Tue, Dec


  • Ofcom has announced that the four operators likely to win 800MHz spectrum have agreed to form a joint company to speed up clearance of TV channels in the 800MHz frequency bands, but deployments in 2.6GHz also face their own spectrum challenge - rickety airport radars.

  • Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) will launch LTE services on November 7, 2012. The operator will launch LTE in 1800MHz spectrum, with 800MHz coverage being rolled out from January. 

    TIM said that it would have LTE in Rome, Naples, Turin and Milan at launch, and have LTE in over 20 cities by the end of the year. 

  • Polkomtel is undertaking a three-year refresh of its 3G backhaul network. The network upgrade will lay the ground for Polkomtel's LTE backhaul requirements.

  • T-Mobile Austria and Huawei Austria have demonstrated VoLTE call continuity using the Enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC) specification as outlined in 3GPP Release 10. eSRVCC is designed to speed up handover times for calls between LTE and 3G.

  • Telenor has turned on LTE networks in 11 cities and towns in Norway. The operator said more than one in three Norwegians would have LTE coverage from Telenor by the end of the year. Berit Sevndsen, Telenor Norwway CEO, said the LTE rollout "marks the start of a new mobile fairy tale."

    The cities being lit up today are Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Lørenskog, Sandnes, Lillestrøm, Asker, Bærum, Lofthus in Hardanger and Longyearbyen. By the end of the year Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg, Skien, Porsgrunn, Drammen and Kristiansand will also be covered. After this an extension programme will continue until the whole of Norway is covered. Tromsø will be covered in the first quarter of 2013.
  • Circuit-Switch Fallback (CSFB) is a mechanism currently used to provide voice services to LTE devices, by signalling an LTE device to "fall back" to the 2/3G network to make or receive a voice call. It has been used in LTE FDD devices and networks, but now Ericsson has said it has become the first to demonstrate voice fallback for LTE TDD (TD-LTE) .

  • Service platform provider OpenCloud is writing two articles for Mobile Europe on the opportunities and challenges of voice in LTE networks. This first one outlines the basic issue - that OTT players have more opportunity to grab market share in LTE, given the better latencies and higher capacities of LTE. But it also argues that there are still advantages for operators, such as service ubiquity, and their background in offering value added voice services. 

  • Networks, CEM and Services all get enhancements

    Nokia Siemens Networks will introduce a range of new product, service launches and enhancements through October. The launches span radio network equipment and software, CEM software and managed services capability.

    Mobile Europe can reveal that the launch schedule, and there are likely to be more details on the given launch dates, looks like this:

  • Rival operators who suspect EE has gained a significant advantage over its rivals by deploying LTE in 1800MHz spectrum may have had their fears confirmed by a senior network economist at Deutsche Telekom (DT).

    David Haszledine, Network Economics Manager at DT, told Avren Events' HetNet conference that rolling out an LTE network in 1800MHz spectrum could be a quarter or a fifth as cheap as achieving the same network in 2.6GHz spectrum.

  • Trials first 2048QAM product in live operator network

    Dragonwave has said that its 2048 QAM radios, launched in May 2012, have demonstrated a three times increase in capacity in a live operator demonstration.

    Three microwave links in Intertelecom's test bed network in Odessa, Ukraine, have been equipped with the 2048QAM radios. DragonWave said that the field test has demonstrated the radios' ability to transport up to 37% more data through existing microwave channels. Through a combination of the 2048QAM modulation, dual channel operation and DragonWave's Bandwidth Accelerator feature, the test also achieved a threefold increase in capacity to more than 1.3 Gbps.

  • Starts on road to shared data plan with multi-SIM offer

    SFR has announced that it will launch commerical LTE services in Lyon on November 28. There will be a "range of devices" available with rates based on new Dual Carrier HSPA tariffs announced today (see below).

    As well as the LTE launch in Lyon, by the end of the year SFR also wants to have 60% of the population coverage with Dual Carrier (DC) HSPA - the version of HSPA that offers a theoretical maximum of 42Mbps.

  • SK Telecomhas announced that it has developed technology to allow handover between TD and FDD LTE duplexes within a single device — leading the way to dual-mode LTE devices based on a single modem chipset.

    It says that in partnership with Ericsson and Altair Semiconductor it has developed a two-way handover technology that supports both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) LTE and Time Division Duplex (TDD) LTE - two different modes of the LTE technology standard - in one device, and successfully demonstrated the technology in a moving vehicle.

  • The iPhone 5 has, as you will probably know, been released in three flavours of spectrum support. You might be wondering why device manufacturers don't just fling in a whole load of RF front ends to cover all possible combinations. The answer, of course, is power and space. Here, Nujira's CMO Jeremy Hendy takes a look at the iPhone 5's likely internal RF (Radio Frequency) and PA (power amplifier) structure, and gives a good explanation as to the decisions a designer like Apple faces when it decides which spectrum bands to include. Nujira is a developer of the "envelope tracking" technology Hendy mentions.

    Hendy writes:

  • The haves of LTE1800 in Europe

    You may have noticed that Apple launched a new version of its phone yesterday. One of the key aspects of the phone was its support for LTE. The most notable element for the European audience is that of three key LTE bands in Europe, only one is currently supported - LTE1800MHz.

  • The bit that doesn't make money uses 85% of the capacity

    Vodafone Germany’s network is “morphing into a video network” according to its CEO, Jens Schulte-Bockum, speaking to an audience at the QualcommIQ event in Berlin.

    Schulte-Bockum said that although there were many advantages to LTE, the operator is finding that 85% of the network traffic is video traffic.

  • Qualcomm has partners, journalists and analysts in Berlin for its IQ event. There are a number of network-related demos, featuring LTE-A, LTE Broadcast, femtocells and UMTS Direct demos. I've briefly summarised a few of them here.

    Fractional UMTS
    The first one I saw was on Fractional UMTS - F-UMTS - a method of squeezing UMTS into half of a "normal" 5MHz channel, by reducing the baseband chip rate (Mcps).

  • LTE in 96% of Moscow territory by end of 2012

    Mobile TeleSystems (MTS)MBT has announced the commercial launch of Russia’s first TDD (time division duplexing) LTE network in Moscow and the Moscow region.

    On September 01, 2012, MTS initiated 4G coverage over most of Moscow and 40 population centers in the Moscow region. The network enables speeds of up to 100 MB/s.

  • Hi3G Access AB (Hi3G) Sweden has selected Mavenir Systems to support delivery of Circuit Switch Fallback (CSFB) for its LTE users. 

    Circuit Switch Fallback (CSFB) enables circuit-switched voice and SMS services to be delivered to LTE handsets so they "fall back" to the 3G network to complete voice calls. With CSFB, Hi3G can support LTE-enabled smartphones for voice and SMS.

  • ip.access has shipped an LTE-only version of its E-100 dual mode access point to five customers for laboratory and field trials. The company described this as an important staging point in the process of moving towards full commercial deployments and said that the shipments represent 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.

  • Huawei steps into mobile signalling storm with "Small Data Packet Storm" solution

    Huawei has said it can help operators double the number of simultaneously connected subscribers on a network by taking steps to mitigate a network effect it has termed the "Small Data Packet Storm".