Verizon enters the Connected home for LTE

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Verizon Investments, part of the Verizon Venture Group at the U.S. telco giant, has invested in 4Home, a Sunnyvale, Calif.. company working on connected home and home control technologies.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed, though the Verizon Ventures press kit says the unit provides funding from seed level up to $5 million. Verizon participated in 4Home’s Series B financing round, which closed back in the first quarter and raised a total of $6.8 million.

Verizon and 4Home actually partnered on a technology demonstration at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Verizon’s LTE Innovation Center worked with 4Home to demonstrate 4G applications that could allow homeowners to access an Internet interface to 4Home’s Fluid platform to help them manage their home energy usage.

Verizon has been among the more aggressive telcos in pursuit of home monitoring and management capabilities as various solutions based on wireless technologies like Z-Wave and ZigBee have come to light. There were reports back in 2009 that Verizon and 4Home were working together at that time on a Z-Wave-based home control solution, though the more recent work involving long-term evolution dovetails with Verizon Wireless’s rollout of LTE in several markets. Read more…

T-Mobile ‘4G’- like HSPA+

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

So the word on the street according to T-Mobile USA is HSPA+ is like or better than ‘4G’. Well there is some strength in the argument if not all – let’s explore and see if the litmus test proves to be true. Interestingly enough, HSPA+ offers a better and cleaner solution at the moment for circuit switch calls and IRAT handover to GSM then LTE or WiMAX!

T-Mobile USA announced last week that it will increase the maximum possible data speeds offered on its upgraded 3G network to 42 Mbit/s in 2011. The fourth-ranked mobile operator in the US has been upgrading its GSM-based 3G network with a high-speed packet access plus (HSPA+) software update for months now. Upgraded markets offer a theoretical peak download speed of 21 Mbit/s. The operator has previously said that this translates into average download speeds in the 5-to-8-Mbit/s range using its HSPA+ webConnect Rocket laptop stick with peaks at 10 Mbit/s and over.

This already puts T-Mobile in the lane with Clearwire LLC average mobile download speeds of 3 to 6 Mbit/s and within spitting distance of Verizon Wireless ‘s promised average downloads of 5 to 12 Mbit/s for its upcoming Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network. After being late to 3G, T-Mobile clearly doesn’t intend to lose the marketing battle to offer “4G speeds” even if no carrier actually provides a real 4G service yet. Read more…

Categories: HSPA+ Tags: ,

Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Arch Rock

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Cisco announced its intent to acquire privately held Arch Rock Corporation, a pioneer in Internet Protocol-based wireless network technology for smart-grid applications. Based in San Francisco, Arch Rock will accelerate Cisco’s ability to facilitate the utility industry’s transition to an open and interoperable smart grid by enabling Cisco to offer a comprehensive and highly secure advanced metering infrastructure solution that is fully IP and open-standards based.

“Arch Rock’s wireless mesh technology enhances Cisco’s IP-based, end-to-end smart-grid offerings,” said Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Smart Grid business unit.  “This acquisition further positions Cisco as a strategic partner to utilities working to better manage power supply and demand, improve the security and reliability of energy delivery, and optimize operational costs.”

Arch Rock’s technology is designed to enable utilities to connect smart meters and other distributed intelligent devices over a scalable, highly secure, multi-way wireless mesh network.  The acquisition complements the recently announced strategic alliance between Itron and Cisco to develop solutions that enhance smart-metering technology. Read more…

Categories: Broadband, SmartGrid Tags: ,

Smart RAN for 4G – Compact-BTS, Metro-Femto & ORI

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

As we race towards 4G there has been a trend in the radio access network (RAN) architecture of simplifying it, making it more compact and flat. The primary motive has been to enable mobile operators to maintain control on their network costs, while they deal with improving coverage and capacity. However, the explosion in data traffic  volumes, due to smart phones like the iPhone, have thrown a spanner in the works for operators to keep tabs on CAPEX/OPEX costs while they try and keep up with incessantly exploding mobile data demand from burgeoning smart devices, applications, and changing user behavior. This calls for a new architectural paradigm that optimizes existing cell site infrastructure, most of which is macro layer enabled, but at the same time introduces new network layers at the micro-, pico- and femtocell level, that can effectively complement the macro layer.

A new type of base station – the compact BTS along with Femto in the outdoor implementation has also entered the market, further reducing footprint and power consumption, while retaining the performance of macro BTSs. Let us explore these concepts and value proposition that we see for 4G deployment –

  • Compact BTS
  • Metro-Femto
  • ORI – Open Radio Equipment Interface
  • Read more…

Categories: Broadband, Femtocell, LTE, WiMAX Tags: ,

MetroPCS – first LTE network in the US

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment

MetroPCS the fifth largest carrier in the US will be the first operator to launch LTE in September, couple of months ahead of Verizon. Samsung’s vice president of systems research and development, Jaebeom Choi, said that MetroPCS would launch their LTE network in the Las Vegas and Dallas markets. At this point, the Samsung Craft will be the initial offering from the carrier – though it may not be an awesome device to launch a next generation network, but will still showcase the kind of speeds LTE will be capable of achieving. This will be a feather in the cap of this regional cellular provider who is a low cost provider for voice and data in the prepaid wireless market.

MetroPCS

MetroPCS is the fifth largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States, and currently serves about 7.6 million customers covering around 20 markets. The company, a Delaware corporation, is headquartered in Richardson, Texas. They operate in 12 of the top 25 largest metropolitan areas, with extended home service in all but Seattle. MetroPCS operates a CDMA 1xRTT (2G) for Mobile Web services in the PCS (1.9 GHz) and AWS spectrum, and has roaming agreements with Verizon and Leap. Read more…

Categories: LTE Tags: ,

SDR implementation with LTE

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

ZTE, a global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, today announced a contract with Telenor Hungary, a subsidiary of one of the Telenor Group, to build a GSM/UMTS/LTE network in Hungary. ZTE will provide the company with radio and core infrastructure over the next five years, including its industry leading End-to-End and Uni-RAN solutions.

“As part of our vision of a Digital Hungary, we predict a growing need for simple- to-use, value-for-money mobile communications services across Hungary, especially mobile broadband and we now see that the time has come to switch to the next gear and take the lead in providing even faster and even more reliable services to our customers,” said Anders Jensen, CEO of Telenor Hungary.

ZTE will switch, expand and operate the GSM/UMTS/LTE network and deploy over 6,000 base stations, including LTE eNodeBs throughout the country. With its SDR-based solution, ZTE will help Telenor Hungary achieve a unified 2G/3G/LTE core network, supporting multi-mode and multi-band wireless services. This technology eliminates the need for further infrastructure upgrades, providing the operator with the flexibility to roll-out new services and a smooth evolution path to LTE.
Read more…

Categories: 3GPP, Broadband, FCC, LTE Tags: ,

Femtocells – A turning tide!

August 22, 2010 3 comments

Femtocells tide finally seems to be turning – Sprint has announced last week that they will be giving away a new Airvana femtocell product that supports EV-DO, to customers based on the need and eligibility.  The initial version of Sprint’s Airave device, which was made by Samsung, was released in the summer of 2008 and supports only CDMA 1x service. Earlier this spring, AT&T Mobility launched a nationwide femtocell offering, the 3G MicroCell, which it developed with Cisco. Verizon Wireless also has a femtocell that supports CDMA 1x service, called the Network Extender. Only the fourth largest carrier T-Mobile doesn’t to have a Femtocell strategy in place, but they have had UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) which did not take off as expected because of lack of Handset vendors commitment.
Read more…

Categories: Broadband, Femtocell, LTE, WiMAX Tags: