LTE TDD: Everything You Always Wanted to Know…and Weren’t Afraid to Ask

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Given the difference in duplexing and regional agendas, it’s easy to see TDD and FDD versions of LTE as distinct; in reality, they’re part of a unified standard.
  • It’s also tempting to see LTE TDD as disadvantaged by the history of WiMAX or operator interests in FDD spectrum; again, this isn’t a fair way of looking at the technology.

Back in June, I promised to spend some time this summer (and maybe even into the fall) talking about LTE TDD. That started with a discussion of how massive deployments in the People’s Republic could lead one to think of LTE TDD as a Chinese technology, a notion that runs counter to any interests in seeing LTE’s TDD variant benefit from global manufacturing and R&D scale. A look back at the development of LTE standards backed up the notion that, from its inception, TDD was envisioned as an integral part of LTE, not a narrow, regional use case.

So, where does this leave us as the summer slowly grinds to a halt? Read more of this post

CTIA’s Super Mobility Week: Should You Care?

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • As CTIA’s springtime trade showbile World Congress, the event was moved to September in an attempt to grow (maintain?) its relevance.
  • Competing events (e.g., IFA, Apple’s device announcements, Intel Developer Forum) suggest that increased relevance isn’t assured.
  • Consumer news aside, there are still plenty of reasons why C got marginalized by MoTIA’s Super Mobility Week matters.

The other day, I got a survey asking about my views on what matters in mobility. It was sent from “The CTIA Super Mobility Week 2014 Team.” When I realized that, I had to ask myself: “Does Super Mobility Week 2014 really matter?” Read more of this post

Creating a Compelling Carrier Comeback Solution

David Snow

David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • Comverse’s Evolved Communications Suite (ECS) smartly builds on its acquisitions of NetCentrex and Solaiemes eight years apart, together with its own messaging products.
  • The company now has a compelling ‘carrier comeback’ offering, but the vital last box needs to be ticked: uptake.

As analysts, it is gratifying when something you think should happen does happen and then continues to develop. The company in question is Comverse and the case in point was its acquisition of NetCentrex in 2006. Current Analysis picked up this thread in a report titled “It’s the Softswitch, Stupid! NFV and SDN Show What’s Old is New Again” in January this year. Briefly, the report noted that NetCentrex was acquired by Comverse in 2006 but then disappeared from the radar, although the company always insisted that its asset was still important. The report went onto recommend that “Comverse should clarify its plans for the NetCentrex division … The company should start to invest in the division or consider a divestment …” Read more of this post

Global Carriers Try Out Transport SDN for Themselves – The First Step Towards Multi-Domain Connections on Demand

Rick Talbot

Rick Talbot

Summary Bullets:

  • In collaboration with the OIF and ONF, global carriers are testing Transport SDN for provisioning and control of multi-domain connections.
  • Transport SDN may be able to provide the multi-domain transport connection interworking which was too complex to accomplish with a traditional network management system.

On August 26, 2014, the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced that they and several service providers and research institutions are testing Transport Software Defined Networking (SDN) in several global carrier lab environments, with results to be announced at three events in October. This demonstration is a landmark event in the transport and routing marketplace, exhibiting the fundamental capabilities for which these operators are considering Transport SDN. Read more of this post

Cisco’s Internet of Everything Agenda: A Solution Engineering, Data and Monetization Anecdote

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • For all the hype surrounding it, tying the Internet of Everything (IoE; much less the Internet of Things, IoT) to network infrastructure solutions or revenues isn’t straightforward
  • Ultimately, “connecting the dots” requires a broader view about what an increasingly connected society means in terms of data creation, data analytics, data security, etc.
  • That applies to network vendors, but also any service provider who hopes to profit from these trends.

Last week, Cisco announced its fiscal 2014 financial performance and results. If you own Cisco stock or care about its viability (say, because you have deployed a lot of Cisco gear), you probably know the highlights already: non-GAAP revenues were down 3% over 2013 while net income remained stable; service provider revenues were down; security revenues were up; new IoE momentum was registered in municipalities ranging from Hamburg, to Kansas City, Copenhagen, and Barcelona. Read more of this post

The RAN Congestion Solutions Market Just Got Congested

David Snow

David Snow

  • Widely different and non-standardized solutions are being proposed to solve the problem of radio access network congestion both from the device and network sides
  • The fact that these solutions are being actively sought by carriers show the importance they now attach to keep individual customers from churning

The last couple of weeks have seen a surge in the number of solutions and proposals being put forward to solve the problem of radio access network congestion impacting user experience. Of course, network congestion has long been a problem in mobile networks and there are many standard interfaces, network intelligence and analytics companies and solutions involved in helping minimize it. The focus on customer experience management over the past few years has also provided added impetus and, notwithstanding the vaunted capacity claims of the next generation of radio access, network congestion will likely always be with us to some degree or other. However, there’s now evidence of some “out of the box” thinking going on by vendors close to the action, and what’s especially interesting, is that they are tackling the problem from widely different angles. Read more of this post

Warning: Microwave Backhaul Vendor Shakeup Ahead

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

  • Microwave backhaul vendors continue to struggle against intense competition
  • They are combating this pressure by adding value to their solutions in various ways
  • Consolidation, if it comes, could affect those value propositions – a concern for operators

Hearing insider reports yesterday of a round of layoffs at one of the microwave backhaul vendor specialists was another reminder of how challenging that space has been in recent quarters, something we’ve examined in our analysis of the sector. A harsh competitive environment and notoriously fierce pricing pressure has left equipment vendors wondering how their competitors could be making any money. A glance at top-line trends (see chart) suggests that they aren’t. Read more of this post