Philip Marnick, CTO of UK Broadband is speaking at the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. UKB will be the first operator to launch a commercial LTE service in the UK. Ahead of the conference Telecoms.com speaks to him about why UK Broadband’s extensive spectrum holdings and wholesale model will make it significant player in the UK LTE market.
There are now 45 per cent more operators investing in LTE than a year ago, according to the latest report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). The GSA report highlights the continued growth in the technology and the surrounding eco-system since its inception in late 2009. A total of 113 operators have now launched LTE across 51 countries, 77 of which were launched in the past 12 months. Some 195 further networks are in the development stages and 209 networks are forecast to have launched by the end of 2013.
The time division flavour of LTE, LTE-TDD, has gained wide ecosystem acceptance and backing from leading infrastructure and device vendors, leading analyst house Ovum to predict that 25 per cent of all LTE connections will be on LTE TDD by 2016.
LTE has been hailed by the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) as the fastest growing mobile network technology ever, outstripping all previous standards in terms of the pace of deployment. But while LTE is a global standard, there are variations in how it is being deployed around the world. Chief among these variations is the choice, depending on spectrum allocations, between Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) and Time Division Duplexing (TDD).
The Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) was launched at MWC 2011. Founding members were China Mobile, Bharti Airtel, Softbank Mobile, Vodafone, Clearwire, Aero2 and E-Plus.
Altair Semiconductor, a developer of LTE chipsets, has shown off its TD-LTE chipset running at up to 50Mbps on the downlink, and 18Mbps on the uplink. The demonstration was made to China Mobile executives at a Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) Alliance board meeting using an AsiaTelco manufactured USB dongle.
A number of high-profile setbacks in recent weeks have further dented the already weakened business case for WiMAX.
In a widely anticipated move, Russian operator Yota revealed plans in May to switch tack and start rolling out LTE. The company, which has always preferred to describe itself as a mobile broadband provider rather than a WiMAX operator, had been rumored for some time to be contemplating the change. It will start to deploy LTE networks in five cities later this year.
The wireless operator community is taking another crack at mobile TV, with a technology that also holds promise for the little used TDD spectrum, which most operators have left gathering spectral dust.