Tag Archives: Alcatel-Lucent

Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent combine to accelerate development of future technologies

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Nokia has agreed to combine with Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share public exchange offer in France and the United States.

With more than 40,000 R&D employees and spend of EUR 4.7 billion in R&D in 2014, the combined company will be in a position to accelerate development of future technologies including 5G, IP and software-defined networking, cloud, analytics as well as sensors and imaging.

Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia have highly complementary portfolios and geographies, with particular strength in the United States, China, Europe and Asia-Pacific. They will also bring together the best of fixed and mobile broadband, IP routing, core networks, cloud applications and services. This combination is expected to create access to an expanded addressable market with improved long term growth opportunities.

Each company’s Board of Directors has approved the terms of the proposed transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2016. The proposed transaction is subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, completion of relevant works council consultations, receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

Source: Nokia

LTE 450MHz: taking the road less travelled

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While it is true that spectrum is a scarce resource that operators can’t get enough of, it’s also true that not all spectrum is equally loved. While demand for the mainstream frequencies have led to bumper auction bidding worldwide, others have been less widely adopted.

One such band is 450MHz, which, nevertheless, is being used by a number of operators globally – albeit with significant gaps including much of Western Europe and the US. The technology of choice for these operators is CDMA 450MHz, with figures from Mobility Development Group (formerly CDMA Development Group) indicating it is used by 115 operators in 60 countries, in all regions except North America.

But, with CDMA having had its time in the sun, the industry is looking to LTE to provide a path forward for 450MHz. Touted benefits include improved speeds, increased capacity and reduced latency.

So why 450MHz? The inherent advantage of the spectrum band is coverage. Compared with higher bands, it requires a smaller number of base stations to give a broad reach, meaning there are economic benefits when it comes to covering large areas with a dispersed population. And while providing mobile broadband connectivity in remote areas is one key application for the technology, there is another area where it can shine: M2M.

Applications such as smart meters don’t require much in terms of bandwidth, but do need connectivity even in remote areas. And some industries, such as logistics, agriculture, forestry and mining, frequently focus on areas with small populations, where “traditional” mobile coverage does not make sense.

With mainstream consumer devices not including LTE 450MHz support (and unlikely to do so at any point soon), this band is also largely free of congestion, while having the potential to offload M2M traffic away from the premium frequency bands – leaving capacity for more lucrative services.

Trailblazers
The trailblazer for LTE 450MHz is Ukko Mobile, which launched its network in Finland late in 2014. Using infrastructure from Huawei, it launched with 99.9 per cent coverage – putting it in top spot in the market using that metric.

The operator is focusing on enterprise, government and transport sectors, while also “targeting more remote areas and locations with sporadic peaks in demand, such as the 700,000 summer cottages in Finland”.

Alcatel-Lucent has also announced a deal with AINMT Holdings to deploy LTE 450MHz technology for its ice.net business in Norway.

At Huawei’s Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen last week, I was able to catch up with the company about its efforts in this space – along with Alcatel-Lucent, it is one of the most active vendors both in CDMA 450MHz and LTE 450MHz.

According to the Chinese company, this year could see more players in the 450MHz camp making decisions with regard to their upgrade paths. Markets in Eastern and Northern Europe are likely to lead the way, with likely candidates including Poland, Denmark and Sweden.

And there are some other big markets in the pipeline, including Brazil and Russia. China may also be a possibility in the future, although at least for the time being the focus is on the more popular bands being used by operators to support their “mainstream” 4G rollouts.

Of course, there are always downsides, and in the case of 450MHz, frequency allocations are small – presenting a challenge for vendors and operators alike. With many operators already having a sizable installed CDMA 450MHz customer base, including lucrative enterprise customers, continued support for these deployments is a must.

Despite the limited spectrum available for 450MHz operators (sub 5MHz), Huawei said it is possible to migrate to a split arrangement, with two carriers assigned to LTE and one to CDMA. Then, with time, customers can be migrated to the newer network.

Even with the limited resource assigned to LTE under this arrangement, there is the scope for performance benefits in the early days.

In addition, legacy network resources can be used while rolling out LTE 450MHz, to preserve existing investments and reduce additional costs. Reuse of remote radio units and antennas also significantly simplifies deployment.

Device support
Of course, for any technology away from the mainstream, there is the issue of building ecosystem momentum. This is especially true of the current situation, where the lack of firm operator rollout plans means there is little in the way of a market for device makers.

But Eran Eshed, co-founder and VP of marketing and business development at Altair Semiconductor, has a positive view of the market.

“The size of the opportunity, in my opinion, is just large enough to attract a number of key players that will sustain a good business and keep economies under control. There are already two tier-one infrastructure vendors with LTE 450MHz products, as well as two chipset companies. We have more than a handful of customers already building products, so this is really not an issue,” he told Mobile World Live.

“The technology works – this is proven and not debatable at this point in time. Ecosystem is the next challenge, and I’m glad to say that from a chipset perspective, only Altair and Qualcomm are in the game – and our (Altair’s) products, being LTE-only, are much more attractive to customers,” Eshed continued.

With future development in the LTE 450MHz market set to include support for Category 0 terminals, enabling the delivery of low-cost devices for M2M applications, handsets supporting push to talk, and carrier aggregation with 800MHz and 1800MHz LTE networks, there is certainly plenty to appeal to operators as they make their decisions for 450MHz spectrum.

The editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members.

Source:  Mobile Word Live Steve Costello

Rohill announces pilot installation of LTEtraNode system

Rohill, specialized in the development, production and sales of professional mobile communication infrastructures today announced two pilot installations of its LTEtraNode system (a LTE/TETRA solution). To demonstrate their innovative communications solutions to international users Rohill has teamed up with two telecommunication operator companies. The pilots will be based upon public LTE to be integrated with TETRA networks and serve the mutual needs of mission critical and broadband of the blue light user groups. One pilot will be hosted in Europe where the other one will be located outside. Further details will be communicated in separate announcements.

As one of the leading providers of critical communication Rohill has successfully integrated TETRA with LTE from Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent and is working on integration with two further LTE platform suppliers. Besides integration with public LTE, Rohill is also working on private LTE solutions subject to availability of frequency spectrum and commits itself to support all leading LTE equipment providers.

“After the Critical Communication World exhibition in Paris this year we have received a very positive feedback and many inquiries for our innovative LTEtraNode solution. Rohill has been leading this industry and two years ago on Budapest Critical Communication World we have introduced LTE integration and have maintained our technology leading position in the mission critical wireless industry since then. Rohill sees heterogeneous network solutions as the future for country wide mission critical communication networks. For this Rohill fully supports open network and modern IP switching technology on carrier grade platforms. The strong advantage for the user is an integrated solution for voice and data according the TETRA feature set with support of broadband data applications. We are excited to make the next step now and work on two pilot installations in 2013 to integrate our solutions with private and public operator-based LTE networks” says Bert Bouwers, CTO of Rohill.

The LTE/TETRA solution enables the mission critical end user to access the same data capacity and capabilities that already have been successfully introduced for public networks. This together with equipment that meets the mission critical requirements in relation to the availability, reliability and encryption makes it an interesting solution for customers. The LTEtraNode solution and future developments will not only aim for the public safety market but for the whole enterprise market like transportation, utilities, oil & gas and industry.

TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) communication standard is widely used and deployed for mission and business critical voice communications. TETRA provides significant advantages compared to other radio systems, such as the voice quality, the communication features (trunking, priority/preemption, encryption, recording, etc.) and its interoperability capabilities. Private Mobile Radio (PMR) network users increasingly would like to utilize critical communications-specific broadband applications to improve quality of response and to improve efficiency.

LTE (Long Term Evolution), also known as 4G offers much higher uplink and downlink data rates lower latency (allowing a call setup time which is better than what can be achieved by the TETRA standard) and high-speed mobility compared to other access technologies. These features make the technology suitable for building the next-generation mission critical communications networks and applications. The networks are capable of delivering high-bandwidth and demanding applications such as video-based situational awareness, monitoring and interventional applications.

Source: Rohill