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Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by Gabriel, Jul 31, 2004.
4G Wireless Vendors Use IP–based Muscle to Enter Mobile Market
18th October ,2004
Vendors with Fourth Generation networks are knocking on the door and mobile operators are beginning to answer. 4G networks and Next Generation Networks (NGNs) are becoming efficient and cost-effective solutions for those wanting an IP-based high-speed data component in the mobile network, according to a new report from Visant Strategies.
“IP is pushing its way into the mobile wireless market,” said Visant Strategies Senior Analyst Andy Fuertes, author of “The Road to 4G and NGN: Wireless IP Migration Paths.” By 2010, the just-published study finds, there will be 113 million NGN and 4G users, with the market taking off in 2006 and 2007.
“The advent of commercial NGN systems and on-going Standards processes for 4G as well as national efforts abroad are creating fragmentation within the cellular market,” Fuertes said. “Standards such as 802.20, 802.16e, and proprietary platforms such as FLASH-OFDM are now being included in mobile migration plans.”
A slew of wireless technologies are poised to join existing 2.5G and 3G platforms, according to the report, as 4G and NGN vendors find a healthy niche in the large mobile market. “The current race is ultimately to wrestle control from the UMTS and CDMA2000 platforms,” Fuertes said. “Siemens carrying Flarion’s Flash-OFDM as announced last week is a large step forward for IP-based mobile wireless.”
Mobile operators are considering new platforms in search of an expedited migration to an all IP-based network, according to the report, a move expected to reduce high-speed data costs and enable new services. Some of these NGN solutions are considered 3.5G or even 4G.
The report covers 802.20, WiMAX (802.16), HSDPA, TDD UMTS, UMTS and future versions of UMTS and proprietary networks from ArrayComm Inc., Navini Networks, Flarion Technologies, and 4G efforts in India, China and Japan.
Yearly base station shipments and deployments as well as client and CPE shipments through 2010 for the various 4G and NGN technologies are included in the report as are annual chipset shipment forecasts for the emerging technologies. The report also gives yearly service revenues, subscribers, base station sales and client device earnings through 2010 for the various NGN and 4G technologies.
Now we understand how Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) (define) works. But that's not all there is to it.
Even in WLANs, OFDM isn't just IEEE 802.11a and IEEE 802.11g; it's also used in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)'s HiperLAN/2 (high-performance radio LAN 2) standard (define). In addition, Japan's Mobile Multimedia Access Communications (MMAC) WLAN broadband mobile technology uses OFDM.
Rajiv Laroia, Founder & CTO of Flarion, sees OFDM playing a major role in 4G networks. He believes that "Wireless systems originally architected for circuit-voice and then adapted for data, e.g., 3G, cannot cost-effectively provide the whole Internet experience to mobile users. Because OFDM can overcome signaling transmission barriers and increase transmission speeds," while dealing with "the unpredictable changes of the radio frequency environment, it is especially well suited for mobility applications in cellular networks."
Laroia certain hopes that is true, because Flarion intends to complete with existing 3G broadband mobile wireless technologies used in cell phones, PDAs, and other wireless communication devices. We can expect to see a war between OFDM and CDMA for dominance of the mobile broadband wireless access market in the next five to ten years.
On the other hand, Nogee comments that while "OFDM is less affected by multipath and requires much less linearity than CDMA, so in those ways, its better. But OFDM "shares" bandwidth completely differently than both CDMA and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), so it's far from a "drop-in" replacement for those technologies." Practically speaking, "There really isn't much of a battle here (today) since CDMA has more than 150 million worldwide subscribers and OFDM has none. Certainly OFDM works well for packet-based data, but the jury is still out with large numbers of voice customers. CDMA has proven itself with voice, and is very capable in data as well, and maybe even more important, in the mixture of the two. OFDM, however, certainly has potential."
Where is OFDM going? It's going a lot of places. With the advent of 802.11a and the forthcoming products based on the draft specification for 802.11g, it seems clear that it will have a large role to play in WLANs. It also seems a safe bet that it will play an important role in MANs. Whether it will be as important in digital TV or 4G is another question.
Nogee notes, for example that, "It looks like the Japanese are moving forward the fastest on 'standardizing' OFDM for a 4G technology, but that's probably not the final word. I might add that the Japanese have had an analog HDTV standard in place for 10 years now, and it looks like others are now moving toward a digital version instead, so 'first' doesn't always mean 'standard.'"
Edward Rerisi, Senior Analyst of Allied Business Intelligence adds, "As of today, we know of no major wireless operator going ahead with an OFDM platform for their mobile data delivery solution. However, there are many operators proceeding with CDMA. Even with the recent delays in 3G deployment worldwide, we do not see any operator moving ahead with an OFDM-only platform. There are exceptions to this. The black sheep, so to speak, of the wireless world is Nextel. They have not committed to either the CDMA or WCDMA routes. Instead, they may -- and I stress the word may -- decide to deploy OFDM for their 3G solution."
So there you have it. Will OFDM be important? Yes. Where will it be important and how important will it be? That's a question that only tomorrow can answer.
VoIP Is the `Killer' Application to Drive Wireless Development from WiMAX to 4G
17th May , 2004
West Technology Research Solutions, LLC ("WTRS"), a market research firm focusing solely on emerging wireless technologies, today announced the availability of their just released, expanded Comprehensive Wireless Component Market Report, that provides a comprehensive review of wireless components spanning WAN technologies and protocols to PANs and Sensors. It compares and explains the relationships between technologies and protocols including UWB, Bluetooth, 802.15.4, ZigBee, 3G, 4G, WiMAX, 802.11a through g, and 802.20.
"WiMAX is seen by many as an indicator and also a driver in the market for VoIP applications. We are now at the intersection of wireless rapid data transfer and communication, realizing the final link, the Golden Spike, the saxum medium, the Key Stone: voice as data, Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP. In the near future, invariably and inevitably, VoIP will replace switched telephony, i.e. it will eliminate and replace a complete stratum of our infrastructure that has served us so well for over one hundred years: the telephone. To be frank about this, we simply will no longer have need of it," said Kirsten West, one of the principals of WTRS. "Now that the significance of VoIP and its threat to telecommunications is becoming clear, the genie is out of the bottle, and the proverbial horse has left the barn. The FCC wants to keep the decision in the market place, that sphere of the survival of the fittest. Such an outcome would give the advantage to cable operators, the likes of AT&T, but also the `little guy', the average person looking to reduce and finally eliminate the barriers of regulations and fees. The losers would be the telecommunication market and industry and that incredibly layered maze of service providers and hangers-on: federal, state, local taxes, fees, and their bureaucratic infrastructure, attached like remoras to the mouth and underside of a shark."
West estimates that, given a 4% global GDP growth rate, annual shipments for WiMAX chipsets will exceed $2.2 billion in 2008.
The Comprehensive Wireless Component Market Report and Analysis provides sales volume, unit shipments, and average selling price by area network (WAN, MAN, LAN, PAN, and Sensors) as well as by the protocols and technologies within each area network from 2004 through 2009. In addition, it provides technology driver & shift analysis, analysis of technologies and standard protocols, summary and analysis of parent activity for each area network, economic indicator and geographic analysis, and general industry analysis. This 115-page report has 81 tables and 62 graphs.
About West Technology Research Solutions, LLC
West Technology Research Solutions, LLC (d.b.a. WTRS), is a market research and consulting company focused solely on new and emerging wireless technologies. WTRS's unique approach generates market forecasts using macro- economic methodologies that provide historically more accurate forecasts. Areas of expertise include wireless technologies, macroeconomic forecasting, and semiconductor technology. Services include comprehensive market research reports, concise market briefings, targeted industry assessments, monthly wireless technology newsletters, custom research and consulting, and custom channel marketing & sales program development.
RESTON, Va. - February 6, 2004 - Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks to Provide Infrastructure Support and Amdocs to Supply Customer Care and Billing Platform Nextel® Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL - News) announced today that it will trial a wireless broadband service in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. market using Flarion Technologies’ FLASH-OFDM® technology. The trial will begin later this month and will offer participants highly secure, high-speed, IP-based broadband access with the full mobility of wireless service.
Participants in the trial will include employees from select Nextel enterprise customers, including Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO - News), Nortel Networks (NYSE/TSX:NT) and IBM (NYSE:IBM - News). They will be able to take full advantage of average downlink speeds of up to 1.5 megabits per second (mbps) with burst rates of up to 3.0 mbps, making the service comparable to DSL and cable broadband services. The service will be up to 50 times faster than dial-up connections with the added benefit of being untethered.
"Nextel is exploring the market for a broadband service with Flarion because we are committed to offering our customers innovative, valuable services that help them to be more effective and more efficient. Nextel is considering a number of interesting technologies and this market trial will help us understand how the wireless broadband service performs, how valuable it is to our customers and what the market is likely to pay for it. With Flarion, we will explore the market appetite for innovative wireless solutions that meet the needs of our customers whether they work in a home office or a large enterprise," said Tom Kelly, chief operating officer, Nextel.
The announcement of this market trial follows recent news that Nextel is deploying WiDEN, which will increase its current packet data speed up to four times for the nominal cost of what is effectively a software upgrade to its iDEN network. In the Raleigh-Durham market trial, Nextel will provide wireless broadband access on laptop and desktop computers, pocket PCs and other similar devices.
Wireless broadband service provides the freedom to connect without constraints - no wires, no connection time, no need to be restricted or tethered to the home or office and no searching for WiFi hot spots. Flarion’s fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband technology is Internet-protocol-friendly, which will allow trial participants to easily connect to their main databases and run applications. The wireless broadband service will operate on a specialized network separate from Nextel’s iDEN network, which enables Nextel’s 4-in-1 services, including Nationwide Direct Connect®, cellular voice, cellular wireless Internet access and short messaging.
"Flarion Technologies’ system will enable users of Nextel’s wireless broadband service to be more productive in their busy lives. People don’t stay in one spot all day and neither should their broadband service," said Ray Dolan, chairman & CEO, Flarion Technologies. "Nextel and Flarion Technologies make a great partnership since both companies believe in developing visionary technology that fulfills the needs of real people who work in today’s business environment."
Nextel has seen impressive results with Flarion’s wireless broadband technology during extensive lab testing. During the upcoming market trial, Nextel will evaluate its wireless broadband service - including network performance and customer demand and satisfaction - under real world conditions. The trial is scheduled to run for a minimum of six months, and will not have a material impact on Nextel’s financial results in 2004.
Nextel’s wireless broadband service is expected to provide immediate benefits to the trial’s participants, including Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and IBM. In addition to large companies, Nextel will also offer the trial to small- and medium-sized businesses and other individual customers. Trial participants will no longer be tethered to their desks, allowing them to spend more time cultivating business relationships without sacrificing the speed and security they have come to rely on from a traditional enterprise network.
Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks are also providing infrastructure support for the trial.
"As mobility becomes an increasingly critical element of conducting business, this trial demonstrates a compelling wireless broadband service for our Raleigh-Durham-based enterprise workforce," said Ed Paradise, vice president, mobile wireless group, Cisco Systems. "Built with core network infrastructure from Cisco Systems, Nextel’s service with Flarion’s 4G mobile technology will offer speed, security and immediate access to our employees while mobile - comparable to what they have come to expect while wired to their desks."
Helping to assure Nextel’s exacting quality standards, Nortel Networks is providing installation support for base stations and optimizing each for high performance.
"Nortel Networks is an innovator across all radio protocols, which is an advantage when implementing robust, multi-protocol networks," said Eric Schoch, vice president, wireless network services, Nortel Networks. "Nortel Networks is providing Nextel with infrastructure support based on our experience with public and private wireless networks of all types and our expertise in systems integration."
Amdocs (NYSEOX - News) will provide the customer care and billing platform for Nextel’s wireless broadband service. With Amdocs Enabler, Nextel customers will be assured timely and accurate accounting of their usage. Amdocs Enabler will also provide Nextel with enhanced pricing features for its customers. Amdocs Enabler is a key component of Amdocs’ integrated customer management approach, allowing some of the world’s leading service providers to address key business challenges and build stronger, more profitable customer relationships.
"Users of Nextel’s wireless broadband service will not only want speed and efficiency for their Internet connections - they will also expect the same experience with their billing. Amdocs Enabler software delivers real-time results and seamlessly interoperates with Nextel’s technology," said **** LeFave, senior vice president and chief information officer, Nextel.
Nextel Communications, a FORTUNE 300 company based in Reston, Va., is a leading provider of fully integrated wireless communications services and has built the largest guaranteed all-digital wireless network in the country covering thousands of communities across the United States. Today 95 percent of FORTUNE 500® companies are Nextel customers. Nextel and Nextel Partners, Inc. currently serve 293 of the top 300 U.S. markets where approximately 249 million people live or work.
“THE future always comes too fast,” Alvin Toffler, an eminent futurologist, once said, “and in the wrong order”. The state of wireless telecoms is a classic example. Even as “third-generation” (3G) mobile networks are being switched on around the world, a couple of years later than planned, attention is shifting to what comes next: a group of newer technologies that are, inevitably, being called 4G. More hubris from the technology-obsessed industry? Not exactly. Some 4G networks are operating already, with more on the way. A technology once expected to appear around 2005 is here now.
Interest in 4G owes much to the mess surrounding 3G. Operators spent euro100 billion (about $100 billion) buying licences to run 3G networks, only to find that the technology that most had agreed to use was harder to implement than expected. Even where 3G networks are up and running, demand for the snazzy video and multimedia services they make possible is still uncertain. Expectations are being scaled down: 3G could end up merely as a way for mobile operators to boost their capacity for voice calls in overloaded parts of their networks, rather than a goldmine of new revenues from multimedia services. Last week, mmO2, a European operator, wrote down the value of its 3G investments by nearly $10 billion—although this week, despite reporting a pre-tax loss of $9.6 billion (reflecting write-downs of goodwill related to acquisitions), Vodafone chose to postpone its inevitable 3G reckoning.
Should airwaves be free?
May 29th 2003
IPWireless, Flarion, Navini, Arraycomm, Broadstorm
As 3G has stumbled, another wireless technology, called Wi-Fi, has inspired a mania unseen since the great internet boom. Wi-Fi provides high-speed internet access to suitably equipped computers within 50 metres or so of a small base-station. It is widely used in homes, offices and universities. Several firms offer fee-based Wi-Fi access in airports, coffee-shops and other public places known as “hotspots”. But because of the short range of Wi-Fi technology, universal coverage is impractical. Although a dozen or so start-ups are working on ways to extend the range of Wi-Fi, it now takes hundreds of Wi-Fi base-stations to cover the same area as a single mobile-phone base-station.
Best of both worlds
But what if you could combine Wi-Fi-style internet access with the blanket coverage, and fewer base-stations, of a mobile network? The various 4G technologies developed by such firms as IPWireless, Flarion, Navini, ArrayComm and Broadstorm offer just such a blend. There is no formal definition of 4G, but what such technologies have in common, says Andy Fuertes, an analyst at Visant Strategies, a research firm, is that they are high-speed wireless networks covering a wide area, designed above all for carrying data, rather than voice or a mixture of the two. They can pipe data to and from mobile devices at “broadband” speed, typically 10-20 times faster than a dial-up modem connection.
Such 4G wireless-broadband systems can be seen in two ways: as a rival to Wi-Fi that offers wider coverage, or as a wireless alternative to the cable and digital subscriber-line (DSL) technologies that now provide broadband access to homes and offices. Mostly, the wireless operators evaluating 4G see it as the first, and fixed-line telecoms operators as the second. But the convergence of wireless and broadband, argues Chris Gilbert of IPWireless, is actually entirely new: a fast internet connection that follows you around. Navini calls it “nomadic broadband”; ArrayComm's term is “personal broadband”. Mike Gallagher of Flarion, a firm backed by Cisco, likens Wi-Fi to cordless phones that work within a limited range of a base-station, whereas 4G is akin to mobile phones that work anywhere.
Numerous 4G technologies are working today. The first commercial deployments are in parts of America, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Vendors are licensing 4G to telecom-equipment makers such as Alcatel, Nortel and LG Electronics for high-volume production. So far none of the 4G vendors has secured the endorsement of a leading “tier one” operator for a nationwide deployment, but many claim to be close to this goal.
Regulatory and technical differences will determine which technologies are likely to be adopted where. Flarion's technology is well-suited, for technical and regulatory reasons, to both America and South Korea. In Europe, the IPwireless system may appeal more. When mobile operators bought their 3G licences, extra spectrum for high-speed data services was often thrown in, and IPwireless's technology uses this spectrum. (IPWireless's technology uses a protocol that technically falls within the European definition of 3G.) Flarion and other vendors hope that Europe's regulators will relax the rules to allow their technologies to be used in this 3G spectrum too. In South Korea, operators have tested every 4G technology; which will be adopted depends on the regulators, who are due to decide later this year.
Advocates of 4G technology argue that, unlike with 3G and Wi-Fi, the business case for 4G is sound. 3G was predicated on consumer demand for multimedia services that may never materialise. Nobody is sure how commercial Wi-Fi hotspots will make money—the number of connections per day at most hotspots is still tiny—yet even so a “land-grab” is under way, with dozens of operators rushing to build thousands of hotspots. But 4G is being priced like fixed-line broadband, a service for which millions of users worldwide are already willing to pay about $50 a month. Emphasising speed first and mobility later, 4G networks may be built initially in regions where cable and DSL are unavailable, to capitalise on pent-up demand for broadband, then expanded later to provide blanket coverage for mobile users.
4G could thus prove a very disruptive technology indeed. Fixed-line and cable operators will face a new competitor in the broadband market. Wi-Fi hotspots will seem hopelessly limited. Mobile operators will find that there is yet another hole in their 3G business plans. Unless, that is, they decide to embrace 4G as the technology that 3G should have been all along.
Some operators may be leaning in this direction. In America, Nextel, a mobile-phone operator, is said to be considering skipping 3G altogether in favour of Flarion's 4G system. In Europe, some operators may scale back 3G plans and adopt IPWireless's technology. As their 3G licences entitle them to do this, they may not be as worthless as they now seem. Mobile operators already own the key sites for base-stations, unlike fixed operators or new entrants, so they are well-placed to build 4G networks fast. They are already attacking the fixed-line voice market. 4G would let them attack the broadband market too—and neutralise the Wi-Fi threat.
It is not clear how investors would judge an operator that decided to favour 4G over 3G. So far, operators have kept quiet about their 4G plans, to avoid confusing the marketplace. Yet when Telefonica, a Spanish operator, abandoned some of its 3G investments last year, its share price went up, notes Mr Fuertes. For phone network operators willing to give it a try, skipping a wireless generation might not be such a bad idea.
flexComm™ Software Reconfigurable Subsystem Includes Wideband, Ad Hoc Networking Waveform
Burnaby, B.C., Canada – August 28, 2003 – Spectrum Signal Processing Inc. (NASDAQ: SSPI / TSX: SSY), a leading provider of high performance solutions for wireless signal and packet-voice processing, today announced that it will be providing a software defined radio (SDR) demonstration system running a wideband, ad hoc networking waveform based on orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) to a leading provider of software defined radios to the military. The solution will be based on Spectrum’s flexComm SDR-3000 family of software defined radio platforms and will provide the testbed demonstrating support of high bandwidth communications in a mesh network of radios. A mesh network is an area network whereby users are connected to each other without the need for a central communications hub. Mesh networks offer reliability and redundancy since if one radio ceases to operate, other radios can continue to communicate directly or through one or more intermediate radios. This is the concept behind the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW), a critical new waveform for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS).
“It is extremely satisfying to have another U.S. defense contractor validate Spectrum’s leadership position in software defined radio platforms,” said Sean Howe, Vice President and General Manager of Spectrum’s Wireless Systems Group. “We are pleased to be able to support our client’s efforts in SDR by developing and demonstrating a wideband, ad hoc networking waveform. Being selected by our client to provide this type of solution validates our strategy to offer our customers Application Engineering Services that complement our hardware platform offering.”
Spectrum’s hardware platform was chosen on the basis of flexibility and performance. The ability to network different types of processors, including state-of-the-art Xilinx™ Field Programmable Gate Arrays, Texas Instruments Digital Signal Processors, and PowerPC™ processors from Motorola and IBM, to handle all the waveform processing was of critical importance to the client. Spectrum’s Application Engineering Services team complemented the value of the hardware platform by demonstrating a thorough expertise of the waveform requirements and by offering a development plan that significantly shortened the client’s time to market.
OFDM is a technology that transmits data simultaneously over a large number of channels at different frequencies, enabling high bandwidth communications. This digital modulation/demodulation technique is highly spectral efficient and resilient to interference which results in better signal reception and reduced probability of intercept.
About Spectrum Signal Processing Inc.
Spectrum Signal Processing designs, develops and markets high performance wireless signal processing and packet-voice processing platforms for use in defense and communications infrastructure equipment. Spectrum’s optimized hardware, software and chip technology work together to collect, compress and convert voice and data signals. Leveraging its 16 years of design expertise, Spectrum provides its customers with faster time to market and lower costs by delivering highly flexible, reliable and high-density solutions. Spectrum subsystems are targeted for use in government intelligence, surveillance and communications systems, satellite hubs, cellular base stations, media gateways and next-generation voice and data switches. More information on Spectrum and its flexComm and aXs™ product lines is available at www.spectrumsignal.com.
Engineers at Sun Microsystems Laboratories are building wireless technologies that promise to integrate voice and web data in an IP-based mobile communications system known as the Fourth Generation (4G) wireless network. They are also bringing their expertise to standards bodies to make sure that 4G protocols are based on open system solutions. The challenges are considerable, but so is the payoff. It's the difference between truly mobile, versus merely portable, computing.
Jackson Wong leads a team of engineers who are designing and implementing mobile IP-based tools and protocols. They are literally helping to set the standard in secure, versatile, and responsive wireless communication technologies. Some of the tools are bundled in the Solaris[tm] 8 Operating Environment. Others are in advanced development. The tools and protocols anticipate an integrated wireless communications core layer based on open systems solutions also known as "4G" -- the Fourth Generation IP-based wireless network. According to Wong, Sun Labs engineers "are playing a leading role" on the standards bodies that will define the 4G universe.
Building a Better Tunnel
Sun Microsystems Laboratories engineers James Kempf and Jonathan Wood design tunnels, but not the kind that require hard hats to build. Kempf's and Wood's tunnels burrow through the air. You can't see or touch them, but they are substantial enough to make all the difference in the world if you happen to be roaming with a cell phone or wireless Internet device.
As we commute, stroll, and otherwise move about, our mobile phone calls and wirelss device connections get handed off from cell to cell and from network to network. Kempf's and Wood's tunnels could make possible uninterrupted, mobile cell phone conversations and Internet data access.
Glitch-free cell phone calls and instant mobile web access loom large as demands of consumers and the workplace. Mobile consumers want responsive and reliable cell calls, email paging, and web access. It's the difference between truly mobile, as opposed to merely portable, computing, and it's a difference that's been underscored since the September 11 attacks on lower Manhattan that left tens of thousands of workers officeless. (see "Mobile or Portable?" sidebar)
Unfortunately, a maze of outdated and competing standards, proprietary technologies, and related technical problems is holding back an otherwise promising mobile communications future. Connection hiccups, echo chamber effects, and dropped calls are so common -- and so frustrating -- that they actually discourage use. Studies suggest that any delay may stop a mobile web user from even trying to access the net. Research also suggests that users with reliable, instant access use the Internet as much as three times more than those who must dial in for each access.
Help is on the way. The work that Kempf and Wood are doing is part of the Mobile IP (Internet Protocol) initiative. Mobile IP refers to a group of protocols and implementations that keep cell phones and mobile Internet devices functioning smoothly as users physically travel through different network topologies. Mobile IP, together with SCTP, SLP, Diameter, and IP RAN describe protocols and technologies that Kempf, Wood, Dave Frascone, their colleagues, and team leader Jackson Wong are pioneering in behalf of a quest: the fourth-generation IP-based wireless communications network.
According to Kempf, 4G is all about an integrated, global network that's based on an open systems approach. The goal of 4G is to "replace the current proliferation of core cellular networks with a single worldwide cellular core network standard based on IP for control, video, packet data, and VoIP," says Kempf. And this, he told an audience at the University of California, Berkeley, would "provide uniform video, voice, and data services to the cellular handset or handheld Internet appliance, based entirely on IP." The advantages are as considerable as the challenges.
On Deck: 3G or 4G?
The current and previous generations of wireless communications present an alphabet soup of acronyms, standards, and technologies with a sprinkling of digital-analog amalgams thrown in for good measure. These ingredients, as it turns out, reflect the very problems that an all IP-based core layer might solve.
We are well beyond 1G, which supported the first generation of analog cell phones. Vestiges of 1G survive, though. They include a signaling protocol known as SS7 (Signaling System 7). SS7, "a crusty signaling technology developed by Ma Bell in the 1960s," according to Kempf, has only recently become obsolete and remains in wide use.
At the moment, wireless network technologies are somewhere between 2G and 2.5G. The second generation of mobile communications technology was all about digital PCS. The problem, however, is that much of the digital network was implemented for, or overlaid onto, proprietary networking equipment.
Taken together, the 2G/2.5G technologies are far from seamless. They range from spread-spectrum CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) in North America to narrow spectrum TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), the de facto standards in Europe and Asia. In addition to these incompatibilities, both systems feature relatively slow-speed digital voice with very little bandwidth left over for data.
Expectations for 3G, an ITU specification, run high. They include increased bandwidth: up to 384 Kbps when a device is moving at pedestrian speed, 128 Kbps in a car, and 2 Mbps in fixed applications. In theory, 3G would work over North American as well as European and Asian wireless air interfaces. A new air interface, EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment), has been developed specifically to meet the bandwidth needs of 3G. (EDGE is a faster version of GSM wireless service.)
In fact, the outlook for 3G is neither clear nor certain. Part of the problem is that network providers in Europe and North America currently maintain separate standards bodies (3GPP for Europe and Asia; 3GPP2 for North America). The standards bodies mirror differences in air interface technologies.
In addition to 3G's technical challenges there are financial questions. Not the least of these is the expense of building out systems based on less-than-compatible 2G technologies.
These technological and financial issues cast a shadow over 3G's desirability. "There is some concern that 3G will never happen," says Kempf. That concern is grounded, in part, in the growing attraction of 4G wireless technologies.
IP in the Sky
An all IP-based 4G wireless network has intrinsic advantages over its predecessors. For starters, IP is compatible with, and independent of, the actual radio access technology. "With IP, you basically get rid of the lock-in between the core networking protocol and the link layer, the radio protocol," says Kempf.
"IP tolerates a variety of radio protocols. It lets you design a core network that gives you complete flexibility as to what the access network is," observes Kempf. "You could be a core network provider that supports many different access technologies, 802.11, WCDMA, Bluetooth, HyperLAN, and some that we haven't even invented yet, such as some new CDMA protocols." An all IP network's technology tolerance means unimpeded innovation all around. "The core [IP] network can evolve independently from the access network. That's the key for using all IP," says Kempf.
A 4G IP wireless network enjoys a financial adantage over 3G as well. According to Kempf, 4G "equipment costs are four to ten times cheaper than equivalent circuit-switched equipment for 2G and 3G wireless infrastructure." An open systems IP wireless environment would probably further reduce costs for service providers by ushering in an era of real equipment interoperability. Wireless service providers would no longer be bound by single-system vendors of proprietary equipment.
An IP wireless network would replace the old SS7 (Signaling System 7) telecommunications protocol, a task that many believe to be long overdue. "The SS7 network is massively redundent," says Kempf. That's because SS7 signal transmission uses a heartbeat that consumes a large part of the network bandwidth even when there is no signaling traffic. IP networks use other less bandwidth-expensive mechanisms to achieve reliability.
Last but not least, an all-IP wireless core network would enable services that are sufficiently varied for consumers. That means improved data access for mobile Internet devices. Today, wireless communications are heavily biased toward voice, even though studies indicate that growth in wireless data traffic is rising exponentially relative to demand for voice traffic. (In response, the 802.11 data transfer protocol, a wireless LAN standard developed by IEEE, has attracted much interest as a distinct data access technology that can work on a variety radio of spectrums, including infrared.) Because an all IP core layer is easily scalable, it is ideally suited to meet this challenge. "The goal," says Kempf, "is a merged data/voice/multimedia network."
The inherent advantages of 4G have some people thinking that we may leapfrog from 2.5G to 4G. As team leader Jackson Wong puts it, "we are not working on the next (3G) generation of telco communications, but two generations out." This, says Wong, means proceeding on two fronts: working the standards organizations to advance international acceptance of 4G protocols, and developing technology to support IP wireless solutions
General: The Secret World of 4G Wireless
Posted by: brian
The Secret World of 4G Wireless Some see it as science fiction, or, at best, high-tech pie in the sky in the current wireless climate. But industry planners and researchers are looking ahead to the day, perhaps in eight to 10 years, when fourth-generation (4G) technology begins to make its mark.
With rollouts of 2.5G and 3G just now starting to get traction, most experts remain subdued about 4G. For one thing, there is still no unified blueprint governing what the next next generation of wireless technology will look like.
"Talking about 4G now is like talking about 3G back in 1992," Datacomm Research president Ira Brodsky said. "I don't think anyone has yet figured out what we really need 4G for."
However, experts do agree on some of the things that will be possible in a 4G wireless world. Ran Yan, vice president of wireless research for Lucent Technologies' Bell Laboratories, said services might include enhancements to existing global positioning system (GPS) technology.
In addition to locating individuals, a 4G version of GPS tech might be able to let people be virtually present in a variety of places.
"The idea is that you could become connected through your mobile device with other locations that you care about," Yan said. "For example, if you are away and someone rings the doorbell at your house, you could see who it is and decide if you want to respond in some way."
As bandwidth barriers fall, increasingly media-rich content should also flow seamlessly between devices, Yan said.
Media-oriented applications could be among the most likely to take hold in 4G, especially as data download speeds reach or exceed 100 megabits per second.
"For example, you could pretty quickly download a bunch of videos to your car before a trip so the children will have something to watch," Brodsky said.
On the enterprise side, 4G capabilities could allow remote users to access fully functioning business programs as if they were working at a desktop PC, making it unnecessary to "dumb down" software for use in mobile environments. Brodsky said the technology also is expected to make more robust applications available to wireless local area networks (WLANs) and to expand their reach.
Other 4G possibilities seem as remote from current market realities as science fiction. Still, the day may come when 4G enables the use of hologram-generating virtual reality programs that give users an artificial presence just about anywhere.
"Someone else could be in a place like Florence and take you on a tour of all kinds of sites, and it would be just like you are actually there," Brodsky said.
But most of the talk about 4G amounts to jumping the gun, at this point. Brodsky said much of the future functionality being touted could actually become viable with enhancements to 3G, without having to migrate to a whole new architecture. For example, services allowing users to continuously transmit personal music collections between various devices could be enabled in 3G, even though this is sometimes regarded as a 4G idea.
Brodsky said 3G already has exceeded expectations that it would be able to offer data delivery speeds of 2 mbps, and is now capable of delivering in the range of 5 to 7 mbps. Speeds of up to 50 mbps remain a distinct possibility in the not-too-distant future, he added.
"It's really too soon for people to be touting 4G, when 3G hasn't had a chance to prove itself and show what it can do," Brodsky said.
Fiscal realities also are keeping 4G planning somewhat low-key. According to Gartner research director Phil Redman, the market is demanding better coverage, lower prices and somewhat higher speeds right now. But the super-high speeds and flashy services envisioned for 4G are not enterprise priorities at the moment.
"With the downturn for technology vendors, there is less funding today to go after eight- to 12-year plans in technology upgrades," Redman said. Redman said specifications for 4G have yet to be defined, meaning that technical capabilities -- which regulate applications -- are still being evaluated.
"Market demands will drive applications, and every region will be different," he added.
Bell Laboratories' Yan said major issues like device and service interoperability have yet to be worked out, and it may also become necessary to create a new user interface to ensure uniform functionality across 4G service platforms.
As a result, Yan predicted that it will be at least 2010 before 4G garners any kind of market visibility. In the meantime, he said, industry leaders are working to come up with a unified strategy to clear the roadblocks.
"The service and technology providers and the device makers still have to agree on what the vision is for 4G," Yan said.
Developments in high frequency communications using the low voltage power distribution network
The development of the mains power line to provide communication services in the generally-known broadband application is receiving attention from electricity utilities and communication companies. The opportunity to provide Internet services, video-on-demand, and video streaming directly into the home or industrial building at cost effective prices and at a time when customers require such services is an opportunity not to be missed.
However, providing such services requires higher data rates and consequently higher bandwidths and operating frequencies. At the moment the frequency band 1MHz to 30MHz is being used for trial systems. Particular propagation problems are associated with transmitting at these frequencies, and these require investigation before a full commercial service can be implemented. The development of standards for these services will be considered with respect to current developments.
The last ten years have seen electricity companies worldwide investigate and implement communication services using the 11kV, low voltage power distribution network. The driving force behind this commercial enterprise arises from the competition to introduce new services to a broad range of customers – industrial, commercial and residential. However, the limited bandwidth available on all types of communications services throughout the world is a matter of growing concern.
Low frequency transmission
The first power line carrier services concentrated on transmission and reception in the low frequency band. In Europe, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation, CENELEC, produced EN50065, a standard covering the communications requirements for transmitting and receiving signals over the low voltage distribution network, both to the building and in building communication, in the frequency range 3kHz to 148.5kHz. The USA frequency band covers the frequency range 45kHz to 450kHz.
The services provided in this frequency range included remote meter reading of all types of utility meter, basic load and energy management. This type of service required only low data rates, which could be provided efficiently at these low frequencies. As the demand for more services into buildings grows, however, competition between the major cable companies intensifies. Because of the shortage of bandwidth, companies are exploiting other parts of the frequency spectrum in the range 1MHz to 30MHz. This allows them to enter into broadband services associated with high speed data services, such as the Internet.
Introducing such services places a demand on the technical requirements for conditioning the low voltage distribution network. Managing the increase in bandwidth from a few kilohertz for low data rates to several megahertz for these new services will require considerable ingenuity. In particular, the propagation of signals at these frequencies through the differential, and common mode signals leading not only to ground wave transmission but also sky wave propagation, requires thorough investigation.
High frequency transmission
Data transmission for broadband services takes place in the frequency band 1MHz to 30MHz. This frequency range is subdivided into the access band operating from 1MHz to 10 MHz, and the in-house frequency band which operates from 10MHz to 30MHz.
The transmission of power line systems in the high frequency range 1MHz to 30MHz gives rise to potential interference with a variety of well-established services throughout the world, including:
Space research and radio astronomy
In particular, operating in the frequency band 1MHz to 30MHz provides potential problems in the access band between the distribution sub-station and the building (whether residential, commercial or industrial) as well as in the in-house band, although this is limited to a smaller area. However, power line communication is not the only system operating at these frequencies that contributes to the interference with established communication services. The introduction of xDSL services through the use of the copper pairs in the ground in conjunction with the optical fibre allows some millions of users to have high speed Internet communication services. Further cable networks and LANs potentially contribute to the interference pattern.
The regulatory framework
In order to establish the same radiated emission level from all cable network communication systems operating in the high frequency band throughout the world, it is essential to have a single framework within which all users are able to operate. Due to the propagation characteristics associated with frequencies in the range 1MHz to 30MHz, any standard must follow international agreement.
The radio spectrum at an inter-national level is governed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). They set the frequency bands for particular services and the way those services are managed throughout the world. The direct management of the spectrum is then implemented by different regions. For example in Europe the conference of European post and telecommunications administrators (CEPT) manages the spectrum through the Electrical Communication Committee (ECC). A prime function of their work is the use of the spectrum and how it is protected from interference.
However, the communication network has two key components – the equipment connected to the network and the communication network itself. The communication equipment for the European network is the responsibility of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation, CENELEC. They have established working groups, ETSI PLT and CENELEC S/C205A working group 10, High Frequency Communications, to investigate high frequency radiated emissions from power cables. Between these two committees every aspect of communication using the power line, both on the access and in-house network, is being investigated. Other committees from CENELEC involved in developments are TC215 for telecommunication standards and TC209 for cable networks .
The establishment of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) limits and allocations of the radio spectrum are carried out through the ETSI ERM committee, which acts as a focus for all the ETSI committees.
There are three permanent working groups within CEPT: frequency management, spectrum engineering (WGSE) and a conference developing proposals for world radio conferences. In particular, WGSE35 is active in determining the radiated emission limits for wired cable networks and their interference effects on established radio services. The committee is producing two reports covering cable communications and the effects on radio communication services, and the radiated emission levels from wired communication networks.
During 2001 the European Commission issued a mandate, M313, to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI requesting the establishment of harmonised standards for all telecommunication networks. The main thrust for this mandate is the establishment of harmonised standards for power line communication systems, coaxial cables and telephone lines. The emphasis is on the communication network and not on the equipment, although the latter should be in line with any standards being produced for the EMC of equipment.
In particular these standards should take into consideration the limits set through the EN50083-8 standard, the German standard NB30, which has been withdrawn after one one year, and MPT1570, which covers the frequency range to 1.6MHz. Each of these standards has different radiated emission levels for cable systems, which therefore have to be unified into one single emission standard.
In addition to these different emission standards there is the USA standard from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) which is again different and which allows the highest emission levels of all the standards. It is therefore essential to establish limits, and a level playing field, for all cable networks and the level of radiated emissions emanating from them.
At the international level, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) through CISPRE has established a number of committees for the investigation of radio interference. In particular CISPR22 has a number of working groups responsible for determining radiated emission limits for cable networks throughout the world. Their work is well established and recommendations will be forthcoming.
The ability to provide PLT high frequency services to the residential home and office using the frequency band 1MHz to 30 MHz offers considerable potential. Services include Internet connection, video-on-demand and other applications, with the potential to be competitive compared to other communication providers. However, there are a number of potential problems to be resolved, in particular the radiated emission from the power line network. In order to set limits that all companies and utilities can work with, a series of measurements must be made to establish realistic radiation emissions and their interference effects on established radio services.
About the author:
John Newbury formed the Power Communications Research Group in the 1980s, and the group has completed many research studies. Through this work he serves on the British Standards Institute (BSI), the CENELEC mains communications committees for both low and high frequency standardisation, and IEC committees including CISPR. He is also chairman of the IEEE, power systems communications committee of the Power Engineering Society, and serves on the AMRA committee of the IEEE (SCC31).
4G wireless test delayed
By By K.C. Krishnadas
August 03, 2001 (10:32 AM EDT)
BANGALORE, India — A pilot test of fourth-generation (4G) advanced wireless technology that had been scheduled to begin last November in India has yet to get off the ground, and it appears there will be no significant progress on the project at least for the next few months.
Nine months after a three-way agreement to conduct the test was announced, each of the two major parties to the pact is blaming the other for the lack of progress.
The pact was signed Nov. 4 by Charmed Technologies Inc (Beverly Hills, Calif.), an MIT Media Labs spin-off developing wearable broadband devices; Software Technology Park of India, Bangalore (STPIB), an India government body that encourages software exports; and the government of the south Indian state of Karnataka. A proof-of-concept center for 4G networks and communication devices was to have been set up and the first pilot project was to have started within three months of the agreement. With that deadline long passed, the agreement is no longer legally binding, sources said.
STPIB director B.V. Naidu blamed Charmed for the delay, saying the company had not made its requirements known. "They Charmed never came to discuss these things, such as what they need to go ahead with the test. We were always ready," he said. "Charmed's chief technology officer was to have come down and visited the test facility, but he never turned up."
Naidu said Charmed's Indian subsidiary, Charmed Networks Private Ltd. (CNPL), has provided neither the engineering team needed to conduct the tests nor sufficient prototypes for testing. "The delay is primarily because Charmed does not have the things needed to take care of the tests," he said.
But Charmed cofounder and chief executive officer Alex Lightman countered that Naidu himself had asked for the initial postponement, to which Charmed agreed. "Ask the people responsible for the delay, starting with Mr. Naidu," Lightman said. "I cannot speak for him or others."
After the initial delay was requested, it "kept on getting bigger, for no documented reason," Lightman said. Asked about the current status of the project, Lightman said he is "still waiting for Mr. Naidu to keep the agreement."
The Karnataka government's planned role in the test was minimal. STPIB was to provide the facilities to conduct the test. Charmed was to supply prototypes, conduct the test, handle project management and cover related expenses.
Charmed was to have been granted permission to establish a pilot project of less than five years in duration, using its own products to send and receive all types of communication packets, including text, voice, data, music, video and combinations of each over one approved frequency band. Charmed envisioned a 4G data transmission rate of 11 to 100 Mbits/second.
It was earlier rumored that non-availability of frequency for testing was the prime cause of the delay. While STPIB said it has some frequencies available, including one sought by Charmed in the 1-GHz range, CNPL director Ravi Natu said Charmed was not aware that STPIB possessed the necessary frequency for the test. "The main issue was the availability of a suitable wireless carrier frequency. Now this appears to be nearing resolution," Natu said.
But other unresolved issues remain, such as whether three 20-MHz blocks with a separation of at least 250 kHz between each block assigned will be available.
Asked what he thought about the possibility of the 1.4-GHz frequency's being allotted rather than the desired 1 GHz, Lightman said, "Any spectrum is better than no spectrum. We want to be easy to work with, so we'll adapt. That's part of what 4G is about as well: frequency agility."
Another cause for the delay is confusion over the availability of CharmIT kits used for testing. STPIB has repeatedly asserted that Charmed does not have the kits available for tests. But Lightman said he expects to come to Bangalore in September with the necessary prototypes.
CharmIT is the company's first wearable development kit, a fully working personal computer enclosed in a lightweight aluminum case that can be worn or embedded into the network infrastructure. With the addition of a wireless network card, the kit provides mobile connectivity.
While the two sides continue to bicker, they remain willing to proceed. Although the original memorandum of agreement has no legal force, all of the parties indicated they are willing to draw up a new agreement.
"We are in the process of discussing the modalities with STPIB, specifically with reference to availability of carrier frequency for conducting the multiservice experiment. We are hopeful of coming to a positive conclusion within the next few weeks," said CNPL'S Natu.
"I just want to prove the technology, and hopefully spark the creation of a new industry," Lightman added.
December 17, 2003
The gloomy outlook for 3G mobile technology worldwide has led to some countries already looking at 4G mobile networks. Companies, including Flarion, ArrayComm, IP Wireless, Navini and Nortel Networks, are testing or have tested their 4G technologies with potential operators in South Korea.
SK Telecom will test high-speed 4G mobile services with Flarion, a spin off of the Lucent Technologies research arm Bell Labs.
"We will implement Flarion's 4G technology on a trial basis in an area around our research and development centre in Bundang," said SK Telecom spokesman Kwon Chul-keun.
SK Telecom has already launched 3G mobile services based on Qualcomm's CDMA2000 1X technology and will later this month bring out another 3G mobile service using WCDMA.
South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication is expected to develop a home-grown 4G network technology that would be used by the country's operators and hopefully market it abroad. Samsung Electronics and Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute are developing the home-grown Korean standard and aims to complete it by the end of 2004. The awarding of 4G licenses could be delayed until the standard is ready.
Foreign companies are not so keen on the home-grown standard idea.
"The Korean government must rethink its plan to develop home-grown 4G technology in terms of efficiency and stability," said the general manager of Flarion's Asia-Pacific division Kim Hong-jin.
It would take a long time for technical endorsement and several years for the home-grown standard to be market ready, Kim added.
MIMO algorithms in a radio chipset send information out over two or more antennas. The radio signals reflect off objects, creating multiple paths that in conventional radios cause interference and fading. But MIMO uses these paths to carry more information, which is recombined on the receiving side by the MIMO algorithms
Many wireless-LAN vendors expect that some form of MIMO will be the basis of work just starting in the IEEE 802.11n Task Group, which is creating a specification for WLANs having at least 100M bit/sec throughput. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project, a collaboration of telecom standards groups, also is evaluating MIMO techniques for use in cellular networks.
MIMO doubles the spectral efficiency compared with that of current WLANs. The maximum data rate for 802.11g and 802.11a networks is 54M bit/sec, though actual throughput is closer to 20M to 30M bit/sec. Current MIMO techniques can boost raw WLAN throughput to 108M bit/sec, supporters say.
There are three kinds of people in this world:
· Those that make things happen.
· Those who watch things happen.
· And those who wonder "what happened?"
We all agree that the wireless industry and the new economy are making things happen, but let's at least try to be among those watching.
3G means "third generation." The first generation in wireless was analog. The second generation is digital. The third generation in wireless will be a deliberate migration to faster, data-centric wireless networks. The U.S. is trying to get to 3G in three or four years, and meanwhile we are being introduced to 2.5G systems that allow cell phones to surf the web in a very limited way.
What's important to cities and counties is that 3G requires both new handsets and new equipment at personal wireless service facilities. Further, personal wireless service facility sites will need to be closer together to handle all these new data, so there will be an increase in deployment.
Kit Spring, a financial analyst for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter says "that 3G Networks may require up to three times the amount of sites of existing 2G Networks." Assuming there's 100,000 sites today, that would be an additional 300,000 sites for a total of 400,000 sites.
Stephen Clark, CEO of SpectraSite, a tower builder and manager, estimates "600,000 new cell sites will be needed by year 2008."
Notice that both gentlemen use the term "sites" rather than "towers." That's because the technology is getting smaller and smaller. 3G sites in Finland and Japan are the size of residential mailboxes and are affixed to utility poles.
But the real story is that handsets will not be getting that much smaller for 3G because they will have more software inside. In fact, as handsets morph into PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), the appliance we carry around will become increasingly like a computer. So some of the software that normally goes into a cell site is being transplanted into the handset.
This brings us to "what is 4G," which is like predicting the average human life span in the year 2050. More and more futurists are thinking that the cell site will eventually reside in the handset. That's right: "towers" become as ubiquitous as handsets which will be on 24/7 (all the time).
One technology already in development by Mesh Networks has grown out of Department of Defense applications. In this military application, where "towers" cannot be assumed, each soldier's handset acts as the tower. This commercial application, called ArachNet, will still need base stations. However, much fewer points will be necessary than in today's 2G networks and even less than in the proposed conventional 3G networks.
Another concept called VDMA for "Virtual Division Multiple Access," is in the development stage in San Francisco. The handsets could transmit as far as ten miles, but don't have to be turned on to transfer the signal. All that each handset needs to use is a neighboring handset's battery and, off we go, hitchhiking around the continent as long as there's another handset within ten miles. The company seeking $5 million for further development is World Wide Wireless Communications Inc and is based in, where else: San Francisco.
IntelliCell Adaptive Antenna Products
ArrayComm’s IntelliCell adaptive antenna processing technology makes any personal wireless communications system work better. Our “personal cell” technology is the synthesis of 11 years of research and real-world implementation, a combination that makes ArrayComm the foremost authority on spatial processing technology.
ArrayComm has invested in technology customization to fulfill the needs of telecommunications equipment manufacturers in the popular PHS, GSM and WCDMA air interfaces as well as end-to-end WLL systems.
ArrayComm’s IntelliCell technology is serving more than 15 million subscribers in China, Ethiopia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. ArrayComm continues to license these adaptive antenna products to serve the growing demand of the wireless industry.
The Personal Handyphone System (PHS) is widely deployed throughout Asia for wireless voice and data communications. ArrayComm has licensed its adaptive antenna technology for PHS since 1995, and over 180,000 base stations incorporating ArrayComm technology have now been deployed. When built into PHS base stations, ArrayComm technology has proven nine times greater capacity than in a standard PHS network. This has enabled strong market growth and a variety of new services, including affordable 128 kbps data service in Japan.
As the largest and growing cellular system in the world, GSM is a natural fit for ArrayComm’s adaptive antenna technology. Commercialized GSM base stations incorporating ArrayComm technology have proven up to 600% greater capacity than standard GSM networks and frequency reuse of 1 across cells without frequency hopping. This enhancement provides enormous potential revenue gains for GSM network operators wanting to maximize their infrastructure and spectrum investments.
WCDMA, a third-generation system popular in Europe and throughout the world, has also shown significant gains by incorporating ArrayComm’s IntelliCell technology in partner development and testing: up to six times greater capacity and up to three times greater coverage. This will have a dramatically positive impact on the market economics of 3G deployments, given the scarcity and high prices of 3G spectrum as well as the ongoing pressures on infrastructure and operating costs.
Wireless Local Loop (WLL) is a wireless telephone system designed for developing nations where there is limited wireline infrastructure. ArrayComm’s WLL system is the first wireless system in the world to show a frequency reuse of less than 1. The system includes a base station, deployed to serve a small town or village, along with receivers placed outside each home. Inside the home, customers use ordinary telephones. ArrayComm’s WLL system services 200,000 subscribers in Thailand as well as other regions throughout Asia and the Middle East. The system is currently manufactured and sold by ArrayComm's partner Kyocera Corporation. If you are interested in more information about this system, write us and we will put you in touch with the right sales contact at Kyocera.
4G tests successfully made
Japan's DoCoMo says that high-speed packet transmission with 1 Gbps data rate in the downlink was achieved successfully in a laboratory experiment using fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication radio access equipments on August 20, 2004, considering field experiments in the early next year.
The implemented 4G radio access equipments employ variable-spreading-factor spread orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (VSF-Spread OFDM) radio access method and multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) multiplexing technique using new signal detection algorithm in order to achieve 1Gbps data transmission with 100MHz bandwidth in the downlink.
DoCoMo achieved 100Mbps and 20Mbps data rate transmission in the downlink and uplink, respectively, in the outdoor environments with the moving speed of about 30 km/h in July 2003.
NTT DoCoMo is currently conducting indoor tests with various radio conditions as preparation for future field tests to develop a 4G global standard in coordination with the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector. In Japan, the telecommunications council of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is overseeing efforts to develop technologies for 4G commercial services by 2010.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
And may your New Year bring you Joy and Love!
Adaptive Receivers & Software Radio for Wireless Communications: Evolution of 3G/4G Technology
Course 102-3345 Mar 07-Mar 11, 2005
San Diego, CA Presented by Savo Glisic
Register by 1/28/2005 and pay $1795, otherwise pay $1995
This comprehensive course will provide a comparative study of WCDMA, Advanced TDMA, Multicarrier (OFDMA MC CDMA) and Ultra Wide Band (UWB) receiver elements. Special focus is on the future co-existence of these systems in the evolution of 3G and the elements of the 4G like time-space-frequency coding, MIMO systems, adaptive coding, modulation and turbo equalization.
The emphasis is on the combination of these elements in the latest solutions of multi mode receiver for UMTS, WLAN and UWB systems in so-called reconfigurable/ selfreconfigurable structures, and further on evolution towards software receivers. Channel adaptive and system adaptive concepts will be discussed along with reconfigurable computing and ASIC. Applications are energy aware personal, indoor, and the 3G and 4G of land and satellite mobile radio communications. Cellular networks and wireless LAN will also be included.
Upon completing the course, the participant will be able to:
• understand WCDMA, TDMA, and OFDMA principles and the advantages and disadvantages of using these techniques
• compare performance and complexity of WCDMA, TDMA, and OFDMA receivers for energy aware receiver design
• describe the relationship between the system performance, its complexity/reliability and cost effectiveness.
• understand the impact of existing and new coming technologies on the receiver structure
• discuss WCDMA, TDMA, and OFDMA applications in the evolution of the third generation of land and satellite mobile communications, personal communications, cellular radio networks, indoor communications, and wireless LAN.
• list available techniques for implementing 4G communications systems
System engineers studying or working with current approaches and evolving directions for personal and indoor communications, the third generation of land and satellite mobile radio communications, cellular networks and wireless LAN will benefit from this course. An EE is required; this is not an entry-level course.
• General Structures of CDMA/ATDMA/OFDMA (MC CDMA) UWB Signals • Examples of The Existing Solutions and Standards • Software Radio • Integrated CDMA/TDMA/OFDMA (MC CDMA)/UWB Receivers • Code Construction and Synchronization
Adaptive Coding and Modulation
• Convolutional and Turbo Coding • Code Reconfiguration • Trellis Modulation/Trellis with Multi-Dimensional Constellations • Adaptive Coded Modulation • Complexity Performance Trade-Off • Feedback and Fuzzy Logic Power Control • Channel Estimation in Fading
Space Time (ST) Coding
• Orthogonal/Quasiorthogonal Sets • Algebraic Block Codes • Convolutional ST Codes • Differential ST Coding • Smart Antenna Arrays • MIMO Channels • Channel Estimation • Concatenated ST Codes and Turbo Decoding
Equalization and Channel Estimation
• Sequential MMSE Estimation • Per survivor processing • Kalman estimator • Channel Estimation and Equalization • Turbo Equalization • Minimum Entropy Equalization
Optimum Multiuser CDMA Receivers
• MMSE Multiuser Detectors • Implementation Losses • Sensitivity Function of WCDMA System
• Transceiver Structure • Synchronization • Subcarrier Modulation • Applications and Standards
Transceiver Structure and Performance
• Coded MC CDMA • Nonlinear Effects • Multiuser MC CDMA Detectors
Adaptive Time-Space-Frequency Coding
• Transceiver structure • Performance
Impulse Radio (UWB)
• Modulation • Multiple Access • Channel Measurements
Beam Forming, Self-Steering Arrays
Adaptive / Reconfigurable Software Radio
• Energy aware design • Complexity control • Reconfigurable Computing and ASIC Micro Reconfigurability
Channel Modeling and Measurements for 4G
Adaptive Access Control, Fuzzy Logic and Kalman Filter
Additional Topics by Special Request
• A Low-Power DSP Core-Based Software Radio Architecture • Software Radio Architecture with Smart Antennas • The Software Realization of a GSM Base Station • RF Requirements for UTRA/FDD Transceivers • Software Realization of WCDMA (FDD) • Designing a DS-CDMA System over FPGA Platforms • Channel parameters for 4G
'4G' Wireless Voice-to-Text Technology Enters Test Phase
By Jay Wrolstad
August 13, 2001 12:16PM
With MobileVoice, the company said, wireless users can send messages between networks to any other wireless phone user via voice - solving the problem of internetwork incompatibilities.
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One Voice Technologies (Nasdaq: ONEV) announced beta testing of its fourth-generation voice-to-text messaging platform has begun with several wireless carriers, but declined to name the mobile operators involved.
One Voice said the carriers will test its MobileVoice Messaging system and will provide feedback on product usability and performance as a critical step in an eventual mass-market rollout of the company's services.
The MobileVoice platform, unveiled in May, is based on technologies including artificial intelligence, natural language processing and free-form large dialogue input, the company said, with applications for the wireless , in-vehicle telematics, TV/Internet appliance and PC markets.
Putting Smarts in Smartphones
The new platform allows users to send messages -- e-mail, SMS (short message service) and paging -- purchase products, get information and control devices by voice alone, according to the San Diego, California-based company. The fourth-generation voice technology is configured to understand words, concepts and phrases by asking clarifying questions and archiving previous commands, One Voice said.
MobileVoice Messaging is the first system that lets mobile phone users address, compose and send free-form text e-mail -- and phone-to-phone and paging messages -- using only their voice, the company claimed. With industry estimates for PC-based messaging topping 500 billion per year for e-mail and 275 billion per year for instant messaging, the opportunity for real-time access to both forms of messaging from mobile devices is vast, the company said.
Lose the Keypad
The technology also has the potential to impact SMS volume in the same way by offering a hands-free alternative to the 10-digit keypad on a mobile phone. The GSM (global system for mobile communications) Association estimated that more than 200 billion mobile phone-based SMS messages will be sent this year. The impact of a flexible, user-friendly voice interface will be particularly strong in Europe and Asia, One Voice said, opening up opportunities for more widespread use in the Americas.
"MobileVoice Messaging uses our natural language processing capabilities and adds critical functionality that is likely to be a major catalyst to the growth of messaging around the world," said Dean Weber, chairman and chief executive of One Voice. "It brings major opportunities to wireless carriers to generate incremental revenue in today's mobile messaging environment."
SMS Goes Global
According to One Voice, MobileVoice Messaging not only allows users to send e-mail, SMS and paging messages using their voice, but also offers the only current solution to two major problems limiting the success of SMS throughout the world: internetwork incompatibilities and the lack of SMS-MO (short message service-mobile originate) functionality in phones.
With MobileVoice, the company said, wireless users with or without SMS-MO-compatible phones can send messages between networks to any other wireless phone user via voice.
4G is the short term for fourth-generation wireless, the stage of broadband mobile communications that will follow the still-burgeoning third generation (3G) that is expected to reach maturity between 2003-2005. 4G services are expected to be introduced first in Japan, as early as 2006 - four years ahead of the previous target date. The major distinction of 4G over 3G communications is increased data transmission rates, just as it is for 3G over 2G and 2.5G (the present state of wireless services, hovering somewhere between 2G and 3G). According to NTT-DoCoMo, the leading Japanese wireless company, the current download speed for i-Mode (mobile internet service) data is - theoretically - 9.6 Kbps, although in practice the rates tend to be slower. 3G rates are expected to reach speeds 200 times that, and 4G to yield further increases, reaching 20-40 Mbps (about 10-20 times the current rates of ADSL service).
4G is expected to deliver more advanced versions of the same improvements promised by 3G, such as enhanced multimedia, smooth streaming video, universal access, and portability across all types of devices. Industry insiders are reluctant to predict the direction that less-than-immediate future technology might take, but 4G enhancements are expected to include worldwide Roaming capability. As was projected for the ultimate 3G system, 4G might actually connect the entire globe and be operable from any location on - or above - the surface of the earth.
Upping The 'G' Factor
Yaeko Mitsumori, 1-Oct-2003
It may be seven years away but Japanese carriers are already preparing for the launch of fourth generation (4G) mobile services, which is slated for 2010. In fact, representatives from NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Nokia Japan met during the Wireless Japan 2003 event in July to discuss the road map and strategies for going "beyond the IMT-2000 system".
NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, which set up research labs specialising in 4G in Yokosuka Research Park in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, have been publicising their studies on the advanced service. According to them, 4G mobile services aim to provide high-speed data transmissions of up to 100Mbps in motion, or at a maximum of 1Gbps in a stationary wide local area network (WLAN).
Kota Kino****a, executive vice-president of NTT DoCoMo, says they have scheduled a field test for 4G service in August, having received in May a licence from Japan's Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications to carry out an outdoor test.
The carrier successfully transmitted radio at 100Mbps on the downlink and 20Mbps on the uplink in a laboratory experiment last year. NTT DoCoMo will employ VSF-OFCDM (Variable Spreading Factor Orthogonal Frequency and Code Division Multiplexing) on the downlink segment and VSF-CDMA (Variable Spreading Factor Code Division Multiple Access) on the uplink for its open-air test.
Kino****a says DoCoMo's 4G service will enable a variety of new services, including five-sense communications, electronic purse, distance learning, distance medicine, advanced navigation service and a biometric authentication system. As a prelude to 4G services, NTT DoCoMo will schedule a migration of its 3G networks to HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) in 2005. The HSDPA is expected to provide an average data transmission speed of 2Mbps.
Hideyuki Shinonaga, director, KDDI R&D Laboratories, notes that unlike 3G services, carriers would need to provide two separate services to satisfy different demands in the 4G era. One would be high-speed services based on a new bandwidth such as 5Ghz, targeting users who move at high speeds. The other would be high-speed wireless service targeting users who are stationary.
As part of KDDI's effort to provide services for stationary users, it plans to develop gateway technologies which link ad hoc local networks with the wide area infrastructure. Once such gateway technologies are established, stationary 4G users will be able to receive a variety of services via both the wide area networks and ad hoc networks, says Shinonaga.
The KDDI R&D Laboratories has about a dozen researchers doing studies on core communications technologies for 4G systems, including software transmission technologies, smooth handover between different wireless systems and radio transmission for 4G mobile communications.
KDDI wants to make its proprietary technology the international de facto standard for 4G. It was experimenting with higher speed data networks with a cdma 1xEV-DO service on the 2GHz band earlier this year. The carrier is scheduled to launch 1x EV-DO service on the 800MHz band this September at the earliest.
Nokia, on the other hand, had set up the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF) in September 2001 with Alcatel, Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens, says Yoshikatsu Nakagawa, senior manager for the company's office in Japan.
The WWRF does research on improving wireless interfaces and throughput, and decreasing data transmission delays.
Telecom analysts watching the 4G development effort, however, are still cool to the idea. Mark Berman, an analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston Securities, thinks that it is ridiculous for carriers and vendors to invest money into 4G services before they had succeeded with 3G. "People want to see their success in the 3G services first," he points out.
Definitions and technologies of 4G and NGN explained
21st October ,2004
"The Road to 4G and NGN: Wireless IP Migration Paths" examines leading migration paths to 4G and Next Generation Networks. In doing so it looks at various definitions of 4G and NGN as well as the technologies that are expected to enhance future networks. A detailed assessment of the fixed and mobile wireless markets is also included.
Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com) has announced the addition of The Road to 4G and NGN Wireless IP Migration Paths to their offering
Analysis is provided for 802.16, 802.20, HSDPA and subsequent UMTS releases, UMTS TDD, and proprietary broadband wireless technologies such as FLASH-OFDM, all which are considered steps towards 4G. Developments in Japan, China, and India are also monitored and the future role of technologies such as smart antennas, OFDM, software defined radio, and mesh networking is assessed.
Subscribers, device shipments, and base station deployments are quantified and detailed comparative analysis of leading 4G candidates is provided.
- What is 4G
- Why are mobile carriers assessing alternatives to 3G?
- What are next generation networks (NGNs)?
- What will be the impact of Asian-based 4G development efforts?
- Is additional fragmentation inevitable?
- Which technology represents the best investment?
- How do new technologies compare
- Will fixed and mobile systems converge?
- Can 802.16 impact the mobile space?
- Will HSDPA stem advances of alternative technologies
- Will mobile technologies replace 802.16 for fixed applications?
- 802.16 infrastructure, client devices, subscribers and revenues for each
- 802.20 infrastructure, client devices, subscribers and revenues for each
- HSDPA infrastructure, clients`` devices, subscribers and revenues
- UMTS TDD infrastructure, client devices, subscribers and revenues for each
- Proprietary systems, infrastructure, client devices, subs and revenues for each
- WCDMA subscribers, Infrastructure, device shipments and revenues for each
This is odd:
Correction to article. They apologized for error:
GayaCom: Israelis demand more satellite phones in Southeast Asia
By Zuri Dar
GayaCom, the Iridium Satellite Solutions representative in Israel, said yesterday that in the wake of the earthquake in Southeast Asia there has been a spike in the demand for satellite telephones by Israelis in the area of the disaster.
According to the company, there are currently more than 100 Iridium satellite telephones servicing the hundreds of relatives and official representatives who have gone to locate Israelis in the disaster area. The communications infrastructure in the area has collapsed.
The company did not report on how many of their phones were in use in the area was before the disaster, but according to estimates, in ordinary times there are only a few score devices in use. The company also reported an increase of several hundred percent in airtime registered on the satellite devices.
The Iridium network, which is based on 66 satellites orbiting the planet at low altitude, enables effective communication anywhere in the world, independent of surface-based infrastructure.
GayaCom was recently purchased by SatCom Systems, the communications arm of WorldGroup Holdings, which is controlled by Zvika Barinboim, and so has joined the activity in the satellite field being carried out by Gilat SatCom.