The Mobile Network // www.the-mobile-network.com
ALSO FEATURING Making sense of the world’s mobile networks
06 MAPPING THE MOBILE NETWORK 28 RESEARCH DIRECTIONS // MORE... 2013 // Issue 03
G I B data 22
n o i t a n i t s De
E C N FR A field e h t n i 38 - 4G
s t r a m s a n n e t ve gains a w An m m 32 - the ISSUE
REGULARS GLOBAL CORRESPONDENTS // ANATOMY OF A MOBILE OPERATOR: TELENOR
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CONTENTS RK NET WO T & EMEN MANAG RING O IT N MO ET WORK
ING SIGNALL OL & CONTR
Mapping the Mobile Network DIO
E RA Announcing a newTHTE CE IN RFA project from the TMN team, that aims to create a new way of understanding the mobile network ecosystem.
EVOLVED CORE PACKET
Telenor: Perhaps no operator sits so starkly across the divided mobile operator landscape as Telenor. Can new technology enable the carrier to gain efficiencies from its intense network investments?
Operators know its there - they just need to work out how to get at it, what bits they need, and what to do with it.
Anatomy of a Mobile Operator
10 Germany, Czech Republic
POLICY G RGIN CHAUnited &11
08SUSA IM 09 Australia
T SUREMEN TEST, MEAFICATION 13 RI South & VE
WWW.MAPPINGTHEMOBILENETWORK.COM RK NET WO G PLANNIN DESIGN, IMISATION & OPT
From our Correspondent
Network Data - Big Data
Research Directions Where will the next big leap in network technology come from? Look back to go forwards.
14 South Korea 15 Latin America
Antenna Technology The rise of the mmwave in 5G access and backhaul.
EDITOR Hello and thank you for
reading the third issue of The Mobile Network Quarterly.
Destination: France Falling service revenues, rising LTE networks.
Picture Story Dot, dot on the wall.
Commercial Director: Shahid Ramzan Email: email@example.com
5G Everyone blames the media for hype, with good reason. But I can assure you current hype around 5G is not coming from the media, but from vendors. The reason is that with 5G networks undefined in the traditional official channels anything that enhances LTE can be 5G. Generally this means smarter networks (more automated intelligence) and it means high speeds and feeds. This is where networks are headed. That’s why in this issue we have features on how operators can access and use network data, on mmwave developments for access and backhaul, and a piece looking at key research directions in mobile right now. We haven’t, though, referenced 5G, unless vendors have already done so. Telenor is a fascinating operator that operates units with a truly startling range of economic indicators. What struck me about Telenor was, given the call for more consolidation within European operators, its CEO indicating that it is network and service technology vendors who can come with capabilities to help Telenor gain from economies of operational scale. Mapping The Mobile Network Finally, you will see an announcement on the following pages of the launch of a project we are calling Mapping The Mobile Network. What we’re trying to do is build up a visual of the mobile network, from the radio interface to the core, and then list the vendors and suppliers that make up the ecosystem. We’re excited about this opportunity, and also welcome sponsorship from our launch partner, Tektronix Communications. The door of my email account is always open, so please do come in and ask away if you have any questions.
Editorial Director: Keith Dyer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Direction and Design: Shona Gow // email@example.com // www.shonagow.co.uk
Keith Dyer firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2013 TMN Communications Ltd.
MAPPING THE MOBILE NETWORK WWW.MAPPINGTHEMOBILENETWORK.COM
ORK NING TION
FEATURE: MAPPING THE MOBILE NETWORK
The Mobile Network is launching an ambitious new project that aims to create a unique visual directory of the evolving mobile network ecosystem.
THE RADIO INTERFACE
Mapping The Mobile Network will map key elements within the network, building up a series of maps that will function as a resource to enable users to drill down on an element or section of the network, understand how it relates to the wider network and to discover more NETWORK about the ecosystem of vendors and MANAGEMENT & MONITORING the network. suppliers that support The project & CONTROL already has backing from our launch sponsor Tektronix Communications, who saw what we are trying to do and also the match between the project and its own approach to providing IMS visibility into the mobile network. Weâ€™d like to thank Tektronix for its support, which will let us build the site into a key resource for the mobile network community. SIGNALLING
EVOLVED PACKET CORE
POLICY & CHARGING
We aim to build the map by working directly with suppliers and TEST, MEASUREMENT vendors, and other experts, and also to draw input in a crowd& VERIFICATION sourced manner. To find out how to become involved in the project, and to ensure your company is listed and mapped correctly, please contact the address below. All listings, mapping, and submission of information is completely free. We view this as an ongoing project not a static one-off definition of a moment in time. We want, to borrow a phrase, to make this about the journey as much as the destination.
For more information contact: email@example.com Keith Dyer, Editor
PRINCIPAL SPONSOR: Lyn Cantor, President of Tektronix Communications, principal sponsor of the Mapping The Mobile Network project, on the match between his companyâ€™s four dimensional approach to the network and Mapping The Mobile Network. The pace of evolution in our industry eclipses most others, and even experts struggle to keep up with its changes. For this reason, Tektronix Communications is delighted to be collaborating with TMN Magazine on Mapping The Mobile Network, to provide clarity and detail of the opportunities that lie within. As the worldâ€™s first full-service, end-to-end Telecoms Intelligence Provider, we occupy a privileged position, being able to take a holistic, agnostic and macro-level view of mobile networks, across all four dimensions of their environments:
1 SUBSCRIBER & DEVICE BEHAVIOR 2 THE SERVICES & APPLICATIONS THEY CONSUME 3 THE NETWORK ENVIRONMENTS THEY OCCUPY 4 THE TECHNOLOGIES THAT ENABLE THEM Our goal in partnering with TMN to launch Mapping The Mobile Network, is to facilitate an up to date, highly valuable reference point of how networks fit together, the interdependencies between the various organizations that lie within, and the opportunities that can be gleaned from each one of their component parts. To learn more about gaining value out of the goldmine of data you preside over and discover the benefit of seeing your network in four dimensions for yourself, visit us at www.tekcomms.com. Lyn Cantor, President, Tektronix Communications
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
R U O M O FR T N E D N O P S E R R CO ENT : CORRESPOND Anon
t” orresponden “From Our C nd ng from arou collects writi e vering mobil o c , d rl o w e th ets. in local mark s e ri o st rk o netw
tion, mail contribute to this sec If you would like to .com ork tw -ne ile ob -m the TMN’s editor keith@
When the news broke, you could sense some of our blogs and press dragging themselves to their keyboards with a weary shrug.
Verizon buying its UK partner out of its 45% share in its wireless business had been one of the longest-running corporate stories in the sector. Hacks and commentators who had been round this track several times before donned their running spikes with caution, but it turned out that this time the starting gun had been fired for real, and the 14 year running of Vodafone’s lucrative, if strategically confusing, holding in Verizon was about to enter its final lap. At first, this was a story about the numbers. $130 billion made it the third largest corporate deal in history (the bubble-era Vodafone-Mannessmann in 1999 and AOL/Time Warner in 2000 holding number one and two spots). Vodafone would get $58.9 billion in cash, $60.2 billion in Verizon stock, and an additional $11 billion from other transactions in a deal that is due to close 8 TMNQUARTERLY
in the first quarter of next year. Verizon has raised $60 billion in financing to ease the deal through. Then thoughts turned to what the strategic benefits might be for each side of the deal. Complete control of the assets would lift Verizon’s ability to invest and defend in its home market. Vodafone would return across the sea with $84 billion to give to shareholders and fund its own, three year, $6 billion round of accelerated network investments across the world in a process it dubbed Project Spring. There was also nearimmediate speculation that Vodafone would use some of the cash to deepen its fixed assets, with a move to take out Kabel Deutschland. Vodafone itself then became the subject of some speculation, with reports that AT&T was considering a move of its own to acquire the operator - something that would tie AT&T’s US
position with Vodafone’s global holdings, and put Vodafone, as part of a merged group, back in competition with its erstwhile partner, Verizon. For Verizon, the deal seems to mean business as usual, only more so. CEO Lowell McAdam said that the company’s U.S. wireless businesses are working well and that he would move slowly on any changes to the company’s structure. The network has been in pretty good shape for a while, even if the company does not quite hold the clear leadership position it had become used to in the early days of 4G. For us hacks covering the deal, there was just relief the race was run, although as we breasted the finishing tape, it became clear that there are other races just beginning.
On your marks, set...
OW RR Mo LL BI
AUSTRALIA 18 months ago, Vodafone sent its prime fixer, Bill Morrow, to Australia to try and sort out the mess the carrier found itself in the country and he’s certainly been doing the rounds of press, sharing his rags to riches life story. But inspiring life stories aside, can Vodafone make a comeback? Changing the leader in the hope of changing public perception nearly, but not quite, worked for our Labor party. When Julia Gillard was ousted in favour of former leader Kevin Rudd shortly before our recent general election, the party saw its ratings in the polls rise in the short term, but it wasn’t enough to see Rudd win the poll that counted, as Tony Abbott cycled his way into the premier’s seat. It is not so long ago that Vodafone was hoping that a change of leadership of its own could help it in a similar fashion with ex-Clearwire, Vodafone UK and Japan leader Bill Morrow not so much cycling as parachuting his way into the top job in mid 2012. Although there has always been chat that Vodafone is a decent acquisition target, Morrow has been talking a good game in recent months, confident that he is making progress at the carrier. Certainly he has been doing his best to put over the message that things have changed. Perhaps he read that we Aussies just love a fighter, because it wasn’t only his corporate strategies he has been putting forward, but his life story from what the press love to call “humble”
beginnings. The man of the people motif could have been tailor-made for a country that still occasionally likes to pretend to itself its people operate in a land of meritocratic opportunity. The issue is, can you make an entity as large as a national mobile operator conform to the image of one man? Prior to his arrival Vodafone was losing over 500,000 customers and $AUS350 million a year as network issues and a high profile customer privacy breach bashed the brand’s standing. Yet although $AUS1.7 billion has been invested into Vodafone’s 3G network since 2009, subscriber net-adds continued to be negative and financial losses mounted in the first half of 2013, leaving the company with six million subs, compared to Telstra’s 15.1 million and Optus’s 9.5 million customers. Yet Morrow thinks signs of recovery are on the way. The company launched LTE services in June, disposed of the 3 brand brought into VHA in 2009, and has taken the lead on roaming deals and new simpler pricing plans, forcing Optus and Telstra to play catch-up.
Still, Morrow continues to tell anyone who’ll listen that he’s dragging Vodafone forward. “We didn’t even have a 4G plan when I arrived at Vodafone last year,” Morrow told one newspaper,
“It’s as though we are taking on a hill with shackles on our ankles and one arm tied behind our back.” Rudd couldn’t catch Abbott, he started from too far back. Perhaps Morrow, in a longer race, has more of a chance. TMNQUARTERLY 9
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
EUROPE (GERMANY AND CZECH REPUBLIC) The last issue of TMN (what do you mean you didn’t read it?) featured a feature on the increasing feature of network sharing. The thrust of that article was that the technology of network sharing comes second to business realities. In essence, for network sharing to work there has to be a shared desire for saving (not hard to get), some event to kick start the process (introduction of a new network such as LTE being a perfect one) and then if it helps both parties have roughly similar spectrum holdings so that their “grids” are a decent match for each other.
Recent events in Germany and the Czech Republic show that these rules make rough sense, as attempts to merge networks either begin, or deepen. In the Czech Republic, Telefonica O2 and T-Mobile said that they intend to split the country into two geographic areas, each to be served by one of the operators. This mirrors the approach taken by another Telefonica operating company, Telefonica O2 in the UK, where the company has agreed a North/South split with Vodafone. The operators said that in the Czech republic the move is expected
to result in “sizeable cost savings going forward as it will involve the consolidation of thousands of base stations”. The deal deepens a 3G network-sharing scheme started by the companies in 2011-2012, which saw the companies share equipment in smaller towns in the country. Telefonica seemed to have caught the sharing bug, as it was also reported to be in network sharing talks with Vodafone. One local newspaper reported that Telefonica Czech Republic and rival Vodafone are close to agreeing a networksharing joint venture, savings to Telefonica from sharing transmitters and other equipment tabled at over CZK 4 billion (€155 million) over the course of 15 years. Across in Germany, networks are also being merged, although this time it is acquisition that is the driving force, with Telefonica having finally agreed a deal for the purchase of E-Plus from KPN. Totalling €5 billion in cash and shares, the deal would create Germany’s biggest mobile network with a market share of 38%, 43 million customers and annual revenues of €8 billion. It’s not necessarily going to be plain sailing, however, with the European competition authorities taking an interest in the case. If the deal does go through, however, with early 2014 the target date, the companies are looking for a combined saving of €5-5.5 billion in savings. Much of that will be operational, of course, but there will also be an attempt to harmonise network investment into just one network - a process that when other operators have started similar projects, often begins as a de facto network share, before sites and equipment is consolidated.
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
UNITED KINGDOM We in the UK can look our European, Asian, American and African counterparts in the face, because we finally have more than one operator up and running with LTE services. Yes, in late August, O2 and Vodafone joined EE in their delivery of LTE goodness to parts of the UK, turning on services in a few cities across the land. O2 will offer coverage across 13 of the UK’s largest cities by the end of year and has committed to provide LTE coverage to at least 98 percent of the UK’s population by 2017. Vodafone switched on LTE in London only at first, and says it’ll launch its network in another 12 cities by the end of the year. As they did so, EE announced it had a million customers on LTE, giving it a strong, but not insurmountable, head start in terms of customer numbers. Where EE may be harder to catch is in its spectrum holdings. Quite simply, it holds the most spectrum, and it intends to hammer this point home as the others play catch-up. Internally, EE network types recognise that Vodafone also has a decent hand to play, with holdings at 800 and 2600. They see O2 as potentially hampered, however, with its 800 holding not matched by the sort of blocks in the higher ranges that might support high capacity urban deployments. O2, of course, would beg to differ. Although EE is making its play for differentiation on network, Vodafone went at first sight for services and content. It highlighted deals it has done with Sky for rights to sport and with Spotify for its streaming music service. This services two
goals for Vodafone. First, it draws to users’ attention the advantages of 4G higher speeds and lower latencies - but in a way that makes LTE about services, rather than numbers. Second, it allows Vodafone to compete in terms of its service bundle, rather than purely on network. That is something that O2 has done very well until now, and something that Orange used to excel at. Vodafone seems to have clocked that playing a speeds and feeds game won’t justify its LTE investment to the customers. What will be interesting for us network types to follow will be how much difference we see between Vodafone’s and O2’s performance. The companies are sharing a grid, with each company entirely responsible for site selection, and buying and deploying equipment in one half of the country. There’s plenty of tools left to differentiate, of course. Small cell deployments and rights of access and so on will not be shared. In-building coverage too can benefit from specific tweaks and deployments. And then there’s Vodafone’s 2600MHz holdings to exploit, when those come on line. So although there’s a grid share, there’s still plenty left to play for within the network. Meanwhile, although it’s still slow going for now, UK plc is just glad to see LTE spreading beyond the grasp of EE.
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
FINLAND NSN now stands for Nokia Solutions and Networks, and there’s a new lower case logo. But will Nokia’s complete ownership of the business, having bought out Siemen’s share of the former Nokia Siemens Networks, actually change anything? It’s worth reminding ourselves of this turnaround. Step back say three years and NSN, co-owned as it then was by Nokia and Siemens, was a bit of a problem. Siemens no longer wanted to have much to do with it, and Nokia would have been happy enough to find a buyer. Speculation about the company being bundled off to private equity land, or even an IPO, continued. The problem was, nobody seemed to want to pick it up, and eventually the owners themselves recommitted and doubled down. The company faced competition from Huawei to the East, Ericsson to the near west and the US giants to the far West. Its growth and sales performance contrasted with that of its glamourous handset cousin, and only services seemed to be on the uptick. Then came the restructure. Yes, it was harsh for many, and let’s not downplay the human side of businesses that are shipped out, or “managed for cash”. But you have to give CEO Suri and his team credit for what they achieved - they gave back a sense of purpose to those that remained. The focus on being a mobile broadband company came at the right time. Sure, Ericsson and Huawei continue to dominate according to analysts, but NSN now has 92 LTE references. So the deal to buy out Siemens, coming as it did just prior to Microsoft’s grab of the handset business, has left this dusty old equipment and services business
as one of the prime drivers of what will be the new Nokia. Indeed, so notable was NSN’s improvement in terms of market perception, that there were those that were saying that Microsoft had bought the wrong part of the business, and would have been better tying NSN’s networks nous to its own services platform, to generate a new cloudfocussed business. That mention of cloud, of course, should give the folks at NSN some pause for thought. The company now needs to move to expressing very clearly what its role will be in the Software Defined Network. It is a conversation that Ericsson is comfortable with, but what of NSN, with its focus on core and radio networks, and on “CEM”? Its Liquid portfolio puts it in the right place to have earned the right to speak about cloudification of network assets. But that can wait for at least a day. For now, we should step back and wonder how the seemingly unwanted burden became the stay-athome prize asset.
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SOUTH AFRICA We’re in a place where network investments continue apace, there’s a competitive situation to take control of one of our leading ISPs, and even though we’ve only just recently emerged from the Vodacom-MTN duopoly there are continued doubts being expressed about the ability of challenger Cell-C to keep challenging if things don’t turn in its favour. Vodacom, which has been investing heavily in boosting its 3G network, and doing what it can in LTE, despite spectrum limitations, has been running its eye over fixed wireless access player Neotel, a company that sits invitingly on spectrum in the 1800MHz and 800MHz bands. It’s not alone - MTN has also been in the running to pick up the operator. Alongside the fixed assets, with Vodacom and MTN both rolling out LTE on refarmed 1800MH, the attraction of an additional batch of spectrum is obvious, relieving the spectrum scarcity both operators feel. Vodacom in particular is committed to developing its network. publicly stating that is has spent almost R30 billion on its South African network in the past five years. Meanwhile, rival third operator Cell-C which has made a charge for customers by undercutting the incumbents (a sort of South African version of France’s Free) is asking for something that Free itself does benefit from - asymmetric termination rates. Put simply, it wants termination rates weighted in its favour, befitting its role as a smaller challenger. Free benefits from such a deal in France, so it’s a not uncommon step for regulators so seek to foster competition in such a way. However it doesn’t look
like Cell-C is getting very far with the regulator Icasa, and it is beginning to wonder publicly what the point of giving it a license was, if regulators don’t want to take the steps to see it succeed. That said, it continues to invest, adding 100 base stations to the 900+ it already has on the ground in Johannesburg, for instance. CEO Alan Knott-Craig said traffic on Cell C’s network had doubled over the past year. Aware that the company has been criticised for its network performance, he said the company had been “hard at work rolling out new sites and installing additional capacity to cater for this growth and restore quality.” “In particular, the network in Johannesburg and Pretoria has been taking strain. In addition to the new sites, we have also embarked on a project to optimise close to 900 existing sites in Johannesburg and Pretoria to improve coverage and minimise interference on the network in high-density areas.” That’s all very well, but with analysts casting doubt on the profitability of the parts of the market Cell-C has been gaining market share, it will take more than adding more base stations to bring this market up from a two horse to a genuinely three horse race.
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SOUTH KOREA The country’s race to be the top of the networking tree continues, with SKT announcing extensions of its LTE-A networks to take it into a leadership position...for now. With the auction results for additional spectrum now known, the South Korean operators ratcheted up the LTE speed race. SK Telecom, which added 35MHz of 1800 spectrum to its portfolio, said it would achieve peak speeds of 225 Mbps next year by aggregating spectrum bands together from 1800 and 800MHz. The operator first commercially launched LTE-A in June 2013 and by the end of July had rolled out coverage to 84 cities. The operator, along with supplier Ericsson, said it will have upgraded 32,000 base stations to be LTE-A capable by the end of the year. KT also plans to launch LTE Advanced (LTE-A) before the end of September and also plans to make use of the additional 15MHz at 1800MHz spectrum that it paid approximately $820 million for. It is going to lump that spectrum with its other 1800 MHz spectrum to achieve the wider band contiguous service that EE has rolled out, amongst others. But it was the price KT paid that raised a few eyebrows. Its additional 15MHz was less than half SKT’s 35MHz of course, even though SKT paid only at little more at $955 million. The third operator LG U+ spent $436 million for 40MHz of spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, and it too announced that it would be extending its speeds from the 150Mbps peak rates it commercially advertised in July 2013.. IHS Screen Digest took a dim view of KT’s auction skills, saying in a statement: “To say that KT overpaid for its spectrum is an understatement. KT paid €0.85
per MHz per head of population, precisely double the rate that SK Telecom paid for its 1800MHz spectrum, and even that is far above the international norm. Over the past three years, non-Korean 1800MHz spectrum auctions have a weighted average price of €0.16 per MHz per head of population (weighted by population coverage), which is over five times less than KT paid. The previous South Korean 1800MHz auction in 2011 sold 50MHz of spectrum at a similarly high price; €0.72 per MHz per head of population.”
“South Korean operators are paying a premium for the 1800MHz band as it is clearly emerging as the closest to a global standard band for 4G. South Korea’s sub-1GHz band; the 850MHz band (or band class 5) is not used in any other country for 4G services at the moment meaning only devices custom built for the South Korean market will work on it. Device availability in the 1800MHz is much broader.”
So why pay the premium? Well, it comes down to band support in devices.
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
LATIN AMERICA Starved of spectrum, the sector seeks growth. By 2015, most Latin American countries will be 50 percent below the ITU recommended spectrum allocation, a recent report from Signal Telecom Consulting concluded. That is, they will have half, or less than half, the amount of spectrum the ITU thinks they should. Yes, we’re back at spectrum allocations in Latin America. It’s the topic that won’t go away because without airwaves, the operators can’t breathe. Signals Telecom, who it should be noted were working on commission for lobby group 4G Americas, said that its research showed that only 20 percent of the ITU’s target spectrum allocation for 2015 has been met overall in the Latin America region - resulting in a tremendous shortfall of available spectrum. The ITU published recommendations for the allocation of sufficient radio spectrum by country market to allow for the proper development of IMT2000 (including HSPA and LTE) and IMT-Advanced (including LTE-Advanced) technologies in 2006, to aid government authorities in their spectrum planning. An updated ITU study is currently being researched for publication in late 2014 or early 2015. Another report in 2011 presents new traffic forecasts up to 2015 and additional forecasts through 2020. It is anticipated that the future estimated total spectrum requirement will surpass the recommendation in the 2006 report.
Using the ITU spectrum requirement of 1300 MHz of total spectrum that is recommended for 2015 as a benchmark, the Latin America regional situation can be summarised as follows: Brazil, Chile and Colombia reach just over 30 percent of the ITU recommendation Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay reach 20 percent of the ITU recommendation Remainder of countries range between 10 and 20 percent of the ITU recommendation Overall as a region, Latin America has allocated only 20 percent of the spectrum bandwidth recommended by the ITU
Only three markets in Latin America have allocated more than 30% of the ITU recommendation for 2015: Brazil (38.65%), Chile (30.38%) and Colombia (31.73%). These countries have also made announcements of their intentions of auctioning more spectrum bandwidth in the 700 MHz band before 2015. Some of the countries with the least amount of spectrum allocated have yet to announce a date for the next licensing process to occur in their market – Argentina (14.62%), Ecuador (13.85%), Honduras (13.08%), and Venezuela (15.69%). Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 4G Americas, said, “By 2015, most Latin American countries will be 50 percent below the ITU recommended spectrum allocation. With the increasing usage of data, multiple devices and sophisticated smartphones in consumers’ hands, this poses a big challenge for operators and vendors to efficiently deliver services and for regulators to allocate and auction appropriate spectrum resources.” Rojas added, “Regulators have indeed made some progress over the years, but must move quickly from the ‘interest’ and ‘planning’ stages into the ‘action’ stage of auctioning more harmonized spectrum, particularly with the auction of the 700 MHz band which is a great possibility in the near future.
THE INTELLIGENCE PROVIDER
Operators are facing network complexities they couldn¹t have imagined even a decade ago, but a new approach brings insight, order and opportunity. The growth in popularity of devices and operating systems with more native intelligence, connectivity and personalisation, has imposed a seemingly limitless demand on the network. Device manufacturers are continually trying to create a competitive edge with new, feature-rich and ever more personalised and presencesensitive operating systems, such as the recently launched iOS 7. Aligned to this and fuelled by the promises of 4G/LTE, consumers want more of everything; more video, more social networking, audio, gaming, voice and more data, and they want it faster and better than before. But “more” comes at a price, namely the challenge of infrastructure spectrum limitations. After all, there is only so much efficiency and capacity to be had out of the “air”, so supplementary technologies like small cells, backhaul developments, wifi offload and innovative ways to optimise the RAN are being deployed to help operators get data through the network more efficiently.
Actionable intelligence This creates complexities never imagined even a decade ago. Accordingly, operators need supreme visibility of what’s happening end to end on their networks to both troubleshoot issues on the one hand, and surprise and delight their subscribers with highly relevant propositions on the other. This means taking raw data and organising it so that it can be summarised as KPIs, and then turned into what Tektronix 16 TMNQUARTERLY
Communications calls “actionable intelligence” to ensure customer satisfaction and avoid churn. “When it comes to quality of service, ‘just acceptable’ is no longer a sufficiently high target to aim for. Subscribers have developed a finely tuned talent for shopping around for quality of service just as much as relevant content and tariffs,” explains Lyn Cantor, president at Tektronix Communications. Operators that can demonstrate to their customers the clear benefits of their
superior quality of user experience will benefit from enhanced customer loyalty. And with LTE networks rolling out, and an ever-stronger consumer appetite for speed and content, a focus on customer experience has never been more mission critical.
“Historically, carriers would simply flood the network with capacity, in the hope that throwing enough gear on the ground would ensure quality. But that approach is no longer effective,” Cantor argues, “because of how fast networks are growing, and the vast volumes of data that smart devices are demanding.” “The last thing an operator wants is to make big promises of exciting new services and lightning fast speeds, only to find that the network can’t keep up. And with every new technology turn, every new promise of personalisation, and every new application or operating system, an element of the unpredictable inevitably creeps in. Planning and preparedness for the unexpected is key.” Cantor’s vision is that operators need to adopt a four dimensional network perspective to truly understand what is really going on inside it: subscriber behaviour; the technologies they use; the services and applications they consume; and the network environments they occupy. “To understand real, rather than assumed subscriber behaviour, you have to cover all parts of the network end to end, gaining visibility of the subscriber’s session in the RAN, core and datacentre networks in order ” he says. “Many of our carrier customers have a 2.5G, 3G and now a new LTE network and they’re always trying to move their 2.5G network users to 3G or 4G to achieve network efficiencies,” he says. “They can’t abandon their legacy subscribers and the carriers realise that it’s critical to cover multiple technologies. Add wi-fi offloading, IMS networks, SDN and network visualisation, and the picture becomes even more intricate.” After operators have gained visibility in these two dimensions - subscribers
and technologies - carriers then need to understand what services are being used on the network. In response to this, Tektronix Communications has developed technology around deep packet classification in order to get a view all of the traffic streaming across the network. “We can now identify over 700 types of application that move across networks in real time. We can associate where in the network it affects; what technology the subscriber is using; what application they are using, be it YouTube, Skype or Facebook. And then there’s the last mile, which is who is making the call, in terms of the person and the device type. That’s the only way you can really get to a clear point of view to solve a trouble ticket when it opens and reduce resolution time.” Cantor warns that without a total four dimensional view of the network, customer care agents may have no effective way to solve a customer issue, or worse, to even know about it. But customer satisfaction is only one side of the benefit equation for operators; the four dimensional approach to intelligence can also open up new revenue streams. By analysing the operational data collected from in the network, a carrier can look at the subscriber’s experience and usage patterns to become proactive in suggesting upsell opportunities that are highly relevant and personalised. For example, imagine the ARPU opportunity of offering all high Facebook users a £5 per month unlimited Facebook access offer with guaranteed quality of service whilst using their most important app. The starting point is collecting and enriching the data to identify who these Facebook hungry subscribers are. The revenue opportunities do not end there. Greater visibility of the access networks, brings a closer understanding of subscribers’ mobile lifestyle habits. Operators can use that information in a location based services play with retail
partners to push special offers based on location and presence. However, while operators can implement technology to mine the enormous goldmine of data they preside over, Cantor argues that this is such a huge undertaking that operators need help from what Tektronix Communications calls a Telecom Intelligence Provider (TIP) to transform bits and bytes into actionable intelligence. “We’ve been working hard to reposition our operations and development strategy to become a full-service Telecoms Intelligence Provider, representing our heritage in the assurance market overlaid with a major focus on mobility and the potential of big data,” he says.
Lyn Cantor, president at Tektronix Communications.
“If you look at network intelligence and what defines it, it’s the collection, management and enrichment of data to provide unique insights for a carrier to be able to make intelligent decisions out of data. We call this Actionable Intelligence. So because of what we do around end to end assurance, we’ve become extremely entrenched in the network intelligence market, enabling us to respond to whatever challenges new technologies such as SDN and virtualisation throw at us,” concludes Cantor.
FEATURE: ANATOMY OF A MOBILE OPERATOR
TELENOR GROUP 18 TMNQUARTERLY
Telenor - Sweden
PERHAPS NO OPERATOR SITS SO STARKLY ACROSS THE DIVIDED MOBILE OPERATOR LANDSCAPE AS TELENOR. The company, with its roots in the high tech, high value Nordic markets, where monthly ARPUs head north of $45, also operates in South Eastern Europe, where a typical monthly customer spend is around the $10 mark, and in Asia, where it sees ARPUs as low as a couple of dollars per month. In the 11 countries where Telenor operates, it is in nearly every case either the number one or number two player. Its strategy tends to be to boost network investment, increase distribution and (more often in the emerging markets) partner to provide mobile-related services. Yet pulling together such disparate holdings, and in one or two cases Telenor is not the majority shareholder, to take advantages of economies of scale has not always been easy. CEO Frederik Baksaas, speaking in September 2013, said that traditionally group operators have tended to operate as if each country were a separate vertical. That meant that it has been very difficult to drive any benefits of scale across the group. But this, he said, will change. First, the company is encouraged by technology coming from the “vendor community” to enable an “industrialised” approach that can be more standard across the group.
This no doubt includes benefitting from cloud-based technologies that can enable more standardised introduction of services across different operating environments. Baksaas feels that now is the time to eat into the company’s operational expenses. “If you take a look at it with NOK100 billion plus in turnover, roughly 50% of this turns into the OpEx side... there is a lot to dig into reach these kind of efficiencies.” Even on an organisational level, the operator has taken steps where it can. Its Serbian and Montenegro operations recently came under a joint executive management team, and the operator has taken out the network and IT resources of the three operators and put them into one, with efficiency gains of around 15-20%. These are only very small numbers in terms of overall group savings but they show the strategic thinking of the group, which has other geo-clusters it could seek to leverage. Of the NOK5 billion operational expenditure savings the company has identified against its 2011 Opex base, 2 billion are targetted to come from operations in Norway alone. Here, the focus is on the increased use of modern IT and IT-based processes to make things such as processing customer orders and provisioning services
CEO: Lars-Ake Norling 2.4 million customers, #3 in market, 21% revenue market share. JV with 3 since 2001 for 3G network share. JV with Tele2 since 2008 for joint 2G/4G network and spectrum pool. LTE launched in November 2010.
Telenor - Denmark
CEO: Marek Slacik 1.9 million customers, #2 in market share, 24% revenue share. JV with Telia since 012 for 2G, 3G, 4G network sharing. LTE launched March 2013.
Telenor - Hungary
CEO Christopher Laksa Under Pannon brand until 2010. 3.25 million subs, with monthly ARPU $16. LTE launched July 2012 (main equipment and service supplier: ZTE).
Telenor - Serbia
CEO: Ove Fredheim 3.2 million subs, #1 in market, 42% of revenue share. ARPU $11.5. Telenor entered in 2006 through acquisition of Mobi 063.
General Manager: Kaaren Hilsen 0.4 million customers, #1 in market, 44% revenue share. ARPU $16. LTE launched November 2012 in Podgorica, Bar, Niksic and Cetinje.
FEATURE: ANATOMY OF A MOBILE OPERATOR
Telenor - Norway
CEO: Berit Svendsen 3.18 million subs. ARPU $47.45, market share 50%. Large fixed assets and TV presence. LTE launched October 2012.
Telenor - Pakistan
CEO Lars Christian Iuel 32.18 million subs, #2 position, 25.2% market share. ARPU $2.2. Easypaisia, launched 2009, carries 100 million transactions p a.
Uninor - India
CEO: Yogesh Malik 24.5 million subs, ARPU $1.7. Operates in six “circles” in India after re-awards in 2012. Telenor owns 67.25% of Unitech Wireless.
CEO: Vivek Sood 43.9 million subscribers, largest operator in Banglagdesh, ARPU $2.2. Telenor owns 55.% of Grameenphone.
dtac - Thailand
CEO: John Eddy Abdullah 27.23 subscriptions, #2 position, 32.5% revenue market share. 55% population coverage with 3G. As at 31-3-2013, Telenor held 42.6% of dtac.
DiGi - Malaysia
CEO: Henrik Clausen 10.5 million subscriptions, #3 player in market. ARPU $15.6. LTE launched June 2013 on 2x10MHz 2600MHz spectrum. DiGi aims to re-farm existing 1800 MHz spectrum for wider LTE coverage. Telenor holds 49% of DiGi.
CEO: Stein Erik Vellan, 4.7 million customers, #2 position, 37% revenue market share. Formally acquired Globul from OTE in April 2013 for EUR717 million. Vellan joined as new ceo in July 2013, from his role as head of mobile at Telenor Norway.
CEO: Petter Furberg In June 2013, Telenor was selected for final licence negotiations in Myanmar, along with Ooredoo. France Telecom is positioned as reserve applicant. Myanmar’s government wants 80% coverage of the country by 2016. Current penetration rate lies at 9%.
“Traditionally telecom operators build verticals per country... we are seeing more and more that we can do things in a more standardised and industrialised way to capture the scale on certain elements around us. Here the vendor community is developing new concepts that we can benefit from in the longer run.” Jon Fredrik Baksaas
President and Chief Executive Officer September, 2013
FEATURE: ANATOMY OF A MOBILE OPERATOR
it’s too late: the programme that we are putting in place now is underway and we will have done a lot of substantial change in Denmark,” Johnsen says. “We will start seeing these effects, clearly, in 2015. So this – the challenge that we have taken in Denmark is tougher than what most operators are willing to take on their shoulders. We will do that and we will also look into reusing those challenges outside of Denmark in order to be more nimble in our approach to markets and to get out of the legacy that has been with us for a long, long time.” Outside of the network the operator has also been willing to take a gamble on services, without convincing everyone of its intentions. The company formed a joint development approach with Telefonica on the Mozilla open mobile OS, with Baksaas claiming that at one point the operator had 150 plus developers sitting at Fornebu working on the Mozilla operating system platform. The company has also standardised on the third party billing API that Telefonica developed with its BlueVia platform to enable third parties to access network assets such as presence, billing and location. Through its Comoyo partner company, the operators also innovating in the “digital” space, such as VoIP and other internetbased communications services. In its Asian markets, it has exploited its distribution presence to offer payment, banking and health services.
Technical and network leads
NOK 5 BN GROSS OPEX SAVINGS
Witold Sitek, SVP Technology, Telenor Group Magnus Zetterberg, Chief Technology Officer, Telenor Sweden, Stefan Jäverbring, Head of Mobile Networks, Telenor Sweden Trond Wiborgn Project Director, Coverage at Telenor Norway
Frode Stodal, CTO, Telenor Norge
CAPEX SPLIT 1H 2013
Søren Skjærris, CTO TT-Netværket (Telenor and Tele2’s network JV) Khalid Shehzad, CTO, DTAC Atiq Ahmad, CTO, Telenor Montenegro Ingeborg Ofsthus, CTO, Telenor Serbia Tanveer Mohammad, CTO of Grameenphone. Rajshekhar Deshraj, CTO, Uninor
148m SUBSCRIBERS IN 1 1 TELENOR GROUP
EUROPE & OTHER
TELENOR HAS BUs IN COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE
CONNECTED VEHICLES BY 2020
FEATURE: NETWORK DATA - BIG DATA
A BIG MESS
HOW TO GET AT IT IS THE ISSUE. IT SITS IN ELEMENTS, IN THE SPACES BETWEEN ELEMENTS, IN DATABASES AND MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE REPOSITORIES: AND THERE’S TOO MUCH OF IT, OR NOT ENOUGH OF IT. DPI, MONITORING SYSTEMS, STAT COUNTERS AND A BIT OF MAGIC ALL HAVE THEIR PLACE, BUT WHAT DOES BIG DATA MEAN FOR THE MOBILE NETWORK?
FEATURE: NETWORK DATA - BIG DATA
WE CAPTURE EVERYTHING: IT’S ALL ABOUT WHAT WE DO WITH ALL THAT DATA. “It’s a big mess.” CommProve CEO Lars Pederson leans forward over the table at a major industry trade show, where the exhibition floor is stuffed with companies all offering operators a vision of a world where they can run responsive, reactive, proactive, predictive networks that are fed with near real time, real time and predictive data to help them run their networks, and by extension their businesses, better. This is a story about big data, but it’s also a story about small data. It’s a story about what big data means in terms of how operators can optimise and build their networks, and about how operators can turn big data into something manageable and actionable, how they can make big data small. The companies at this event are all coming at this “mess” from different angles, but they’re converging on one point: to be the go to guys for feeding the optimisation engines, the CEM engines, and in time the SDN controllers that will manage the networks of the future. There are DPI companies, probe manufacturers, the element management systems themselves, device-based clients, signalling equipment vendors, network management software providers. Pederson lists them all - trace file based systems, probes, performance management, active solutions like DPI, optimisation engines, as well as service companies - and that is why he describes the world of real time analysis and automated optimisation as a “big mess with a lot of overlap”, but it is a mess that he thinks can be fixed. For Pederson, the answer lies in asking if the data you are accessing makes a difference? “You have to map out what each does, because each obviously
has value. We’re starting to see integration between solutions,” Pederson says, but not too much. “There has always been the dream of one tool to do everything, and the latest attempt to do this is Big Data. But if you store everything, you need to make sense of it at the same speed as you are storing it.” For Pederson that’s simply impossible, so there’s therefore a requirement to correlate and aggregate data before you
store - making it smaller: in CommProve’s case using its probes to “talk to” each other in the network, to correlate what they know so they are not feeding up too much data. “We capture everything,” he says, “but you have to stay close to what you do. For us that’s network optimisation through network analytics and subscriber analytics. We capture everything: it’s all about what we do with all that data.”
THE OPERATOR TOOLBOX BIG DATA RADIO NETWORK DATA DATA
Geo-located call traces provide call by call insight into radio access performance segmented by customer and handset
Customer experience KPIs Neighbour planning Coverage analysis Small cell site selection
Drive & Walk Test
End-to-end performance of the mobile network at key locations Competitive insights when used as part of benchmarking
KPI analysis Competitive benchmarking Network acceptance Ad-hoc testing
Network Element Performance Counters
Network element performance
KPI analysis Sector ranking Neighbour planning Capacity planning
Network Element Alarms & Trouble Tickers
Identifying and isolating failures
Network Configuration Data
Details on network configuration
Understand network configuration
Relational performance counters Coverage and interference between sectors
Frequency planning Neighbour planning Coverage analysis
Source: Actix white paper “The RAN Goldmine”. Available www.actix.com. TMNQUARTERLY 23
FEATURE: NETWORK DATA - BIG DATA
There are other people out there trying to solve this. Guavus focusses on the challenge of data analysis for network optimisation and for subscriber-based campaigns and support. Eric Carr, VP & GM Mobile Business Unit, says that the industry needs a new data analysis fabric - moving away from business intelligence stacks in a data warehouse to collecting and analysing usage data with a real time or continuous aspect. Once it can do that, it can move to a closed-loop decision system, providing automated control to make more automated decisions feeding elements such as SON engines, PCRF, video optimisation, “all examples of things that use analytics to help drive policies that they make,” Carr said. Analysis must pull in information right up to Layer 7 usage data, and RAN and backhaul information to get an end-to-end view from multiple sources of data. “Business Intelligence stacks in the Data Warehouse are cost-prohibitive to store and feed.” Carr said. “If an operator has a new hero device they need to know that day what’s going on in the network.” It requires a platform integration to stitch together an optimised processing stack with specific adapters that set purposeful applications that are out of the box. Carr points out that one large carrier may see 200-250 billion transactions per day across the network. That makes it “ten times the size of Twitter”. “You need a new data architecture to support that”, he points out. In amongst the hype of single harmonised data platforms, Astellia’s CTO Frederic Vergine says that operators in fact need to decouple domains, and not stress about real time - in fact if you don’t know what you are looking for, real time data feeds can be as useless as interrogation processes that take a month to give you a result. Astellia’s solutions include both passive probes that enable
operators to get access to a whole set of KPIs and call data records (CDRs / iPDR / xPDR) and its analytics dashboard, that presents that information as network and customer analytics and KPI trend analysis. “If you want to go into real depth you need to decouple the core from the RAN. Real time is the most important trend I see and yet you can’t do anything about a single point in time. It provides a snapshot that you could solve in time, but it’s shortsighted. What we want is the insight to prepare before it happens, and that relies on trend analysis.” Speaking in this very issue (pages 16-17), CEO of Tektronix Communications Lyn Cantor points out that “If you look at network intelligence and what defines it, it’s the collection, management and enrichment of data to provide unique insights for a carrier to be able to make intelligent decisions out of data. We call this Actionable Intelligence. Operators must remember that meeting, or indeed exceeding, customer expectations for 4G services isn’t dependent on bold claims and celebrity testimonials, but on the effectiveness of the network. The critical measure is in determining whether network performance is aligning with the promises they’re making and meeting customer expectations. This will be critical in reducing churn and maintaining 4G market share.” Tektronix’s view is that operators can do that by taking raw data and organising it so that it can be summarised as KPIs, and then turned into what the company calls “actionable intelligence” to ensure customer satisfaction and avoid churn. That organisation process becomes the key - but it needs to go beyond network data, says optimsation expert Aircom’s Chief Strategy Office Thomas Neubauer. The following is an extract from an article you can read in full on www.the-mobile-network.com.
In it he explains that operators can have the network they want not just by looking at the traditional network KPIs, but at actual customer user data. “In today’s 4G world, operators maintain a stringent commitment to network performance, guided by network KPIs, but are increasingly looking to maximise ROI by incorporating customer data. This focused, more customer-centric view is crucial in determining whether advanced, automated network optimisation practices are being focused on ranking the improvement of network cell sites by customer importance.” This data acquisition process, which draws in both network and customer data, can then be applied to feed new automated optimisation capabilities in the network, Neubauer says. That will relieve pressure on underresourced staff, turning big data into something manageable. “It is still early days for SON capability. Operators have yet to scratch the surface of what the technology can actually deliver. By automating key processes, SONs can capture more and more data from a wider variety of sources, including but not limited to geo-location, billing and customer experience information. The reality today is that network engineers are too thinly stretched over too many aspects of network optimisation. SON integration will help engineers move from a traditional, manual, reactive approach to an automated, predictive approach.” The collection of data may be a mess, or at the least a confusing patchwork of different technologies, but the critical aspect of making that big data small, is knowing exactly what you’re looking for and when and how to treat that data. As operators invest in “intelligent” networks, there is a breed of companies ready to support them on that journey.
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FEATURE: RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
A Walk down the Technology Lifecycle Lane:
What will be Hot Next?
FEATURE: RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
Inventions and technologies follow a recognisable lifecycle, say co-authors Riad Hartani and Frank Rayal, Xona Partners
t has been a good month on the technology IPO front with multiple successful exits that have focused the spotlight on the technology sector following the Facebook IPO last year.
The cycle has been proven true over the last few decades But more important than that, we view cyber-security software vendor Fireeye and real-time advertising technology company Rocket Fuel, as good indicators of where one is in that well-rounded cycle of technology innovation: building, leveraging, and optimising. Inventions and technologies follow a recognizable lifecycle. It first starts with building the foundation. Next comes overlaying the platform and scaling the user base. This is followed by optimising and monetising the available technology until the next technology innovation cycle hits with new inventions that replace the old. The cycle has been seen, repeated, and proven true, at various times over the last few decades. The recent IPOs are but inflection-point events representative of where we are in the evolution of the Internet and telecommunication technologies.
To illustrate, let’s look back at how all this has come about. The early days can track back to the 1960’s with the invention of the transistor at Bell Labs which enables the digital era. The capability of circuit-switched networks began to rapidly increase as ever higher density of transistors is packed on silicon. By the mid and end of the 1960’s, packet-switched networks were being proposed and queuing theory was invented. The predecessor of the Internet, ARPANET, was planned in 1967 and by 1969 the first four nodes were installed. Progress accelerated over the next 20 years where Internet Protocol (IP) and Ethernet became the standard for layer 3 and layer 2 communications, respectively. The first graphical web browsers gained traction in the early 1990’s which made the Internet available for the first time to the average public. Alongside these developments, the first mobile networks began in the early 1980’s using analog communication technologies. A remarkable acceleration occurred in the early 1990’s with the introduction of GSM, a de-facto worldwide digital standard for mobile communications. Mobile technologies continued to accelerate with the introduction of 3G that made packet technology mainstream for mobile data applications.
FEATURE: RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
Today, 4G technologies based on LTE provide an all-IP mobile access network where even voice is packet-switched. In effect, the loop is closed between the parallel development of fixed and mobile access networks. With this perspective on the technology development cycle, investment poured into different focus areas over time. Looking back, one can trace back to some major disruptive IPOs that uniquely highlight the stage of evolution along the technology roadmap, and pinpoint specific inflection points in the evolution cycle. First, we have the IPO by Microsoft (1986, operating system; software on personal computers) followed by Cisco (1990, switching equipment; infrastructure vendors), Netscape (1995, web browser; Internet as a media), Google (2004, search engine, core Internet), and Facebook (2012, social media; Internet as a platform). Every major IPO was preceded with a period hyper-activity with several companies vying for prominence. The market would be fragmented, divided between a varying number of companies and accompanied by a considerable level of speculation. The post-IPO landscape becomes more tame with a few leading companies controlling the lion’s share of rewards. Where we stand today in the cycle is a continuation of what started earlier this decade: optimisation of the Internet as a platform. The recent M&A and IPO events are a good manifestation of this trend which should continue for the next 2-3 years. This trend is being reinforced by the continued convergence towards everything-mobile, geography-independent computing, and everything-connects-toeverything phenomena, which place us in the phase of platform optimisation and monetisation of the converged fixedmobile Internet. ARPANET Map - Heart, F., McKenzie, A., McQuillian, J., and Walden, D., ARPANET Completion Report, Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Burlington, MA, January 4, 1978. 30 TMNQUARTERLY
SOME OF THE FEATURES OF THIS ERA: One
INCREASED ELASTICITY OF THE NETWORK THROUGH PROGRESSION OF VIRTUALISATION AND SOFTWARE DEFINED NETWORKING THROUGH THE COMPUTE, STORAGE AND NETWORKING CHAIN TO ACCOMMODATE DIFFERENT USER-CONTROLLED SERVICES
TRANSITION FROM “SEND AND RECEIVE” INFORMATION MODEL TO A HIGHLY INTERACTIVE MODEL BETWEEN USERS AND CONTENT.
FORM LARGE-SCALE SHARING PLATFORMS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING APPLICATIONS TO CREATE PERSONALISED, USER-CENTRIC AND CONTROLLED SOCIAL ECOSYSTEMS
THE RETURN OF PRAGMATIC ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, THROUGH ITS MANIFESTATIONS OF MACHINE AND DEEP LEARNING, LEVERAGING ACCESSIBLE DATA SETS AND TRACTABLE COMPUTING
INCREASED INTEGRATION AND PROGRAMMABILITY OF SILICON AS A HIGH-SPEED COMPUTING OPERATING SYSTEM UNDERNEATH A LAYER OF COMPUTE AND CLOUD OPERATING SYSTEMS.
GROWTH IN 4G MOBILE INTERNET ECOSYSTEM WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON THE INCREASED INTERACTION BETWEEN THE NETWORK AND OVER THE TOP APPLICATIONS. These features can be boiled down to a few key characteristics that include:
data, intelligence, information, management & optimisation. In short, the focus will be ever more on creating semantics off data followed by business models that leverage these data semantics to monetise the converged Internet. Well, until the next cycle hits again.
FEATURE: RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
RESEARCHDIRECTIONS GreenTouch Consortium aims to reduce energy consumption by 90% and still support predicted traffic and bandwidth growth. The Consortium of mobile companies is investigating small cell deployment, infrastructure sharing, discontinuous transmission (during periods without traffic). In the core network the focus has been on dynamic allocation of resources according to traffic fluctuations, and there has also been work on power models for hardware and network equipment.
reduction in energy consumption
EU PROJECT METIS
Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society. METIS, a consortium of five vendors, five operators, one car manufacturer and 13 academic institutions is dedicated to working out the requirements of “5G” networks. It is focussing on developing and evaluating the key technology components of 5G systems - network topologies, radio links, multi-node, and spectrum usage techniques. Early deliverables have included a Requirement analysis and design approaches for 5G air interface and an Intermediate description of the spectrum needs and usage principles in METIS.
COGNITIVE RADIO - SPECTRUM HARVESTING - SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT: (Fraunhofer Institute for Embedded Systems and Communication Technologies ES) An ongoing area of research that refers to an autonomous, fully reconfigurable network node capable of monitoring its environment, recognising changes and reacting accordingly when required. This method, which is still in the basic research phase, has the potential to overcome disadvantages such as the inefficient utilisation of wireless channels. With cognitive processes, researchers assume each network node will exhibit intelligent behavior in response to the users requirements, the available radio spectrum and the environment. This behaviour will be supported through learning and decision processes. In a cognitive network, overall optimisation should be achieved through the collective behaviour of the individual nodes.
The four major functions of a cognitive network are: • Spectrum sensing: detection of unused frequency ranges • Spectrum management: selection of the unused frequency range that best fulfills the requirements • Spectrum mobility: possibility to switch frequencies without data loss and additional delay (e.g. by detecting a band with less interference)
Bio-acoustic Data Transfer (Bell LAbs) Data exchange through shaking hands, control of locks and doors simply through touch. Bio-acoustic Data Transfer is demonstrated by key transmission through bone conduction. This is done by attaching a piezo-electric transducer to a mobile device, watch or other devices. When the user approaches the door, a unique digital key will be transferred to the lock. If the key matches, the deadbolt will unlock. This is made possible by a person’s unique skeletal structure and bone density, so if the key is stolen it will not work for the intruder. Additional research into Bio-acoustic Data Transfer is underway to ensure the accuracy of unlocking a deadbolt, as well as data transfer of short messages, like contact information. In the future, AT&T Labs researchers foresee multiple advancements in this technology, including:
Handshake Data Transfer. While shaking someone’s hand for the first time your contact information or any other data that you wish to share, could be sent from one body to the other.
A Safer Home. If an intruder tried to enter your home, alerts could be sent through your mobile device to let you know. Transferring data between devices.
• Spectrum sharing: intelligent, multiple access to a spectrum within a network
SNOITCERIDHCRAESER TMNQUARTERLY 31
FEATURE: ANTENNA TECHNOLOGY
Progress by the millimetre As mobile operators face up to deploying an increasing density of base stations to support growing bandwidth requirements, mobile antenna technology has become one part of the challenge. One area of innovation that may throw up some relief is in the millimetre wave band - and not just for backhaul.
FEATURE: ANTENNA TECHNOLOGY
The use of mmwave technologies for small cell backhaul has been proposed for a while - with its high capacity, high attenuation characteristics making it a good candidate for dense environments, but there are increasing moves to see the technology exploited in the radio access, as well as backhaul areas of the network. Nokia Solutions & Networks (NSN) lists the use of what it terms non-traditional cellular spectrum as one part of its “5G vision”, and thinks that by exploiting two stream MIMO enabled with polarisation diversity, peak data rates in excess of 10 Gbps could be achieved, along with a proposed frame structure with 100 microsecond slots to enable rapid retransmissions to give “real time” latency.. On its website NSN writes: “NSN is very active in
researching and developing a Proof-of-Concept (POC) system for the 5G eLA network, using 70-80 GHz mmWave to show that the technology is feasible for both access and backhaul and that it will meet the future data demand beyond 2020. As one of the major focus areas of NSN radio research, we believe in the potential of mmWave for 5G communications beyond 2020.” There is still considerable work to be done though on defining what such a system might look like, and what challenges it will bring. You might have thought that the work to date on gaining as much spectral efficiency as possible from LTE would give operators enough resource to work with. Many of the techniques developed within LTE and LTE-A specifications - such as carrier aggregation, MIMO, coordinated multi-point (CoMP),
interference management (eICIC) and HetNet coodination - are intended to make LTE as efficient as possible in its use of available spectrum. However, sometimes you cannot argue with the idea that a good big one will always beat a good little one, and the large amount of bandwidth available in the mmWave band may mean that developing systems that can exploit this spectrum may give a greater benefit over continued tinkering and changes to LTE standards at current bands. If want to see the impact that such numbers can have, consider this. NSN calculates: “Some aspects of user experience in a mmWave enhanced Local Area (eLA) system may be at least 20 times greater than that experienced with LTE. This is possible since mmWave uses 50x the bandwidth compared to LTE.”
Adaptive array transceiver Samsung, too, is on the mmWave case, with a bullish approach to the topic driving it to claim it as the future of 5G. In May this year it announced that it had “successfully developed the world’s first adaptive array transceiver technology operating in the millimeter-wave Ka bands for
cellular communications”. The new technology sits at the core of Samsung’s (premature?) 5G mobile communications messaging and could, the company claims, provide data transmission up to several hundred times faster than current 4G networks. Samsung is basing this confidence
on its new adaptive array transceiver technology that it claims can enable data rates in the millimeter-wave band at a frequency of 28 GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to 2 kilometers. Although mmWave has higher propagation losses than bands below 6 GHz, this could be
FEATURE: ANTENNA TECHNOLOGY
overcome with antenna arrays with many elements. Samsung’s view is that its adaptive array transceiver technology, using 64 antenna elements, could be a viable solution for overcoming radio propagation loss at millimeterwave bands, which is much higher than the conventional frequency bands ranging from several hundred MHz to several GHz. There are further challenges, of course. One challenge with the mmWave is in cell edge spectral efficiency, where NSN estimates LTE-A can be approximately 2.5 times better than the basic mmWave system. Others include the, manufacturing difficulties of small elements such as antennas, and chip processing power. However, NSN considers that progress in both chip and antenna technologies show that mmWave is capable of supporting cellular-type communications. mmWave also needs line of site to operate, so that if a signal is blocked to the access point, then either a reflective path or another access point needs to be visible to the user. Reflective paths are a lot easier to plan in a backhaul network than they are for a mobile user, of course. If neither exists, the user can would need to revert to the macro, or overlay, LTE network - meaning that good
“4G” LTe coverage will still be a requirement. So when will we see these sorts of advanced technologies commercialised? In Samsung’s case, the company plans include the mmWave adaptive array transceivers along with other so called 5G technologies around 2020. It’s not just NSN and Samsung that are on the trail of exploiting these high capacity, high frequency wavelengths. The EU is funding a research project called SARABAND, where a group of companies and academic institutions are coming together to research and develop technology to use the Q Band frequencies - including antenna and base station development. The SARABAND project will focus on the development of low profile high gain and programmable multi-beam Q-band antennas, and on the development of miniaturised radio module based on new substrate, new packaging and interconnection process in Q-band frequency. This approach will enable operators to capitalize on the massive bandwidth available in the EU regulated Q-band (40,543,5 GHz) for future wireless backhaul, as well as last mile access to bridge the digital divide in a most cost-efficient, easily deployable and energy efficient way.
On its website (www.sarabandfp7.eu) the SARABAND project says it will address this issue by smart, high gain and agile Q-band antennas with a miniaturised Q-band radio head inside. To this end, SARABAND says it will handle the following concepts: The first SARABAND project concept is to leverage the EU regulated Q-band (40,5-43,5 GHz) to help overcome the digital divide for next generation mobile backhaul. The second concept of the SARABAND project is to exploit sub-wavelength Lens and Switched Parasitic Array technologies to design small form factor, programmable, high gain, multi-beam antennas, in order to achieve low cost production and performance “beyond state of the art”. The third concept of the SARABAND project is to exploit new packaging and interconnection solutions with the latest process technology to provide Q-band radio head modules with low loss, high power and high reliability at a fraction of the price of any available radio today. The fourth concept of the SARABAND project is to integrate innovative miniaturized steerable antennas with advanced Q-band circuits to produce small, low cost novel network systems with outstanding performance and high-energy efficiency.
The overall objective of the SARABAND project is to push the boundaries of RF technology by developing high performance, smart, multi-beam, programmable and reconfigurable antennas containing (in terms of size in comparison with existing Q-band technology) miniaturized Q-band (40,5 - 43,5 GHz) radio technology to enable an energy efficient and high performance future wireless backhaul, as well as last mile access to bridge the digital divide.
FEATURE: ANTENNA TECHNOLOGY
The S&T SARABAND summary project objectives are: • Low profile (flat and thin), high gain antennas in Q-band; to be specified, developed and defined.
rates based on where endpoints (people) are going to be, rather than the typical sector-led approach. “You may not have a sector, more a petal formation where beams dedicate maximum strength to each
• Q-band Multi-Beam Antennas with up to four beams of different beamwidth and programmable directions; to be specified, developed and defined.
end point. So you may have not spots but that’s
• Q-band high power radio front-end with MMICS on a smart (miniaturized) technology SIP (System in Package), thermal management and power efficiency with suitable packaging and interconnections process; to be defined, implemented and verified.
Sanyan calls out the technical innovations already under way: “We’re looking at antenna with a dynamic beam width of 6 to 60 degrees, prototypes of printed patch antennas, with a circular flare form attached to the antenna, and we have got the first fixed beam demonstrator manufactured and currently in testing. We’re combining that with repackaging RF modules for miniaturisation - because it’s one thing doing advanced antennas but you have to make sure the radio follows. We’re working on improvement in isolators for better isolation between ports to minimise losses, new chipsets for up conversion, down conversion, to get much more initial starting signal strength in parallel.”
• Integration of antennas with radio heads to achieve a cost effective and compact Beam Forming Solution for mobile backhaul with installation constraints (low cost and power efficiency); to be defined, implemented and demonstrated. Shayan Sanyal, CMO of BluWan, one of the companies involved in the project, told TMN that the end goal is to be able to deploy radios and antennas that adapt dynamically as and when network topology evolves. That means developing technology that enables the formation of new antenna radiation patterns to provide optimal systems performance with maximum data
3G/4G Macro Site 200 Mbits
OK because there’s no population in those spots,” Sanyal explains.
So although the move to mmWave technology as part of a “5G” toolkit is still in research phase, the groundwork in chipset development, RF and element miniaturisation is underway. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Small Cells with 100 Mbits Peak
• Matching point-to-point (PtP) Peak Capacity
Transmission Hub Oﬀering Up to 2Gbps 3G/4G Macro Site 200 Mbits
1.2km 99.99% availability
SARABAND Network Architecture
1.2km 99.99% availability
• PMP within millimeter wave (mmW) Architecture • All the benefits of PMP technology • Exploiting 3GHz in Q-band
FREE TO CONCENTRATE ON LTE
SMS TRAFFIC: PAST ITS PEAK
SMS TRAFFIC IN BILLIONS OF UNITS
supremacy, while the impact of Free’s
The major operators jostle for LTE introduction continues to make itself felt
QUARTERLY GROWTH IN BILLIONS OF UNITS
on margins. That said, this is still a market where innovation can, and does, take place
in both network technology and services.
-2,241 QUARTERLY GROWTH AS A %
JUN 12 2,4%
DEC 12 10,3%
MAR 13 13,9%
SEP 12 -3,7%
JUN 13 -4,5%
YEAR ON YEAR GROWTH (4)
AVERAGE MONTHLY SMS TRAFFIC PER ACTIVE CUSTOMERS (13) JUN 13 222
JUN 12 225
MAR 13 237
SEP 12 213
JUN 13 4,7%
12,2% MAR 13
Nobody seems to know what Free Mobile, the Johnny-(Halliday)-come-lately to the market has planned, although the company did get its hands on some 800 and 2.6GHz spectrum during the 2012 auction. One of the more striking aspects of the French mobile market is how committed the operators have been to advancing as far as possible down the HSPA progression path, with Dual Carrier HSPA being introduced by SFR and Orange. This offers a pretty high speed fallback to customers outside the LTE area, and is often bundled as a “high speed” tariff alongside LTE.
If 2012 was the year of Free, 2013 has certainly been the year of LTE in France. After the award of licenses in 2012, which raised EUR3.5 billion, the operators have begun to open up LTE networks across the country. Analysts Wireless Intelligence think the country will have 10 million LTE connections within five years, accounting for about 12% of its total 2017 subscriber base. The introduction of the technology, while costing the operators billions, may not have a great impact upon market share. Wireless Intelligence expects Orange (44%) and SFR (35%) to replicate that within LTE, with a combined 80% of LTE connections.
DEC 12 231
MILLIONS OF € VAT EXCL.
Q1 09 Q2 09 Q3 09 Q4 09 Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Q2 11 Q3 11 Q4 11 Q1 12 Q2 12 Q3 12 Q4 12 Q1 13
TOTAL SUBSCRIBER NUMBERS: FLAT OVERALL, CONTRACTS ON THE RISE Q2 2012
CHANGE 1Q13/1Q12 6%
50,644 10,194 18,828 16,407 69,472
52,075 9,792 18,386 15,794 70,461
50,644 10,194 18,828 16,407 69,472 OF WHICH WITH BLOCKED ACCOUNT
50,644 10,194 18,828 16,407 69,472 PREPAID CARDS
50,644 10,194 18,828 16,407 69,472
PER QUARTER, IN MILLIONS
2.8 2.4 2.2 2.0 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0
OF WHICH WITH ACTIVE PREPAID CARDS*
LAUNCH OF FREE MOBILE
NUMBERS PORTED IN METROPOLITAN FRANCE
SFR has taken the lead here, publicly stating that it has 98% coverage by population for 42Mbps HSPA+. It hopes to upgrade 63% of users on this network to 42Mb/s speeds by year-end. Bouygues has 50 percent population coverage for its 42MB/s HSPA+ network. Orange wants to get its HSPA+ to 60% population coverage by the end of 2013, offering a pretty secure back-up to its patches of LTE coverage. If it is behind in HSPA+ coverage, Orange certainly thinks it is leading the 4G race. In a website it put together called “Who has the best 4G?” it claimed to have 4G coverage areas in 390 towns and cities across the country as of 9 September. It said SFR and Bouygues covered only 11 and 12 cities respectively. It also claims to have the fastest peak rates, at 150Mbps, compared to 115Mbps from both of its rivals. To a certain extent, Orange is playing this game while it still can. SFR aims to cover more than 70% of the French population by the end of 2013, with 55 cities under LTE, and Bouygues Telecom has said it wants 40% coverage within the same time frame. Something that may also help Bouygues is its approval to refarm its 1800 LTE holdings for LTE, should it want to (it will). SFR also lays claim to the largest coverage in Paris, with a commitment to cover the entire French capital
MOBILE SERVICE REVENUES IN DECLINE
TOTAL CUSTOMER BASE
1.8 1.9 1.3 1.3
Q2 ‘08 Q4 ‘08 Q2 ‘09 Q4 ‘09 Q2 ‘10 Q4 ‘10 Q2 ‘11 Q4 ‘11 Q2 ‘12 Q4 ‘12 Q2 ‘13 TMNQUARTERLY 39
MARKET INNOVATION 70.9MILLION
and much of the Isle de France by the end of 2013. Perhaps these aggressive rollout tactics from Orange, combined with the pricing pressure from Free Mobile, are behind recent moves from SFR and Bouygues to talk about introducing elements of network sharing. Certainly Free’s competitive impact, with the operator totting up six million users since its introduction at the end of 2011, has also impacted on the investment cases of the other operators. A statement from the two companies mentioned “profound changes” affecting the telecoms market as the motive for the talks. They didn’t mention
Free Mobile by name, but then again they didn’t really have to. SFR general secretary Olivier Henrard told ZDNet France that the deal between the two companies will allow them to offer “a better network in the areas where network-sharing gets put in place” in order to improve both coverage and quality of service. The idea is to share networks outside of all but the most dense urban areas a common enough approach to network sharing deals - although the companies will not share spectrum, something that would likely be a step too far for regulatory body ARCEP.
MOBILE CUSTOMERS (END OF 2012)
ACTIVE MOBILE PHONE CUSTOMERS IN FRANCE (END OF MARCH 2013) Although France is often viewed as a mature market dominated by its three established players, and even more so by Orange, it also has a history of innovation in mobile networks. SFR, for instance, introduced free Femtocells as part of its offer as early as 2011. Free Mobile operates a small cell unit that allows other Free users to share coverage - a bit like the second SSID featured on Fon-enabled WiFi boxes. SFR installed WiFi connection software called WiFi Autoconnect, to introduce a “Carrier Wifi” offer to its customers, managing their WiFi connectivity within a paid-for data bundle. For both companies, the approach is a tactic to extend their network presence beyond the macro network, which in Free’s case is vital, and also apposite to its large in-the-home presence. Orange, with its fixed line and mobile offerings, has leverage that to innovate in home TV, VoIP and what you might call digital lifestyle services. It continues to try new approaches to extending its
brand - for example with the launch of its answer to OTT services - LiBon (Life is Better On) coming out of Beta and into the mainstream in 2013, with releases on Android and iOS. Libon users get free calls to other Libon users, and a voicemail service that offers customisable greetings for different callers, transcription and email alerts. Libon also offers unified messaging to messages to and from other users (for free) merged with standard SMS. The market has also benefitted greatly from the country’s tech sector, with giants such as Alcatel-Lucent and Thomson providing technological innovation, alongside a host of innovative software and media companies based around Paris, and near Nice. Although Al-Lu’s relationship with Orange is not as close at it was when the company was plain old Alcatel, and the operator called France Telecom, there is still a healthy exchange of ideas, with Orange offering encouragement to Al-Lu’s small cell and cloud RAN strategies, for example.
LTE PRICING: CERTAINLY, THERE IS LITTLE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN OPERATORS IN TERMS OF PRICING SO FAR. ORANGE OFFERS ‘4G/H+’ SPEEDS VIA ITS ORIGAMI PACKAGES, WITH A DEVICE AND 2GB OF DATA AT €46.99. BOUYGUES OFFERS 3GB FOR €34.99 OR AN 8GB PACKAGE AT €49.99. SFR IS IN THE SAME BALLPARK, WITH ITS 2GB PACKAGE COMING IN AT €39.99.
LTE SPECTRUM WON BY FRENCH OPERATOR
LTE COVERAGE BY OPERATOR IN FRANCE SEPTEMBER 2013
2X20MHZ 2.6GHZ (EUR287M) FREE MOBILE //
2X20MHZ 2.6GHZ (EUR271M) BOUYGUES //
2X15MHZ 2.6GHZ (EUR228M) SFR //
2X15MHZ 2.6GHZ (EUR150) NO OBLIGATION TO HOST MVNOS
BLOCK D ORANGE //
* Bouygues has permission to refarm 1800MHz spectrum from October 2013
Aix-en-Provence, Alès, Angoulême, Annecy, Arcachon, Armentières, Arras, Avignon, Bayonne, Biarritz, Anglet, Besançon, Bordeaux, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Brest, Caen, Cannes, Cavaillon, Chartres, Clermont-Ferrand, Colmar, Creil, Deauville, Dunkerque, Forbach, Grenoble, Haguenau, La Défense, La Rochesur-Yon, La Rochelle, Laval, Le Mans, Lens, Lille, Lorient, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nancy, Nantes, Nîmes, Orléans, Paris, Pau, Pergignan, Poitiers, Rennes, Saint-Jacques-De-La-Lande, Rouen, Saint-Etienne, Saint-Nazaire, Sélestat, Strasbourg, Tarbes, Thionville, Toulon, Toulouse, Trouville
Agen, Amiens Annecy, Angers, Annemasse, Arles, Avignon, Beauvais, Belfort, BesanÁon, Bordeaux, Bourg-en-Bresse, Brest, Brive-la-Gaillarde, Caen, Chalonsur-Saone, ChambÈry, Clermont-Ferrand,FrÈjus, Grenoble, La Rochelle, LeHavre Dijon, Le Mans, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nancy, Nantes, Niort, Blois, Orleans, Paris, Pau, Poitiers, Reims, Rennes, Roanne, Romans-sur-Isere, Rouen, Saint-Etienne, Sete, Strasbourg, Tarbes , Thionville, Toulon, Toulouse, Tours, Troyes, Valencia, Valenciennes, Vienna
Lyon, Strasbourg, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Vanves, Malakoff and Toulouse. Lille, Douai, Lens and the Basque Coast. National launch - more than 100 cities, in October
DOT, DOT ON THE WALL, WHO'S THE SMALLEST OF THEM ALL? Ericsson claimed to have invented a new product category with its Radio Dot System - tiny remote radios designed for use in in-building environments that are fed and powered over Ethernet by a master base station. Although Ericsson said it had redefined the small cell market, others queried whether the product, although small, really qualified as a small cell and was in effect just a clever, differently packaged version of a DAS. Whatever your definition, the cell/remote node is certainly small...............................