Tag Archives: BT

EE and BT Showcase ‘Pre-standard 5G’ to Connect Air Mast

ee 5g

  • EE first UK mobile operator to showcase ‘pre-standard 5G’ backhaul capability, using its patent pending 4G air mast
  • 26GHz test spectrum used to carry traffic from 4G air mast as part of Adastral Park Innovation Week event
  • ‘Pre-standard 5G’ backhaul solution increases 4G speeds and lowers latency

EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator and part of the BT Group, has become the first UK provider to successfully demonstrate pre-standard 5G backhaul technology, using it to connect its unique Helikite ‘air mast’ mobile coverage solution.

EE’s patent-pending Helikite solution uses mini mobile sites attached to a helium balloon to provide 4G mobile coverage where permanent sites have been damaged by extreme weather and other disasters, or in areas where there is no 4G coverage. The addition of pre-5G backhaul increases 4G speeds and lowers latency, which increases the number of people that the air mast could keep connected, and gives them a faster internet connection.

Marc Allera, EE CEO, said: “Innovation is what drives advances in technology, and it’s what keeps making UK consumers’ experience of mobile better and better. The EE network will go from strength to strength thanks to BT’s incredible R&D capabilities and our commitment to delivering what our customers need. Today’s demonstration is a great example of that: we know that we need better solutions to keep customers connected in the most rural parts of the UK and during disasters, and we can make that solution even more powerful by developing ground breaking pre-standard 5G technology.

“This is not 5G, but it is a technology that’s an important stepping stone to 5G. We’re working hard to adopt the principles and the technologies that will become 5G, and to showcase what benefits these can bring to our customers.”

Today’s demonstration is an example of the potential applications and customer benefits of BT and EE’s 5G research activities which are being progressed well ahead of the deployment of future 5G networks.

The ‘pre-standard 5G’ backhaul technology – demonstrated for the first time today at BT’s Innovation Week at its labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich – uses millimetre wave (mmWave) frequencies, regarded as one of the main building blocks of future 5G technology.

By applying the technology to deliver the mobile backhaul requirements for EE’s recently announced 4G Helikite solution, EE and the BT Labs have proven the potential for delivering even faster 4G speeds and lower latency using mmWave.

The innovative mobile backhaul solution demonstration uses 26GHz test spectrum to connect the Parallel Wireless small cell on the Helikite to an Athonet virtualised Evolved Packet Core (EPC) on the ground using a PHAZR link.

EE and BT Labs are taking a leading role in developing technologies that will play a role in delivering future 5G mobile networks, including mmWave, Massive MIMO and network slicing – a new method of carving out specific ‘slices’ of an IP based network to support dedicated services delivered over future 5G networks. EE and BT are working towards enabling 5G in alignment with standards that will be set by mobile standardisation body 3GPP as part of their Release 15 update, which is scheduled for 2018.

Source: EE

BT and Nokia to collaborate on development of 5G

 

Next generation 5G networks have taken a step forward as BT and Nokia signed a research collaboration agreement on 5G technologies.

The two companies have agreed to work together on potential customer use cases for 5G technologies, the creation of 5G Proof of Concept (PoC) trials and the development of the emerging technology standards and equipment.

The trials will focus on the technology enablers for 5G including mmWave radio and convergence, as well as potential commercial services including ultrafast mobile broadband, mission-critical services and the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

Integrating the best capabilities of fixed and mobile networks, 5G will deliver seamless connectivity which is even more capable than today’s 4G technologies. It will deliver greatly improved ultrafast speeds to mobile users and targets peak rates of multiple Gigabits and latency in the range of one millisecond.

Such speeds would allow for the simultaneous streaming of data-heavy content such as virtual reality or live 360 degree video to any device, while greatly reduced latency would mean truly real-time engagement between remote users and systems. This is essential for consumer applications such as mobile gaming and major technology advancements like driverless cars.

However, the two companies believe that the technology’s biggest potential is its ability to improve the flexibility and usability of mobile networks, allowing them to ‘flex’ to meet the specific needs of customers. This might include lower latency to support critical communications, or greater power efficiency and higher bandwidth usage for different applications. This new flexibility will be critical to support new business and consumer services based on IoT, including connected cars, smart cities and remote health monitoring applications.

Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service & Operations, said: “Our EE mobile business already boasts the biggest 4G network in the UK, which is set to cover 95 per cent of the country by 2020. We will build on that foundation to develop the next generation of LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G services over the next few years. It’s still early days for 5G technology, but experience tells us that a collaborative approach is key to success. We’re delighted to be working with Nokia to drive a common approach to 5G, and to develop exciting use cases which bring together our combined experience in fixed and mobile technologies.”

Cormac Whelan, head of the UK & Ireland at Nokia, said: “5G is the communications technology of the future, and it will transform how we communicate with each other, as well as communicate with devices and ‘things’. Nokia is delighted to be working with BT in laying the foundations for 5G adoption in the coming years, and in helping define how this technology will enable exciting and innovative experiences.”

As a first step in the collaboration, Nokia is currently conducting trials of its latest 5G-ready radio equipment at the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk. This radio system demonstrates key 5G technology ingredients that are currently in standardization running on Nokia’s AirScale radio access, including an entirely new 5G frame structure and 4 x 100MHz carrier aggregation.

Although best known for its work on fibre-optic and broadband technologies, the BT Labs have played a major role in the development of wireless data services, and were the location for the first trial of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) data calls – the precursor to today’s 3G and 4G data services.

The agreement builds on the existing relationship between the two companies in which Nokia supplies BT’s 21C Core Routing Platform and both the BT/EE subscriber register infrastructure and part of the EE Radio Access Network.

Source: BT

Ofcom boosts BT’s EE takeover bid; sees Hutch/O2 deal as potential stumbling block

BT-logo

BT’s proposed £12.5 billion takeover of EE received a boost from UK watchdog Ofcom after the regulator submitted a report to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) supporting the merger.
Ofcom, which does not have direct authority to approve the deal, advised the competition authority that concerns raised by rivals over the combined entities’ power did not merit intervention.

Within the 69 page submission, Ofcom further highlighted its own powers to deal with BT’s EE-log-Nov-2014potential dominance, as it seeks to combine its broadband business with EE, UK’s largest mobile player.

“We believe the current and future proposed regulation that we apply to BT will limit BT’s ability to discriminate over price, quality and innovation in the provision of leased lines,” Ofcom said.

Mobile rivals in the UK have claimed they will struggle to meet capacity demands as a result of the deal, and there are further fears over the large share of mobile airwaves a combined BT and EE will have at their disposal.

Ofcom dismissed the concerns, stating “that even though the addition of BT’s spectrum may increase the peak speeds BT/EE could offer, on its own EE is already able to provide higher peak speeds than other MNOs”.

“For potential advantages in terms of WiFi hotspots, access to backhaul and opportunities for cross selling and bundling, we do not consider these are sufficient to create competition concerns.”

In the fixed space, rivals including Sky and TalkTalk claim the combined entity would be able to undercut its services, limit the market’s MVNO options and impact backhaul supply.

“We recognise that, as a vertically integrated firm, BT may have the incentive to discriminate in favour of its downstream divisions, and we impose regulation to address such concerns,” added Ofcom.

Ofcom said last month it was seeking views on whether BT and its Openreach networking division should be separated “to deliver competition or wider benefits to the end user”.

Hutch/O2
Ofcom also drew on Hutchison’s proposed merger with O2 within the report, which could prove to be a stumbling block

The proposed deal is set to be scrutinised by European regulators and Ofcom said “the importance of BT as an independent competitor could depend on the outcome of the proposed Hutchison, O2 merger”.

If Hutchison’s deal to acquire O2 goes through, It would serve to reduce the UK market to three players, adding weight to the argument to keep EE and BT separate, as BT already operates in the mobile space.

Source: Mobile Word Live-Kavit Majithia

5G Innovation Centre plans move closer to reality

A consortium of key global players in telecommunications formally joins Surrey to develop 5G Innovation Centre.

Together pledging support worth over £30 million, the consortium officially signed an official partnership with the University of Surrey on 25 October. The group consists of some of the world’s leading mobile network operators, infrastructure and tools providers, media and communications organisations, as well as the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom. It includes Aeroflex, AIRCOM International, BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, Huawei, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Telefonica and Vodafone.

The world’s first research centre dedicated to mobile technology, the 5G Innovation Centre will focus on the advanced technologies that will underpin the 5G network of the future. The project will also include the development of a 5G ‘test bed’, based on campus, which will enable technologies to be tested in a real-world environment.

The consortium’s pledged support of £30 million (which includes time, expertise and other contributions) is in addition to the £11.6 million awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) under the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) last autumn.

As a further boost to this major project, plans for the 5G Innovation Centre have now been granted planning permission, with preparatory building work now underway. The Centre will be built to high environmental standards, with an expected completion date of January 2015. Once completed, it will become home to 150 researchers and around 100 PhD students.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Head of Surrey’s Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR), said: “We are delighted that the formal agreements are now in place and plans are underway to start turning the vision for a 5G Innovation Centre into a reality.

“Undoubtedly, 4G technologies are revolutionising mobile connectivity in the UK and will continue to do so over the next decade, but it is extremely important for us to find innovative ways of coping with the levels of mobile communications data traffic that are expected to continue rising. We will use state-of-the-art 4G as the starting point for our work and complement this with even more advanced technologies which place the user at the heart of the design process.

“By bringing together leading academics with heavyweight industry partners, I believe we can develop the technologies that are required to provide much-needed capacity, drive economic growth and actively contribute to and shape the future 5G system. Ultimately, our vision is to provide a consistent and reliable mobile communications service and create the perception of ‘infinite capacity’.”

 
 
 
Source: University of Surrey Press Office