Friday, March 26, 2010

Telecom - 10 years from Now...

Broadband is a term that has changed the world around since the word Television has been coined. It has changed the way we live, work, the way world itself works. The future definitely belongs to broadband and more importantly, mobile broadband. Almost all the nations across the world are in the process of upgrading their national Telecom infrastructure. The winner will be those who work pro-actively and have the vision for what will the future look like, 10 years from now.

Its fascinating that our limitations are mostly due to our limited vision of future. Not everyone can predict the opportunities available to our industry. The vast possibilities of a great future will only become a reality if we make ourselves responsible for that future.

2020 shaping Ideas
What will life be like in 2020? What will consumers, enterprises and society want from communications in 2020? How will the world evolve? What habits and needs will people have? What kinds of technologies will they use to make life easier? Life in 2020 reflects Ericsson’s view of what the world of communications might look like in the future.

2020-shaping ideas is an Ericsson initiative worth following. It reflects the views of different thinkers, prominent personalities on how broadband and 24-hr connectivity will shape our life in the future. The site itself has an interesting design with lot of clips attached each one presenting a different view of the life 2020. The one by Adrian Bowyer on the Rep Rap machine using which you can download physical objects is very interesting. The concept itself is an amazing one.

More on this at the Ericsson site "2020-shaping ideas"

Check it out. The future is really promising!!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

VoLTE - Voice over LTE

The need for a low-cost, low-risk approach for bringing Voice to LTE deployments have lead to an initiative by T-Mobile Germany and some of the leading equipment vendors (Cisco, Kineto, Motorola, Ericsson, and Alcatel-Lucent etc.) to enable transmission of voice over LTE networks. The solution will enable the delivery of traditional circuit switched services such as voice, SMS and VMS over LTE. The overall objective is to enable GSM/UMTS operators to re-use existing equipment to deliver circuit based services over LTE and hence reduce costs.The advantage is that it will minimize the number of elements required to deploy VoIP over LTE. The architecture will also support handoff of circuit based services between GSM/UMTS and LTE networks. This means operators with legacy networks can migrate some of their network to LTE, still supporting legacy services in rural and suburban areas. It will also enable roaming between LTE and GSM/UMTS networks.

LTE (Long-Term Evolution) is shaping up as the choice of most mobile operators worldwide for next-generation networks, but it is not designed currently to carry voice or SMS traffic in the same way today's carrier networks do. This is basically because it uses a packet-based IP (Internet Protocol) data network. When looking at the options for ways of carrying voice over LTE, a number of possible solutions were arrived at. Equipment vendors and carriers have been lining up around two approaches to handle voice on LTE, called VoLGA (Voice over LTE via Generic Access) and One Voice.CSFB, Circuit Switched Fall Back is a less popular alternative.

Nokia Siemens Networks claims to have carried out a voice call over LTE networks at its research and development centers, recently. The call used the company's Fast Track VoLTE technology, which it said is aligned with the One Voice initiative. Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom also claimed it had completed an LTE voice call using VoLGA technology, using independent VoLGA-based systems from Kineto Wireless and Alcatel-Lucent. Kineto has announced a new release of software for its access gateway that the company said supports the VoLGA Forum's specification.

The One Voice
The One Voice profile for Voice over LTE is proposed by a collaboration between over forty operators including: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent. At the 2010 GSMA Mobile World Congress, GSMA announced that they were supporting the One Voice solution to provide Voice over LTE. VoLTE, Voice over LTE is an IMS-based specification. Adopting this approach will enable it to integrate into the suite of applications that will become available on LTE.

The VoLGA standard is based on the existing 3GPP Generic Access Network (GAN) standard. It aims at enabling LTE users to receive a consistent set of voice, SMS (and other circuit-switched) services as they transition between GSM, UMTS and LTE access networks.

CSFB, Circuit Switched Fall Back
The circuit switched fallback(CSFB) LTE has been standardised under 3GPP specification 23.272. LTE CSFB uses a variety of processes and network elements to enable the circuit to fall back to the 2G or 3G connection before a circuit switched call is initiated. It also allows for SMS to be carried since it is essential for set-up procedures for cellular telecommunications. The handset uses an interface known as SGs which allows messages to be sent over an LTE channel.

In the future, mobile operators with LTE will have to carry voice and SMS traffic alongside data on a single network using LTE. This will make more efficient use of radio spectrum. But the transition to that point is still very far!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Evolving HSPA : HSPA+

An evolution of HSPA has been specified based on the studies, which added multiple input/ multiple output (MIMO) antenna capability and 16QAM (Uplink)/ 64QAM (Downlink) modulation. The improvements in the radio access network for continuous packet connectivity will help the evolving architecture - HSPA+ - achieve uplink speeds of 11Mbps and Downlink speeds of 42Mbps. HSPA+, also known as Evolved High-Speed Packet Access is a wireless broadband standard defined in 3GPP release 7. The 3GPP roadmap from HSPA to HSPA+ and then to LTE has been well defined in standards development work with the final closing of Release 8.

HSPA+ is a simple upgrade to HSPA networks existing today. HSPA+ provides a performance advantage for the GSM-HSPA operators providing OFDMA equivalent performance in 5X5 MHz spectrum allocations
with only incremental investment.HSPA+ doubles the data capacity over HSPA and over WCDMA, it offers more than double voice capacity. Lower latency is being projected as one of the key advantages. Higher order modulation schemes are utilized to enhance the data rates. HSPA+ networks are likely to co-exist with LTE networks during the initial years, after which the oprerators may want to shift to the next level of efficiency. The discontinuous transmit/receive feature allows the device to gate off the control channels when there is no user data to send. Similarly the receiver is turned off at certain agreed intervals when there is no downlink information to the device. Such a synchronized operation allows the device to shut off its transmitter and receiver blocks completely, which significantly improves the device battery life for voice over HSPA services.

HSPA+ thus provides an excellent technology evolution path from HSPA, enabling operators to maximize their return on existing investments.