fiercewireless.com Path to The 4G battle is on and operators are racing to secure the largest 4G footprint in the fastest pos- DiaMonD SponSor: sible time frame. The highest profile 4G players are 4G most likely Clearwire (and its wholesale partners), which have deployed more than 100 mobile WiMAX markets and Verizon Wireless, which commercially launched 38 LTE markets as of year-end 2010. But the 4G race is just getting started and first-to- market doesn’t necessarily equate to 4G leadership. Tier 2 operator MetroPCS is carving out a 4G niche with a handful of LTE market deployments and an platinuM SponSorS: interesting business model. Tier 1 operator AT&T is aggressively moving ahead with HSPA+ and plan- ning for a mid-2011 LTE deployment. T-Mobile USA is painting its HSPA+ network as 4G because it offers 4G-like speeds. And finally, new entrant LightSquared is promising to stir up the pot with its wholesale LTE network, which it plans to start deploying in 2011. Thus, 4G is no longer a possibility but a reality. But it also is becoming a source of confusion for consum- ers as they try to figure out why they should purchase this new fangled service. Some experts say that the operators aren’t helping the consumer by using 4G to describe their networks Is It tIme for a when they should be spending their marketing dollars to differentiate their services from the competition. According to a Yankee Group study released late 4G reality last year, aggressive marketing for 4G services and devices has only served to confuse consumers. In fact, nearly three-fourths of users in Yankee Group’s 2010 Anywhere Consumer study said that they do check? not know or understand what 4G is. And even more surprising, after years of marketing efforts, more than 50 percent of consumers still don’t know what 3G is. So perhaps the real solution for operators is to stop using industry terms like 3G and 4G as marketing messages to consumers and instead come up with marketing messages that really resonate. GolD SponSorS: In this eBook from FierceWireless – we will take a look at the current state of 4G deployments in the U.S., the role of devices in attracting consumers, 4 5 6 8 9 11 15 17 19 the many challenges facing rural operators when it comes to deploying 4G and the role backhaul plays inUsing Carrier Executive Aeroflex Leads Business Strong Differentiating Wholesale Rural Upgrading delivering 4G services to consumers.Ethernet for Q&A With Market With Analytics: Ecosystems LTE Devices 4G Network Operators BackhaulOptimal 4G Thomas Keys, Complete End- The Key To Are Necessary Key To Players Seek Face 4G To Meet Sue Marek Backhaul COO Of To-End LTE Competitive For 4G Success To Fill Gaps Deployment Anticipated editor-in-Chief /// FierceWireless*Sponsored MetroPCS Test Portfolio Advantage In 4G Success Challenge 4G Demands Content* *Sponsored *Sponsored March 2 011 2 Content* Content* 2
fiercewireless.com Executive Q&A with thomas keys, coo of metroPcs By Fierce wireless Aeroflex Leads Market With Complete End-To-End true end-to-end lte network testing LTE Test Portfolio The TM500 Test Mobile family MetroPCS has been on the forefront of innovation simulates single or multiple handset when it comes to the LTE market. The company users on a network and is used by recently introduced the first LTE Android smartphone For comprehensive LTE test tion is significantly more accurate almost every base station manu- in the market, and continues to tout aggressive solutions, no other test and mea- and easier to calibrate. The Aeroflex facturer in the world. The TM500 plans toward Voice over LTE. Yet, when it comes surement manufacturer compares 7100’s one box approach allows a can be regarded as the de facto MetroPCS’ differentiator in the market cost is one of to Aeroflex. Delivering LTE prod- wide range of realistic and repeat- standard for eNodeB base station the biggest drivers of its deployment. FierceWireless ucts since 2007, Aeroflex offers a able test scenarios (including MIMO development and testing. contributing editor Lynnette Luna recently spoke complete range of end-to-end test and inter-RAT handover) to be cre- Beyond network testing with with MetroPCS Chief Operating Officer Thomas Keys systems that help operators around ated in the lab. a multi-user test mobile, there is about the company’s philosophy when it comes to LTE the globe deploy LTE networks a need to stress test a network innovation and how the company will capitalize on the successfully. Aeroflex’s LTE test under real world conditions. The technology going forward. portfolio covers R&D, service and award-winning EAST500 LTE manufacturing test applications for Capacity Test System is the lead- LTE TDD (Time Division Duplex) ing LTE capacity test RF solution and LTE FDD (Frequency Division selected both by equipment ven- FierceWireless: MetroPCS is an the company is that we are a qual- MHz. These are smaller channels Duplex) network equipment and dors and operators. interesting company in the fact ity low-cost provider … It’s that than other competitors because terminals. Aeroflex worldwide The EAST500 is an integrated that it’s not touting the blazing fast foundation for our CPU costs and of our spectrum holdings. Had engineering centers support cur- system for true end-to-end LTE data speeds of LTE but is on the scaling of the network that brings we not engaged the ecosystem rent and next generations of LTE FDD and LTE TDD network capac- forefront of innovation, for example the flexibility to do what we do to to work with us and to develop networks and devices. ity testing over RF with real data introducing the first LTE smart- bring our service to folks. Without technologies that would work services and applications. It is phone and pushing for voice over that basis for being, we probably on those splits, and also support lte r&d is easier with aeroflex Pxi systems flexible and scalable depending LTE. Can you talk a bit about the wouldn’t exist in the form that we AWS/PCS as we go forward, that one-box testing reduce device upon the number of UEs and cells philosophy around LTE innovation do today. technology may not have been For the design, development, and manufacturing test time required. The EAST500 simulates at MetroPCS? available to us for some time. test stages, the award-winning Aeroflex’s LTE expertise extends from hundreds to thousands of FierceWireless: So your philoso- So we thought being a thought Aeroflex 7100 LTE Digital Radio Test all the way through final production LTE UEs over one to multiple cells. keys: Yes, the speed thing does phy is all about driving cost from leader when we committed to this Set is the most complete one-box test of mobile devices and chip- Using EAST500 for regression upset some people. Oddly enough, LTE? 36 months ago was extremely test system for LTE. Aeroflex’s sets. PXI 3000 Series test systems testing and network optimization our customers--when they move important. As we’ve done that, benchtop system provides all the combine modular hardware and ensures network performance from a 1x experience to an LTE keys: Over time there is a one- we’ve pushed the ecosystem tools required for measurement and software solutions for both LTE under loaded conditions. experience--are extremely happy to-10 capacity play utilizing LTE vs. along. We’ve gotten the first 4G characterization of user equipment FDD and LTE TDD. With an enviable with it. One of reasons why we our 1x network. So we know that LTE phone and now the first 4G (UE) chipsets and mobile terminals track record of success, Aeroflex find out more don’t offer speed at the moment over time the cost to put carriers in LTE Android smartphone. So for to 3GPP LTE standards. PXI systems increase production To learn more about LTE testing, is that this is transformational, and the network is going to decrease, Samsung to come along, that Combined with the optional inte- throughput by significantly reduc- go to www.aeroflex.com/ebook it’s an evolution. So as we build out and it’s going to be a very positive also has exponential effect on the gral fading simulator, the Aeroflex ing test times. Choosing Aeroflex to download a white paper, data infrastructure, we look at particular move for the cost of our network. rest of the OEM ecosystem who 7100 offers a complete one-box test PXI test systems ensures a smooth sheets, and more. Or call us at band channels that are smaller than I think the other side of it is: Why now see MetroPCS as a leader system for full LTE mobile phone transition from design/development 1-800-835-2352 to consult on your others. It’s also about the backhaul did we move to LTE? It’s about in the category and now come characterization, including signal to the production floor. The PXI next LTE program. l pipe that you have to the site, and the ecosystem. We have particular to us and look to us as to how fading simulation, a requirement of family is supported by PXI Studio what the demand is. One of the bandwidth splits we needed to they can advance things in the 3GPP LTE certification. Integrated software, as well as LTE FDD and founding principles that we have in deploy it in: 5 MHz, 3 MHz and 1.4 future. We also believe in scale. baseband fading and noise simula- LTE TDD Measurement Suites.5 March 2 011 March 2 011 6
fiercewireless.com We believe that as Verizon goes because we have seen early adop- keys: Essentially for that, once Business Analytics: The Key To forward and builds out their LTE network, it will benefit the entire tion to our $50 and $60 rate plans be very strong. In terms of being we get voice and data to ride together, we have the ability to Competitive Advantage In 4G mistake. The early adopters will not ecosystem. They will help bring a capacity play, it’s a little early. It refarm our CDMA spectrum over Ken King, Director, telco & MeDia convergence at sas. represent the majority of custom- along the chipset manufacturers. still has to scale, but we believe to LTE. Then we get exponential ers. In fact, every customer will be We’ll have more chipsets that are as we go forward at the back-end efficiencies once that’s done. So The rise of smart phones and As they build out the 4G infra- unique because smart phones and multimode that can do a variety of of 2011 and into 2012, it will abso- we’ll be trialing that shortly this the emergence of tablets caused structure, operators must optimize tablets are very personal devices. things, and that will only help bring lutely meet that requirement. year and toward the latter part of wireless broadband demand to out- their limited capital and human Most users will find the options for the cost curve down over time. 2011 and into 2012, we think that strip supply. Frustrated customers resources. The accuracy and timeli- mobile broadband confusing; they FierceWireless: How quickly will be deployed into the network. are clamoring for faster mobile data ness of demand forecasts will be will struggle with complexity, and FierceWireless: Is LTE proving could we see Voice over LTE? speeds, and network operators are an important determinate of profit- be tempted by competitors offering to be a valuable tool in terms of FierceWireless: Is there a temp- busy with 4G rollouts, attempting ability. Inaccurate forecasts will lead discounts. Long-term competi- providing network capacity or is it tation with the ability of LTE to go to get the first mover advantage so operators to deploy infrastructure tive advantage for the 4G service too early to tell? beyond your niche? they can charge premium prices. either too early or too late. provider requires robust customer “Metro prides itself on But that advantage will be short Any new technology will have intelligence capabilities. speed to market. We can keys: It’s probably a little bit early keys: Yes. Innovation and speed lived. Competitors will quickly arrive problems. The early days of 4G are Faced with enormous volumes do things quicker than on that front only because the of change is what we’re built with their own 4G services and no exception. Too often, service of data spread across multiple most other competitors.” ecosystem is just emerging with for. Metro prides itself on speed prices will fall as customers search providers are so intent on signing systems, it’s critical that net- devices. We have two handsets thoMaS keyS, MetropCS to market. We can do things for the best deals. The weaker up new customers to meet aggres- work operators have the ability to right now. I can tell you it has ChieF operatinG oFFiCer quicker than most other competi- operators will resort to discounts sive targets that they fail to ensure consolidate and view their data been helpful in terms of rate plans tors. We’ll look at it, but the one and gimmicks to win customers in a quality experience for the early from within a single environment. thing we don’t want to do is a commodity market. The challenge adopters. Inaccurate information The leader in business analytics put the customer experience for network operators is to create on a lower level tomorrow a differentiated experience that just to get growth. So if you clearly communicates the value of In the fast-paced world of communications services, are talking about tablets and high-quality service so they can making better and faster decisions is essential for seizing connected devices, we are avoid being commoditized. opportunities. Too often, network operators fail to fully absolutely going through the Business analytics offers proven appreciate the strategic value of the customer data and roadmap looking at every- approaches that enable service how that data can be exploited for competitive advantage. thing. But we’ve made no providers to improve the customer decisions to deploy that. experience and create a differenti- To the contrary we’ve been ated level of service that attracts about service problems and poor software and services, SAS can public by saying our model and keeps profitable customers. In root-cause analysis results in wast- help you use your data to gain a today is the small screen, i.e. the fast-paced world of commu- ing valuable time addressing the competitive advantage in your 4G four, four-and-a-half inches nications services, making better same problems over and over. One deployments. In fact, SAS has and below. Are we looking and faster decisions is essential for sure way to fall behind your com- helped more than 200 service pro- at that? Do we have OEMs seizing opportunities. Too often, petitors is to disappoint the users viders realize the potential of their who are providing opportuni- network operators fail to fully who are most interested in your data and make better decisions ties? Absolutely. But we want appreciate the strategic value of products. Analytics can provide the about their customers, perfor- to make sure that we have the customer data and how that insights to identify problems early mance and financials. For more LTE fully deployed. We want data can be exploited for competi- and enable proactive responses. information, visit http://www.sas. to make sure that we have tive advantage. Business analytics In the early days, customer com/industry/communications/. l enough bandwidth in the will be most important to 4G in demand for 4G will be brisk and backhaul to deliver an experi- forecasting, service optimization, service providers may be tempted MetroPCS introduced the first Android-based LTE ence that isn’t subpar to what customer intelligence and data to neglect the important role of cus- smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Indulge. it is today. l management. tomer intelligence; that would be a7 March 2 011 March 2 011 8
fiercewireless.com Strong Ecosystems Are Nielsen showed that four in five the new technology. They care to the marketplace in order to by then have a mature ecosystem Necessary For 4G Success U.S. wireless consumers have heard of 4G but only two say they about the quality of service overall,” Warren said. address multiple factors such as network speed, backhaul, devices, with numerous devices and lower equipment prices. By taMMy ParKer understand what it is. Further, 27 The experiences of Sprint and applications and coverage. Nonetheless, Martinez predicts percent of those surveyed wrongly Clearwire, which introduced “We learned a lot from the early that LTE deployments will rapidly believed the Apple iPhone 4 is so 802.16e WiMAX into the United 3G deployments, which didn’t pick up once compatible end- named because it is 4G-enabled. States during 2008, bear out the really take into consideration the user devices are widely available, Thus, the first lesson learned from fact that being first with 4G doesn’t entire customer experience,” Pear- meaning that “we’re going to see early 4G launches should be that guarantee immediate success. son noted. people moving even faster to LTE confusing the marketplace is prob- Clearwire, which took over even if they have the choice to ably not helping to build it. Sprint’s Xohm WiMAX business, do this or do that stay with HSPA+.” “At the moment, you have a is considering selling excess spec- Yet operators cannot build 4G whole range of networks doing trum or engaging in other “strategic ecosystems until they select their different things, and they ought to transactions” to raise cash to fund technology path, which is still a “By calling all networks 4G, be differentiating themselves on the development of its network, which sticking point for many. you’re driving the consumer basis of speed or the things they is rolling out on a market-by-market “The thing about the HSPA to in the direction of having to have that they can actually identify basis. The company slashed 15 per- HSPA+ to LTE evolution is that you do more research into what as a differentiator from the competi- cent of its work force in November can do as many or as few of those your product offering is.” tion. And yet all the U.S. operators 2010 and suspended some com- steps as you want. You can go as are desperate to use the same mercial and retail operations due to Dan Warren, Senior DireCtor quickly or as slowly as your market name for these different networks,” its cash crunch. In February, Clear- oF teChnoloGy at the GSMa. and your technology allow,” War- said Dan Warren, senior director of wire said that without additional ren said. “No two operators in any technology at the GSMA. funding it will run out of cash by one market are in the same situa- Confusion over what is 4G primarily, if not exclusively, be avail- “You can call it what you like. mid-year 2011 ahead of a bond sale. tion, and no two markets are in the 4G Americas counted 17 commer- and what it means isn’t able on USB keys; few LTE devices You could call it corn flakes. It Clearwire has 4.4 million subscrib- same situation.” cial LTE deployments in 15 countries helping the market prosper will be available for consumers really doesn’t matter. The name is ers and hopes to double that by According to Fabricio Martinez, worldwide as of early February and grow. before the end of the year.” not what is going to make a con- year’s end. services director for Product Man- 2011 and expects to see another 50 It does not help that industry sumer buy one thing from another. Chris Pearson, president of 4G agement at Aircom International, launches this year. Yet Pearson is 4G has arrived, but its players are still arguing over what By calling all networks 4G, you’re Americas, whose group represents deployment of HSPA+ by an HSPA betting that HSPA+ will have consid- impact will be negligible in exactly constitutes 4G, particularly driving the consumer in the direc- operators across the Americas using operator offers significantly reduced erable staying power. the short term as operators as leading operators in the U.S. rush tion of having to do more research 3GPP technologies such as GSM, capex compared to LTE and could “LTE gets all the stories written juggle technology decisions to brand a host of technologies – into what your product offering is,” HSPA and LTE, naturally contends save a U.S. operator up to $1.19 bil- about it, but if you look at what and build out the complete 802.16e WiMAX, HSPA+ and LTE he added. that Clearwire’s struggles prove the lion over 12 months. is carrying the workload here for ecosystems needed for viable - as “4G.” Consumers who have to educate 3GPP route was the wiser one. He contends that a carrier can many years to come, it’s HSPA and 4G businesses. The International Telecommunica- themselves are more likely to rely He said Clearwire’s experience so attain return on investment on HSPA+,” he said. During the coming year, tion Union originally contended that upon the information they collect far also reinforces the importance of HSPA+ in three years, at which time 4G Americas recently said the “4G will have as little impact only LTE-Advanced and WiMAX 2 and pay less attention to an indi- taking a measured, holistic approach it could upgrade to LTE, which will number of operators worldwide as 3G had when it launched (802.16m), both emerging technolo- vidual carrier’s marketing campaign, with HSPA+ networks has in Europe and the U.S. in gies, qualify as 4G because they will Warren said. reached 103 commercial net- 2003,” according to Forrester be able to achieve peak data rates cost of dePloyment of lte vs. hsPa+ works in 54 countries. Research. “It’s taken nearly of 1 GB per second for a station- first out of the gate region caPex cost of lte caPex cost of hsPa+ caPex reduction “We’re seeing the seven years for half of mobile ary user. Then the ITU changed its Despite some operators’ efforts UK £518m ($750m) £173m ($250m) £345m ($500m) beginning of the LTE tech- phone subscribers in the U.S. definition to say that any technology to be the first to say they offer 4G, nology story, but it’s just US £1.23bn ($1.78bn) £410m ($594m) £818m ($1.19bn) and Europe to have mobile offering a “meaningful improve- time to market is probably not a the beginning; it shouldn’t Gulf territories £233m ($337bn) £77m ($112m) £155m ($225m) phones on these (3G) net- ment” over 3G equals 4G. huge issue. “I don’t think consum- be overhyped,” Pearson works. The (4G) service will No wonder a recent survey from ers actually care that much about Asia Pacific £160 ($232m) £53m ($77m) £107m ($155m) added. l Source: Aircom International9 March 2 011 March 2 011 10
fiercewireless.com Differentiating LTE Devices introduced the first LTE-embedded laptop, for Sweden’s TeliaSonera. Key To Success “We’re a good reflection of Peggy alBright where we think LTE is going, and it has to be more aggressive in terms of offering device types,” Devices are a huge driver aggressive push by Verizon Wire- Martinez said. for getting consumers less, LTE handsets will quickly In addition to an early variety to upgrade to LTE. But find the scale needed to come to among products, the LTE compo- will they live up to the market from multiple vendors and nents used in the devices represent expectations? at a fairly fast pace, led by the HTC a new diversity among suppliers, Thunderbolt. Three more phones, noted John Jackson, vice president In the mobile industry from Motorola, Samsung and LG, of research at CCS Insight. devices drive the market, and will come by mid-year. Verizon For the 11 devices Verizon has their influence will take on also will introduce tablets from announced, he noted that multiple even greater importance with Samsung and Motorola, notebooks companies are supplying LTE radio LTE. The new performance from HP and Compaq and hotspots components. The addition of new capabilities that come with from Novatel and Samsung. vendors means that the historically LTE will motivate vendors to The number and variety of tight relationship that Verizon has produce more types of prod- devices that are emerging this had with Qualcomm for its chip- ucts than they’ve been able to early in a new cellular technology’s sets is not as exclusive as it was offer before. It will also give commercialization is unusual. The with 3G. It is a strong response operators more options in product launches are strategically to LTE from the supply side of the how to engineer their net- necessary, however, to showcase silicon market. works, which will also create the rich multimedia experience LTE “Personally, I’ve been impressed variations in how devices are will facilitate, said Chris Martinez, by the number of suppliers that configured and perform. senior manager, product manage- have successfully commercialized As expected, the first LTE ment and strategy for Samsung LTE so far,” he said. devices to hit the market Mobile. Samsung also has recently Because LTE devices are still few have been laptop and far between, industry dongles, and these participants are speculat- devices are avail- ing about features such able from a handful as device size and battery of vendors for performance, and capabili- early LTE networks. ties such as roaming and Smartphones, voice services. which are more One fear is that LTE challenging and smartphones will be large costly to introduce, and bulky compared to the are just now gaining slick smartphones that run traction. Samsung on 3G. Early implementa- receives credit for tions should put those fears the first LTE smart- to rest. Samsung’s initial phones, offered handsets, and the HTC through MetroPCS. The Samsung Craft is the first LTE smartphone Thunderbolt, are compa- Thanks to an launched by MetroPCS in September 2010. rable in size and weight11 March 2 011 March 2 011 12
fiercewireless.com to popular 3G smartphones on an obvious roaming solution, but the market today. Both vendors this may not always be an option. hinted that a potential market for The problem could come down to larger-screen smartphones that can the chipsets. exploit LTE multimedia applications “Very few companies that supply could prompt the creation of bigger LTE chipsets also have the license SHAPING THE devices, however. or software stack for 3G and 2G,” Battery consumption on smart- said Strauss. phones is another concern. While The chipset limitation may power management chips can mini- also inhibit an operator’s ability to NETWORKED mize energy use for power-hungry facilitate handoffs to its own legacy components such as the display, networks for its own customers if LTE devices will use more power LTE is not available. Operators will simply because they will consume need to weigh these needs care- data at a faster rate. “There is no free lunch,” said Will Strauss, president and princi- pal analyst at Forward Concepts. fully when selecting devices. Verizon has made vendor choices to avoid those limitations and its early devices do offer backward- SOCIETY “You use more data, you use compatibility to 3G. The company more battery.” said it will have products in 2011 Martin Fichter, vice president of that also will roam on networks in portfolio management and plan- HTC’s Thunderbolt LTE Europe on LTE and HSPA. Even so, ning at HTC, said his company will smartphone is expected to debut the company’s first LTE products, not launch a phone unless it can on Verizon Wireless’ LTE network. 3G-compatible laptop dongles, survive a day of work-related use suffered delays while transferring and continue into the evening for it could force operators to target from 3G to 4G if the connection entertainment-related activities specific roaming markets when was transmitting data during the without recharging. He said HTC’s planning their products. process. The company is work- LTE smartphones offer the same While it is still early enough in ing with modem manufacturers to battery performance that its 2010- LTE’s commercialization that inter- overcome this issue. year 3G smartphones provide. national roaming will not be needed Voice on LTE is another issue that “You won’t see deterioration,” on a wide scale for a few years, will challenge operators initially. he said. “We have gained a lot in the problem is already appearing While LTE devices will use the battery performance year over year domestically in the U.S. For exam- Voice over LTE standard to facilitate by using more efficient hardware ple, the Samsung Craft, offered by voice calls on LTE-only devices, no and microprocessors and better MetroPCS for use in 1700/2100 commercial devices are in the mar- software to manage performance MHz spectrum, will not operate on ket yet. Initially, devices will use When one person is connected their life changes. better.” Verizon’s 700 MHz LTE network. legacy 2G or 3G networks for voice, When everything is connected our world changes. Roaming, another concern, is And AT&T, which will launch LTE in yet another application that will In the world of 50 billion connected devices, everything benefiting from a connection will have one. turning out to be a serious issue 700 MHz, has indicated that its first require multimode devices. HTC’s because operators around the LTE device will not roam on Veri- Fichter said that as networks begin world will deploy LTE in a wide zon’s network due to differences introducing VoLTE and until it is variety of spectrum bands and with in how the two operators are using ubiquitous, interim solutions will be various techniques. The fragmen- their spectrum. available that can seamlessly hand tation means devices will need to LTE devices equipped with 3G off voice calls to circuit switched accommodate more radios and and 2G connectivity will provide voice or voice over HSPA. l13 March 2 011 March 2 011 14
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