Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Janakiram MSV, Christopher Keene, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

Bringing LTE Indoors

by Andrew Mackay, Manager Mobile Solutions, Cisco Systems

 

As Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks continue to be deployed, it is becoming evident that matching the existing 3G coverage quality is going to be a challenge. This is reminiscent of the early days of 3G, when it took many years to get coverage matching underlying GSM. The higher carrier frequency (2.1GHz) and partial initial overlays left deep indoor coverage with “cold spots.”  This resulted in unreliable calls and increased battery consumption, which led many users to disable 3G out of frustration.  Over time, operators invested in more infill Broadband Telephony Services (BTS), wider use of In-building Systems (IBS) and repeaters, but indoor coverage was only really resolved when 3G on 850/900 MHz was deployed as a coverage “safety net.”

 

In Asia, the majority of LTE deployments are in the 1.8GHz band and higher. As a result, the typical LTE user drops back to 3G (850/900MHz) on a regular basis when deep indoors, commuting, or even inside their home. Initially, the user experience of dropping from LTE to 3G for data services may not be so irritating since voice is still falling back to 3G in the majority of networks. Plus, in many indoor scenarios, good Wi-Fi service is available to fill-in the missing bandwidth. But, ultimately, this is a branding issue: customers subscribing to a 4G service expect that level of service, not to see their service provider icon showing 3G. It becomes an even larger issue when you want to serve your subscriber real-time services over 4G, such-as voice and streaming video. So how do we avoid these service “pot-holes”?

 

potholes.png

“Warning: 3G pot-holes ahead.”

 

Many operators tell me that they will wait for sub-1GHz LTE coverage before considering wide spread VoLTE (Voice over LTE) deployment, but this may take years. Unlike in the US and Europe, the benefits of the digital dividend have yet to arrive at APAC with only live LTE APT700MHz deployments (in Taiwan so far). But even after the networks arrive it will take a while for the majority of devices to support the new band. 3G band refarming isn’t as easy as it sounds either; i.e., how do you refarm from carriers full of voice, which you can’t move to 4G until you have good VoLTE coverage? A classic “catch-22.”

 

One possible solution is to rely on Wi-Fi as a stop-gap measure for voice. Certainly, this approach has been in the press recently with operators 3 and EE in the UK discussing VoWiFi (Voice over Wi-Fi) strategies. In the case of EE, the role of using VoWiFi to plug LTE coverage holes was made explicit: “The aim of VoWiFi is to improve in-building coverage. Calls will be automatically routed via WiFi, for instance, in a user’s home or office, where there is an absence of cellular coverage.” VoWiFi received further attention with the announcement of iOS8 support for Wi-Fi calling on T-Mobile’s USA network.

 

wificalling.png

“iOS8 adds VoWiFi”

 

The challenge I foresee with VoWiFi is providing a “Carrier Grade” user experience. My concern is not with voice quality, which can be maintained in HD on an uncongested access point, but more the limited mobility. At present, as a Wi-Fi signal fades, the client hangs on to the connection despite quality dropping below what VoIP (Voice over IP) requires, before giving up and switching back to cellular. Another issue is variability of up-stream connectivity on different Wi-Fi networks accessed on a typical day. In the case of a work Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), for example, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) traffic might be blocked as per the enterprise policy. Both of these issues are critical in the case of terminating calls, where the user may be forced to stay put to complete the call or have the call go straight to voicemail.

I believe Wi-Fi will be an important stop-gap for poor LTE indoor coverage, but, eventually, it should take on the complementary role of picking up the non-real-time bandwidth workload. The ideal end game has to be to provide sufficient LTE coverage and capacity to match (or exceed) the current 3G user experience for real-time services, particularly voice. How this is achieved given the multiple RAN tools available (lower frequency bands, LTE Smallcells, Repeaters, Relays and IBS) becomes a question of time and the best TCO business case, and that’s a whole other topic.

 

To learn more about visit our LTE technologies page, check our Twitter feed @CiscoSPMobility or contact Jacqueline Chan ([email protected]) for more information.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Deborah Strickland

The articles presented here are blog posts from members of our Service Provider Mobility community. Deborah Strickland is a Web and Social Media Program Manager at Cisco. Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPMobility.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Akana has announced the availability of version 8 of its API Management solution. The Akana Platform provides an end-to-end API Management solution for designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs. It is available as a SaaS platform, on-premises, and as a hybrid deployment. Version 8 introduces a lot of new functionality, all aimed at offering customers the richest API Management capabilities in a way that is easier than ever for API and app developers to use.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...