JDSU, a widely recognized network and service enablement partner for LTE/4G, small cells, fiber test and RF test with major mobile operators worldwide, is proud to be taking part in another LTE North America 2013 in Dallas November 21-23, booth #3. Packed with updates tied to the company’s LTE, RF and Fiber test portfolio timed for the show, JDSU's line-up includes not only two speaking sessions but also new LTE test solutions that have just been released. As mobile operators evolve, install, maintain and deploy advanced LTE networks, JDSU solutions continue to innovate and ensure reliable LTE networks and services.
In a recent exchange with Paul Gowans, marketing manager and global LTE expert in JDSU's Network and Service Enablement business segment, I got a good sense of what the LTE mindset is entering into the event. JDSU looks forward to a successful show!
LTE North America next week is one of many forums where mobile industry leaders can take part in the dialogue surrounding trends defining emerging mobile technologies like LTE, small cells, VoLTE, and others. As we look ahead to the event in Dallas (November 21-23), what are the top five trends right now in the LTE market?
PG: LTE continues to be a tremendous service delivering superior bandwidth and service quality to end users and at the same time providing service providers with an optimized cost model for the network and services. There are 126 million global LTE connections today with over 1 billion LTE subscribers expected by 2018.
According to Gowans, "There are many challenges in the RF domain that require tools and solutions to help solve. These include: interference, spectrum, modulation, cable and antenna, as well as signal analysis."
Top five trends include:
- Data Monetization
- The scale of traffic growth challenges every network worldwide with revenues not growing at anywhere near the same rate. Over The Top (OTT) services are eating into traditional revenues (e.g. SMS) and - coupled with a rich variety of operational support systems (OSS’s) - presents opportunities for business model evolution. Being able to differentiate, manage the “Big Data” and drive to an optimal OpeX model will ensure a profitable business and a content-rich user experience.
- Voice continues to be a fundamental service for mobile operators and end users alike. Up until now, LTE has been a data service. Voice over LTE (VoLTE) brings HD Voice and rich communication services to voice… essentially delivering the next generation voice service. The GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) predicts VoLTE services will reach $2B by 2016. Eighteen Tier-1 operators are currently deploying or trialing VoLTE.
- LTE-Advanced is an evolution in the 3GPP standards of LTE. It brings a number of key enhancements, one of which is carrier aggregation. Carrier aggregation (CA) allows multiple channels to be aggregated to provide increased bandwidth to the user. In fact, CA allows for up to 5 “component” carriers to be aggregated. CA can also be coupled with MIMO (Multiple Inputs Multiple Outputs) which provides higher spectral efficiency to deliver the speeds of tomorrow.
- Small Cells
- The installed base of small cells is set to grow from almost 11 million today to 92 million in 2016, with a total market value of over $22B (Infonetics). Small Cells help address two important areas, namely: coverage and capacity.
- Self-organizing networks is the industry’s answer to dealing with the complexity and cost of highly scaled networks – SON delivers automation technology designed to make planning, configuring, managing, optimizing and healing of mobile networks simpler and faster with minimum touch.
Since LTE technology is complex and can be sliced in many ways, can you help simplify the role of radio frequency (RF) test? This is a clear strength of JDSU – but, for our followers, what is its significance? Why is that part of the network important? How does it impact LTE quality and ultimately network and service enablement?
PG: The RF is, as you can imagine, a key component of any mobile network infrastructure. It’s all about the radio interface between the user and the network and making sure this is running optimally…it is all fundamental to an end user’s quality of experience. Within the RF domain there are two distinct areas: the first is turning-up a cell site and ensuring it is operational; the second is troubleshooting service-affecting issues once the site is operational. There are many challenges in the RF domain that require tools and solutions to help solve. These include: interference, spectrum, modulation, cable and antenna, as well as signal analysis.
What are some of the latest news and innovation for JDSU in the RF and LTE space?
PG: A shift in the industry is taking place – the introduction of fiber technology into the mix. Namely, fiber is not only in the backhaul but also in the fronthaul (ie., Fiber to the Antenna or FTTA). This means contractors, network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and operators must have access to solutions that can address both the RF and fiber capabilities in one solution…a solution that also brings a wealth of proven experience from both domains to solve complex issues. This approach avoids multiple solutions from multiple vendors and allows cell sites to be turned up much quicker which saves time and cost. If you can also cloud-enable the instrument to track inventory, upgrade remotely, store and share trace and configuration files you have a very valuable asset. Next week, JDSU will be launching the first RF/Fiber test integrated solution on the market.
JDSU has two speaking engagements at the event. One topic is small cells and the other is best practices in the test and measurement field. Can you provide a high level view of what you plan to convey in these sessions?
PG: With small cells we will be addressing three important operator challenges:
· Network Turn up: where to locate, interference, RF & Fiber
· Backhaul Service Quality: multiple technologies, edge visibility
· Customer Experience Management: RAN, Edge & Core Intelligence, content-aware insight
For the session on test and measurement best practices we will be focusing on the evolution of RF integrated with fiber, cloud-enabling assets and minimizing time to revenue.
Congratulations on a recent global industry award recognizing JDSU for RF leadership . . .without revealing too much at the moment, what is on the horizon for JDSU in the area of RF test, what mobile operator trends are we anticipating?
PG: We have touched on a lot of them already. In line with the trends we touched on that are driving the industry, JDSU is focused on enabling our customers to turn-up and manage complex multi-technology environment in LTE, LTE-Advanced and VoLTE environments.
It's also worth noting that - further evangelizing LTE - JDSU is excited about an upcoming workshop. Along with our valued partners Kaelus, and Livingston, we will be holding a complimentary technology workshop Tuesday, November 26, 2013. A review of the best practices, key measurements associated with LTE cell sites, small cells, and DAS configurations will take place – we’ll also explore the presence of RF and fibre at the same cell site.
Paul Gowans, marketing director and LTE resource, will be speaking at upcoming LTE North America event