News A week in the net: WiFi, LTE-A, backhaul, deployment solutions, cloud telco

The Mobile Network
Date: February 6, 2014

With Mobile World Congress now lasting something more like four weeks than four days, we are seeing announcements beginning to come out a fair way in advance of the event. That includes some actual product announcements. Here’s a round-up of this week’s news mobile network technology. What have you missed?

WiFi

1. Devicescape said that its Curated Virtual Network (CVN) now has more than 20 million locations and is “on track” to have 100 million by 2017. It said growth was being accelerated by an increasing number of mobile operator customers.

Its network in cities where it has the densest number of hotspots, it said, can have many more access points under management than cellular operators have base stations deployed. In San Francisco, the size of the CVN is nearing 30,000 hotspots, whereas operator deployments of base stations and small cells total no more than 350 per operator.

2. By the way, Cisco released a load of updates to its stats trove, the Cisco VNO said that mobile data traffic will be offloaded onto Wi-Fi from mobile-connected devices (17.3 exabytes per month) than will remain on mobile networks by 2018 (15.9 exabytes per month).

By 2018, 52 percent of global mobile traffic will be offloaded onto Wi-Fi/small cell networks, up from 45 percent in 2013.

3. Taqua announced general availability of its Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) Virtual Mobile Core – a solution designed to enable carriers to offer voice and messaging services over WiFi networks.

Taqua’s solution enables cellular and WiFi calls from a single phone interface and the subscriber’s existing phone number. The Taqua solution uses the phone’s native dialler, contacts, call history and voicemail, as well as the native SMS, using the same message notifications, inbox and outbox.

For More on Taqua see our company profile from October 2013.

NSN

1. Coordinated Scheduler
Schedulers will be crucial features to manage and co-ordinate interference between cells. Put simply, less interference means more capacity, especially at the cell edge.They are also a “battle ground” between vendors because the algorithms that drive them are unique to each vendor.

NSN said its Smart Scheduler already delivers more than 20 percent improvement in cell capacity when compared to other baseline industry LTE scheduler. Now it says the addition of coordinated scheduling will allocate radio resources from base stations to neighboring sites in collaboration to reduce inter-cell interference. This leads to higher downlink speeds for subscribers, especially at the cell edge where the reduction in interference between cells produces a 30 percent improvement in downlink speeds.

2. Carrier Aggregation
The vendor said that it has extended its carrier aggregation to 3 carriers, and would show 450Mbps speeds for individual users at MWC.

“At Mobile World Congress 2014, NSN will demonstrate the next step in its Carrier Aggregation evolution using its commercially available Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations: individual users’ downlink data rates of up to 450 Mbps, achieved by aggregating spectrum resources on 3 carriers for operators having a total bandwidth of up to 60 MHz.”

3. Smart network operations: NSN launches Predictive Operations – a managed service that NSN says spots potential service degradations and outages with 95% accuracy.

“Currently, most networks and service operations are run on a real-time basis. Predictive Operations goes a step further and anticipates potential problems, down to the network element level, before they affect the subscriber. This capability is in line with a key goal of our Technology Vision 2020 – making networks self-aware,” said Amit Dhingra, head of Managed Services at NSN.

4. TD-LTE performance.
NSN and Sprint said they had achieved hit 2.6 Gbps TD-LTE throughput over a single sector – beating the previous record by 63%. NSN aggregated 120 MHz of Sprint’s TDD spectrum to achieve 2.6 Gbps.

NSN said it is also launching a high-capacity TD-LTE baseband system module for its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station product family that can deliver up to 5 Gbps of peak throughput from a single site.

Backhaul

1. Canadian small cell backhaul company BLiNQ Networks announced availability of the X-1200 Adaptive Dual-Band NLOS System, capable of simultaneously supporting licensed and unlicensed sub-6 GHz bands, and adapting to demand and environment.

“Mobile operators need a flexible small cell backhaul solution that can not only be deployed rapidly, but adapts to changes in demand, environment and business requirements,” said Mickey Miller, Co-Founder and CEO of BLiNQ Networks. “The X-1200 delivers capacity required to support multi-standard (LTE/HSPA/Wi-fi) small cells with minimum use of spectrum and allows carriers to deploy in street level environments while scaling to meet growing capacity and changing coverage needs.”

2. Cambium Networks announced the availability of its PMP 450 product in the 3 GHz frequency, in addition to the current availability at 2.4 and 5 GHz. It said the 3 GHz frequency variation expands service providers’ global spectrum options to support their customer base.

Features:
Frequency availability: Now 3300 – 3600 MHz;
3550 – 3800 MHz to follow in March 2014
125 Mbps of throughput per access point
Dynamic Adaptive Modulation Up to 256 QAM
GPS synchronization for scalability
Low latency to support data, video and VoIP applications

“Introduction of the 3 GHz PMP 450 brings to bear an additional 550 MHz of licensed spectrum, allowing network operators around the world to expand their service offerings with confidence, and delivers the capacity to meet the ever-growing demand for broadband access,” said Scott Imhoff, VP of product management, Cambium Networks.

Ease of deployment

1. SpiderCloud Wireless, fresh from celebrating last week’s commercial go-live in the UK with Vodafone, this week too the wraps off the EASY-30 programme, a set of tools to to help mobile operators and enterprise customers identify, verify, and deploy a scalable in-building small cell system in 30 days or less.

The programme follows four steps that make up the EASY acronym:: Ethernet, Application, SON and Yes. If you want to know what that means, full details are here

2. Aeroflex introduces one-box LTE-A base station tester

Aeroflex Limited launched an extended version of its TM500 base station tester capable of emulating several thousand LTE user equipments (UE), fading channel models, and LTE-A carrier aggregation functionality in a one-box benchtop unit. The TM500 Test Mobile delivers more leading edge LTE-A development capability with a higher UE density than any other solution on the market.

“Carrier aggregation allows operators to achieve the wider channel bandwidths and higher data rates needed to offer true 4G services,” said Ngwa Shusina, product manager at Aeroflex. “The LTE-A features provided by the compact one-box TM500 allow cellular infrastructure vendors to develop carrier aggregation capability and to emulate real network traffic across thousands of terminals, ahead of the widespread availability of real LTE-A handsets.”

Telco in the cloud   

1. Italtel today announced the availability of NetMatch-S, something it said is “the world’s first Cloud-inside Session Border Controller” (SBC), which uses Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies to help operators move towards the Telco in the Cloud model”.

The SBC is the first cloud-inside SBC because “it was fully designed and developed in a cloud environment,” said Stefano Pileri, CEO of Italtel.

With its “Lite Edition”, NetMatch-S is the first virtualised SBC to be qualified by Microsoft for interoperability with Lync 2013 and is in production on virtualized environments. It has already been deployed for both User Network Interfaces (UNI) and Network Node Interfaces (NNI) by enterprises and service providers in EMEA.

2. RADCOM announced MaveriQ, a service assurance solution that it says is the industry’s first NFV probe-based software solution.

“With super-high-capacity probe processing power and advanced analytics, MaveriQ brings service assurance into the terabit era, giving operators clear visibility into all quality aspects of high-speed 4G LTE, VoLTE and LTE-Advanced networks. This new software-based solution is also ideal for NFV environments,” RADCOM’s Tpress release trumpeted.

VoLTE

IPX provider Tata Communications now supports VoLTE roaming.

New IPX capabilities from Tata include, HD Voice support and interoperability between fixed and mobile networks, as well as SIP IMS support. This means that HD calls are no longer limited to VoLTE-to-VoLTE handsets, but to any HD-enabled user, including fixed. Tata Communications has also deployed new capabilities to detect whether a call is HD in order to route it in such a way that the core benefits and features of HD are projected outside of the mobile operator’s network.

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