HKT and Huawei Do 450 Mbps LTE-A: The 10 Details That Matter

Peter Jarich
Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • At Mobile World Congress this year, Huawei and HKT demonstrated 300 Mbps LTE-A thanks to two-carrier CA. This week, they upped the stakes with a three-carrier 450 Mbps demo.
  • More important than the data rates demonstrated is the fact that the demo delivered these rates across two sites and two spectrum bands – and without C-RAN.
  • As we move from 4G to 5G, the demo provides a reminder that backhaul and core innovation will be as important as RAN innovation.

The last day of Huawei’s Global Analyst Summit saw the vendor hold a carrier aggregation (CA) demonstration in Hong Kong with HKT. Like most LTE-A demos, the media has picked up on the super-high data rates being delivered. The real story is bigger than data rates and bigger than the demonstration on the 23rd. Continue reading “HKT and Huawei Do 450 Mbps LTE-A: The 10 Details That Matter”

Five Things You Should Know About Huawei’s 2014 Annual Report

Peter Jarich
Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Though privately held, Huawei produces an annual report (audited by KPMG) that provides insights into its operations, strategy and performance.
  • While Huawei’s revenue growth is well understood, its latest report highlights the importance of China to its bottom line and a continuing search for cross-business synergies.

Once a year, a good share of the industry analyst community makes a trip to Shenzhen for Huawei’s Global Analyst Summit. At Current Analysis, we’re sending our entire service provider infrastructure team, along with analysts from our enterprise and consumer teams.

Why dedicate so many resources? One answer is simple. Over a relatively short period of time, Huawei has transformed from a company seen as selling low-cost telecom gear to a reputable seller of telecom solutions with fast growing enterprise and consumer businesses. In the process, it’s grown its overall revenue base significantly to the point where (in total) it’s larger than almost all of its nearest competitors. Understanding the company, then, is critical to understanding the telecom market in general; its analyst summit is one of the best opportunities to discuss and learn of its plans, strategies and messaging for the year to come. Continue reading “Five Things You Should Know About Huawei’s 2014 Annual Report”

Small Cells & Location-Based Services (LBS) – Why Vendors Will Have to Push Harder

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile access infrastructure vendors are increasingly pushing location-based services for indoor/enterprise networks.
  • It’s a logical concept but one that hasn’t shown much traction yet.
  • Such services face serious challenges, including finding killer apps despite a somewhat fractured market.

Enterprise small-cell deployments haven’t exactly spread like wild fire yet (the latest market information from the Small Cell Forum shows most shipments are still residential). Yet, vendors are talking more than ever about applying location-based services (LBS) and analytics to indoor enterprise networks including small cells and WiFi access points. Continue reading “Small Cells & Location-Based Services (LBS) – Why Vendors Will Have to Push Harder”

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? Continue reading “LTE TDD: Everything You Always Wanted to Know…and Weren’t Afraid to Ask”

LTE TDD: Driving the Universal Nature of LTE – Whether That’s Understood or Not

Peter Jarich
Peter Jarich

If I can believe my desk calendar, it’s almost summer. With the longest day of the year fast approaching, my mind has turned to all of the usual topics: fireworks, hot dogs, bitter jealousy aimed at European colleagues who take four-week vacations, LTE TDD.

Okay, summertime and LTE TDD might not go hand-in-hand, but there are some real reasons the TDD implementation of everyone’s favorite 4G technology has been on my mind. Earlier this month, I spent some time with my consumer analysts out in Kansas City visiting Sprint; with LTE TDD at the foundation of Sprint Spark, you know the technology was a major component of the discussions with them. This week, I’m sending some of my team to Shanghai in order to catch up with our friends at ZTE. Along with Huawei (which we visited in April), ZTE is expected to benefit significantly from LTE TDD deployments in China over the next year or so; the two vendors won the lion’s share of China Mobile’s LTE TDD awards. This was long-expected and the scale won in supplying these networks is expected to benefit them, particularly if the other Chinese mobile operators follow suit.

You can see why I’ve been thinking about the technology, right? Great. Then let me throw in another wrinkle. Continue reading “LTE TDD: Driving the Universal Nature of LTE – Whether That’s Understood or Not”

Copper Is Dead, Right? Not So G.Fast and Furious, My Friend

Erik Keith
Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Telco copper, much maligned by cable operators and FTTH proponents, may still have a lifespan of another 100 years – to paraphrase the CEO of Australian incumbent operator Telstra – thanks to ongoing technology R&D that will eventually enable multi-gigabit connections over the copper plant.
  •  Fiber-to-the-drop-point (FTTdp) will be a de facto FTTH technology, enabling operators to deliver fiber-speed, ultra-broadband connections by leveraging deep fiber architectures with last-run copper plant, supporting speeds of up to 1 Gbps with G.Fast and 5 Gbps in the not-so-distant future.

American author and humorist Mark Twain once said, “Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated,” and when it comes to the impending demise of telco copper, Twain’s quote has already been overused (I will be the first to plead guilty). For much of the last decade, the wonders of fiber access, or FTTH, have been touted as the end-all, be-all wireline access technology, with fiber evangelists aggressively lobbying across the planet for the upgrade of telco networks to full-fiber as soon as possible. This includes well-established and respected industry groups such as the various FTTH Councils in Europe, Asia and the Americas, which are the “tip of the spear” for fiber network lobbying, as well as high-profile politicians, most notably Neelie Kroes, the European Union’s Commissioner for Digital Agenda. Continue reading “Copper Is Dead, Right? Not So G.Fast and Furious, My Friend”

Can Operators Invest in Network Quality to Improve Top Line Performance?

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Seemingly for years now, we’ve heard telecom network equipment vendors talk about the need for CSPs to counteract the trend of falling revenue per bit metrics. Like modern day ‘Ghosts of Christmas Future,’ these warnings are accompanied by menacing infographics with scary-sounding names like ‘the scissor chart.’ These charts feature jagged lines depicting an (as yet undefined) point in time where delivering data services becomes a resource-draining burden, rather than a twenty-first century business opportunity.

The problem with these prognostications is that rarely have they been accompanied by concrete plans or solutions which will help operators to solve their problems. Sure, there has been the standard acknowledgment of the ‘network as a differentiator’ and some vague notion of partnering with OTTs, but that is a far cry from putting forth actionable plans that detail how to deal with the chart below. Continue reading “Can Operators Invest in Network Quality to Improve Top Line Performance?”