Intel: $500M for M-Taiwan  

Intel will invest some $500 million in Taiwan’s nationwide WiMax effort, the company announced Monday.

The M-Taiwan program is aimed at covering the island country with Mobile WiMax. While companies from around the world are contributing to Taiwan’s WiMax effort, Taiwan is hoping foreign countries will base much of their manufacturing in Taiwan.

The Taiwan government and a group of high tech countries said last fall they will invest $664 million in WiMax deployments. The M-Taiwan Program is expected:

  • To improve Taiwan’s penetration rate of mobile internet from the 20th to 5th in the world ranking.
  • To become one of the top 10 countries with the lowest online access fee in the world.

In reporting its $500 million Taiwan investment, Lil Mohan, managing director of Intel’s WiMax program, said the $500 million will be invested over the next five years. “This investment is largely for WiMax,” Mohan told the Reuters news service. “Japan will probably launch the first (in Asia) since they have already invested lots of money.”

Previously, other firms committed to working on its WiMax program included Alvarion, Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola, Nokia, Sprint and Starent Networks.

Intel has said 2008 will be the year when WiMax begins to make a major impact. Intel expects to see mobile WiMAX developments later this year in Russia, Japan, and the US, according to the spokesperson.

Earlier this month, Intel announced the creation of a new $500 million China Technology Fund to follow its earlier $200 million fund that invested in China.

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Qualcomm shows off MediaFLO Mobile TV  

Qualcomm Incorporated, a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and data solutions, today unveiled the first-ever MediaFLO™ technology demonstration broadcast over the air to an in-vehicle entertainment system. The innovative mobile TV demonstration shows the flexibility of the MediaFLO platform as well as the exciting and unique delivery methods it can enable in a wide variety of scenarios.

The in-vehicle demonstration features a sport-utility vehicle outfitted with two rear headrest television screens with VGA resolution. The MediaFLO receiver, integrated in the rear center console, will receive live streaming television broadcasts on the MediaFLO platform at QVGA resolution. The center console controllerallows users to launch the electronic channel guide, change channels and access optional features of the MediaFLO System.

The MediaFLO in-vehicle demonstration can be seen at the MediaFLO booth (Central Hall, #C2946) at the National Associated of Broadcasters (NAB) show, April 14 - 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

MediaFLO enables a rich mobile multimedia experience comprising high-quality video, audio, data and interactiveservices. Since the MediaFLO platform employs a dedicated mobile broadcast network, it does not require direct line-of-sight, unlike satellite-based TV transmissions, and video quality and signal strength won’t be compromised in crowded metropolitan areas. Furthermore, the platform has been designed for superior mobile reception and can operate efficiently under normal driving conditions on roads and freeways.

MediaFLO is a mobile broadcast platform for the delivery of high-quality entertainment and information, including streaming video and audio, Clipcasting™ media, IP datacasting and interactive services. FLO™ is an open, globally recognized air interface technology standardized by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and recommended by ITU-R for the broadcasting of multimedia and data applications. Invented for mobility, MediaFLO is designed to increase capacity and coverage, as well as reduce costs for multimedia content delivery to mobile devices. More information about MediaFLO is available at

See Also:

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Towerstream Switches to Alvarion 3.65 GHz  

Alvarion today announced commercial availability and FCC authorization for its 802.16e BreezeMAX 3650 base station and customer premises equipment.

“BreezeMAX 3650 leverages the same mature and field-proven Alvarion 802.16e Open WiMAX technology chosen by many operators around the world,” said Adlane Fellah, Senior Analyst and Founder of Maravedis.

The BreezeMAX 3650 supports self-install CPE, with advanced antenna technologies, including MIMO, maximizing capacity and coverage.

Metro WISP Towerstream has completed a trial using Alvarion 3.65 GHz WiMAX gear, and is planning a major market rollout reports Telephony Magazine.

Towerstream’s wireless backhaul services in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Dallas have all used pre-WiMAX equipment from Aperto Networks and Alvarion, most in the 5.8 GHz unlicensed frequencies.

Towerstream plans to use Alvarion 3.65 GHz gear going forward in all new deployments.

Towerstream won’t retire any of its current equipment, but the ISP will now use WiMAX gear on its T-1 replacement services. For larger companies, Towerstream will continue to use dedicated point-to-point links supplied by DragonWave and Ceragon Networks.

Towerstream’s new 3.65 GHz gear requires all operators to register their equipment in the markets they deploy in. While competitors may use the same spectrum, they must to do it in coordination with one another, creating an unlicensed band with some protections to its users.

While Towerstream’s Mobile WiMAX supports mobility, it’s unlikely they will offer a mobile service said CEO Jeff Thompson. Thompson said Towerstream trialed Redline fixed WiMAX gear in Boston, but wasn’t satisfied with its performance.

Unlike licensed spectrum, 3.65 GHz is shared by multiple providers. While managing point-to-multipoint links without interfering with neighbors is feasible, crisscrossing mobile signals would not, said Ashish Sharma, vice president of corporate development for Sprint.

Several vendors aside from Alvarion have optimized their licensed 3.5 GHz WiMAX kits for the U.S. band with little additional development costs.

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3GPP Release 8 Features  

Many people are surprised to hear that the Rel-8 of 3GPP is much more than just LTE/SAE. Here is a list of features:

  1. Maintenance of TISPAN documentation
  2. FS on 3G Home NodeB
  3. FS on Multimedia Session Continuity
  4. FS on CS Domain Services over evolved PS access
  5. FS on Transferring of emergency call data – in-band modem solution
  6. FS on Improved network controlled mobility between LTE and 3GPP2/mobile WiMAX radio technologies
  7. FS on IMS Application Server Service Data Descriptions for AS interoperability
  8. FS Restoration Procedures
  9. Registration in Densely-populated area
  10. Lawful Interception in the 3GPP Rel-8
  11. IMS Enhancements for support of Packet Cable access
  12. Study on Non 3GPP access NSP
  13. Support of Service-Level Interworking for Messaging Services
  14. Feasibility Study of Mobility between 3GPP-WLAN Interworking and 3GPP Systems
  15. Study on Requirements for seamless roaming and service continuity between mobile and WLAN networks
  16. Study on Stage 2 aspects of IMS Service Brokering
  17. Study of Requirements of IP-Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Convergent Multimedia Conferencing
  18. Study on support of a Public Warning System (PWS)
  19. Study of VCC support for Emergency Calls
  20. Study on centralized IMS services
  21. Study on centralised IMS service control
  22. Consumer protection against spam and malware
  23. 3G Long Term Evolution
  24. GERAN support for GERAN - 3G Long Term Evolution interworking
  25. Local Charging Zone Requirements
  26. Enhancements to BS30 Bearer service for Videotelephony
  27. IMS Enhancements Rel-8
  28. NDS Authentication Framework Extension for TLS
  29. Study on Value Added Services for Short Message Service
  30. Value Added Services for Short Message Service
  31. Study on Paging Permission with Access Control (PPAC)
  32. Paging Permission with Access Control
  33. GAN Enhancements
  34. Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System
  35. FS on Extended Support of IMS Emergency Calls
  36. Study on System enhancements for the use of IMS services in local breakout
  37. Study on Services Alignment and Migration
  38. Study on A-interface over IP
  39. Study on Multi-User Reusing-One-Slot
  40. Study on Optimized Transmit Pulse Shape for Downlink EGPRS2-B
  41. Study on InterWorking Function between MAP based and Diameter based interfaces
  42. Study on Evaluation of the inclusion of Path Loss Based Technology in the UTRAN
  43. LCS for 3GPP Interworking WLAN
  44. All-IP Network (AIPN)
  45. 3GPP System Architecture Evolution Specification
  46. CT aspects of System Architecture Evolution
  47. FBI Phase 2
  48. Rel-8 Feasibility Studies
  49. IMS Centralised Service Control
  50. IMS Multimedia Telephony and Supplementary Services
  51. MTSI Video - Dynamic Rate Adaptation/Signalling of Image Size
  52. eCall data transfer Phase 2: Comparison of alternative in-band modem solutions and standardization of one in-band modem solution
  53. Requirements and Test methods for Wideband Terminals
  54. Extending PSS and MBMS User Services for optimized Mobile TV
  55. IMS initiated and controlled PSS and MBMS User Service
  56. Storage and easy access of ICE numbers on USIM
  57. IP Interconnection of Services
  58. Network Selection for non-3GPP Access
  59. Charging for multi-phases services
  60. Home NodeB / eNodeB
  61. 3GPP2 Input to Common IMS
  62. Rel-8 Improvements of the Radio Interface
  63. OAM&P 8
  64. OAM&P Rel-8 Studies
  65. Study of Element Operations Systems Function (EOSF) definition
  66. Study on SA5 MTOSI XML Harmonization
  67. Study of Common Profile Storage (CPS) Framework of User Data for network services and management
  68. Study of Management for LTE and SAE
  69. Study on Charging Aspects of 3GPP System Evolution
  70. Study of System Maintenance by Itf-N
  71. Study of Self-Organizing Networks (SON) related OAM interfaces for Home NodeB
  72. Study on Self-healing of Self-Organizing Networks (SON)
  73. Personal Network Management (PNM)
  74. eCall Data Transfer – Requirements
  75. IMS System enhancements for corporate network access
  76. IMS Service Brokering enhancements
  77. Network Composition
  78. FS on Scope of future HSPA Evolution for 1.28Mcps TDD
  79. FS on Synchronised E-DCH for UTRA FDD
  80. Study on Dual-Cell HSDPA operation
  81. (FS on) Service continuity between mobile and WLAN networks
  82. I-WLAN NSP
  83. Interworking Wireless LAN Mobility
  84. Multimedia Priority Service
  85. Multimedia interworking between IMS and CS networks
  86. Conferencing enhancements for Mp interface
  87. Enhancements for VGCS Applications
  88. Contact Manager for 3GPP UICC applications (formerly ""Enhanced USIM Phonebook"")
  89. Charging Management small Enhancements
  90. Harmonization of Gq'/Rx for Common IMS
  91. IMS Service Continuity
  92. Interworking between User-to-User Signaling (UUS) and SIP
  93. Support of Overlap signalling
  94. OSA Rel-8
  95. Rel-8 RAN improvements
  96. Combination of 64QAM and MIMO for HSDPA (FDD)
  97. Security Enhancements for IMS
  98. Generic Bootstrapping Architecture Push Function
  99. Support of (G)MSC-S – (G)MSC-S Nc Interface based on the SIP-I protocol
  100. IMS Stage-3 IETF Protocol Alignment
  101. New multicarrier BTS class
  102. Support of Customised Alerting Tone Service
  103. Facilitating Machine to Machine Communication in GSM and UMTS (M2M)
  104. SI on AS-MRFC media server control protocol
  105. AS/MRFC stage 2 and 3 work
  106. (Small) Technical Enhancements and Improvements for Rel-8

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WiMAX Roundup, Australia Unwired  

Australia’s 20 biggest cities could be covered by a A$500 million ($467 million U.S.) commercial-grade mobile WiMax network within two years, reports Computer World.

Joe Nardone, Intel’s global general manager of WiMax business development, told Computerworld that pre-WiMAX operator Unwired has mapped out plans for a national mobile WiMax network. Intel is an investor in Unwired.

Unwired will move to Mobile WiMax, so mobility will be inherent, unlike their current Navini-based system.

A Sydney broadband wireless competitor, Personal Broadband, uses Arraycomm’s iBurst, another pre-WiMAX technology. iBurst optimizes the use of its bandwidth with the help of smart antennas for beam forming. Kyocera is the leading manufacturer of iBurst devices.

Seven Networks, an Australian television network, has purchased Unwired, the Navini (now Cisco) based network for $127 million.

Their WiMax network will help the Seven deliver broadband, voice over Internet Protocol and even television throughout Australia.

Computer World reports that telecommunications analyst Paul Budde said the Seven Network’s plan will result in a failed overbuild of technology. “I have looked at this from 15,000 angles and the idea simply can’t work,” Budde said.

The mobile WiMax network will not be able to compete with Telstra’s established cellular network, according to Budde. Telstra, formerly a state-owned company, is Australia’s largest provider of both local and long distance telephone services, mobile services, dialup, wireless, DSL and cable internet access.

Unwired will have a tough time recouping ROI as competition from Optus and Vodafone Group PLC’s 3G networks drives down access prices, Budde said.

Last month the Australian government canceled a A$958 million ($871 million) funding agreement with SingTel and Futuris for an broadband wireless network, claiming noncompliance with the original agreement.

Optus Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecom, and Futuris, its venture partner in OPEL Networks, was originally awarded the project.

The funding was rescinded because the project would cover only 72 percent of the required region, instead of the 90 percent outlined in the contract, the Department of Broadband Communications and Digital Economy said in a statement. The OPEL access network, which was to be wholesaled to other telcos and Internet service providers, will now not be built,” the Optus statement said.

Optus, Australia’s 2nd largest communication company, has brought competition to Australia’s Telstra since the late 1980s.

Telstra claims that Optus WiMAX wrong-headedly duplicates Telstra’s 3G network with an incompatible WiMAX network and is unfairly subsidized by taxpayers. Optus says it provides competition and services that monopolist Telstra doesn’t.

In other WiMAX news — and there’s a lot of it . . .

WiMax hopefuls in the U.K. may find themselves shut out of the 2.6 GHz auction by the Office of Communications, says Unstrung. Five mobile operators are potentially bidding to hoard WiMax spectrum. Ofcom will auction 2010-2025 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz bands (known as 2.6 GHz) on a technology and service neutral basis.

Ofcom will auction the frequencies in the summer of 2008. Ofcom has allocated a certain amount of licensed spectrum for time division duplex (TDD), or unpaired spectrum, and a certain amount FDD, or paired spectrum. Analysts and WiMax players expect the U.K.’s mobile operators to buy up the TDD spectrum to keep out new Mobile WiMax competitors.

Meanwhile, in the UK, businesses using British Telcom’s Business service can now turn their BT Business Hub into a BT Openzone wireless hotspot at no cost. This will allow anyone visiting their premises to log on to a separate secure internet channel. When a new version of the BT business hub comes out in July, it will come with the hotspot feature built in.

There are already 2,500 BT Openzone Premier hotspots at hotels, airports, railroad stations and other sites, plus hotspots covering the centers of 12 cities in the UK. There are also some 70,000 BT consumers have joined the BT FON Wi-Fi community, BT said.

The 2.5 GHz spectrum profile is considered to be the “sweet spot” for many of the world’s initial deployments for mobile WiMAX, including Japan, Taiwan, and the United States.

In the last two months of 2007, New Zealand, Japan and Noraway held sold licenses in the 2.3 – 2.7 Ghz range. Norway raised US$ 42 million with licenses to five companies, Sweden sold licenses in the 3.6 – 3.8 Ghz frequency range to 44 companies and raised US$ 703,000. More details can also be found at www.ClearSpectrum.Net.

Clearwire has the largest number of [pre-WiMAX] subscribers, numbering about 394,000 as of the fourth quarter of 2007. Korea Telecom and Unwired Australia have the next biggest numbers, with about 100,000 and 76,000 subscribers respectively.

Alcatel-Lucent is participating in more than 70 trials and deployments of WiMax technology around the worldx, from Brazil to Malaysia to the Netherlands, said Michael Seymour, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent’s North American broadband wireless unit at the Wireless Communications Association held in Washington DC this week.

Rick Svensson, director of sales for Samsung’s WiMax unit, said his company is “very anxious” to show off the technology in 2008. It plans to release a WiMax-enabled version of its Q1 ultramobile PC later this year and to offer support for Sprint Nextel’s planned launch of its Xohm WiMax network sometime in 2008.

Clearwire completed the first phase of Mobile WiMAX testing, involving 15 square miles in Washington County just west of Portland, in April, 2007. Then it focused on a beta network covering 145 square miles, most of Washington County.

When Clearwire’s Mobile WiMAX service launches in the summer of 2008, it should cover some 700 square miles, incorporating 3-4 ajoining counties (above).

Clearwire CTO John Saw says backhaul of WiMAX networks require 30-60 Mbps per site with blanket coverage of the entire 700 sq mile Portland region requiring WiMAX nodes installed on some 80 cell sites. Nortel is supplying VoIP infrastructure and services for Clearwire using their Application Server 5200 to deliver SIP applications.

Barry West, the CTO of Sprint’s Xohm business took the WiMAX critics head-on at the WCA, particularly companies that have adopted LTE as their next-generation technology. Noting that LTE services are years away, West accused the LTE camp of “not having anything to offer”, which is why “they’re trashing the system that’s out there working.” West also noted that WiMAX has “19 companies offering chipsets, 28 companies offering devices, and 29 companies offering infrastructure.” Whether Sprint and Clearwire will team with the nation’s two largest cable providers — Comcast and Time Warner Cable — remains to be seen. Pivot didn’t do so well.

Tony Melone, CTO of Verizon Wireless told Dan Jones of Unstrung [with a straight face] that they’ll begin deploying LTE in 2009 (video).

Perhaps the biggest hang-up for Mobile WiMAX is getting different base stations and subscriber devices to talk to each other. Roaming devices that aren’t certified by the WiMAX Forum won’t cut it — and certification of the first 2.5 GHz Mobile clients may just days away.

Only then can a United States rollout begin in earnest.

One of the first mobile WiMAX devices will be a Nokia N810 WIMAX Tablet for $455 at

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Affordable Spectrum Analyzer  

WiFi Planet reviews the $399 Wi-Spy 2.4x, an inexpensive spectrum analyzer that can check on common interference from devices like cordless phones, microwaves, and other WiFi and Bluetooth devices.

The Wi-Spy 2.4x from Metageek consists of both a hardware and a software component. A USB dongle — no bigger than a Flash memory drive -— has an RP-SMA antenna connector (with an included, small omnidirectional antenna).

To record and display the data collected by the Wi-Spy 2.4x, you get Chanalyzer 3.0, an analysis utility that runs on Windows 2000 through Vista and requires the Microsoft .NET 2.0.

Chanalyzer only works with Windows, but third-party utilities compatible with Mac OS X and Linux are available for download from the MetaGeek Web site.

Wi-Spy 2.4x’s $399 may seem dear, but its price tag is but a fraction of the cost of most spectrum analyzer products (like those from AirMagnet, among others).

What you get with the higher-end products, but not with the Wi-Spy 2.4x, is the ability to do things like analyze the contents of Wi-Fi traffic and check security configurations. By contrast, the Wi-Spy 2.4x only concerns itself with the physical signals, but that’s all most non-enterprise and small network users are likely to need.

It’s also worth noting that the Wi-Spy 2.4x is a follow up to–but not a replacement for–MetaGeek’s original Wi-Spy product ($199). The newer 2.4x version improves upon its predecessor by providing higher frequency and amplitude resolution than the original, the RP-SMA connector that allows the use of a variety of external antennas (compared to v1’s fixed internal antenna), and a more recent and capable version of Chanalyzer .

Finally Wi-Spy 2.4x can only analyze the 2.4 GHz wireless spectrum, not the 5 GHz band used by 802.11a and dual-band 802.11n devices. This shouldn’t be an issue for most considering that the latter is much less frequently used and is less subject to interference, but MetaGeek says it plans to release a 5 GHz-compatible version of the Wi-Spy in May.

Berkeley Varitronics makes the popular Yellowjacket handheld analyzer (pdf), which handles 802.11 - B/A/N/G - and will demodulate, sweep, and analyze all popular 802.11 Wi-Fi network standards including 802.11b/g (2.4 GHz), 802.11a (5 GHz), 802.11n and 802.11h. Earlier Yellow Jacket models cost around $6,500 (but of course they do a lot more than a $400 unit from Wi-Spy).

It runs Hive Indoor Mapping Software which allows the users to create , modify and plot measurements in real-time all on a PocketPC.

AirDefense Enterprise 7.3 is the first enterprise product that does not require specialized hardware to detect and analyze non-802.11 sources of interference reports E-Week. AirDefense works with the standard Wi-Fi sensors can access this functionality on existing equipment with a software update alone.

AirDefense sells an Enterprise starter kit with pricing beginning at $7.995, which includes one appliance (for centralized data collection, sensor management, policy management and reporting) and five sensors (both the M510 sensor with two integrated antennas and the M520 sensor with a pair of external antennas can do spectrum analysis). Each additional sensor is $995, while the SA module costs $195 per sensor.

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Forum Oxford Conference 2008  

A lot of leading mobile industry visionaries and enthusiasts met under the banner of "Forum Oxford Conference 2008". Lots of ideas were generated and discussed. I was fortunate to attend this event for the second year running. For those who may not know, I started this blog after attending this event last year. I was a bit surprised to see far less attendance then last year even though the fees were peanuts compared to many other conferences. Maybe people dont realise the value of these kinds of events.

Here is summary of some presentations which is in my own words and that of other bloggers and people who have posted on this topic. You may want to read more on these here.

The first topic was - "Pictures are better on Radio" by Mark Selby, Vice President, Industry Collaborations, Nokia

A survey of what people use their mobiles threw some interesting results:

  • Voice - 12%
  • Browsing - 8%
  • Games - 4%
  • Messaging - 37%
It is interesting to realise that mobile usage for voice is decreasing.

Mobiles can be used for 4 reasons:
  • Create
  • Consume
  • Interact
  • Connect
The BBC has 200 journalists trained to use high end 3G cameraphones as personal broadcast-trucks-in-the-pocket. Radio is a social media ie where PC users might use the internet as a chat board, radio listeners can send in their comments via SMS and DJ's can comment on them, recognize new listeners who have not commented yet, etc.

How many people control their own wife/partner?
We don’t think of it in that way because it is a relationship. In the same way, we as an industry cannot hope to ever ‘control’ a customer

Back in the 70s, Convergence was a set of three arrows pointing to a yellow cloud (IT, Media and Telecoms) and everyone expected to ‘solve’ the problem in a matter of months

DRM is an odd concept. If you threw a device into a window, can you blame the manufacturer for the damage to the window? If not, how can we hope to legislate against devices?

OVI is an open platform customers can choose which feeds they can display on OVI(for instance CNN etc etc) – not necessarily from Nokia. Abolish the word user generated content!!

By 2012, 25% of stuff will be created, edited, etc by Mobile devices.

You can get an idea of Mark's presentation by checking out this and this.

The next presentation was Jonathan MacDonald on Blyk:

The biggest problem Blyk users complain about, is that they want more of the ads.
They have already 100,000 users.
To learn more about Blyk see this and this.

The next was "Browser extensions (DOM extensions) and accesssing device API's" - David Pollington, Vodafone:

You can download this presentation with comments on Mobile Monday site here.

The next one was "How to Integrate Facebook with IMS" by Niklas Blum, Fraunhofer FOKUS:

This was a very interesting presentation and there were some strong statements made like CS will dissaper and SIP centered platforms will be everywhere. The market will become open services centred and the result will be convergence.

A similar presentation to this one is available here.

The next one was "iPhone Applications" by William Volk, MyNuMo:

Apple created a new ecosystem. That’s the key difference. So should others(hear hear!)

The main thing people like iPhone is because it has browser that works.

The developers like iPhone because it has this discovery mechanism by which new applications and games get detected. Advertised sponsered games generate 11% click thru. Bowling Game (non advertised) generated 2.95% click thru.

Next was "Youth and Mobile and Music and TV" by Luciana Pavan, MTV:

Comments from their youth survey included "mobile is the symbol of coolness" and "mobile is my best friend". They have two camera crews shooting MTV content such as Jackass, one group shooting for the TV screen, the second for mobile. Same content, two approaches to producing, optimized for each screen type. (Clever...).
Flux on MyMTV in Japan - best user-generated videos will end up on broadcast MTV Japan.
MTV MVNO in Belgium has 16% of the subscriber base.
And at MTV Germany the FunkySexyCool mobile dating service had similarities to Flirtomatic.

Next was "Delivering Global Mobile Service" by Cameron Doherthy, Mobile Concierge:
There was some interesting demonstration of how Blackberry can be used for lots of services like booking airline tickets and golf games.

Then Alan Moore on belaf of Xtract spoke on "Social Marketing Intelligence, the Black Gold of the 21st Century":

Lines are made by man! Nature has networksCustomers connect, corporations broadcast!

His main focus was operators who have become more like bitpipes whereas if they are clever they can use this data and exploit it for their own benefit. Their product can help them with a lot of this analysis. You can get a gist of his presentation here.

Then there was this debate between Tomi Ahonen and Dean Bubley about "Will the future of internet be shaped by mobile or is the PC still in control".

Even though the conclusion was that the PC is still in control, personally i feel mobile will be the one that will dominate. See my earlier post here.

Simon Cavill from Mi-Pay spoke on "Mobile Initiated Financial Services in the Developing world":

This was the mind-boggling presentation. Not that they can move money on mobile, and that it can be done cross-borders, but that international transfer of airtime is emerging as a monetary instrument. Not only "printing money" but as Simon said, they are now creating a whole new currency. Simon also pointed out that where mobile phones are aspirational in the West, they are much more so in the developing world. A phone is the most desired item in Africa. Airtime could be the euro of the developing world!

Then we had "Mobile Social Networking" by Antonio Vince Stabyl of itsMY:

Do we ‘Caralize’ airlines? I.e. develop a new format based on an earlier format?Doctors and other demographics who have never heard of online social networks, are directly adopting mobile social networks. 4 seconds after an earthquake – they had the first images. That’s the power of mobile!New mediums have new leaders

Finally Christian Lindholm of Fjord spoke on "Dawn of New Mobility. Thoughts on the future of Mobiles, Services and Their Adoption"

Key design principles ..
How much can you do with one hand?
What’s the largest device that can fit inside a pocket
A ‘PC’ is a swear word in Nokia!

You may also be interested in a related presentation here.

To subscribe to Forum Oxford click here.

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Mobile WiMAX Cooking- But Still in the Kitchen  

It’s impossible to predict the fate of Xohm, says Popular Mechanics. But it’s happening — for better or worse. WiMAX, at least in its fixed iteration, is a done deal.

Alvarion boasts over 200 commercial WiMAX deployments worldwide. Alcatel-Lucent is participating in more than 70 trials and deployments of WiMax technology around the world while Intel has sunk literally billions in the technology and infrastructure.

The 2.5 GHz spectrum profile is considered to be the “sweet spot” for many of the world’s initial deployments for mobile WiMAX, including Japan, Taiwan, and the United States.

The deployments in 110 different countries, from India and China to Chile and Argentina, have some significant differences from Sprint’s proposed network, but could still offer an interesting peek at what the United States may be in for—and what further missteps to avoid.

In India, for example, Tata Communications has begun rolling out a WiMAX service for consumers and businesses as a fixed wireless solution. India’s Tata is aiming for between 200,000 and 500,000 WiMAX subscribers by March of next year.

Some early WiMAX launches have not met expectations. In Australia, Buzz Broadband made headlines in the geekosphere when it pulled the plug on its WiMAX initiative, which was aimed at providing VoIP phone service.

Sprint’s Xohm service is currently in “soft launch” mode in Chicago and the Baltimore-Washington area, according to Sprint spokesman John Polivka. The full launch, however, has already been pushed back from this spring to “later this year” because of a lack of back-haul capacity.

Sprint believes it has a two-year head start on LTE, and rumors abound that one of the losers in the government’s 700-MHz auction, Google, is considering an investment in Sprint’s WiMAX service. It could be an ideal play to match Google’s open mobile phone platform, Android.

Also rumored to be interested in ponying up as much as $2.5 billion for a nationwide WiMAX network are cable companies Comcast and Time Warner, which are looking for new ways to reach mobile subscribers. And after what Verizon and AT&T have already spent, that size of an investment may seem like a bargain. Only time will tell.

Clearwire and Sprint still haven’t resurrected their now-defunct plan for a collaborative nationwide mobile WiMAX buildout, but the two companies have aligned on common network architecture, says RCR Wireless News. Clearwire completed the first phase of Mobile WiMAX testing, involving 15 square miles in Washington County just west of Portland, in April, 2007. Then it focused on a beta network covering 145 square miles, most of Washington County. Clearwire is using Motorola base stations.

When Clearwire’s Mobile WiMAX service launches in the summer of 2008, it should cover some 700 square miles, incorporating 3-4 ajoining counties (above). Clearwire CTO John Saw says backhaul of WiMAX networks require 30-60 Mbps per site with blanket coverage of the entire 700 sq mile Portland region requiring WiMAX nodes installed on some 80 cell sites.

One of the first mobile WiMAX devices will be a Nokia N810 WIMAX Tablet for $455 at

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More on LTE-Advanced  

LTE-Advanced should be real broadband wireless networks that provide equal or greater peak data rates than those for wired networks, i.e., FTTH (Fiber To The Home), while maintaining equivalent QoS. Smooth introduction of LTE-Advanced should be possible on top of LTE system.

High-level requirements
•Reduced network cost (cost per bit)
•Better service provisioning
•Compatibility with 3GPP systems


WRC 07 identified the following new bands for use by IMT/IMT-Advanced:

  • 450−470 MHz band,
  • 698−862 MHz band,
  • 790−862 MHz band,
  • 2.3−2.4 GHz band, and
  • 3.4−3.6 GHz band.

Not all of these bands are available on a worldwide basis. These bands are in addition to the bands currently specified in 3GPP. Specification for C-band should not be restricted to 3.4 – 3.6 GHz, but cover 3.4 to 3.8 and even 3.4 to 4.2 GHz as these will likely become available in some countries.

Channel Bandwidth

  • Channel bandwidths up to 100 MHz to be specified
  • However, for many operators consecutive allocation of 100 MHz unlikely
  • optimised performance needed for smaller bandwidths of e.g. 50 MHz low cost/complexity (i.e. not fully flexible) resource aggregation to be considered
Interworking with legacy 3GPP RAT
  • Full low complexity (for NW and terminal) interworking with 3GPP RAT, so operator de facto has flexibility on technology to deploy, when and where. The networks of most operators will be a combination of multiple 3GPP RAT for many years to come.
  • Network Sharing: Support for at least all currently specified Network Sharing features, also to facilitate cost-efficient roll out of LTE-Advanced, including, but not limited to, rural area coverage.
Working Methods
  • As LTE-Advanced should be an evolution of LTE, it is essential that it is specified as part of the 36-series of specifications.
  • It is also essential work is performed to a large degree by the experts that developed LTE, and thus work ideally should be performed in existing Working Groups.
  • LTE-Advanced will likely constitute the next significant development step for LTE, but (smaller) stand-alone enhancements and additions to LTE should be possible, and progressed in parallel.
  • Some of these smaller enhancements, as well as the “corrections” to LTE Release 8 could/should be captured in Rel.9, where SAE considerations will lead to relatively short Release completion time-frame.
More details on LTE-Advanced workshop in China here.

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HSPA+ in Release-7 and Release-8  

Thought of adding this while I am in mode of making lists. So whats in HSPA evolution in Rel-7 and Rel-8. Lot of people are unaware that HSPA+ was big enough to finish off in Rel-7 and was definite to spill over in Rel-8

HSPA+ Features in Release 7

  • Higher Order Modulation Schemes

    • Advantages and weaknesses of higher order modulation
      - Interference Sensitivity
      - QPSK
      - 16-QAM, 64-QAM)
      - Consequences
      - Behavior in Time Variant Mobile Radio Channels
      - Behavior of a time variant mobile radio channel
      - Effect of amplitude variations
      - Effect of phase variations

    • 16-QAM for the S-CCPCH (DL)
      - MBSFN only
      - Interleaving
      - Modulation
      - Scaling factors

    • 64-QAM for the HS-PDSCH (DL)
      - Interleaving
      - Constellation Rearrangement
      - Modulation
      - Related UE Categories

    • 16-QAM for UL (4-PAM for the E-DPDCH)
      - HARQ Rate Matching Stage
      - Interleaver
      - Modulator
      - UE category

    • Overview Advantages and Disadvantages
      - Higher peak data rate
      - Better resource utilization
      - Blind choice of modulation scheme
      - High SNIR requirement
      - More TX power requirement
      - Low range
      - Small cell environment
      - Restrictions of use for high UE moving speeds

    • Channel Estimation Algorithms
      - Normal Algorithm
      - Gathering pilot information
      - Channel estimation
      - Data detection
      - Advantage
      - Disadvantage
      - Advanced Algorithms
      - Shorter channel estimation window
      - Moving channel estimation window
      - Adaptive detection
      - Turbo detection
      - Advantages
      - Disadvantages

    • Performance16-QAM in the UL
      - Performance on Link Level 16-QAM in the UL
      - Performance of BPSK compared to 4-PAM
      - Influence of non-linearity of the power amplifier
      - Performance on System Level
      - Behavior with increasing load
      - Maximum versus average throughput

    • Higher Order Modulation Testing
      - Test Setup for 16-QAM in the UL
      - RF components
      - Discussion of the setup
      - Selected Performance Requirements for 16-QAM in the UL
      - BPSK vs. 4-PAM
      - Effect of RX diversity
      - Effect of high degree of multipath
      - Effect of high UE moving speed

  • MIMO

    • Introduction to MIMO Technology
      - The Basics: Signal Fading Physics between TX and RX
      - Scattering
      - Refraction
      - Reflection
      - Diffraction
      - Multiplexing Dimensions
      - The Multipath Dimension
      - MIMO General Operation

    • MIMO Feedback Procedure (PCI)
      - Motivation of Spatial Precoding
      - Plain MIMO
      - Multiple rank beamforming
      - Spatial Precoding
      - Codebook, PCI and CQI Loop
      - Codebook
      - PCI and CQI loop

    • MIMO Algorithms
      - Linear MIMO Algorithms (Preparation work, Equalizer at the end of the processing chain,
      - Equalizer at the beginning of the processing chain), Non-Linear MIMO Algorithms

    • MIMO Performance
      - MIMO Performance on Link Level (SISO vs. SIMO, SIMO vs. MIMO, 2x2 MIMO vs. 4x2
      - MIMO, 16-QAM vs. 64-QAM), Performance on System Level (MIMO vs. SIMO, 50% vs.
      - 75% power allocation, 0% vs. 4% feedback errors)

    • MIMO Tests
      - Official Test Setups (Test NodeB, Fading simulator, Noise generator, UE under test, Single stream test setup, Double stream test setup), Quick and Easy Test Setups (The
      easiest test setup, A more reliable test setup: The MIMO circle), Selected Performance
      - Requirement Figures (Conditions, 64-QAM performance, Dual stream MIMO
      performance, Single stream MIMO performance)

  • Continuous Packet Connectivity (CPC)

    • Basic features
      - Uplink Discontinuous Transmission (DTX), Downlink Discontinuous Reception (DRX)

    • RRC message ID’s
      - DTX and DRX Information

    • CPC Timing
      - Uplink CQI transmission

    • Example for Uplink DPCCH Burst Pattern for 10 ms E-DCH TTI
      - Uplink DRX, Downlink DRX

    • Uplink DPCCH preamble and postamble
      - Uplink DPCCH preamble and postamble for the DPCCH only transmission, Uplink DPCCH preamble and postamble for the E-DCH transmission, Uplink DPCCH preamble and postamble for the HS-DPCCH transmission

    • Example of simultaneous Uplink DTX and Downlink DRX

    • CPC and Enhanced F-DPCH
      - Timing Implications for CPC + Enhanced F-DPCCH

  • Upgraded L1 Signaling

    • HS-SCCH Review of Rel. 5 and 6
      - HS-SCCH Frame Structure, HS-SCCH Part 1 and 2 Forward Error Coding Chain, UE
      specific masking of Part 1 and Part 2, HS-PDSCH Code Allocation through Part1 of HSSCCH,
      - Transport Block Size Determination – TFRI Mapping

    • HS-SCCH of Rel. 7
      - HS-SCCH Overview of Rel. 7 (HS-SCCH type 1, No HS-SCCH, HS-SCCH type 2, HSSCCH
      type 3), HS-SCCH Type 1 (HS-SCCH Type 1, HS-SCCH Type 1 for Configured 64-QAM Operation, HS-SCCH Orders, 64-QAM Constellation Versions), HS-SCCH Type 2 (for HS-SCCH less operation) (Use of the HS-SCCH-less operation, Procedure HSSCCH-less operation), HS-SCCH Type 3 (HS-SCCH Type 3 Overview, Modulation and
      Transport Block Number , HARQ Process Number, Redundancy Version and
      Constellation Version)

    • HS-DPCCH of Rel. 7
      - HS-DPCCH ACK/NACK (ACK-NACK of primary TB in R5, Preamble and postamble in
      R6, ACK-NACK of 2 TB’s in R7), HS-DPCCH PCI and CQI type A and B (CQI in case of
      no MIMO operation, PCI and CQI in case of MIMO with 1 TB (CQI type A), PCI and CQI
      in case of MIMO with 2 TB’s (CQI type B))

    • E-AGCH and E-DPCCH
      - Changes in the E-TFCI tables, Changes in the AG tables, Changes in the SG tables

  • MAC-ehs Entity versus MAC-hs

    • UTRAN side MAC-hs Details – CELL_DCH only
      - Flow Control, Scheduling/Priority Handling, HARQ, TFRC selection

    • UE side MAC-hs Details – CELL_DCH only
      - HARQ, Reordering Queue distribution, Reordering, Disassembly

    • UTRAN side MAC-ehs Details
      - Some advantages of MAC-ehs compared to MAC-hs , Flow Control, HARQ, TFRC
      selection (~ TFRI), LCH-ID mux, Segmentation

    • UE side MAC-ehs Details
      - HARQ , Disassembly, Reordering queue distribution, Reordering, Reassembly, LCH-ID demultiplexing

    • Differences in the MAC-ehs and MAC-hs Header
      - MAC-hs Header Parameter Description
      - MAC-hs SDU , , MAC-hs Header of MAC-hs PDU), MAC-ehs Header Parameter Description
      - MAC-ehs Header Parameter Details
      - HARQ Process Work Flow in UE – MAC-hs / MAC-ehs
      - Split HS-DSCH Block Functionality
      - Practical Exercise: MAC-hs contra MAC-ehs
      - MAC-hs / MAC-ehs Stall Avoidance
      - Timer-Based Scheme
      - Window Bases Scheme
      - MAC-(e)hs Reordering Functionality – Timer / Window based

  • Flexible RLC PDU Sizes

    • The RLC AMD PDU – Rel. 7 Enhancements
      - The Poll (POLL) super-field
      - RLC AMD Header Fields
      - Release 7 Enhancement of the HE-Field and LI

    • Comparison of RLC-AM between Rel. 6 and Rel. 7
      - RLC-AM Overhead using fixed or flexible PDU size
      · RRC State Operation Enhancements

    • Transport Channel Type Switching with HSPA in R6
      - Transport Channel Combinations between UL and DL, Radio Bearer Multiplexing Options in Rel. 6

    • Operation of UTRA RRC States in Release 7
      - UE Idle mode, CELL_DCH state

    • HS-DSCH Reception in CELL_FACH and XXX_PCH
      - Overview (UE dedicated paging in CELL_DCH, CELL_FACH and CELL_PCH, BCCH
      reception in CELL_FACH, FACH measurement occasion calculation, Measurement
      reporting procedure), (1) Operation in the CELL_FACH state (DCCH / DTCH reception in
      CELL_FACH state , User data on HS-DSCH in Enhanced CELL_FACH state), (2) Operation in the CELL_FACH state – Cell Update, (3) RRC Idle to transient CELL_FACH
      (Common H-RNTI selection in CELL_FACH (FDD only), H-RNTI selection when entering
      Connected mode (FDD only) ), Operation in the URA_PCH or CELL_PCH state (Data
      Transfer in CELL_PCH with dH-RNTI, State Transision from CELL_PCH to CELL_FACH
      to CELL_DCH, CELL_PCH and URA_PCH enhanced Paging Procedure)

HSPA+ Features in Release 8

  • Overview of HSPA+ Related Work Items in R8

    • Requirements for two branch IC

    • CS voice over HSPA

    • Performance req. for 15 HSDPA codes

    • MIMO + 64-QAM

    • Enhanced DRX

    • Improved L2 for UL

    • Enhanced UL for CELL_FACH

    • R3 Enhancements for HSPA

    • Enhanced SRNS relocation

  • MIMO combined with 64-QAM

    • New UE Categories
      - Data Rate, Soft IR memory

    • L1 Signaling of MIMO and 64-QAM
      - Modulation Schemes and TB Sizes (Signaling on the HS-SCCH type 3, Dilemma to signal
      on the modulation schema and TB number field, Solution), CQI Signaling, CQI Tables

Interested readers can refer to Alcatel-Lucent presentation in HSPA+ Summit here.

There is also an interesting Qualcomm paper titled, "Release 7 HSPA+ For Mobile Broadband Evolution" available here.

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4G: War to End Wars  

The battle between Long Term Evolution and Mobile WiMAX may be escalating into a “4G” war, explains Unstrung.

The International Telecommunication Union, Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), wants an “official” 4G standard. ITU defines “4G” as 100 Mbit/s (mobile) and 1 Gbit/s in hot spot areas with limited mobility. They call it IMT-Advanced and are looking for proposals.

Currently, cellular providers are talking up the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard (although it’s not really a standard (yet). LTE is sometimes called “4G”, but it’s really just an evolutionary step to true “4G” — even if the standard still has yet to be fully ratified.

Undetered, 3GPP earlier this month started work on their version of “4G” — LTE-Advanced. It will be the 3GPP’s official proposal for IMT-Advanced. The requirements for LTE Advanced are expected to be firmed up at a meeting in Prague at the end of this month. (See Unstrung’s 3GPP Studies LTE Are Advanced, LTE Hits 300 Mbit/s, and LTE Specs on Track.)

Meanwhile, the IEEE believes their draft standard, WiMax 802.16m, should be the rightful IMT-Advanced standard. It would meet the 100 Mbps (mobile) and 1 Gbps (fixed) requirements of the ITU.

“802.16m should meet the requirements of IMT-Advanced and be backwards compatible with 802.16e,” says Roger Marks, chair of the IEEE 802.16 work group and a senior vice president at NextWave Wireless Inc. “We want 802.16m approved and completely finished by end of 2009.”

The IEEE and 3GPP are pushing efforts to modify their standards to be in line with the ITU’s IMT-Advanced proposals for “4G”.

The technical requirements for IMT-Advanced will be defined when it meets in Dubai at the end of June. The deadline for IMT-Advanced submissions is expected to be around October 2009, says Unstung.

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Motorola Mobile WiMAX in Thailand  

Motorola is working with Advanced Info Service (AIS), the largest mobile operator in Thailand, to conduct trials of mobile WiMAX. The trials will enable AIS to gain insight into the next generation personal wireless broadband services.

AIS started trials over Motorola’s WiMAX Access Point-400 (WAP-400) platform in Bangkok and Lamlukka in the first quarter of 2008. The operator is studying performance of real-life applications over the mobile WiMAX network, and customer usage models in metropolitan, suburban and rural areas.

AIS is Thailand’s largest GSM mobile phone operator with 23 million customers as of 2007. AIS sees WiMAX as complementary to its existing fixed line and wireless offerings. AIS believes WiMAX is an effective replacement for ADSL in cities and suburban areas.

Motorola currently has 19 contracts for WiMAX 802.16e deployments and is involved in 80 WiMAX engagements with customers in more than 40 countries around the world.

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Solectek 3.65 GHz WiMAX  

Solectek, a San Diego manufacturer of broadband and public safety wireless equipment, announced the addition of 3.65 GHz WiMAX base stations and subscriber terminals tailored for Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and municipalities.

“Our 3.65 platform was designed from the ground up for small to mid-size WISPs”, said Dr. Eric Lee, CEO for Solectek. Industry research firms believe the market for 3.65 GHz is poised for growth.

“There has been strong interest on the part of carriers and vendors in the 3.65 GHz band since the FCC rulings,” said Adlane Fellah, CEO and Founder of Maravedis, Inc. “The 3.65 GHz market enables manufacturers such as Solectek and other BWA vendors the opportunity to leverage much of their investment in 3.5 GHz products by introducing a slightly modified WiMAX platform for the U.S. and other markets where 3.5 cannot be deployed. The 3.65 GHz band can fill a void, especially in rural areas not served or under-served by other broadband services providers.”

Monica Paolini of Senza Fili Consulting added: “The FCC’s decision to use a non-exclusive shared use licensing scheme for the 3.65 GHz band, combined with a fast and affordable license registration process, has created a unique opportunity for small to mid-size service providers to expand their business cost effectively and to protect their investment.”

Solectek’s 3.65 GHz system competes with other 3.65GHz products from Alvarion, Airspan and Redline Communications.

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