Articles in category: Backhaul
DALLAS, USA: AT&T plans to offer two 4G smartphones in the first quarter including the Motorola ATRIX 4G. AT&T has completed the deployment of HSPA+ to virtually 100 percent of its mobile broadband network, which enables 4G speeds when combined with enhanced backhaul, a release said.(Read Full Article)
Pressure of 4G Consumption has Operators Redesigning Unlimited Data Offerings
It could be considered a sign of the times – 4G times – where the demand for bandwidth has finally exhausted supply. It may also be an indication that the time has come for mobile network operators to take a deeper look at ways to monetize in a 4G world. Regardless of perspective, the reality is that the days of “unlimited” mobile data plans are numbered.
AT&T recently announced that it would be implementing bandwidth throttling for “grandfathered” unlimited mobile data customers who exceed usage limits within a billing cycle. While throttling is not a new concept for AT&T, which began to throttle back its top 5% of bandwidth consumers in 2011, the new policy it has adopted is much less ambiguous and is likely to be better understood by customers. The change will see customers of AT&T’s unlimited data plans having their throughput reduced if their data consumption exceeds 3GB for 3G/4G smartphones or 5 GB for 4G LTE smartphones. Customers will be notified by text message the first time they exceed these limits. AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans to new customers in 2010.(Read Full Article)
Verizon Wireless 's backhaul strategy could be a reason why its LTE network did not perform as well as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s during a drive test in one U.S. market, according to Signals Research Group. A Verizon press officer, however, disputes the suggestion that it is presently throttling back on the backhaul connections, which link the radio network to the wired Internet, for its new 4G network. After conducting drive tests of mobile broadband networks in the U.S., Signals Research Group has produced further analysis of LTE network performance in a new installment of its report series, "The Mother of All Network Benchmark Tests." As Light Reading Mobile previously reported, Signals Research Group found that in Houston AT&T's LTE network was markedly better than Verizon's on data throughput and that the difference in performance showed, more than anything else, just how immature LTE technology is today, rather than any fundamental advantages one operator has over the other. (See LTE's Immaturity in the US and AT&T LTE Test-Drive Results Revealed.) The latest analysis of the benchmark test data delves into the underlying causes of the performance differences. While Signals Research Group did not reveal its detailed conclusions to Light Reading Mobile, CEO and founder of Signals Research Group Mike Thelander shared some insights about those LTE networks based on his analysis of the data. For certain, according to Thelander, the performance differences were not due to network loading, or the number of users on the network. Rather, Thelander believes that a factor contributing to Verizon's LTE network performing less well than AT&T's in the Houston market is how Verizon configured its backhaul network. "My understanding is that [Verizon] has limited the amount of capacity provided to their LTE network," he said. "While they may have architected just as good of an LTE network … they're not necessarily leveraging all the capabilities for their own needs." But this is something that Verizon can change when needed, he explained. "It's an artificial constraint … not a technical issue," Thelander said. "It's a business decision. It's one of those limitations that can go away overnight." Verizon disagrees with the analyst's conclusion about backhaul, while not offering much detail on its LTE approach. "As for backhaul, not going to comment on our strategy other than to say that what your Signals Research source offers ... is false, and I’m not sure where the info is coming from," said a spokeswoman in an email reply to questions. Alcatel-Lucent v. EricssonThe study also shows that the differences in uplink throughput performance were down to which vendor's equipment was being used. Both Verizon and AT&T used RAN gear from Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson. In Houston, AT&T outperformed Verizon on uplink speed and in that market, it has deployed Ericsson equipment. The average uplink speed on AT&T's network (which was measured at 15.2 Mbit/s) in Houston was up to three times better than Verizon's. This is an advantage that Ericsson may have for now, but it will not last forever as vendors continue to optimize their equipment. "Certain vendors may do one thing very well but could be abysmal at something else; and that's for all vendors," said Thelander. "Those differences will quickly go away and be less noticeable," he added. "They're exaggerated just because of the immaturity of LTE." Big difference, but big deal?While Signals Research Group can pick up these performance differences on drive tests, will any LTE users actually notice? Maybe not, but it would depend on what kind of application they're using. That is, the differences would be more noticeable when downloading large amounts of data as opposed to just browsing the Web. "The typical user may not notice or appreciate the advantage that AT&T has," said Thelander. "You're not going to notice it, unless you're testing." Whether users actually detect such differences or not, this research provides a perspective on the state of LTE technology development in the U.S.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile(Read Full Article)
Now in its fourth year, 4G World 2012 is now the flagship mobile conference and expo within the UBM Techweb Events Network (TEN), one of the largest trade show and online media producers in the world. We are excited to put the UBM TechWeb resources to work at 4G World, creating an event that brings together the entire ecosystem of operators, enterprise customers, application developers, key industry associations and industry experts from major research and media companies. Just as Interop is the world’s leading and most comprehensive IT conference and expo, 4G World is the only event to provide a complete and unbiased understanding of the latest mobile broadband technology and business innovations. The 4G World 2012 agenda will focus on the most challenging issues and obstacles facing operators as they try to manage the cost of unbridled traffic growth and exploit opportunities to capture sufficient revenues and generate a return on their 4G infrastructure investments. 4G holds great potential to transform business and how people communicate, work and socialize, and we welcome you all to attend 4G World™ as the world’s largest independent event covering the global technology and applications ecosystem for next-generation mobile broadband networks.(Read Full Article)
- As mobile users increasingly gravitate to high-bandwidth applications—most notably video—operators are facing networks that are increasingly overburdened and underfunded. “There is a hidden tsunami slowly building with the next generation of mobile users,” said Jennifer Pigg, research VP at Yankee Group and moderator for the Backhaul Summit at 4G World in Chicago. “Young people have no problems watching video on smaller screens like smartphones and tablet computers. And they are very data-intensive. They’d rather not talk on the phone; they prefer social media or texting. This hidden tsunami of data will hit networks as the current young users grow up and enter the work force.” And that means even more strain on all elements of the network, including backhaul. With that in mind, Pigg looked ahead to 2014 and provided summit-goers with a glimpse of how next-generation small-cell backhaul needs to evolve to meet the challenge. In short, next-generation backhaul must: Support multiple operators’ networks in one unit. Be small, lightpole-mount-ready and weigh less than 50 pounds. Be all-outdoor. Eventually be non-line-of-sight and operate in frequencies below 6 GHz, without interference. Not require heavy DC power, and probably won’t offer much in terms of redundancy. Cost less than $5,000 for backhaul, RAN, everything. Getting there won’t be easy, she says. “There are many issues—cost, size, efficiency—but it seems like the biggest open question, the one that the operators cannot control, is that of spectrum. Right now, spectrum below 6 GHz is used by other applications and backhaul will likely face interference issues. Who will clear that spectrum? That is the big open question right now.” For more on 4G World 2011, visit the show Web site. (Read Full Article)
- By 4G Trends Staff In addition to 4G World’s comprehensive program of more than 200 speakers and industry-leading keynotes, the event will also play host to several new summits offering attendees deeper exploration of hot topics: Customer Experience Summit in the world of 4G, customer experience is everything. But do your customers have the best possible experience you can deliver? Are you doing all you can to optimize this experience? Where do you begin? Are you ready to compete on experience? The focused and insightful Customer Experience Summit will allow you to: Explore the essential ingredients of the 4G customer experience, including new offers, new devices and new networks. Hear case studies from communications service providers that have made substantial improvements in their customer interactions. Participate in lively debate about the best approaches to policy and security. Examine models of customer experience definition and process that will inform your next set of crucial investments. WCAI Spectrum SummitPresident Obama, the FCC and the NTIA have all made spectrum a top priority in 2011. To expand mobile access, increase the amount of unlicensed spectrum, build a nationwide public safety network and deploy smart grid, over 500 MHz of new allocation needs to be made available. The WCAI Spectrum Summit explores associated spectrum plans and their potential impact on the industry, featuring keynotes, sessions and round tables on topics such as: Broadcast incentive auctions and a national public safety network Mobile satellite spectrum Smart grid spectrum and more! 4G Backhaul Summit The interactive and informative 4G Backhaul Summit sorts out the solutions and positions service providers to give candid feedback on their 4G backhaul technology choices and plans. How will the changes of 4G—including higher speed macro cells and the introduction of microcells—influence service providers’ backhaul solution portfolios? Dedicated tracks ... (Read Full Article)
- By Jennifer Pigg, VP of Research, Yankee Group The pace of change is accelerating for mobile network operators (MNOs). Unlike any other period in telecommunications history, the ability to impact network traffic volume today is not in their control (e.g., what lines to deploy and how rapidly to add voice customers). It is subject to the market whims and enthusiasms of the content owners, over-the-top players and consumers. In addition to the groundswell of consumers moving to smartphones, consider the following: Yankee Group data shows the total number of mobile devices in use hit 5.19 billion in 2010 and will grow to 6.69 billion by 2015. Average macrocell backhaul requirements were 10 Mbps in 2008 (seven T1s, five E1s). In less than three years, they have more than tripled to 35 Mbps in 2011, and by 2015, Yankee Group predicts they will demand 100 Mbps. There were 2.4 million macro cell site backhaul connections worldwide in 2010, growing to 3.3 million by 2015. Two of out every three rural cell towers already house at least two mobile operators. Suburban towers house up to six antennas, while urban towers can house 12 to 20. These may belong to multiple operators and represent different mobile service generations. MNOs are struggling to anticipate and meet demand, lower network costs and cobble together a business model that makes sense for their bottom line. Wholesale mobile backhaul is one tool offering them a hand in all three areas. But mobile backhaul places unique demands on the wholesale operator. For example, the provider must offer real features, including: Ethernet Synchronization Robust operation, administration, maintenance and provisioning (OAM&P) External Network-to-Network Interface (ENNI) support Still, the market is there. MNOs must have backhaul, and backhaul is a distraction from their core competency ... (Read Full Article)
- By Caroline Gabriel, Research Director, Rethink Technology Research Japan has always been an important market in which to be seen for mobile vendors, because of the advanced nature of its rollouts. However, its carriers have often pursued semi-proprietary routes that have not lent themselves to international scale--most famously with DoCoMo's early but off-center implementation of W-CDMA, FOMA. However, with LTE, the Japanese majors are moving early but in a fully standardized way, and the competition for their favors is hotter than ever. And it goes beyond the usual suspects, providing a launchpad for two suppliers hopeful of an infrastructure comeback: Samsung and NEC. Both these companies largely faded away in the W-CDMA sector, but both are claiming competitive advantages that will allow them to take on Ericsson and Huawei in LTE. In NEC's case, this is a prescient and strong focus on small cells to build extensive self-organizing 4G networks, a strategy the firm will show off at this week's Femtocell World Summit in London. NEC has home advantage, and already works closely with DoCoMo, but Samsung is also confident of Japanese growth, citing its own selling point--its experience and market lead in the other 4G technology, WiMAX, which includes contracts with Japan's UQ Communications. Now the South Korean giant has announced a deal with UQ's largest stakeholder, and Japan's second cellco, KDDI, for LTE gear. Samsung will supply KDDI with LTE equipment for a commercial launch next year. Like NEC, the South Korean is emphasizing Japan's dense urban communities and high demand for broadband. In its statement, it said it would offer its customer "the first and the most optimized LTE solution for hotspots in extremely dense user areas that require higher capacity mobile broadband, whilst simultaneously improving service quality in weak ... (Read Full Article)