Saturday, May 29, 2010

What Next For VoLGA?

Operators are getting ready for LTE deployments in second half of 2010. However data only deployment is initially expected, followed by voice later. So how does operators are planning to launch voice services - 3GPP CSFB or IMS based or VoLGA ?

Last year there were discussions all around about inability of 3GPP LTE to handle voice from day 1. Kineto Wireless came forward with VoLGA. The VoLGA (Voice over LTE via Generic Access) Forum was initiated last year to promote an approach for extending traditional GSM and UMTS circuit-switched services over LTE access networks. It was an evolution from UMA/GAN but for LTE.

VoLGA claimed to solve voice problem, as operators around the world would adopt IMS voice on different timelines.

3GPP backers came back strongly and major mobile and converged operators such as AT&T, Verizon, France and Telecom/Orange along with powerful wireless equipment vendors such as Ericsson and Nokia-Siemens announced (November 2009) their plan to follow the IMS-based approach for delivery of voice and messaging services over Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband mobile radio access.

For more visit LteWorld

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

T-Mobile says 4G, AT&T says misleading

T-Mobile USA recently announced continued expansion and availability of its HSPA+ super-fast mobile broadband network that delivers 4G speeds in the Northeastern U.S. and other major cities across the country.

Understandably AT&T did not like it. “I think that companies need to be careful that they’re not misleading customers by labeling HSPA+ as a 4G technology,” AT&T Mobility spokesman Seth Bloom told Fierce Wireless. “We aren’t labeling those technologies as 4G.”

Using the HSPA+, the T-Mobile claims to deliver network theoretical peak download speeds of 21Mbps. “Our competitors are asking consumers to pay more for faster wireless service with limited coverage and very few capable devices,” said Neville Ray, senior vice president of Engineering and Operations for T-Mobile USA. “In contrast, T-Mobile is already delivering 4G speeds today to customers and we continue to make major leaps in expanding our HSPA+ mobile broadband footprint.”

HSPA+ is one step ahead to earlier 3GPP HSPA. Techincally it can not be called a true 4G as in case of LTE/LTE-Advanced & 4G. However it has potential to grow further.

See below Evolutionary Steps of HSPA+ (source 3gamericas)

Read more at LteWorld

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LTE flat rate or pay for what you use

Speaking at the LTE World Summit in Amsterdam Ken Wirth, president LTE and 4G networks at Alcatel-Lucent, warned that Services and applications need to be launched in conjunction with LTE infrastructure, so the telecoms industry doesn’t experience the same problems it faced with the deployment of 3G – years of carrying voice applications eventually resulting in network issues when data finally took off.

“We can’t live with or without flat rate tariffs. If you don’t give consumers flat rate they won’t use the services, but with it they abuse it." said Wirth, according to Telecoms.

It appears that telecom vendors and operators are getting more concerned about LTE service plans as LTE deployments to become reality worldwide soon.

TeliaSonera is currently selling an introductory LTE network plan with unlimited downloads but by July, the operator plans to limit downloads to 30 gigabytes and charge 599 kronor for the service, almost twice the cost of its 20-gigabyte 3G plan.

“We feel it is important for our customers to have a choice,” Ms. Augustson had said earlier. Instead of all you can eat, the new industry mantra, she said, is: “You get what you pay for.”

Verizon CTO Dick Lynch had been eariler quoted by Engadget as saying that he doesn't see how they'll be able to offer an all-you-can-eat plan when the company's LTE network goes live over the course of the next few years, citing its open development initiative as a key reason -- it's losing control over what devices (and what kinds of devices) can get on its network, raising the odds that there'll be gadgets that incur particularly heavy use.

As mobile subscribers are increasingly using high-bandwidth multimedia and web services, LTE services plans may not be unlimited in the end as was expected earlier.

Service providers need to come up with cost effective pricing plans remain competitive in the market. Availibility of MiFi kind of devices would certainly make it more difficult.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

LTE India 2010 to be held on May 28

While LTE World Summit 2010 at Amsterdam is going to take place in just couple of days, another LTE event is scheduled to be held on May 28 in India. LTE INDIA 2010 is organized by Bharat Exhibitions & supported by 3GPP Supporting Industry Global Association for LTE & Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

"According to Mr.Adrian Scrase, Head of 3GPP Mobile Competence Centre, LTE INDIA 2010 will be an ideal & best platform to set the future roadmap for LTE in India – We will encourage Regulators, Operators and Manufacturers to be a part of LTE – The most successful mobile broadband Standard. We will demonstrate that this is not just a new radio technology; there is a whole eco-system – all fully standardized and ready to go", TelecomTalk reported.

The conference will provide an update on the mobile broadband, current capabilities, the eco-system, drivers and directions for future evolution to the next generation/LTE and beyond. It will also discuss services and applications, business models, and challenges including solving spectrum needs for capacity and coverage requirements.

At this exclusive conference on Long Term Evolution (LTE), it will provide a useful & powerful forum for your organisation to discuss:

  • Why LTE when Broadband commodity is rapidly becoming commoditized?
  • Future of LTE in India where 3G is also moving towards progress at a snail's pace.
  • Emerging newest technologies and market trends in the LTE.
  • LTE for Next generation Business Strategy.
  • How can the present infrastructure be re-used for LTE at the lowest cost?
  • Examining the role of the operators perspectives in driving revenues out of LTE.
  • Regulatory barriers.
  • Challenges and Opportunities.
  • Evolution of the core Network.
  • Driving Applications and Service Developments.
  • Exploring Collaborative Business Models, Innovative Applications, Technologies and Strategies for Growth.
  • Network with the industry colleagues & most importantly do business by developing key relationships.

Visit event website for more details.

Friday, May 7, 2010

European Commission Reserves 800Mhz Bands for LTE and WiMAX Networks

Cellular News today reported that European Commission has Reserved 800Mhz Bands for LTE and WiMAX Networks. 800MHz band (also known as 790-862 MHz, channels 61 to 69 in UHF Bands IV and V) was previously used by analog broadcasting, and is particularly suitable for delivery of high-bandwidth services and indoor coverage.

Today's decision does not itself require Member States to make available the 790-862 MHz band for electronic communication services. However, the Commission is considering such a proposal in the forthcoming Radio Spectrum Policy Programme.

European Commission is supporting the use of the 790-862 MHz band 4G services and wants EU countries to act quickly.

In several Member States the 800 MHz frequencies are being freed up. The target date set by the EC for analog switch-off in EU member countries is 2012. Finland, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Denmark have already decided to release the whole of the 800 MHz band.

A 3GPP work item is currently under works to provide specification for "UMTS/LTE in 800 MHz for Europe" to provide support for LTE and UMTS with paired channel arrangement in the band 790-862 MHz.

Based on 3GPP work item the 790-862 MHz band is arranged as 2x30 MHz with 11 MHz duplex gap:

  • FDD Uplink: 832 – 862 MHz
  • FDD Downlink: 791 – 821 MHz

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lawful Interception Architecture for LTE Evolved Packet System

Lawful Interception is a legally sanctioned official access to private communications. It is a security process in which a service provider or network operator collects and provides law enforcement officials with intercepted communications of private individuals or organizations. Lawful interception is always done in accordance with the applicable national or regional laws and technical regulations.

3GPP Evolved Packet System (EPS) provides IP based services. Hence, EPS is responsible only for IP layer interception of Content of Communication (CC) data. In addition to CC data, the Lawful Interception (LI) solution for EPS offers generation of Intercept Related Information (IRI) records from respective control plane (signalling) messages as well.

3GPP lawful interception functional architecture for EPS is similar to 3G PS functional architecture. The following figures contain the reference configuration applicable for the lawful interception in the EPS.

The Administration Function (ADMF) interfaces with all the LEAs that may require interception in the intercepting network. It keeps the intercept activities of individual LEAs separate and interfaces to the intercepting network. ADMF along with the delivery functions is used to hide from Intercepting Control Element (ICE) that there might be multiple activations by different Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) on the same target.

Every physical Intercepting Control Element (ICE) is linked by its own X1_1-interface to the ADMF. Consequently, every single ICE performs interception (activation, deactivation, interrogation as well as invocation) independently from other ICEs. The HI1-interface represents the interface between the requester of the lawful interception and the Lawful administration function.

HI2 & HI3 interfaces represent the interfaces between the LEA and delivery functions. The delivery functions are used to distribute the Intercept Related Information (IRI) to the relevant LEA(s) and to distribute the Content of Communication (CC) to the relevant LEA(s)

The target identities for interception at the MME, HSS, S-GW and PDN-GW are IMSI, MSISDN and ME (Mobile Equipment) Identity.

As the MME only handles control plane and HSS only handles signaling, interception of Content of Communication is applicable only at the S-GW and PDN-GW.

For the delivery of the Content of Communication and Intercept Related Information the S-GW and/or, PDN-GW (per national option) provides correlation number and target identity to the Delivery Function 2 and Delivery Function 3 which is used there in order to select the different LEAs where the product would be delivered.

Refer 3GPP standard 33.107 for further reading.

source: 3GPP, ETSI

Monday, May 3, 2010

LTE Parameter Optimization – 3GPP Status

3GPP, NGMN and TM Forum came together recently to discuss operation requirements for next generation multi-technology networks. Workshop was held March 29-30 2010 in Bonn.

3GPP provided current status of the specifications and mapping of various requirements to existing 3GPP standards. Followings are analysis of NGMN Requirements about LTE parameter Optimization and their current status based on a 3GPP presentation. For some of requirements there is no related information in existing standards.


Existing 3GPP Standards Status

Automatic optimization of coverage and capacity related parameters in dependency of related KPIs and thresholds.

Some requirements have been defined in 3GPP TS 32.521 Release9.

Automatic optimization of QoS and GoS related parameters (i.e. adaption of scheduling and / or RACH parameters) in dependency of related KPIs and thresholds.

Some requirements of RACH optimization have been defined in 3GPP TS 32.521 Release 9.

Automatic optimization of mobility and handover related parameters (i.e. cell individual offsets, down tilts, Event A related parameters) in dependency of related KPIs.

The Load balancing and HO parameters optimization related requirements, NRM and targets have been completed in TS 32.521/522 in Release 9.

Automatic optimization of cells or services in outage based on an unambiguous detection of this outage.

Some requirements and some stage 2 description of Cell Outage Compensation have been defined in draft TS 32.541/542.

Optimization for identified parameters shall be done within a value range, defined by the operator

The targets of Load balancing and HO parameters optimization have been defined in TS 32.522, which can be set by the operator within a value range.

Optimization shall be done with respect to KPIs and parameters not directly related to the use case KPI (i.e. other KPIs shall not become worse than defined thresholds (e.g. handover optimization shall be done with respect to capacity related parameters resp. KPIs).

There is a related requirement (REQ-SO_MM-CON-11 ) in TS 32.521, but the related IS and solution sets have not been completed.

Dependency between KPIs resp. definition which KPIs shall be considered in addition to use case KPI(s) shall be configurable by the operator.

There is no related definition in existing standard.

Thresholds for start and end point of parameter optimization shall be configurable by the operator.

There is a related requirement(REQ-SO_MM-FUN-1 ) in TS 32.521, the targets of Load balancing and HO parameters optimization and the IOC of SONTargets have been defined in TS 32.522.

Optimization cycle should be configurable (periodically, event-based)

There is a related requirement (REQ-SO_MM-CON-6 ) in TS 32.521, but the related IS and solution sets have not been completed.

Support of centralized / decentralized solution

Based on the definitions of SONTargets and SONControl in TS 32.522, this requirement has been supported.

Degree of automation configurable by the operator.
o Optimization cycle completely automated: yes / no
o Automated import of optimized settings: yes / no

The concept of “Open loop” , which is related with the configuration of the optimization cycle, has been discussed is SA5 and more discussion is needed.
There is no related information about the automated import of optimized settings in existing standard.

Import / export function of network status with history and fallback solution.

There is no related information in existing standard.

OSS should provide standardized interfaces to planning tools / processes.

There is no related information in existing standard.