release is at the bottom…

 Now full disclosure here: I have been involved with MetroPCS’s (again should we go to MetroLTE?) LTE involvement from the time it was a what if scenario. OK, fast forward…so I’m reading Bloomberg, Reuters etc… and they are going on about the good results from MetroPCS. Let’s review. Reuters specifically says: 

At the end of the second quarter, the company said, about 8 percent of its subscribers were using its so-called fourth generation high-speed service, which is based on a technology known as Long Term Evolution.

The company’s service revenue rose 4 percent to $1.16 billion for the quarter. Quarterly average revenue per user was $40.62, up 13 cents from a year earlier.

MetroPCS posted a net subscriber loss of 186,000 in the second quarter. Analysts had been expecting its subscriber numbers to fall by 94,000 to 174,000, according to four analysts contacted by Reuters.

The company said it expects to boost subscriber growth with 4G LTE For All, a line of affordable 4G LTE smartphones it plans to launch in the second half of 2012.

“During the fourth quarter, we expect our 4G LTE For All initiative to lead to a return to subscriber growth,” Chief Executive Roger Linquist said in a statement.

Churn — or customer defection rate — fell by half a percentage point to 3.4 percent for the quarter.

So the key points that stuck out to me are:

  • Metro is shedding their prepaid voice subscribers but gaining sticky LTE subscribers. 
  • Metro expects to grow subscribers- LTE subscribers
  • OPEX doesn’t seem to be out of control with prepaid all you can eat LTE data users.
  • They are planning to refarm their CDMA spectrum using VoLTE and presumably an all LTE device line up.
  • Churn is down so customers seem to be happy
MetroPCS deployed LTE on their existing AWS and PCS spectrum. Many said they couldn’t be successful on such limited spectrum. Metro even made tough choices with their towers and antennae to deploy but not break the bank. That took some courage. Also worth noting, they are completely prepaid so customers are buying these smartphones outright. LTE smartphones to boot.
So the big (public) bets placed by Metro’s exec team like skipping EVDO and heading for LTE with their prepaid customer model intact seems to be working for them. This is a good thing for MPCS shareholders but a really good thing for consumers (with an interest in wireless services) in general. It must have been a moment to sit in their conference room and get the news that the bets are paying off. So obviously they have their work cut out for them, they need more LTE devices from more OEMs, they need more spectrum to both improve performance and meet the demand from their growing customer base, and to do that they will either need to buy more spectrum or deploy VoLTE (with the associated IMS integration, UE clients etc…) to help them refarm the existing CDMA spectrum. That’s a lot to get done!
Go MetroPCS!

MetroPCS Launches World’s First Commercially Available Voice Over LTE Service and VoLTE-Capable 4G LTE Smartphone (via PR Newswire)

DALLAS, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS) today reached another innovation milestone by announcing the world’s first commercial launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services, availability of the world’s first VoLTE-capable handsets and the first sale of a VoLTE-capable…

Read Full Article →

 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.


  Movik’s product announcement caught my eye, its a real time OSS type of network surveillance system targeted towards handover traffic. This solution is an interesting niche. There is going to be a significant amount of traffic ‘in flight’ moving between 3G, 4G LTE, WiFi etc… I can see this will be very useful for small cell deployments too. Check it out, full PR below…

Link: Movik


REACHT(TM) Intp Your Network

Movik’s unique intelligent Radio Access Network (RAN) solution is based on its REACHTM (Report, Export, Act, Control, HetNet) architecture.   Movik’s REACH architecture provides a comprehensive end-to-end intelligent RAN deployment lifecycle that provides flow-based, content aware RAN awareness in real-time across multiple Radio Access Technologies (multi RAT).  REACH delivers a progressive solution designed specifically to address operator needs today and as networks scale rapidly for tomorrow’s mobile broadband demand as outlined below:

REACH Network Diagram


The company’s innovative solutions enable operators to improve the subscriber experience by intelligently correlating and acting in real-time, on all traffic in the RAN. Movik leverages network and content awareness to quickly and easily scale content distribution, establish policies and procedures based on real-time network conditions, and implement traffic management techniques that make the most efficient use of the existing network infrastructure.

REACH diagram

Movik’s REACH architecture is the industry’s first solution that intelligently delivers real-time RAN awareness to the mobile network.  Exposing real-time intelligence from the RAN – the part of the network that impacts efficiency and QoE the most – enables operators to better plan, manage, and control their most valuable network asset.  With Movik’s REACH architecture, each individual element of the access network, down to the sector and device, become independently visible and controllable, allowing operators to take precise actions and policies on a per-sector, per-condition, per-content, and per-subscriber basis.

Movik Launches Industry’s First 3G/4G/LTE Correlation Solution

Tue, 05/22/2012 – 09:15

REACH™ Architecture Enables Deep Unified View into Operational Efficiencies of a Multi RAT Overlay Network

Westford, Mass. — May 22, 2012 — Movik Networks, the Intelligent RAN company, today announced the immediate availability of the industry’s first 3G/4G/LTE real-time correlation solution for intelligent RAN traffic management, Movik’s LTE Correlation and Multi RAT (Radio Access Technology) platform. Movik’s innovative solution allows operators to correlate in real-time not only what is going on in each individual network, whether 3G or 4G, but also correlate in real-time the mobility between the networks and the effects of usage as subscribers transition between networks.  Operators no longer have to think of their networks as separate verticals; with Movik’s LTE Correlation and Multi RAT solution, they now have a single, unified view into the overall operational efficiency of all their networks.

Wireless operators have seen explosive growth in data traffic as a result of higher speed wireless data networks, mobile video and social media and ever increasing USB devices, smartphones and tablets.  With demand for wireless data outpacing the mobile broadband infrastructure available, operators are investing in new, emerging RAT such as LTE and HSPA+. These newer access technologies have to work with existing technologies and to address this issue; operators are running layered, multi-generational, multi technology Radio Access Networks.

Movik’s LTE Correlation and Multi RAT platform, based on Movik’s REACH™ (Report, Export, Act, Control, HetNet) architecture, enables operators to resolve these problems and gain deep, unified insight into the operational efficiencies of their multi RAT overlay network.   Operators can now trigger multi RAT traffic flow management and policies in real-time enabling subscribers to be optimally connected, anytime, anywhere.

“Our surveys show that sophisticated real-time management of traffic in the RAN, at the subscriber level, is becoming an increasingly high priority for network operators,” said Graham Finnie, chief analyst at Heavy Reading. “As operators begin the transition from 3G to 4G, they will also need to be able to apply these management techniques dynamically to subscribers moving between these networks, as seamlessly as possible.”

“Movik is pleased to announce the commercial availability of its LTE and Multi RAT platform that supports both 3G and 4G networks simultaneously,” said John St. Amand, CEO, Movik. “Operators now have for the first time, a deep, correlated view of the real-time RAN that enables them to understand exactly what is going on by device, sector, or network. They can finally see what the subscriber QoE is as they transition between 3G and 4G, and understand network behavior, whether it’s dropped calls, data sessions, or capacity degradation during those transitions as a result of various application or content usage.  Movik’s LTE Correlation and Multi RAT platform provides the kind of granular visibility that allows operators to manage both their CAPEX and QoE much more thoughtfully for both their 3G and 4G networks simultaneously.”

Trials of Movik’s LTE Correlation and Multi RAT platform are underway in North America and APAC.

To register for Movik’s LTE Correlation and Multi RAT Solution Brief, please visit:


Executive Briefings

To arrange a press or analyst briefing, please contact Jacey Godfrey at [email protected].

For more information about Movik please visit or


About Movik Networks

Movik Networks’ innovative solutions enable operators to improve their subscribers’ experience by intelligently correlating and acting in real-time, on all traffic from the RAN. The company’s technology based on its REACH™ (Report, Export, Act, Control, HetNet) architecture, leverages network and content awareness to quickly and easily scale content distribution, establish policies and procedures based on real-time network conditions, and implement traffic management techniques that make the most efficient use of the existing network infrastructure. To learn more about Movik, please visit:

Media Contact:
Jacey Godfrey
Director, Corporate Marketing
[email protected]

LTE Benefits to the End User

Thought I would have some fun and go through the top 5 reasons the average consumer should adopt LTE. The point was to verify there were some end user benefits vs operators seeing all the benefits. I did my best to limit myself to today’s benefits, so there’s no HD Voice or global roaming etc in the list. See if you can think of better ones. Here are my top 5…Drum roll….

  1. Increased competition between carriers
  2. Supports ever growing Multi-mega pixel camera trend
  3. Safer to use at the sandwich shop than WiFi
  4. Low(est) mobile wireless latency
  5. Alternative to DSL at home
What? Here it is atom by atom.

1. Increased competition between carriers:  In the US, a less competitive wireless market, ATT, MetroPCS and Verizon already offer LTE, Clear, CSpire, Sprint, T Mobile, US Cellular are launching this year. I don’t like paying $25/GB/mo so I’m hoping the price competition will pressure down those prices. Yes supply and demand effects will have me using more and paying more, the low end is a mental barrier that needs to be crossed. Secondly, the increased competition with the identical services will result in greater focus in performance. The networks themselves will improve as a basis of competition further making end user experiences better.


2. Supports ever growing Multi-mega pixel camera trend: For this one , it’s bandwidth. Tip of the iceberg example, no way 3G is going support transporting your 17Mega pixel pictures of the puppy rolling over very quickly. LTE’s bandwidth will help out greatly here. Also, it looks like we are finally wanting to video call each other which is not very pleasant out on the road on 3G.


3. Safer to use at the sandwich shop than Wifi: Security of LTE vs WiFi is very deep and I won’t go into all of the nuances. Suffice it to say, at the lowest common denominator, it’s not free to begin stealing your data if on an LTE network. It takes significantly more effort than that. All that being said, I don’t want my instant messages to my wife on the internet. (yeah, ok, assume I have some end to end secure IM client.)


4. Low(set) mobile wireless latencyGaming. ‘Nuff said. Actually since the latency is so much lower than other wireless technologies, it’s going to make Push To X (PTx) services finally really usable. It also benefits chat and video calling a great deal. All of these apps are far more possible, pleasant etc on LTE than 3G or even WiFi under low loading in some cases.









5. Alternative to DSL at home:For this one  Tie it to your ‘stick it to the man’ strategy. Don’t know about you but it’s only recently I’ve had choices in wired networking. Another option never hurts when it comes to connectivity at home. More competition, and better pricing, better service as mentioned above.  



Come on Robin, to the Bat Cave, there is not a moment to lose….Just as you thought Het-Nets and small cells were just going to be infinitely marketed and never deployed, the Small Cells marketplace is pretty much exploding 

leading up to Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year. Here is a taste of the activity that you will see in slide ware, on busses, billboards, booths etc…




















Airspan and Aihop Communications are collaborating on HetNet/small cell solutions. Airspan makes 4G Radio Access Networking (RAN) gear and Airhop makes Self Optimizing Network (SON) software.

Airspan has really an intermediate sized base station strategy with fairly compact Remote Radio Head (RRH) type of base stations. Airhop has an awesome SON solution and is looking for places to put it, so focusing on HetNets, er the useful integration of macro (big) cells and small cells is the test case to prove that today’s networks can actually evolve to something else.

  Airvana showing off LTE small cells with demonstration in Barcelona

Airvana has been focused on Sprint CDMA technology. It will be good addition to the ecosystem to have LTE+CDMA small cells. Enterprise + Residential

Ericsson Acquires BelAir Networks.

Ericsson gains carrier WiFi and a HetNet product line. This is easily integrated into existing customers, thus I expect to see HetNets popping up at ATT, VZW, MetroPCS etc…

ip.Access launching E-100 hybrid WiFi and small cell.

ip.Access getting onto the carrier LTE/3G+WiFi offload RADAR with this launch. There are 3 announcements listed here representing this strategy. Market pricing should be better with this announcement.

  Mindspeed purchased Picochip, and now has dozens of small cells in addition to T22XX and T33XX SoC

Picochip had some lofty ideas about where the market was headed while Mindspeed was grinding away in the low end. If balanced, this combination may actually increase small cell penetration. Enterprise + Residential products.

  NEC launches 2 small cells with a Gateway

I suspect this is the result of a Japanese industry/governmental mandate but it’s interesting when a consumer focused company jumps into small cells. At Samsung I could never get management to get the long term vision. Enterprise + Residental

Ruckus wireless is launching a hybrid WiFi/carrier small cell.

Ruckus traditionally stayed away from the carrier radio space but is now incorporating a carrier radio component to their (small cell) SmartCell 8800. Very similar to what we did at Samsung and what Belair did. Lots of flexibility and low cost. Outdoor focus.

  The Small Cell Forum has teamed up with the Open Mobile Alliance to establish a single API set.

API development has been a sore spot with small cells in general. This may create enough momentum to be useful.

Links: Airhop, AirspanAirvana, BelAir Networks, Ericsson, ip.AccessMindspeed, NEC, Ruckus WirelessSmall Cell Forum



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