Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

Latest news and information on 3G, 4G, 5G wireless and technologies in general.
    0 0
  • 01/24/18--13:29: Inside AT&T Towers

  • A really good video from Mr. Mobile on YouTube on how the cell towers look from inside. Worth your 9:27 mins.



    If you found this interesting then you will also like:


    0 0


    Prof. Andy Sutton, Principal Network Architect, Architecture & Strategy, TSO, BT, provided an update on 5G Network Architecture & Design last year which was also the most popular post of 2017 on 3G4G blog. This year again, he has delivered an update on the same topic at IET '5G - State of Play' conference. He has kindly shared the slides (embedded below) that are available to download from Slideshare.



    The video of this talk as follows:


    There are many valuable insights in this talk and the other talks from this conference. All the videos from the IET conference are available here and they are worth your time.

    Related Links:


    0 0


    Over the last year or so, I have heard quite a few discussions and read many articles around why QUIC is so good and why we will replace TCP with QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connection). One such article talking about QUIC benefits says:

    QUIC was initially developed by Google as an alternative transport protocol to shorten the time it takes to set up a connection. Google wanted to take benefits of the work done with SPDY, another protocol developed by Google that became the basis for the HTTP/2 standard, into a transport protocol with faster connection setup time and built-in security. HTTP/2 over TCP multiplexes and pipelines requests over one connection but a single packet loss and retransmission packet causes Head-of-Line Blocking (HOLB) for the resources that were being downloaded in parallel. QUIC overcomes the shortcomings of multiplexed streams by removing HOLB. QUIC was created with HTTP/2 as the primary application protocol and optimizes HTTP/2 semantics.


    What makes QUIC interesting is that it is built on top of UDP rather than TCP. As such, the time to get a secure connection running is shorter using QUIC because packet loss in a particular stream does not affect the other streams on the connection. This results in successfully retrieving multiple objects in parallel, even when some packets are lost on a different stream. Since QUIC is implemented in the userspace compared to TCP, which is implemented in the kernel, QUIC allows developers the flexibility of improving congestion control over time, since it can be optimized and better replaced compared to kernel upgrades (for example, apps and browsers update more often than OS updates).

    Georg Mayer mentioned about QUIC in a recent discussion with Telecom TV. His interview is embedded below. Jump to 5:25 for QUIC part only

    Georg Mayer, 3GPP CT work on 5G from 3GPPlive on Vimeo.

    Below are some good references about QUIC in case you want to study further.

    0 0


    As a continuation of 'Control and User Plane Separation of EPC nodes (CUPS) in 3GPP Release-14', here is another tutorial on Service Base Architecture (SBA) for the 5G Core.


    The slides (with video) is embedded below but there are quite a few tutorials on 5G available on 3G4G page here.



    Further Reading:


    0 0


    What is the next step in evolution of SON? Artificial Intelligence obviously. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in the network supervisory system could help solve some of the problems of future network deployment and operation. ETSI has therefore set up a new 'Industry Specification Group' on 'Experiential Networked Intelligence' (ISG ENI) to develop standards for a Network Supervisory assistant system.


    The ISG ENI focuses on improving the operator experience, adding closed-loop artificial intelligence mechanisms based on context-aware, metadata-driven policies to more quickly recognize and incorporate new and changed knowledge, and hence, make actionable decisions. ENI will specify a set of use cases, and the generic technology independent architecture, for a network supervisory assistant system based on the ‘observe-orient-decide-act’ control loop model. This model can assist decision-making systems, such as network control and management systems, to adjust services and resources offered based on changes in user needs, environmental conditions and business goals.


    The introduction of technologies such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) and network slicing means that networks are becoming more flexible and powerful. These technologies transfer much of the complexity in a network from hardware to software, from the network itself to its management and operation. ENI will make the deployment of SDN and NFV more intelligent and efficient and will assist the management and orchestration of the network.


    We expect to complete the first phase of ENI work in 2019. It will include a description of use cases and requirements and terminology, including a definition of features, capabilities and policies, which we will publish in a series of informative best practice documents (Group Reports (GRs)).
    This will of course require co-operation from many different industry bodies including GSMA, ITU-T, MEF, IETF, etc.

    Will see how this goes.

    Further reading:




    0 0


    This year at MWC, I took the time out to go and see as many companies as I can. My main focus was looking at connectivity solutions, infrastructure, devices, gadgets and anything else cool. I have to say that I wasn't too impressed. I found some of the things later on Twitter or YouTube but as it happens, one cannot see everything.

    I will be writing a blog on Small Cells, Infrastructure, etc. later on but here are some cool videos that I have found. As its a playlist, if I find any more, it will be added to the same playlist below.



    The big vendors did not open up their stands for everyone (even I couldn't get in 😉) but the good news is that most of their demos is available online. Below are the name of the companies that had official MWC 2018 websites. Will add more when I find them.

    Operators

    Network Equipment Vendors

    Handset Manufacturers

    Chipset Manufacturers

    Did I miss anyone? Feel free to suggest links in comments.

    0 0


    During the mobile world congress, I was pleasantly surprised to see how LoRa ecosystem keeps getting larger. There was also an upbeat mood within the LoRa vendor community as it keeps winning one battle after another. Here is my short take on the technology with an unbiased lens.


    To start with, lets look at this short report by Tom Rebbeck from Analysys Mason. The PDF can be downloaded after registering from here.

    As can be seen, all major IoT technologies (LoRa, NB-IoT, Sigfox & LTE-M) gained ground in 2017. Most of the LoRa and all of Sigfox networks are actually not deployed by the mobile operators. From the article:

    These points lead to a final observation about network deployments – many operators are launching multiple technologies. Of the 26 operators with publicly-announced interest in LTE-M networks, 20 also have plans for other networks;
    • 14 will combine it with NB-IoT
    • four will offer LTE-M and LoRa and
    • two, Softbank and Swisscom, are working with LoRa, LTE-M and NB-IoT.

    We are not aware of operators also owning Sigfox networks, though some, such as Telefónica, are selling connectivity provided by a Sigfox network operator.

    The incremental cost of upgrading from NB-IoT or LTE-M to both technologies is relatively small. Most estimates put the additional cost at less than an additional 20% – and sometimes considerably less. For many operators, the question will be which technology to prioritise, and when to launch, rather than which to choose.

    The reasons for launching multiple networks appear to be tactical as much as strategic. Some operators firmly believe that the different technologies will match different use cases – for example, LoRa may be better suited to stationary, low bandwidth devices like smart meters, while LTE-M, could meet the needs of devices that need mobility, higher bandwidth and support for voice, for example a personal health monitor with an emergency call button.

    But, a fundamental motive for offering multiple networks is to hedge investments. While they may not admit it publicly, operators do not know which technology will gain the most traction. They do not want to lose significant, lucrative contracts because they have backed the wrong technology. Deploying both LTE-M and NB-IoT – or LoRa – adds little cost and yet provides a hedge against this risk. For operators launching LoRa, there has been the added benefit of being early to market and gaining experience of what developers want and need from LPWA networks. This experience should help them when other technologies are deployed at scale.

    The following is from MWC 2018 summary by ABI Research:

    LPWA network technologies continue to gather momentum with adoption from a growing ecosystem of communications service providers (CSPs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and IoT solution providers. LPWA networks are central to the connectivity offerings from telcos with support for NB-IoT, LTE-M, LoRaWAN, and SIGFOX. Telefonica highlighted SIGFOX as an important network technology along with NB-IoT and Cat M in its IoT connectivity platform. Similarly, Orange and SK Telecom emphasized on their continued support for LoRaWAN along with Cat M in France and South Korea. On the other hand, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom, while aggressively pursuing deployment of NB-IoT networks, currently have mostly large scale POCs on their networks. 

    ...
    Smart meters — Utilities are demanding that meter OEMs and technology solution providers deliver product design life of at least 15 years for battery operated smart water and gas meters. LPWA technologies, such as NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, SIGFOX and wireless M-bus, that are optimized for very low-power consumption and available at low cost are clearly emerging as the most favored LPWA solutions.

    The following picture is from Ovum post MWC-2018 Webinar:

    Here is a short video from MWC by yours truly looking at LoRa Gateways


    There are also few announcements / news from LoRa world just to highlight how the ecosystem is thriving:


    Source: SenRa

    So someone recently asked me is LoRa is the new WiMax? The answer is obviously a big NO. Just look at the LoRa alliance members in the picture above. Its a whole ecosystem with different players having different interests, working on a different part of the ecosystem.

    NB-IoT & LTE-M will gain ground in the coming years but there will always be a place for other LPWA technologies like LoRa.

    Finally, here is a slide deck (embedded below) that I really like. The picture above very nicely illustrates that LoRaWAN and Cellular complement each other well. Maybe that is the reason that Orange is a big supporter of LoRa.



    So for operators who are just starting their IoT journey or smaller operators who are unsure of the IoT potential, may want to start their journey with LoRa to play around and understand the business cases, etc. In the meantime LTE-M and NB-IoT ecosystem will mature with prices coming down further and battery time improving. That may be the right time to decide on the way forward.


    Further Reading:

    0 0


    Well, it was officially 3G4G's first Mobile World Congress so I took time to go through the different booths, demos, etc. and compile a small presentation

    The presentation (embedded below and can be downloaded from Slideshare) covers the following companies:

    Acceleran
    Action Technologies
    Airspan
    Altiostar
    Azcom
    BaiCells
    BravoCom
    CBNL
    CCS
    Ceragon
    Comba Telecom
    Commscope
    Fingu
    Gemtek
    IP.Access
    JMA Wireless
    Kleos
    MitraStar
    NuRAN
    Parallel Wireless
    Polaris Networks
    Qualcomm
    Qucell
    Raycap
    Ruckus
    SOLiD
    SpiderCloud
    Vodafone
    Zinwave



    Do let me know if you found it useful


    Related Posts:




    0 0


    Its been a while since I wrote about 5G security in this fast changing 5G world. If you are new to 3GPP security, you may want to start with my tutorial here.

    3GPP SA3 Chairman, Anand R. Prasad recently mentioned in his LinkedIn post:

    5G security specification finalized! Paving path for new business & worry less connected technology use.

    3GPP SA3 delegates worked long hours diligently to conclude the specification for 5G security standard during 26 Feb.-2 Mar. Several obstacles were overcome by focussed effort of individuals & companies from around the globe. Thanks and congrats to everyone!

    All together 1000s of hours of work with millions of miles of travel were spent in 1 week to get the work done. This took 8 meetings (kicked off Feb. 2017) numerous on-line meetings and conference calls.

    Excited to declare that this tremendous effort led to timely completion of 5G security specification (TS 33.501) providing secure services to everyone and everything!

    The latest version of specs is on 3GPP website here.

    ITU also held a workshop on 5G Security in Geneva, Switzerland on 19 March 2018 (link). There were quite a few interesting presentations. Below are some slides that caught my attention.

    The picture in the tweet above from China Mobile summarises the major 5G security issues very well. 5G security is going to be far more challenging than previous generations.

    The presentation by Haiguang Wang, Huawei contained a lot of good technical information. The picture at the top is from that presentation and highlights the difference between 4G & 5G Security Architecture.


    New entities have been introduced to make 5G more open.


    EPS-AKA vs 5G-AKA (AKA = Authentication and Key Agreement) for trusted nodes


    EAP-AKA' for untrusted nodes.


    Slice security is an important topic that multiple speakers touched upon and I think it would continue to be discussed for a foreseeable future.

    Dr. Stan Wing S. Wong from King’s College London has some good slides on 5G security issues arising out of Multi-Tenancy and Multi-Network Slicing.

    Peter Schneider from Nokia-Bell Labs had good slides on 5G Security Overview for Programmable Cloud-Based Mobile Networks

    Sander Kievit from TNO, a regular participant of working group SA3 of 3GPP on behalf of the Dutch operator KPN presented a view from 3GPP SA3 on the Security work item progress (slides). The slide above highlights the changes in 5G key hierarchy.

    The ITU 5G Security Workshop Outcomes is available here.

    ETSI Security Week 2018 will be held 11-15 June 2018. 5G security/privacy is one of the topics.

    There is also 5GPPP Workshop on 5G Networks Security (5G-NS 2018), being held in Hamburg, Germany on August 27-30, 2018.

    In the meantime, please feel free to add your comments & suggestions below.


    Related Posts & Further Reading:


    0 0

    This year April Fools' Day wasn't as fun as the last one. Couple of reasons being that it was on a Sunday and it coincided with Easter Sunday. Here are some of the jokes that I found interesting.

    Sprint's Magic Ball:

    It was good to see that the US mobile operator joined the party this year. Their magicball (based on their highly successful Magic Box) advert was really good. Here is the video:



    Good to see that they managed to squeeze in references to 5G and small cells

    Official site: http://newsroom.sprint.com/sprint-magic-ball.htm


    T-Mobile Sidekicks Re-booted:


    T-Mobile USA has consistently come up with the best tech pranks. Last year they had the OneSie with Human HotSpot and BingeOnUp the year before. This year the re-booted sidekicks was the joke of the day. The video is embedded below. As the description says, T-Mobile’s Sidekick gets a remake! Inspired by the past but stepping boldly into the future, it has revolutionary AI, headphones that double as chargers, personalized GPS guidance by John Legere, and more!



    Official site: https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/sidekicks


    The Chegg Osmosis Pillow:


    "A top-secret team of Chegg engineers from Zurich spent two years developing a new patent-pending revolutionary proprietary method of making memory foam using special blends of matcha and lavender. Thanks to their discoveries, Chegg’s memory foam actually improves your memory. Got a final exam tomorrow? Sleep on it. Got a lab report due? Sleep on it. Need to outline your entire thesis? Sleep on it."

    Official Website: https://www.chegg.com/play/memory-foam-pillow/


    Pindrop TonguePrinting:


    "Tongueprinting technology analyzes thousands of tiny bumps called papillae, as well as factors such as shape, size, and temperature to accurately identify yourself by licking your phone. This technology will be the mouthpiece of Pindrop’s latest authentication and anti-fraud solutions." Video:


    Official website: https://www.pindrop.com/resources/video/video/tongueprinting/


    Roku Happy Streaming Socks: "Do messy snack hands keep you from using your Roku remote? Meet the new Roku Happy Streaming Socks with built-in motion sensors, plus toe-toasting and anti-loss technology."


    Official Website: https://blog.roku.com/roku-happy-streaming-socks


    The other jokes were, well, not very funny but here are some worth mentioning...

    Virgin Voyages Wa-Fi: "Here at Virgin Voyages we are excited to be bringing underwater WiFi, or as we call it “Wa-Fi” service, to all Virgin Voyages ships." Website: https://www.virginvoyages.com/wa-fi.html

    Logitech BS Detection Software: "Today, I’m proud to announce that we are taking video calls to a whole new level with the introduction of Logitech Business Speak (BS) Detection software. Logitech BS Detection revolutionizes our meeting capabilities with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) that flags the…well…BS in business communications. "

    Website: https://blog.logitech.com/2018/03/30/logitech-revolutionizes-business-communication-with-the-introduction-of-business-speak-detection-software/

    Josh Ultra by Josh.Aihttps://www.cepro.com/article/josh.ai_josh_ultra_premium_voice_control

    Jabra Sneakershttps://www.jabra.com/jabra-sneakers


    Genetic Select by Lexus: Introducing Genetic Select by Lexus in partnership with 23andMe. The world’s first service that uses human genetics to match you with the car of your genes. http://www.lexus.com/geneticselect/

    Google Maps is adding a Where’s Waldo? mini-game for the next week: Link.

    Google Japan's Gboardhttps://japan.googleblog.com/2018/04/tegaki.html

    Google Cloud Hummus API - Find your Hummus!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_5X6N6DHyk

    Tech21 Flexichoc casehttps://twitter.com/Tech21Official/status/979392283106824192

    Audi Downsizing Assistanthttps://twitter.com/AudiOfficial/status/979991696657203201

    Lego VacuSorthttps://twitter.com/LEGO_Group/status/980369210789507072

    Did I miss any good ones?


    Related Posts:

    0 0


    Got an opportunity recently to hear about the connectivity progress, challenges and issues in Africa. Agree that Africa is a very large continent with many different countries in different stages of development but it was nevertheless interesting to look at a high level picture on the progress of connectivity in the continent. The presentation by iDate Digiworld is embedded below.



    Slides available from techUK website here.

    Related Post:

    0 0


    CW (a.k.a. Cambridge Wireless) held a very interesting event titled 'Time for Telecoms' at the Science Museum in London. I managed to record this one talk by Prof. Andy Sutton, who has also kindly shared slides and some other papers that he mentions in his presentation. You can also see the tweets from the event on Twitter.

    The video playlist and the presentation is embedded below.




    The papers referred to in the presentation/video available as follows:


    0 0


    Last month, just before the Easter break, I along with some other SIG champions of the Future Devices & Technologies group at CW (Cambridge Wireless) organised an event titled 'Smart Devices of 2025'. Technologies are moving at such an amazing speed that it is not easy to foresee anything beyond 6-8 years. Hence 2025, 7 years from now.



    As this was the inaugural event for the revamped SIG, the slides above are my quick introduction to the SIG. We not only talked about the future but we had some nice futuristic devices too. The nuFood 3D Food Printer by Dovetailed printed out some fancy toppings that could go on cheesecake and on other food, making it more appetising. Here is the video on how it works.



    All the talks were very informative and very well explained. Its amazing how all of them came together to form a complete picture. The talks are all available here (limited time for non-CW members)

    The starting talk by David Wood (@dw2), chair of London Futurists was not only informative and relevant to the subject being discussed but equally entertaining, especially for those who have been in the mobile industry for a long time. He has kindly agreed for me to share his slides which are embedded below.



    David talks about NBIC (slide 18) and how it could be combined with Social-tech and Planetary-tech in future to do a lot more than what we can do with it today. While David explains NBIC in his slides, I found this short video on this topic that I think is worth embedding.



    It was also good to hear Dr Jenny Tillotson again after a long time. I blogged about smell transmission some 6 years back here. This is something that is still work in progress and probably will be ready by 2025. In the meantime 'Context-Driven Fragrances' can be used for variety of purposes from entertainment to health.


    Finally, here is another small presentation (with embedded video) on Telepresence Robots that I did.



    Related posts:


    0 0

    Came across Multi Access Management Services (MAMS) a few times recently so here is a quick short post on the topic. At present MAMS is under review in IETF and is being supported by Nokia, Intel, Broadcom, Huawei, AT&T, KT.

    I heard about MAMS for the first time at a Small Cell Forum event in Mumbai, slides are here for this particular presentation from Nokia.

    As you can see from the slide above, MAMS can optimise inter-working of different access domains, particularly at the Edge. A recent presentation from Nokia (here) on this topic provides much more detailed insight.

    From the presentation:

            MAMS (Multi Access Management Services) is a framework for


    -            Integrating different access network domains based on user plane (e.g. IP layer) interworking,


    -            with ability to select access and core network paths independently


    -            and user plane treatment based on traffic types


    -            that can dynamically adapt to changing network conditions


    -            based on negotiation between client and network

            The technical content is available as the following drafts*




    -            MAMS User Plane Specification: https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-zhu-intarea-mams-user-protocol-02




    *Currently under review, Co-authors: Nokia, Intel, Broadcom, Huawei, AT&T, KT,


    The slides provide much more details, including the different use cases (pic below) for integrating LTE and Wi-Fi at the Edge.


    Here are the references for anyone wishing to look at this in more detail:

    0 0


    From a press release by NTT Group:

    Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT, Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Hiroo Unoura) has successfully demonstrated for the first time in the world 100 Gbps wireless transmission using a new principle — Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) multiplexing — with the aim of achieving terabit-class wireless transmission to support demand for wireless communications in the 2030s. It was shown in a laboratory environment that dramatic leaps in transmission capacity could be achieved by an NTT devised system that mounts data signals on the electromagnetic waves generated by this new principle of OAM multiplexing in combination with widely used Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology. The results of this experiment revealed the possibility of applying this principle to large-capacity wireless transmission at a level about 100 times that of LTE and Wi-Fi and about 5 times that of 5G scheduled for launch. They are expected to contribute to the development of innovative wireless communications technologies for next-generation of 5G systems such as connected cars, virtual-reality/augmented-reality (VR/AR), high-definition video transmission, and remote medicine.


    NTT is to present these results at Wireless Technology Park 2018 (WTP2018) to be held on May 23 – 25 and at the 2018 IEEE 87th Vehicular Technology Conference: VTC2018-Spring, an international conference sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to be held on June 3 – 6.


    Related Post:


    0 0


    Made a short video explaining what Network In a Box is. Slides and video embedded below.








    0 0

    I wrote about PWS 9 years back here. Since then there has been little chance to PWS until recently. According to 3GPP News:

    Additional requirements for an enhanced Public Warning System (ePWS) have been agreed at the recent 3GPP TSG SA#79 meeting, as an update to Technical Specification (TS) 22.268.

    3GPP Public Warning Systems were first specified in Release 8, allowing for direct warnings to be sent to mobile users on conventional User Equipment (PWS-UE), capable of displaying a text-based and language-dependent Warning Notification.

    Since that time, there has been a growth in the number of mobile devices with little or no user interface - including wrist bands, sensors and cameras – many of which are not able to display Warning Notifications. The recent growth in the number of IoT devices - not used by human users – also highlights the need for an alternative to text based Warning Notifications. If those devices can be made aware of the type of incident (e.g. a fire or flood) in some other way than with a text message, then they may take preventive actions (e.g. lift go to ground floor automatically).

    3GPP SA1 delegates also considered how graphical symbols or images can now be used to better disseminate Warning Notifications, specifically aimed at the following categories of users:

    • Users with disabilities who have UEs supporting assistive technologies beyond text assistive technologies; and
    • Users who are not fluent in the language of the Warning Notifications.

    Much of the work on enhancing the Public Warning System is set out in the ePWS requirements specification: TS 22.268 (SA1). You should also keep an eye on the 3GPP protocol specifications (CT1, Stage 3 work) in Release 16, covering:

    • Specifying Message Identifiers for ePWS-UE, especially IoT devices that are intended for machine type communications
    • Enabling language-independent content to be included in Warning Notifications

    The work on ePWS in TS 22.268 (Release 16) is expected to help manufacturers of User Equipment meet any future regulatory requirements dedicated to such products.


    Related Specs:

    • 3GPP TR 22.869: Feasibility study on enhancements of Public Warning System; Stage 1
    • 3GPP TS 22.268: Public Warning System (PWS) requirements - Stage 1 for Public Warning System
    • 3GPP TS 23.041: Technical realization of Cell Broadcast Service (CBS) - CT1 aspects of Stage 3 for Public Warning System 
    • 3GPP TS 29.168: Cell Broadcast Centre interfaces with the Evolved Packet Core; Stage 3 - CT4 aspects of Stage 3 for Public Warning System


    Further reading:


    0 0


    I recently presented my personal vision of an alternative 5G for rural communities on behalf of Parallel Wireless at the IEEE 5G Summit in Glasgow. I believe that the next few years are going to be crucial for MNOs to decide if they want to cover the rural areas or just continue to focus on built-up areas.

    In some cases it may not really be worthwhile for example for a smaller operator to build a cellular IoT network as the returns may not be worth the effort and investment.

    I should mention that the caveat is that a lot of alternative 5G approach in my presentation depends on at least one of the satellite megaconstellations being successfully deployed and being fully operational. I am assuming a sensible pricing would be in place anyway as the satellite operators cant keep charging whatever they want for ever.

    So here is my alternative 5G vision


    Slides (and pictures) are available here for anyone interested. For my slides, jump to page 244. Quite a few other good presentations on 5G too.

    An article in EE times summarises this IEEE 5G conference quite well. Available here.



    Let me know your thoughts.

    0 0
  • 06/07/18--12:00: Telefonica and open source

  • An interesting presentation by Patrick Lopez, VP Networks Innovation, Telefónica at NFV & Zero Touch World Congress 2018 about how and why Telefónica is moving to open source. Slides and video embedded below






    0 0


    Continuing on the theme of Open Source from last week's post from Telefonica, lets look at the CORD by ONF.

    The CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) platform leverages SDN, NFV and Cloud technologies to build agile datacenters for the network edge. Integrating multiple open source projects, CORD delivers a cloud-native, open, programmable, agile platform for network operators to create innovative services.

    CORD provides a complete integrated platform, integrating everything needed to create a complete operational edge datacenter with built-in service capabilities, all built on commodity hardware using the latest in cloud-native design principles.



    The video above from MWC 2018 is a very short summary of what ONF and CORD is. The video below from OCP Telecom Workshop at the Big Communications Event (BCE) on May 14th, 2018 in Austin, Texas looks at CORD in detail.



    Related Post:


    0 0

    Ericsson Mobility reports always make a fantastic reading. Its been a while since I wrote anything on this topic so I thought lets summarize it and also provide my personal analysis. Please feel free to disagree as this is just a blog post.

    Before we start, the official site for the report is here. You can jump directly to the PDF here. Ericsson will also be holding a webinar on this topic on 19 June, you can register here.

    A short summary of some of the highlights are in the table above but lets look at more in detail.

    Mobile subscriptions 



    • The total number of mobile subscriptions was around 7.9 billion in Q1 2018.
    • There are now 5.5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions.
    • Global subscription penetration in Q1 2018 was 104 percent.
    • The number of LTE subscriptions increased by 210 million during the quarter to reach a total of 2.9 billion.
    • Over the same period, GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions declined by 90 million. Other technologies declined by around 32 million.
    • Subscriptions associated with smartphones now account for around 60 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions.

    Many things to note above. There is still a big part of the world which is unconnected and most of the connectivity being talked about is population based coverage. While GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions are declining, many smartphone users are still camped on to GSM/EDGE for significant time.

    While smartphones are growing, feature phones are not far behind. Surprisingly, Reliance Jio has become a leader of 4G feature phones.

    My analysis from the developing world shows that many users are getting a GSM feature phone as a backup for when smartphone runs out of power.


    Mobile subscriptions worldwide outlook


    • 1 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2023, accounting for 12 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
    • LTE subscriptions continues to grow strongly and is forecast to reach 5.5 billion by the end of 2023
    • In 2023, there will be 8.9 billion mobile subscriptions, 8.3 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 6.1 billion unique mobile subscribers.
    • The number of smartphone subscriptions is forecast to reach 7.2 billion in 2023.

    The report describes "A 5G subscription is counted as such when associated with a device that supports NR as specified in 3GPP Release 15, connected to a 5G-enabled network." which is a good approach but does not talk about 5G availability. My old question (tweet below) on "How many 5G sites does an operator have to deploy so that they can say they have 5G?" is still waiting for an answer.


    5G device outlook



    • First 5G data-only devices are expected from the second half of 2018.
    • The first 3GPP smartphones supporting 5G are expected in early 2019.
    • From 2020, when third-generation chipsets will be introduced, large numbers of 5G devices are forecast.
    • By 2023, 1 billion 5G devices for enhanced mobile broadband are expected to be connected worldwide.

    Qualcomm has made a good progress (video) on this front and there are already test modems available for 5G. I wont be surprised with the launch. It would remain to be seen what will be the price point and demand for these 5G data-only devices. The Register put it quite bluntly about guinea pigs here. I am also worried about the misleading 5G claims (see here).


    Voice over LTE (VoLTE) outlook



    • At the end of 2017, VoLTE subscriptions exceeded 610 million.
    • The number of VoLTE subscriptions is projected to reach 5.4 billion by the end of 2023.
    • VoLTE technology will be the foundation for enabling 5G voice calls.
    • New use cases in a 5G context are being explored, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

    Back in 2011, I suggested the following (tweet below)
    Looks like things haven't changed significantly. There are still many low end devices that do not support VoLTE and many operators dont support VoLTE on BYOD. VoLTE has been much harder than everyone imagined it to be.


    Mobile subscriptions worldwide by region



    • Globally, mobile broadband subscriptions now make up 68 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
    • 5G subscriptions will be available in all regions in 2023.
    • In 2023, 48 percent of subscriptions in North America and 34 percent in North East Asia are expected to be for 5G.

    I think that for some regions these predictions may be a bit optimistic. Many operators are struggling with finance and revenue, especially as the pricing going down due to intense competition. It would be interesting to see how these numbers hold up next year.

    While China has been added to North-East Asia, it may be a useful exercise to separate it. Similarly Middle East should be separated from Africa as the speed of change is going to be significantly different.


    Mobile data Traffic Growth and Outlook

    • In Q1 2018, mobile data traffic grew around 54 percent year-on-year.
    • The quarter-on-quarter growth was around 11 percent.
    • In 2023, 20 percent of mobile data traffic will be carried by 5G networks.
    • North America has the highest monthly usage of mobile data per smartphone at 7.2 gigabytes (GB), anticipated to increase to 49GB in 2023.
    • Total mobile data traffic is expected to increase by nearly eight times by the end of 2023.
    • In 2023, 95 percent of total mobile data traffic is expected to be generated by smartphones, increasing from 85 percent today.
    • North East Asia has the largest share of mobile data traffic – set to reach 25EB per month in 2023.

    This is one of the toughest areas of prediction as there are a large number of factors affecting this from pricing to devices and applications.

    Quiz question: Do you remember which year did data traffic overtake voice traffic? Answer here (external link to avoid spoilers)


    Mobile traffic by application category



    • In 2023, video will account for around 73 percent of mobile data traffic.
    • Traffic from social networking is also expected to rise – increasing by 31 percent annually over the next 6 years.
    • The relative share of social networking traffic will decline over the same period, due to the stronger growth of video.
    • Streaming videos in different resolutions can impact data traffic consumption to a high degree. Watching HD video (720p) rather than standard resolution video (480p) typically doubles the data traffic volume, while moving to full HD (1080p) doubles it yet again.
    • Increased streaming of immersive video formats would also impact data traffic consumption.

    It would have been interesting if games were a separate category. Not sure if it has been lumped with Video/Audio or in Other segments.


    IoT connections outlook


    • The number of cellular IoT connections is expected to reach 3.5 billion in 2023. This is almost double our last forecast, due to ongoing large-scale deployments in China.
    • Of the 3.5 billion cellular IoT connections forecast for 2023, North East Asia is anticipated to account for 2.2 billion.
    • New massive cellular IoT technologies, such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1, are taking off and driving growth in the number of cellular IoT connections.
    • Mobile operators have commercially launched more than 60 cellular IoT networks worldwide using Cat-M1 and NB-IoT.

    It is important to look at the following 2 definitions though.

    Short-range IoT: Segment that largely consists of devices connected by unlicensed radio technologies, with a typical range of up to 100 meters, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee. This category also includes devices connected over fixed-line local area networks and powerline technologies

    Wide-area IoT: Segment consisting of devices using cellular connections, as well as unlicensed low-power technologies, such as Sigfox and LoRa

    The Wide-area IoT in the table above includes cellular IoT. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I think LoRa has a bright future and my belief is that this report ignores some of the reasons behind the popularity of LoRa and its growth story. 


    Network coverage

    • In 2023, more than 20 percent of the world’s population will be covered by 5G.
    • 5G is expected to be deployed first in dense urban areas to support enhanced mobile broadband.
    • Another early use case for 5G will be fixed wireless access.
    • Today, 3GPP cellular networks cover around 95 percent of the world’s population.

    A lot of work needs to be done in this area to improve coverage in rural and remote locations.

    I will leave this post at this point. The report also contains details on Network Evolution, Network Performance, Smart Manufacturing, etc. You can read it from the report.

    0 0

    ETSI Security Week 2018 (link) was held at ETSI's Headquarters in Sophia Antipolis, South of France last week. It covered wide variety of topics including 5G, IoT, Cybersecurity, Middlebox, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), etc. As 5G and IoT is of interest to the readers of this blog, I am providing links to the presentations so anyone interested can check them out at leisure.


    Before we look at the presentations, what exactly was the point of looking at 5G Security? Here is an explanation from ETSI:

    5G phase 1 specifications are now done, and the world is preparing for the arrival of 5G networks. A major design goal of 5G is a high degree of flexibility to better cater for specific needs of actors from outside the telecom sector (e.g. automotive industry, mission-critical organisations). During this workshop, we will review how well 5G networks can provide security for different trust models, security policies, and deployment scenarios – not least for ongoing threats in the IoT world. 5G provides higher flexibility than legacy networks by network slicing and virtualization of functions. The workshop aims to discuss how network slicing could help in fulfilling needs for different users of 5G networks.

    5G will allow the use of different authentication methods. This raises many interesting questions. How are these authentication methods supported in devices via the new secure element defined in ETSI SCP, or vendor-specific concepts? How can mission-critical and low-cost IoT use cases coexist side-by-side on the same network?

    The 5G promise of higher flexibility is also delivered via its Service-Based Architecture (SBA). SBA provides open 3rd party interfaces to support new business models which allow direct impact on network functions. Another consequence of SBA is a paradigm shift for inter-operator networks: modern APIs will replace legacy signaling protocols between networks. What are the relevant security measures to protect the SBA and all parties involved? What is the role of international carrier networks like IPX in 5G?

    Event Objectives
    The workshop intends to:

    • Gather different actors involved in the development of 5G, not only telecom, and discuss together how all their views have shaped phase 1 of 5G, to understand how security requirements were met, and what challenges remain;
    • Discuss slicing as a means to implement separate security policies and compartments for independent tenants on the same infrastructure;
    • Give an update of what is happening in 3GPP 5G security;
    • Explain to IoT players what 5G security can (and cannot) do for them, including risks and opportunities related to alternative access credentials;
    • Understand stakeholders' (PMNs, carriers, GSMA, vendors) needs to make SBA both secure and successful. How can SBA tackle existing issues in interconnect networks like fraud, tracking, privacy breaches;
    • Allow vendors to present interesting proposals for open security questions in 5G: secure credential store, firewalling SBA's RESTful APIs;
    • Debate about hot topics such as: IoT security, Slicing security, Privacy, Secure storage and processing and Security of the interconnection network.


    So here are the relevant presentations:

    Session 1: Input to 5G: Views from Different Stakeholders
    Session Chair: Bengt Sahlin, Ericsson

    Hardening a Mission Critical Service Using 5G, Peter Haigh, NCSC

    Security in the Automotive Electronics Area, Alexios Lekidis, SecurityMatters

    Integrating the SIM (iUICC), Adrian Escott, QUALCOMM

    Smart Secure Platform, Klaus Vedder, Giesecke & Devrient, ETSI SCP Chairman

    Network Slicing, Anne-Marie Praden, Gemalto

    Don't build on Sand: Validating the Security Requirements of NFV Infrastructure to Confidently Run Slices, Nicolas Thomas, Fortinet

    5G Enhancements to Non-3GPP Access Security, Andreas Kunz, Lenovo

    Security and Privacy of IoT in 5G, Marcus Wong, Huawei Technologies

    ITU-T activities and Action Plan on 5G Security, Yang Xiaoya, ITU-T SG17

    Wrap up: 5G Overview from 3GPP SA3 Perspective and What is There to Be Done for Phase 2, Sander Kievit, TNO


    Session 2: Security in 5G Inter-Network Signalling
    Session Chair: Stefan Schroeder, T-Systems

    Presentation on SBA: Introduction of the Topic and Current Status in SA3, Stefan Schroeder, T-Systems

    5G Inter-PLMN Security: The Trade-off Between Security and the Existing IPX Business Model, Ewout Pronk, KPN on behalf of GSMA Diameter End to End Security Subgroup

    Secure Interworking Between Networks in 5G Service Based Architecture, Silke Holtmanns, Nokia Bell Labs

    Security Best Practises using RESTful APIs, Sven Walther, CA Technologies

    Identifying and Managing the Issues around 5G Interconnect Security, Stephen Buck, Evolved Intelligence

    Zero Trust Security Posture in 5G Architecture, Galina Pildush, Palo Alto Networks (Missing)


    Session 1 & 2 Workshop Wrap up: 5G Phase 1 Conclusions and Outlook Towards Phase 2 - Stefan Schroeder, T-Systems and Bengt Sahlin, Ericsson


    Session 5: Benefits and Challenges of 5G and IoT From a Security Perspective
    Session Chair: Arthur van der Wees, Arthur's Legal

    Setting the Scene, Franck Boissière, European Commission

    ENISA's View on Security Implications of IoT and 5G, Apostolos Malatras, ENISA

    Smart City Aspects, Bram Reinders, Institute for Future of Living

    The Network Operators Perspective on IoT Security, Ian Smith, GSMA


    Related Links:


    0 0

    The last time I wrote about the free apps for field testing, many people came back and suggested additional apps that are much more commonly used. In fact we got the following comment when 3G4G re-posted this

    As I have used both these apps frequently, here is a small summary on them.

    Network Signal Guru: This is surprisingly very popular and is quite useful. The only issue is that you need to have a rooted phone with Qualcomm chipset. I know many testers have their favourite phones and quite a few testers buy the latest phones, root them and start testing using NSG (Network Signal Guru).

    I prefer using Motorola Moto Gx series phones. They are cheap, not too difficult to root (YouTube have quite a few tutorials and Google search works too) and I find that their receivers are better than others. Have detected cells that other phones cant and have even camped and speed tested on them too.

    So what can NSG do?

    It can provide lots of useful information on the physical layer, cell configurations, neighbor cell lists, MIMO, etc.
    You can even RAT lock to LTE / WCDMA / GSM and band lock to use a specific band. It can be very useful during surveys when you want to check if you can see particular frequency anywhere in an area. You can also see Codecs, RACH information, Data information, etc.

    Finally, one of the best things I find is the signalling information. Some of the details are only available for purchased option, its nevertheless very useful. Just in case you are wondering how much does it cost, its roughly £50 per month license in UK.


    Cell Mapper: I find this much more helpful as it can be used without rooting. CellMapper is a crowd-sourced cellular tower and coverage mapping service. Its simple and only used for basic testing but nevertheless very useful. To give you an idea, the other day I was camped on a cell with very good signal quality but very poor data rates and there weren't many people so congestion didn't seem like a factor. On investigation I found out that I was camped on 800MHz band that has limited bandwidth per operator and there was no CA.

    Cell mapper, as you can see provides information about the cell you are camped on, the cell tower location, what other sectors and frequencies are there, etc.


    Do you have a favorite testing app that I missed? Let me know in comments.

    0 0

    There seems to be a good amount of research going on in higher frequencies to see how a lot more spectrum with a lot more bandwidth can be used in future radio communications. NTT recently released information about "Ultra high-speed IC capable of wireless transmission of 100 gigabits per second in a 300 GHz band". Before we discuss anything, lets look at what Terahertz means from this article.

    Terahertz wave: Just as we use the phrase ‘kilo’ to mean 103 , so we use the term ‘giga’ to mean 109 and the term ‘tera’ to mean 1012 . “Hertz (Hz)” is a unit of a physical quantity called frequency. It indicates how many times alternating electric signals and electromagnetic waves change polarity (plus and minus) per second. That is, one terahertz (1 THz = 1,000 GHz) is the frequency of the electromagnetic wave changing the polarity by 1 × 1012 times per second. In general, a terahertz wave often indicates an electromagnetic wave of 0.3 THz to 3 THz.

    While there are quite a few different numbers, this is the one that is most commonly being used. The following is the details of research NTT did.

    In this research, we realized 100 Gbps wireless transmission with one wave (one carrier), so in the future, we can extend to multiple carriers by making use of the wide frequency band of 300 GHz band, and use spatial multiplexing technology such as MIMO and OAM. It is expected to be an ultra high-speed IC technology that enables high-capacity wireless transmission of 400 gigabits per second. This is about 400 times the current LTE and Wi-Fi, and 40 times 5G, the next-generation mobile communication technology. It is also expected to be a technology that opens up utilization of the unused terahertz wave frequency band in the communications field and non-communication fields.

    Complete article and paper available here.

    Huawei has also been doing research in W (92 - 114.5 GHz) and D (130 - 174.5 GHz) bands.


    A recent presentation by Debora Gentina, ETSI ISG mWT WI#8 Rapporteur at the UK Spectrum Policy Forum is embedded below.



    This presentation can be downloaded from UK SPF site here. Another event on beyond 100GHz that took place last year has some interesting presentations too. Again, on UKSPF site here.


    Ericsson has an interesting article in Technology Review, looking at beyond 100GHz from backhaul point of view. Its available here.

    If 5G is going to start using the frequencies traditionally used by backhaul then backhaul will have to start looking at other options too.

    Happy to listen to your thoughts and insights on this topic.

    0 0

    I was attending the IEEE 5G World Forum live-stream, courtesy of IEEE Tv and happen to hear Egil Gronstad, Senior Director of Technology Development and Strategy at T-Mobile USA. He said that they will be building a nationwide 5G network that will initially be based on 600 MHz band.


    During the Q&A, Egil mentioned that because of the way the USA has different markets, on average they have 31 MHz of 600 MHz (Band 71). The minimum is 20 MHz and the maximum is 50 MHz.

    So I started wondering how would they launch 4G & 5G in the same band for nationwide coverage? They have a good video on their 5G vision but that is of course probably going to come few years down the line.

    In simple terms, they will first deploy what is known as Option 3 or EN-DC. If you want a quick refresher on different options, you may want to jump to my tutorial on this topic at 3G4G here.

    The Master Node (recall dual connectivity for LTE, Release-12. See here) is an eNodeB. As with any LTE node, it can take bandwidths from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz. So the minimum bandwidth for LTE node is 1.4 MHz.

    The Secondary Node is a gNodeB. Looking at 3GPP TS 38.101-1, Table 5.3.5-1 Channel bandwidths for each NR band, I can see that for band 71


    NR band / SCS / UE Channel bandwidth

    NR Band

    SCS

    kHz

    5 MHz

    101,2 MHz

    152 MHz

    202 MHz

    252 MHz

    30 MHz

    40 MHz

    50 MHz

    60 MHz

    80 MHz

    90 MHz

    100 MHz

    n71

    15

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes









    30


    Yes

    Yes

    Yes









    60














    The minimum bandwidth is 5MHz. Of course this is paired spectrum for FDD band but the point I am making here is that you need just 6.4 MHz minimum to be able to support the Non-Standalone 5G option.

    I am sure you can guess that the speeds will not really be 5G speeds with this amount of bandwidth but I am looking forward to all these kind of complaints in the initial phase of 5G network rollout.

    I dont know what bandwidths T-Mobile will be using but we will see at least 10MHz of NR in case where the total spectrum is 20 MHz and 20 MHz of NR where the total spectrum is 50 MHz.

    If you look at the earlier requirements list, the number being thrown about for bandwidth was 100 MHz for below 6 GHz and up to 1 GHz bandwidth for spectrum above 6 GHz. Don't think there was a hard and fast requirement though.

    Happy to hear your thoughts.