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As we outlined last month, Aviat Networks was sending a representative to the LTE World Summit in May—me. With all apologies to Mussorgsky, we would like to present a few mental pictures from the event in Amsterdam. Presenters came from some of the leading Tier 1 mobile operators in the Americas, Asia and Europe. So without further adieu, on with the show.
An American carrier with operations in EMEA and APAC presented LTE as a major driver in its U.S. wireless strategy. They have the audacious goal of rolling out LTE into even more metro areas, covering nearly 200 million people in the U.S. by the end of 2011. Continuing to launch new handsets has the possibility of making this carrier more attractive for customers.
One Asian operator has launched LTE in the 2100MHz band exclusively through “remote radio heads” that connect back via fiber to base band radio units hosting multiple antennas and radio carriers. They are on course to switch off 2G—not GSM compatible—in early 2012 and focus exclusively on rolling out LTE while halting investment even in 3G UMTS and HSPA.
One European operator proposed to launch LTE for fixed-wireless broadband coverage in German “not spots”—as opposed to hot spots—that lack both copper and fiber infrastructure. Their main concern for LTE is obtaining enough spectrum and the upcoming auction of 800MHz spectrum for wider coverage areas. They believe LTE will deliver Internet access services well and predictably.
Another European operator has launched LTE in six Nordic and Baltic markets, with Lithuania becoming the last addition this March. In Stockholm, a recent drive survey found that there was no spot with less than 20Mbps peak rate in the surveyed area of the operator. The main concern for this operator is the agreement on spectrum bands for LTE. They have proposed a tri-band approach: 800MHz for countrywide blanket coverage, 1800MHz for suburban/urban capacity/coverage and 2600MHz for small cells and indoor capacity. They are not planning to build a Voice over LTE (VoLTE) IMS core network system to support SIP based voice. They will instead rely solely on CS-fallback—i.e., put voice on their 3G/HSPA network.
And for one European operator, its backhaul network hosting for several U.K. mobile networks will get more challenging as those networks upgrade to LTE. Backhaul capacity concerns remain an issue for wholesalers that plan to provide services to multiple carriers.
Senior IP Network Architect, Aviat Networks