October 11, 2016 — Canadian telecom provider TELUS and Huawei have achieved wireless speeds of nearly 30 Gbps – 200 times faster than the LTE standard in the “5G Living Lab” in Vancouver, Canada. where both companies have been trialing 5G technologies since late last year in a live, real-world setting.
In other static and mobile field trials, Huawei has achieved downlink speeds of 27 Gbps using Polar Code, a 5G channel coding technology, telecomasia.net reported this week.
Polar Code is designed to be several times more efficient than current RAN networks, optimizing encoding and decoding.
In addition to the 5G tests, TELUS showed that it hasn’t forgotten 4G by upgrading its first site to LTE-Advanced Pro, which is capable of up to 1 Gbps –10 times faster than current LTE-Advanced speeds. Five more sites will be upgraded in the coming weeks. LTE-Advanced Pro compatible devices will become available early as next year.
July 26, 2016 — Huawei and Vodafone have completed a mmWave field test, covering single-user multiple input multiple output (SU-MIMO) with a strong reflection path to reach 20 Gbps UE peak rate, and multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO) for long-range UE to reach 10 Gbps peak rate.
“It is the world’s first 5G outdoor field test at E-Band reaching 20 Gbps peak rate for a single user device with high spectrum efficiency. This peak user rate is targeted by ITU-R as a 5G requirement. This is a key milestone after the two companies signed a strategic MoU on 5G technologies last year and a 5G Acceleration MoU this July,” said Johan Wibergh, chief technology officer, Vodafone Group.
The demand for spectrum to provide higher-capacity mobile access and self-backhaul has been rising drastically due to soaring mobile broadband communications traffic, according Vodafone.
“As traditional lower bands used in current cellular access become ever more crowded, there is an increasing effort in the industry to explore the centimeter wave (cmWave) and millimeter wave (mmWave) bands to meet broadband speed requirements,” Eric Xu, rotating CEO of Huawei, said. “This test will contribute to the study of spectrum above 6 GHz for 5G enhanced mobile broadband, and to promote global spectrum harmonization in the coming World Radio Congress in 2019 (WRC-19).”
E-Band is millimeter wave (mmWave) band and can be used as a complementary spectrum band to the lower-band to deliver ultra-high mobile broadband speeds, which will enable applications such as VR/AR and will act as self-backhaul for the 5G mobile service traffic.
Vendor programs are helping small cell deployment offerings gain momentum, according to ABI Research. The programs include the former Alcatel-Lucent’s small cell site certification program and Metro Cell Express; Nokia’s HetNet Engine Room; Ericsson’s Small Cells-as-a-Service; and Huawei’s Crowd-Sourcing solution
Each one uses a slightly different strategy on lowering deployments costs and streamlining. Taken in total, those types of solutions have helped the industry move forward on more efficient deployment processes through a variety of better information, managed services and site and development resources.
• Network design. Those vendor services are, in many cases, formalizing the effort to build a better small cell network with lower cost and faster deployment times. Whether operators leverage such services from their equipment vendors or other network service companies, there are a number of common threads in design: master-use agreements to make many sites available; a fiber-first approach; and clustering to drive some cost efficiencies.
• Many companies take a fiber-first approach for backhaul. If there is a fiber point of presence, it is preferred to put the small cell on that point, even at the cost of performance slightly. That gets the network started and deployed. At a later date, they can revisit the site and backfill with wireless backhaul arrangements for areas that need additional coverage.
• Clustering is another way to build some level of scalability. In some applications, small cell clusters of 10 to 15 cells being linked to one aggregation point have been deployed. In such cases, unlike one-off small cells, efficiencies come from designing and installing the cells in relative bulk to cover malls and other high-capacity hot spots.
• Finally, experience is often the best teacher, and individuals and companies across the ecosystem have learned from pilot projects and trials and are leveraging those lessons to address small cell deployment challenges.
August 20, 2015 — In its first foray into VoLTE, Verizon has expanded to almost 4 million customers on what it calls Advanced Calling 1.0, David Small, EVP of wireless operations, Verizon Wireless Capital, said during the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet & Communications Conference, held Aug. 11, in Boston.
“Our call-in rate [to complain] on those customers is not any higher than what we would see from a non-Advanced Calling 1.0 consumer. And I do think they very much value that experience,” he said.
Small went on to say that the carrier has 100 people drive testing the VoLTE network, as well as system performance engineers working with the handset manufacturers and hardware providers to ensure overall network performance. He said the system has achieved a dropped call rate of .4 in half the time of previous network technology upgrades.
“So we feel very good about the service and we are testing it every day and having very good experiences,” Small said.
VoLTE Goes Global
Around the world, a number of contracts for VoLTE, as well as voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi), were signed in recent weeks.
China Mobile has signed a flurry of contracts to move its VoLTE aspirations forward. Alcatel-Lucent, which heretofore had only penetrated the United States with its VoLTE equipment, received a contract for its Rapport VoLTE communications software from what is known as the world’s largest telecom provider. It will the deploy platform in nine provinces, including Jiangsu and Zhejiang, as well as the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing.
China Mobile is also conducting a trial of Rapport as a network functions-based VoLTE solution. The deployment will also set the stage for China Mobile to offer VoWi-Fi.
Alcatel-Lucent wasn’t alone, thought. Huawei won nearly half of China Mobile’s VoLTE procurement project and was selected to be responsible for deployment of commercial VoLTE networks in the developed coastal provinces. ZTE Corporation said it too was a big winner securing large-scale orders for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core network solutions from China Mobile to enable the rollout of VoLTE services, including equipment and systems integration.
Elsewhere, Telenor Sweden has chosen Ericsson as the sole supplier for a full-scale upgrade of the operator’s core network, enabling VoLTE and VoWi-Fi to its customers. In Iceland, Síminn (Iceland Telecom) has entered into a five-year strategic partnership with Ericsson to further rollout of LTE across Iceland and eventually deploy VoLTE and VoWi-Fi. Under the agreement, Ericsson will be the prime supplier of all radio access equipment and the common core network, including the Ericsson IMS and Evolved Packet Core.
August 20, 2015 — There is some real movement on the small cell front. Someone other than a vendor is hyping small cells. The industry is gearing up. And hopeful vendors are now expecting a carrier to deploy.
The reason is that small cells are expected to be the primary focus of Sprint’s network upgrade. Macro network upgrades are on the back burner perhaps until after the next spectrum auction. The carrier is bullish on rolling out up to 70,000 outdoor picocells.
And why it may work is because Softbank, which owns 78 percent of Sprint, has already deployed a small cell network in Japan. The company’s hyperdense network uses cloud-controlled base stations no bigger than a suitcase, packing in as many as 150 nodes per square kilometer in Japan’s largest cities. Softbank has also installed thousands of small cells on post offices throughout rural Japan, using satellite backhaul. They want to try this here. We’ll see.
Small Cells (and C-RAN?) in San Fran
My position on small cells has always been that they will play various roles in networks. But it is still a small cell. And in that vein, Verizon Wireless said it negotiated the right to place small cells on 400 San Francisco light poles and utility poles by moving “the brains of the network” to remote locations. Shades of C-RAN. While it isn’t exactly C-RAN, it is close enough for government work.
“What’s unique to this deployment for the United States, is that it’s going to be a C-RAN-type configuration,” said Jake Hamilton, engineering director for Verizon Wireless’ Northern California region. “Our baseband units, or the brains of our network, will be remotely housed in hub locations, and we use dark fiber to connect out to the city … poles on the streets. That really allows us to minimize how much equipment we put on the poles, which was kind of a requirement from … the planning department.”
And finally, Huawei expects to ship 400,000 small cells this year. Huawei expects small cells to play a key role in the future “4.5G” and “5G” network deployments. It is the fastest-growing segment of the company’s business. According to Huawei, the increasing demand for small cells will make the small cell business grow by 18 times in terms of revenue by 2020.
That is promising.