5G Service Requirements

March 10, 2017 | By Navnit Goel

3GPP Technical Specification Group (TSG) on Services & Systems Aspects (SA) WG1 has completed its first normative specification on “Service requirements for the 5G system” (TS22.261),This  will now be submitted for approval at the Plenary meeting of the SA on 8-10 March 2017.

The specification contains requirements on performance targets and basic capabilities:

  • Support for fixed, mobile, wireless and satellite access technologies

  • A scalable and customizable network that can be tailored to requirements from multiple services and vertical markets (e.g., network slicing, NFV)

  • Resource efficiency for services ranging from low data IoT services to high bitrate multimedia services

  • Energy efficiency and battery power optimization

  • Network capability exposure to allow 3rd party Internet Service Providers and Internet Content Providers to e.g. manage network slices, and deploy applications in the operator’s Service Hosting Environment

  • Indirect connectivity from a Remote UE via a Relay UE to the network, and service continuity between indirect connections and direct connections.

Performance targets for different scenarios (e.g. urban macro, rural macro, indoor hotspot) and applications (e.g. remote control, monitoring, intelligent transport systems, and tactile interaction) have been defined as follows:

  • User experienced data rates vary, from 1 Gbps DL and 500 Mpbs UL for indoor hotspot environments to 50 Mbps DL and 25 Mbps UL for rural macro environments.

  • Latency targets are as low as 0,5 ms for tactile interaction.

  • Capacity targets as high as 15 Tbps/km2 with 250K users/km2 for indoor hotspots such as office environments.

The service requirements in the specification will now be used as inputs for the 5G normative work in other 3GPP working groups.

Release 15 specifications for the first phase of 5G will be ready in June 2018.

Mobile Virtual Network Operators ( MVNO) allowed to provide telecom services in India

March 31, 2016 | By Navnit Goel

Telecom Commission has decided to allow, Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) to provide telecom services in the market with an MVNO license. MVNOs are service providers who take bandwidth and infrastructure at wholesale rates from mobile operators and then resell them in the market with their own branding and tariff plans. They do not own either spectrum or network infrastructure. This will allow small players without the financial muscle become niche mobile service providers. For example, large retail chains and financial service providers with a national footprint may use the MVNO route to offer mobile services. For incumbent telecom operators partnering with MVNOs this will provide a cheaper and faster option to reach out to a larger customer base hitherto commercially unviable.

This move will be beneficial for customers as they will have more options available to them at cheaper rate. It will also benefit incumbent teleocom operators as well as foreign companies such as Virgin Mobile, AT&T and China Mobile who want to operate in India.


Gigabit LTE may require operator’s to incorporate unlicensed spectrum

February 29, 2016 | By Navnit Goel

In order to deploy, Ericsson’s Gigabit LTE, which will make 1-Gbps speeds possible for LTE networks, most operators may need to incorporate unlicensed spectrum to deploy it.

Gigabit LTE will allow operators to deliver extremely fast speeds for tasks such as downloading video or mission-critical applications. It will require 60 MHz of spectrum and a robust system of carrier aggregation. To get to that 60 MHz of spectrum, most operators will need to use a combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

In North America, operators will deploy 1-Gig LTE in areas where there are not many landline broadband options. It could be a competitor to landline broadband in some other markets.

Some operators expect to use together two 20 MHz chunks of unlicensed spectrum and one 20 MHz of licensed spectrum to get the 60 MHz of spectrum necessary to deploy this technology.

Other requirements for deploying 1-Gigabit LTE include:

  • 4×4 MIMO on 20 MHz of spectrum in mid and high bands
  • 2×2 MIMO in low bands
  • 256 QAM
  • 1.4 GHz supplemental downlink band


Sequans launches LTE Cat-M chipset

February 18, 2016 By Navnit Goel

French chipmaker Sequans has announced low power LTE Cat-M chipset, to be used to create inexpensive LTE modems to support Internet of Things. Cat-M refers to Category M. The “M” stands for machines. Category M follows Category 1 LTE, part of the existing 3GPP LTE standards. Cat-M solution is is compliant with the 3GPP Release 13 LTE-Advanced Pro standard that defines new narrowband capabilities of LTE for machine-type communications.

Cat-M chipset is suitable for IoT, with reduced power consumption and low cost by capping speed at 10 megabits/second, which is enough for most of the IoT applications. Cat-1 is appropriate for IoT applications that require a browser interface, voice and video. But many connected machines do not need that kind of speed.

Sequans Cat-M solution caps speeds at 300 kilobits per second. This chipset integrates baseband, an RF transceiver, RAM and power management in a 6.5×8 mm form factor. Solution providers like Gemalto will provide complete IoT module by adding batteries, power amplification, switches and antennas. Gemalto has already made successful Cat-1 modules using Sequans chipset. Cat-M modules are likely to be priced at $8, about half the price of Cat-1 modules. This price is likely to go down further. Cat-M solution will be as cheap as a 2G solution which is today in the range of $6 range. Cat-M will replace 2G because 2G systems are being replaced and spectrum is being refarmed. Today in absence of alternatives Cat-1 is replacing 2G solutions for IoT.

Cat-M is expected to improve the economics of IoT for use cases like smart energy meters, industrial IoT sensors, asset trackers and consumer wearables.

Release 13 hasn’t happened, even though standard is almost final. Adding software updates in future will enable Sequans to comply with the final standard when it is released. However launching the chipset ahead of standard is important to keep up with Verizon Wireless.

The challenge for Verizon is to get their network ready as soon as possible so they can launch it. This will also help Sequans to tie-up with other carriers also.

Nokia launches centralized security for IoT network operators

February 8, 2016 | By Navnit Goel

Nokia has launched an all in one centralized security management system NetGuard. It makes it easier and faster to configure, and deploy network security across multiple IoT configurations and services, both for carriers and other service providers.

NetGuard allows an operator to configure, monitor and control all the multi-vendor security systems deployed across a telecommunications network. Combining the monitoring and configuration of different systems in one place enhances security because incidents can be analyzed and correlated centrally to protect against threats that could otherwise go undetected by isolated security systems.

NetGuard Security Management Center also increases operational efficiency and lowers the total cost of security for operators through automated and consistent mass configuration of security policies, bulk firmware upgrades and verification of vendor-specific security hardening settings.

With the automated security audit together with security alarm correlation, it will be possible to pinpoint attacks that today’s networks simply cannot detect. Networks are becoming more heterogeneous and open, leaving them increasingly prone to cyberattacks. Any degradation of network performance, is one of the biggest threats to operators. The impact of such an event can range from a few dissatisfied customers to severe damage to the entire business. NetGuard Security Management Center gives operators confidence that their whole networks are safe, not just some individually protected parts.


Trai backs net neutrality, says no to discriminatory pricing based on content

February 08, 2016| By Navnit Goel

Telecom watchdog, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), has released the final guidelines on differential pricing. It has rejected operators’ offer for differential pricing.

Giving support to net neutrality, Trai said no provider should charge discriminatory tariffs for data based on content. Trai to levy Rs 50,000 to Rs 50 lakh a day penalty for discriminatory tariffs charged by service providers. Trai may review these regulations after a period of two years. Regulations will come into effect immediately.


Intel, Qualcomm collaboration on 802.11ad WiGig interoperability

February 8, 2016| By Navnit Goel

Intel and Qualcomm Atheros announced this week that they have successfully demonstrated multi-gigabit interoperability between their 802.11ad WiGig solutions.

The IEEE 802.11ad standard is likely to provide data throughput speeds of up to 7 Gbps. The technology uses the 60 GHz ISM band to achieve the levels of bandwidth needed and ensure reduced interference levels.

Using frequencies in the millimeter range IEEE 802.11ad Wi-Fi has a range of a few meters. This is aimed for very short range (across a room) high volume data transfers such as HD video transfers. When longer ranges are needed standards such as 802.11ac can be used.


Ericsson & Verizon take initiative to expand IoT

January 8, 2016 | By Navnit Goel

Ericsson is making a huge push to help its customers monetize IoT, It announced initiative with Verizon Communications to develop and deploy low-power wide-area network ( LPWA) solution for IoT applications.

Ericsson’s new software will help Ericsson to optimize it’s existing nationwide LTE network to support large number of connected devices.


Verizon’s moves to support Wi-Fi calling

December 15, 2015 | By Navnit Goel

Verizon announced in the 2nd week of December, that it will make Wi-Fi calling available via software updates to Samsung Galaxy S 6 and S 6 devices. Earlier, it enabled Wi-Fi calling on newer iPhones via a messaging app.

Wi-Fi calling services are gaining support from carrier community to face the challenges from OTT players. Moreover the cellular network is not able to deliver ubiquitous indoor coverage and Wi-Fi is the best options to provide data and voice connectivity to subscribers.

Apple introduced Wi-Fi calling in iOS 8 for T-Mobile and made it a standard feature in iOS 9.


AT&T to become primary mobility provider for US U.S. Department of Education

December 12, 2015 | By Navnit Goel

AT&T has been awarded a three-year contract by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to provide complete mobility solution, services and maintenance contract in order to improve productivity of workforce.

AT&T will provide mobility devices including smart phones and tablets, voice and data services, mobile device management and full-time onsite support.

ED will be able to view and manage all the mobile devices from Central Console.


India seeks to free idle television broadcast airwaves for mobile services

November 30, 2015| By Navnit Goel

India has initiated move at ITU, World Radio Conference in Geneva to free up idle television broadcast airwaves, typically in the 470-698 MHz (sub 700 MHz) range, for mobile broadband 3G/4G services. This comes at a time when India’s telecom regulator has just unveiled a consultation paper that seeks to establish the base price of airwaves to be auctioned in early 2016.

470-698 Mhz spectrum has got excellent propagation properties, making it ideal for both in-building data services and rural coverage. Besides this there is limited availability of data spectrum across conventional mobile bands like 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz.

Administrators of India, Micronesia, Papua & New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have identified this band, or portions of the band, to implement international mobile telecommunications (IMT).

Airwaves within the same band in the 610-698 MHz range, have been identified for IMT by the administrations of New Zealand, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Maldives. The US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Finland, Bahamas and Barbados have already agreed to identify these airwaves that have historically been used for television broadcasting for IMT.


Bhadra in Rajasthan becomes first fully Wi-Fi town in India

November 30, 2015 | By Navnit Goel

Bhadra, a small town with a population of about 40,000 in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan has become the first small town in India to be completely covered by public Wi-Fi.

Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd has transformed the entire township into a Wi-Fi hotspot by, putting up a multitude of access points with emphasis on public places like the bus stands, railway stations and shopping zones. It has also developed a local area network solution to extend Wi-Fi connectivity inside homes of residents.


New technology Li-Fi to offer 100 times faster speed than WiFi

November 26, 2015| By Navnit Goel

A new technology, known as Light Fidelity (Li-Fi), can one day offer internet speeds much faster than the Wi-Fi. Li-Fi is a wireless technology that transmits high-speed data using visible light communication (VLC) between 400 and 800 terahertz (THz). Scientists have taken Li-Fi out of the lab for the first time, trialing it in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn, Estonia, reporting that they can achieve data transmission at 1 GB per second – that’s 100 times faster than current average Wi-Fi speeds.

Visible light has a spectrum 10,000 times larger than radio waves. This means LiFi has the potential for enormous capacity. Instead of transmitting information via one data stream, visible light would make it possible to transmit the same information using thousands of data streams simultaneously.

Li-Fi works by flashing LED lights on and off at very fast speeds, sending data to a receiver in binary code. The flashes occur so fast that they are not seen by the naked eye.

The world’s ever-growing desire for more data at faster rates is pushing Wi-Fi’s capacity to its limits. For those transmitting sensitive data, security is also a problem, as radio waves travel through solid objects such as walls and doors. Li-Fi will be more secure than Wi-Fi as it cannot pass through walls like Wi-Fi. This also means that there will be less interference between devices.

Li-Fi will probably not completely replace Wi-Fi in the coming decades, the two technologies are likely be used together to achieve more efficient and secure networks.


Latest mobile subscriber and data traffic growth trends

November 19, 2015| By Navnit Goel

Latest report on mobile data show that the rest of Asia-Pacific region ( excluding India and China) is leading in new mobile subscriptions, however data traffic is increasing fastest in North America.The latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that the rest of Asia-Pacific market is growing faster than India and China combined. Rest of Asia-Pacific added 26 million subscribers in 3rd quarter while India added 13 million and China added 7 million subscribers. Overall, the Asia-Pacific region has fewer than 1.4 billion mobile subscriptions; China has 1.3 billion, and is now the world’s largest LTE market. India has fewer than 1 billion mobile subscriptions, and North America has less than 400 million.

However it is North America, where data traffic is skyrocketing. Mobile data use in the U.S. and Canada is likely to grow 40% annually through 2021. By 2021 total data consumed (mostly video) in these two countries will exceed 9 exabytes per month, equivalent to 900,000 copies of the total printed collection of the Library of Congress.

Per smart phone mobile video traffic is expected to have a six-fold increase in the U.S. and Europe by 2021. That is about 22 gigabytes per month per smart phone in 2021 from 3.8 gigabytes per month in 2015.


Artificial Intelligence to make 5G smart

November 05, 2015| By Navnit Goel

How fifth-generation (5G) services will be rolled out is a hot topic for mobile operators and vendors. 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has not yet defined official specification. However lots of work is going about, on, how the standard will be. 5G networks are expected to deliver data at Gbps rates. Next major up-grade of wireless networks are expected to enable smarter cities, self driving cars, and other IoT applications.

All of these will be possible only if 5G networks have some Artificial Intelligence. Deadline for initial 5G deployments is 2020. Early phases of field testing are coming soon but the new networks will have to handle devices, data traffic types, serving applications much smartly.This means a lot of work needs to happen before 5G services actually arrive.


AT&T launches virtualized packet core in Europe

October 09, 2015| By Navnit Goel

AT&T has launched virtualized packet core in the month of August this year. This is part of strategy for carrying out international traffic for Internet of Things (IoT) and connected car services. AT&T also uses a virtualized packet core in the US for some network functions.

By providing in region core and keeping Europe’s traffic in Europe it will be able to avoid delays and expenses in taking traffic to US for provide consistent customer experience. By ritualizing the packet core it will be able to save cost in comparison of using dedicated hardware.


Broadband Operators in India demand for freeing up L-band for freeing for 3G and 4G services

August 03, 2015| By Navnit Goel

Major mobile broadband operators in India have requested to free up airwaves in the L-band, with frequencies in the range of 1427-1518 MHz for 3G and 4G services. The L band is allocated to the armed forces but it is largely un-used.

ITU is likely to declare L-band an official mobile band for 3G and 4G in World Radio Conference in Geneva in November. European Commission also recently voted for the release of the L-band across the European Union for 4G data traffic.

DoT is planning spectrum sale in early 2016 for frequencies cutting across 2G, 3G and 4G bands.


China Telecom’s FDD-LTE technology to cover 95% of China’s population by end-2015

July 08, 2015| By Navnit Goel

China Telecom deploying the world’s largest FDD-LTE network, with 460,000 base stations. It aims to provide 4G LTE coverage to 95% of the country’s population by the end of the year.It obtained its nationwide FDD-LTE license in February this year.

China Telecom is using 800 MHz, 1.8 GHz & 2.1 GHz and 800 MHz bands. 850 MHz band is being used for 4G LTE coverage in rural areas. It will also launch voice-over-LTE and voice-over-WiFi technologies.


IMT-2020 label for 5G

July 05, 2015| By Navnit Goel

ITU has confirmed that the IMT-2020 label will be applied to the next generation of mobile standards. ITU-R Assembly is likely to formally adopt the term “IMT-2020” for 5G. IMT-2020 is an extension of the ITU’s existing global standards IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced, which are the basis for today’s 3G and 4G mobile systems.

ITU-R Working Party 5D in San Diego, California, has defined the overall goals, process and timeline for the development of 5G mobile systems. Peak Data rate in IMT-2000 is expected to reach 10 Gbps, under certain conditions and scenarios it may reach up-to 20Gbps. ITU-R Study Group 5 will meet on 21 July to approve the recommendations.


Airtel to start 4G trial in Delhi on June 18

June 16, 2015| By Navnit Goel

Airtel will do the beta launch of 4G services in Delhi on June 18. Airtel’s 4G services are already available in other parts of the country including Chandigarh, Amritsar, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru.


Reliance Jio to launch 4G services in December

June 12, 2015| By Navnit Goel

Reliance Jio is aiming at commercial launch of its 4G services in December. It would make available 4G-supported smartphones in markets at a price below Rs 4,000 by partnering with various handset makers.

Reliance Jio plans to provide 4G services using LTE technology in 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2300MHz bands.According to Rating agency Fitch, data tariffs may fall 20 per cent with Reliance Jio’s entry.


EU and Japan sign cooperation agreement on 5G

EU has signed cooperation agreement on 5G with Japan. EU has signed such agreement with South Korea also earlier. With this agreement EU and Japan will cooperate on :

  1. A global definition of 5G and timetable for 5G
  2. Identifying, radio frequency bands which can be harmonized globally
  3. Future 5G applications and ecosystems in areas like connected cars, IoT, e-health and Cloud

5G networks are likely to become available by 2020. Japan aims to deploy 5G networks in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.


HKT and Huawei Demonstrate LTE-A 450Mbps Solution in Hong Kong

April 29, 2015| By Navnit Goel

IP-RAN based LTE-A 450Mbps solution (3 FDD Carrier Aggregation) has been successfully demonstrated by HKT and Huawei in Hong Kong, Last week. HKT and Huawei achieved a peak download rate of 440 Mbps in a live test of three component carrier (3CC) inter-site LTE-A carrier aggregation (CA) across three 20MHz spectrum blocks.

CA technology allows the combined use of fragmented spectrum resources to increase data throughput where implementations today require that the fragmented spectrum resources be hosted by the same cell site. However, many commercial CA networks today have coverage holes due to coverage differences between LTE cell sites using different spectrums, thus imposing difficulty of combining LTE carriers on different spectrums for CA realization, which in turn disrupts the user experience. To solve this problem, Huawei is offering inter-site CA solution which is able to combine carriers from more than one cell site to maximize the CA coverage area.


Tentative 3GPP timeline for 5G

3GPP has endorsed a tentative timeline for the standardization of next generation cellular technology, “5G” as March 17, 2015.

Following are some of the key milestones and the way work is expected to proceed in 3GPP working groups:

Candidate Technology for IMT 2020

As part of the “5G” discussion, 3GPP   will submit a candidate technology to the IMT 2020 process recently triggered by ITU-R. 3GPP submissions have to give its input so that IMT 2000 can meet its following two deadlines:

  1. Initial technology submission by ITU-R WP5D, June 2019
  2. Detailed specification submission by ITU-R WP5D, October 2020

For the latter deadline, 3GPP has decided to submit the final specifications at the ITU-R WP5D meeting in February 2020, based on functionally frozen specs available in December 2019. This early submission will allow enough time for the transposition of the specifications by the Organizational Partners of 3GPP prior to their own submissions into the IMT 2020 process before October 2020

RAN study

The discussion in the radio working groups will start with a TSG RAN study to identify:

  1. Requirements of IMT 2020
    • It may include LTE
  2. Scope & requirements of the new radio
    • It will drive the design on new radio in parallel to ongoing LTE evolution

Tentatively, the RAN study will be approved in December 2015. During the study, RAN will take in the relevant IMT 2020 requirements and add its own requirements. Based on the discussion, RAN may provide feedback to ITU-R on the IMT 2020 requirements.

Operation above 6 GHz

The “5G” work will include operation above 6 GHz. Because of this, some channel modeling effort will be required in RAN. Various channel modeling efforts are ongoing in the industry and RAN may choose to leverage some of this work. What needs to be developed by RAN vs. what can be imported from external organizations is not clear at this time and will be discussed further by the companies.

Coordination between RAN and SA

A new system / architecture may be needed for “5G”. It will have to be developed in close cooperation between RAN and System Working Groups. The definition of the new system/ architecture will be based on two potential sources of requirements:

  1. Radio requirements established by RAN
  2. Service/System requirements established by SA1/SA2

The SA1 discussion on service requirements has already started. The discussion on the system requirements / architecture may start in SA2 in Dec. 2015.

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