Samsung Electronics America has been selected by Verizon to assist in advancing their 4G LTE Open RAN initiative. With this collaboration, both companies are working to increase network efficiencies, advance inter-carrier interoperability, and prepare a path for virtualized RAN and 5G commercialization.
Samsung will supply Verizon with equipment including Remote Radio Heads (RRHs) and Baseband Units (BBUs). These key network elements will also support Verizon’s Open RAN initiative by allowing the ability to interwork with other ecosystem providers. All supporting equipment will continue to enable Verizon’s LTE Advanced capabilities as well as current CAT-M and future Narrow Band IoT platforms.
“We are committed to offering our customers a best-in-class network experience through enabling new technology partnerships in an open network ecosystem,” said Ed Chan, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Architect, Corporate Network & Technology, Verizon.
“Samsung is excited to support Verizon as they advance their 4G LTE network and build the next generation of wireless networks,” said Mark Louison, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Networks Division, Samsung Electronics America. “It’s imperative that we as an industry continue to engineer networks, so we can deliver unprecedented, enhanced user experiences as technologies evolve.”
Samsung Networks has been a provider of Verizon femto cells for many years. This latest agreement expands the companies’ relationship to include larger scale 4G LTE Macro gear. This includes incorporating the next generation of Samsung Baseband Units and Remote Radio Heads, with planned deployment in 2018.
Farid Firouzbakht, senior vice president, RF Products, CommScope, said, “Our speed in developing this antenna reflects the continued, pressing need wireless operators have for increasing capacity in LTE networks while readying for next generation 5G.”
The CommScope ultra-wideband antenna RRZZ-65B can support one or two antenna arrays in high band, 1427-2690 MHz, as well as low-band range of 694-960 MHz. The RRZZ-65B supports 4T4R operation, meaning four beams of transmit and receive signals, in both the low and high band ranges, as well as frequency division duplex (FDD) and time division duplex (TDD). Operators can combine on one antenna the supplemental downlink band of 1400 MHz as well the primary band. It can also be used in conjunction with external filters to separate different licensed bands as needed, such as the 2300 TDD band, making it easier to customize for specific needs.
CommScope also expects to support 3.5 GHz, a likely 5G frequency band, with this antenna platform in the future.
Although 5G captures all the headlines, 4G wireless technology will account for two-thirds of the global mobile connections by 2025, according to GSMA’s second annual ‘Global Mobile Trends’ report published yesterday at Mobile World Congress Americas being held in San Francisco. On a global basis, 5G networks will be rolled out at a slower rate than 4G and adoption is also likely to be slower.
“5G continues to occupy thought space as the next big thing in mobile,” the report said. “4G, however, will dominate in volume terms for at least the next 10 years.” GSMA predicts a net 3.6 billion 4G users will be added, versus 1.2 billion 5G users, between 2016 and 2025.
The United States and China are virtually tied with two thirds of all connections currently occurring LTE smartphones, with mobile data traffic growing at 20 percent to 30 percent per year.
“LTE is going to get faster, meaning that networks can deliver more intensive video traffic. This is one of the main reasons why 5G is likely to co-exist with 4G for many years, as opposed to replacing it,” the study said.
Enterprise IoT will be the key revenue opportunity for 5G according to 69 percent of all operators, the report said. Early consumer 5G deployments may target high-bandwidth applications as an extension to 4G, such as 8K ultra-HD video, virtual reality and augmented reality.
“The approach being pursued by U.S. carriers is to use 5G as a last-mile technology for home broadband,” the report said. “The ability to apply a pricing premium remains to be seen – to a large extent, it depends on how sufficiently different consumers perceive 5G to be to LTE.”
More Takeaways from the 2017 edition of the Global Mobile Trends
March 21, 2017
I recently saw highlights from a report by ABI research. I am very familiar with that firm and have spoken with many of their subject matter experts about a variety of topics. While I think they are well entrenched in many industries, and have some of the best experts around, sometimes I think their analysis may be a bit off the mark.
For example, the firm recently did a research report on the transition to 5G. while it was pretty spot-on about how 5G will be a gradual transition, I’m not so sure they are right about 4G predictions – at least concerning the time frame.
The report implies that 4G, and its enhancements over the next few years as 5G emerges, will offer some of the same advancements that 5G will eventually offer. I have to wonder about that. I think that may be true in some of the more generic platforms, such as social media and text/voice. But I am not so sure it will be able to handle the data tsunami that is ramping up – especially with multimedia.
There are some issues with the present 4G, such as latency, modulation schemes and some others. Not that people aren’t working on that. Some advanced “4G+” platforms have shown promise in dealing with such challenges. But so far, they are mostly in the lab or out in a test scenario.
ABI says LTE carries about 67 percent of all mobile traffic currently. Well, I can tell you this; while that may be true, my 4G connections leave a lot to be desired when it comes to speed. And that speed is all over the map, depending upon where and when. ABI claims that by 2022 LTE will carry 82 percent of all mobile traffic. While that also may be true, the QoS of that number will leave a lot to be desired. So, just because the number is plausible, it isn’t just always about the numbers.
2022 is only two years past the inauguration year for 5G. it is pretty predictable that, in 2022, 5G will still be evolving. In fact, many experts I talk to say 5G won’t be the predominant wireless platform until late into the 2020’s, so saying 82 percent of all mobile traffic will still be 4G in 2022 is a pretty safe guess as a bounded statistic.
I think there is a pretty wide margin here. A couple of years at least. And if the numbers get better, that is good for all of us. If they get worse, well, we are all familiar with the promises versus delivery in the wireless arena.
The industry is developing gigabit LTE in response to the changing demand for bandwidth. Various schemes like carrier aggregation are part of that arsenal. But spectrum is still finite for LTE and latency always rears its ugly head. And that is more important than bandwidth for some apps, especially real-time ones.
Now don’t get me wrong. 4G LTE is here to stay. Especially in rural and sparsely populated sprawling areas. But in the densification arena, 4G LTE is likely to become strained.
Since 5G is going to start out mainly as point to point or point to multipoint, using mmWave, the coverage areas are relatively limited and sensitive. But deployment of hardware will eventually resolve that issue.
And, let’s not forget Edge Computing, which is going to become a very important metric that ideally lends itself to 5G.
In the end, the variations of 4G LTE will play alongside 5G. But at the very end, 5G will be the predominant, next generation platform for much of the wireless world and LTE will handle the back end in many cases.
February 16, 2017 – Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) and AT&T have complete completed multiple commercial trials featuring a Massive MIMO in licensed Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) LTE spectrum using technology from Blue Danube Systems.
The trials were conducted using Blue Danube’s BeamCraft 500 active antenna product for advanced 3D beamforming, which is capable of delivering 160 watts of transmit power for a Massive MIMO system. Based on its underlying High Definition Active Antenna System (HDAAS) technology, the 96-element BeamCraft 500 can intelligently and seamlessly focus signal energy where it is needed, allowing wireless carriers to better serve high demand areas and minimize interference zones.
“The demand for Massive MIMO solutions continues to increase as industry gears towards delivering 4G advancements and 5G. Mobile carriers are looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to improve network capacity and Blue Danube’s BeamCraft 500 is the first product designed to provide operators a low friction upgrade at existing sites targeting lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) for high-capacity,” said Earl Lum, president at EJL Wireless Research.
The trials supported more than 10 terabits of data during a three-month period through a simple retrofit of the existing antenna with Blue Danube’s BeamCraft 500 unit. At the trial sites, users experienced an improvement of 2X to 5X in throughput in high traffic demand areas using the same transmit power as the legacy installation. Additionally, users received up to 20X improvement in instantaneous video throughput and experienced smooth 1080p HD videos in locations where existing systems were stalling and previously only capable of 144p.
“Massive MIMO opens up a new way to boost capacity in mobile telecom, by using the spatial dimension and multiple antennas to create multiple paths that re-use spectrum more effectively. Instead of waiting for 5G, mobile operators are upgrading thousands of TD-LTE base stations with Massive MIMO this year,” said Joe Madden, founder and principal analyst at Mobile Experts. “It’s an exciting development which, as it gains momentum, may be able to leap into the FDD market as well.”
A second phase of trials is now ongoing to test additional operational modes and traffic scenarios.