LTE TDD Year Book

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LTE TDD Year Book

  1. 1. LTE TDD Year Book
  2. 2. 2© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com Contents Introduction.................................................................................................................................................................4 Background.................................................................................................................................................................4 Coverage.................................................................................................................................................................... 4 Unpaired spectrum holdings and planned/possible spectrum auctions......................................................................... 4 Spectrum holdings............................................................................................................................................................ 5 Performance comparison with LTE-FDD.................................................................................................................. 6 Benefits of TDD technology............................................................................................................................................... 6 Large capacity of TDD....................................................................................................................................................... 6 E2E technology capabilities....................................................................................................................................... 6 E2E-vendor requirements................................................................................................................................................. 6 Multimode devices including smartphones...................................................................................................................... 8 LTE-TDD devices............................................................................................................................................................... 8 LTE-TDD chipset availability...........................................................................................................................................10 Readiness of LTE-TDD...............................................................................................................................................11 Standards and regulation........................................................................................................................................ 11 TDD/FDD convergence ...................................................................................................................................................11 TDD 2.3/2.6/3.5GHz global harmonization .....................................................................................................................11 Industry bodies................................................................................................................................................................12 Analysis of spectrum demand................................................................................................................................. 12 Need to use full TDD/FDD spectrum..............................................................................................................................12 Global LTE-TDD-spectrum pricing, bandwidth and availability ....................................................................................12 Global operators employ LTE-TDD in their expansion plans....................................................................................... 13 The business drivers for LTE deployment.................................................................................................................... 14 Softbank...........................................................................................................................................................................14 Saudi Telecom.................................................................................................................................................................15 Mobily...............................................................................................................................................................................15 Bharti Airtel.....................................................................................................................................................................15 China Mobile....................................................................................................................................................................16 UK Broadband.................................................................................................................................................................16 Telkom.............................................................................................................................................................................16 Optus................................................................................................................................................................................17 Vodafone..........................................................................................................................................................................17 Vendors’ value proposition........................................................................................................................................17 LTE-TDD market share and analysis ..................................................................................................................... 17 Vendor positioning................................................................................................................................................... 18 GSM/UMTS/LTE market share........................................................................................................................................18 EPC market share...........................................................................................................................................................18 Industry contribution ......................................................................................................................................................18 Financial status...............................................................................................................................................................19 Key technologies for LTE-TDD .......................................................................................................................................19 Positioning and strength of vendors...............................................................................................................................20 Outlook through 2015................................................................................................................................................23 Positive outlook for LTE-TDD.................................................................................................................................. 23 Networks.........................................................................................................................................................................24 Devices.............................................................................................................................................................................24 Spectrum.........................................................................................................................................................................24 Conclusions...............................................................................................................................................................25
  3. 3. 3© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com © Informa UK Limited 2012. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication are protected by international copyright laws, database rights and other intellectual property rights. The owner of these rights is Informa UK Limited, our affiliates or other third party licensors. All product and company names and logos contained within or appearing on this publication are the trade marks, service marks or trading names of their respective owners, including Informa UK Limited. This publication may not be:- (a) copied or reproduced; or (b) lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any way or form without the prior permission of Informa UK Limited. Whilst reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information and content of this publication was correct as at the date of first publication, neither Informa UK Limited nor any person engaged or employed by Informa UK Limited accepts any liability for any errors, omissions or other inaccuracies. Readers should independently verify any facts and figures as no liability can be accepted in this regard - readers assume full responsibility and risk accordingly for their use of such information and content. Any views and/or opinions expressed in this publication by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Informa UK Limited. Julian Bright Senior Analyst Julian Bright is a Senior Analyst and part of Informa Telecoms & Media’s Networks team. In his role he writes about a range of wireless broadband technologies including WCDMA/ HSPA, LTE, LTE-Advanced, WiMAX and Wi-Fi, and covers associated technology areas such as IP voice, fixed-mobile convergence, next generation IP core networks and IMS technologies and strategies. He is a regular speaker and session chair at Informa conferences. His current area of research is into global spectrum availability and deployment strategies for LTE. Julian has almost 20 years experience as a commentator and analyst in the telecoms arena. Malik Saadi, Principal Analyst Malik Kamal-Saadi is a Principal Analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media . He works across a number of different teams in Informa’s Mobile research division and covers a wide range of topics including Devices, Networks & Infrastructure, and Multimedia Services. In his role Malik is involved in a number of activities including thought leadership, product planning, market forecasts, and market analysis. He has planned, authored and co-authored many studies in various areas including Future Mobile Handsets, Mobile Application Platforms and Operating Systems, Mobile Broadband Networks and Devices and Mobile Web Applications. Malik has over 13 years experience in the telecommunications industry. Dimitris Mavrakis Principal Analyst Dimitris Mavrakis is a principal analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media. He is part of the Networks team where he covers a range of topics including Next Generation Networks, IMS, LTE, WiMAX, OFDM, core networks, network APIs and identifying emerging strategies for the mobile business. Dimitris is also actively involved in Informa’s consulting business and has led several projects on behalf of Tier-1 operators and key vendors. Dimitris has over 12 years experience in the telecommunications market. He has a strong background in mobile and fixed networks and an in depth understanding of market dynamics in the telecoms business. About the authors
  4. 4. 4© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com Introduction The momentum behind LTE-TDD and its emerging role in the mobile broadband landscape was boosted in 2012 and looks set to gather pace in 2013. FDD remains the foundation of most of today’s commercial LTE services, but the early commitment to TDD by a group of large and influential operators, led by China Mobile, Japan’s Softbank, India’s Bharti-Airtel and US operator Clearwire, has grown into a global movement with widespread backing from mobile operators, equipment vendors, device suppliers and chipset developers. The creation of unified standards for LTE is leading to the convergence of LTE-TDD with LTE-FDD and 3G technologies, cementing the place that TDD will hold in the evolution of mobile broadband and helping build a vibrant ecosystem around the technology. An important next step is for TDD to be at the heart of spectrum planning and licensing to enable operators to fully exploit its advantages and maximize the benefits in commercial network deployments. Background With something between 900MHz and 1.2GHz of new spectrum required to meet the growing demands of mobile broadband services over the next decade, TDD spectrum promises to make a major contribution. Not only is it in plentiful supply in most of the world’s major regions, it is also concentrated in a relatively small number of key bands, providing a high degree of synergy, and its asymmetric properties are attractive for a range of mobile broadband services. • A major differentiating factor between TDD and FDD spectrum is the asymmetric nature of TDD, which brings a number of advantages: For example, TDD spectrum is much easier to release than FDD, which needs to be paired. This benefit is becoming increasingly important as the globally available supply of spectrum falls, since it means that the process of releasing new spectrum can be greatly sped up by designating it as TDD. • An alternative approach to releasing spectrum, which also favors TDD, is being considered in the US and countries in Europe, where some frequencies are occupied by non- telecoms agencies such as defense ministries or satellite providers and are thus extremely difficult to fully release. An approach called Licensed Shared Access, whereby any available spectrum resources can be released for mobile service use according to time, geographical area, or amount of bandwidth, can free up significant additional spectrum. • Another key advantage of TDD’s asymmetric nature is the flexibility it allows in the adjustment of the downlink and uplink ratios. TDD stands for “time-division duplex,” which means that downlink data and uplink data are transmitted according to different time slots, rather than each using a dedicated channel, as is the case with FDD. Commonly employed downlink-to-uplink ratios are 8:1, 3:1, 2:2 and 1:3, and the heavily downlink-oriented configuration fits perfectly with current user behavior, where streaming and downloading take up a high proportion of downlink resources. Work in 3GPP on standards for LTE-TDD will provide for the downlink and uplink ratios to be automatically adjusted according to the network environment, which can maximize efficiency in the use of valuable spectrum resources. Coverage Unpaired spectrum holdings and planned/possible spectrum auctions About 40% of the world’s highest- ranking economies by GDP have already issued TDD spectrum. There are at least 10 bands identified for TDD, though most available spectrum is concentrated at or around the 1.9GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands. Just over two- thirds of the TDD licenses issued worldwide – which number in excess of 700 – fall within these four key bands, which are represented by operators on every continent. Much of the licensed TDD spectrum remains underused and has consequently been valued at significantly less than FDD spectrum. But although it is generally cheaper to acquire than FDD spectrum, its price has risen in recent years, reflecting the growing maturity of the TDD industry. Between 2009 and 2011, the price of TDD spectrum increased by as much as 13 times, based on figures from EU auctions. The flexibility of TDD makes it a more practical option for matching the pace of fast-growing demand for data. Significant amounts of TDD spectrum in the core 1.9GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands are expected to become available over the next few years in a number of countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America, potentially creating even greater global synergies for the TDD industry (see fig. 1). As of end-December, 34 LTE-TDD networks had been either commercially deployed or were in the process of being rolled out under
  5. 5. 5© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com commercial contracts, by operators in all three BRIC countries and those in a number of other large markets, such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, Spain, Australia, South Africa and the Nordic countries. Together, these countries account for about half of the world’s population. For operators including China Mobile, Softbank, Bharti-Airtel, Clearwire, STC, Optus and Aero2, LTE-TDD is the primary LTE technology for mobile broadband. China Mobile deployed 20,000 LTE-TDD sites in 2012 and plans to have 200,000 by end-2013 and 350,000 at end-2014. Softbank, which launched services in 2012, is aiming to build 46,000 sites by end-2014. Other operators, such as Mobily, Telkom, UK Broadband and SkyTV, are using LTE-TDD as a supplement to fixed broadband. Some operators that have employed FDD regard TDD as more of a complementary technology. For example, Vodafone and Orange are deploying FDD and looking to use TDD as wireless backhaul to enhance these deployments. When mobile broadband use grows, this TDD spectrum will be released to build an FDD/TDD access network when required. Spectrum holdings A fundamental difference between FDD and TDD is the size of spectrum blocks. Whereas FDD operators typically have spectrum holdings of 2x10MHz or possibly 2x20MHz, the baseline for TDD is 20-40MHz, with over 90% of operators holding more than 20MHz of TDD spectrum and some having up to 100MHz. Standards body 3GPP has defined a carrier bandwidth for both FDD and TDD of up to 20MHz, with the possibility of implementing carrier aggregation on top for both duplex systems. Operators that have large, continuous TDD spectrum allocations in the same band can therefore use “intraband” carrier aggregation to combine 20MHz sections into a larger, contiguous block. In FDD, it is more common to have spectrum over different bands, which leads to the need for “interband” carrier aggregation. The first examples of carrier aggregation will probably be efforts to create these extra-wide intraband TDD bandwidths. One reason is that intraband carrier aggregation is defined in 3GPP Release 10, whereas interband carrier aggregation will not be standardized until Release 11. Another reason is that chipset vendors, such as Hisilicon, have said that they will produce commercial chipsets to support intraband carrier aggregation as early as 2013. The choice of downlink–to-uplink ratio available using TDD provides the flexibility to choose a configuration that best meets actual traffic distribution, offering support for a range of downlink-intensive applications such as Web browsing, video streaming or cloud services, for which FDD’s more symmetric configuration is less well suited. The flexible nature of TDD is proving attractive for a number of GSM/ UMTS operators, which are acquiring TDD spectrum as a means of supplementing their FDD-spectrum assets. In most cases these are national operators, usually No. 2 or 3 in their respective markets, whose FDD assets are smaller than the No. 1 operator. One example is Optus in Australia, which acquired 98MHz of 2.3GHz TDD spectrum from Vivid Wireless in mid-2102, which it is using to build its LTE presence alongside its 1.8GHz FDD network. The wide TDD bandwidth is a game changer that will give Optus a great advantage over other LTE operators. Some large, global players have other reasons for acquiring TDD spectrum. In India, for example, Bharti has acquired TDD spectrum from Qualcomm to extend its coverage in Delhi and Mumbai. Other operators are fulfilling their global ambitions through acquisitions designed to encourage LTE-TDD adoption on a global scale. One such firm is Softbank, which has already acquired PHS operator Willcom to gain access to 2.6GHz TDD spectrum in its home market and which recently bid to acquire a 70% stake in US operator Sprint. In its turn, Sprint is bidding to buy Clearwire, a US TDD operator that uses the same 2.6GHz TDD spectrum band as Softbank uses in Japan. Fig. 1: Expected TDD-spectrum licensing activity, 2013-2015 Country Band Block size Canada 2.3GHz 30MHz; 3.5GHz 125MHz China 2.6GHz 190MHz Europe 2.3GHz 100MHz France 2.6GHz 50MHz Indonesia 2.3GHz 60MHz Japan 2.6GHz 50MHz; 3.5GHz 200MHz Mexico 2.6GHz 190MHz Nigeria 2.3GHz 40MHz Philippines 3.5GHz Details not available Singapore 2.3GHz 50MHz; 2.6GHz 50MHz South Africa 2.6GHz 125MHz South Korea 2.3GHz Details not available UK 2.6GHz 50MHz US 3.5GHz 150MHz Source: Informa Telecoms & Media
  6. 6. 6© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com Informa believes that the combination of LTE-TDD’s rich bandwidth, extended global coverage through the licensing process and the accompanying opportunities that this affords for overseas investment will stimulate the interest of both local and global mobile operators in acquiring LTE-TDD spectrum. Performance comparison with LTE-FDD Benefits of TDD technology Where LTE-TDD has been deployed, the technology is already providing mobile operators with performance levels comparable to or even better than rival 4G networks. According to recent independent tests, data speeds on Softbank’s TDD network in Japan are far outstripping its rivals’ LTE-FDD and WiMAX networks, with average daytime downlink speeds in Tokyo exceeding 15Mbps, compared with below 10Mbps for the second-place operator and 5.5Mbps for the third. Coupled with these performance benefits, the asymmetric nature and flexibility in configuring the balance between the downlink and the uplink configuration of TDD networks can better match end-user demand. For example, evidence of user behavior for applications such as Web browsing or cloud computing shows that the downlink-to-uplink ratio is about five or six to one. The configurability of the downlink- to-uplink ratio in TDD enables capacity to be better matched to the available spectrum as traffic changes, providing a perfect match to currently downlink-dominated user behavior. There is a slightly extended turnaround time between transmitting and receiving using TDD, which is generally agreed to be marginal. Output power can be used more economically with TDD systems, however, because the transmitter is not required to be on all the time. By taking advantage of channel reciprocity at the base station, the round-trip delay experienced in FDD can be reduced in TDD systems, and other technological enhancements such as beamforming are expected to be exploited far more in TDD systems than in FDD. Many operators are opting for a converged approach, choosing to exploit the synergies between FDD and TDD in a converged GSM/UMTS/ LTE network architecture that can address traffic growth while fully using the available bandwidth and minimizing total cost of ownership. Large capacity of TDD Because TDD bands tend to be at the higher end of the spectrum range, they are much better suited to providing urban rather than rural coverage. FDD spectrum tends to be in more limited supply than TDD (typically released in blocks of 10-20MHz for FDD, compared with 40-100MHz for TDD), which means that while FDD operators are looking to aggregate bands, TDD operators are looking for products and features that can take maximum advantage of the technology’s greater capacity. E2E technology capabilities End-to-end (E2E) vendor capabilities have become a standard requirement for many nationwide LTE deployments. Vendors able to offer E2E deployments are generally acknowledged to have an advantage over competitors that might be able to provide only one or a few parts of the deployment puzzle. Choosing an E2E vendor gives operators several advantages: They need only a single vendor for commissioning, deploying, managing and servicing the network, and the vendor can offer synergies with handsets. The latter factor is expected to become more important, especially when VoLTE becomes the standard voice technology, and device protocol stacks will have to cooperate with the network for an efficient user experience. E2E-vendor requirements Apart from the obvious benefits of a single-vendor relationship, an E2E deployment might be significantly less complex for a mobile operator, especially when the vendor can either provide most components in-house or team up with specialist companies to provide missing elements through an OEM agreement. Several vendors might state that they can provide true E2E capabilities, but most of today’s scalable LTE-TDD networks are deployed by those that already have a major presence in the LTE-FDD market. It is therefore important to consider a vendor’s advantages in LTE-FDD to identify the few that can offer a true E2E advantage to mobile operators. As of 1Q13, Ericsson, Huawei and NSN stand out as the three market leaders in LTE-TDD that are capable of delivering a true E2E offering, either alone or in cooperation with other vendor partners (see fig. 2). Non-leaders in the LTE-TDD market might claim to have E2E capabilities, but they do not necessarily provide a guarantee of consistency. A strong presence in one part of the value chain, such as devices, might not necessarily
  7. 7. 7© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com be replicated when it comes to network equipment, such as RAN and Evolved Packet Core. Conversely, non-E2E market- leading vendors that have elected to focus on network infrastructure at the expense of devices may still be well-placed thanks to their presence in legacy GSM/UMTS technologies, which can be shared with new technology platforms such as LTE-TDD. It can therefore be argued that a vendor lacking a global presence in GSM/UMTS will certainly be disadvantaged when it comes to LTE-TDD. The ability to offer consistency in network equipment, devices and service-provisioning platforms, which is a hallmark of leading vendors, does not necessarily mean that these synergies will be exploited in all cases. If different business units within the vendor operate in silos, integration might be a time-consuming process, though usually still more straightforward than integration between vendors. Choosing a network from a single supplier has several important advantages, the most important of which are illustrated in the below list. • Network equipment: An access network from a single supplier will be able to operate, coordinate and schedule users more efficiently, especially if coupled with core-network functionality. For example, synergies between the PCRF and the base station might provide granular policy management with awareness of the cellular environment. Even so, several LTE-TDD networks have proven the interoperability of products from different leading vendors. • Devices: With VoLTE being the biggest example, synergies between networks and devices might enable new service paradigms, and network operation might become more efficient. Although operating a network with devices from only a single supplier is not realistic, operators might be offered the opportunity to roll out premium services for devices provisioned by the network vendor. • Services: A service-provisioning platform (e.g., SDP or IMS) that is provisioned by the network provider will be able to offer applications that interface directly with the network. A software client might even be provided in the device that enhances the user experience or enables the operator to provide higher quality of experience in many cases. E2E capabilities might require extensive cooperation between different product lines to ensure full compatibility and interoperability. This is especially the case with network/ device synergies, where product lines might follow different strategies and targets might not be aligned. Another challenge for E2E vendors is that legacy networks are likely to contain a variety of older equipment – often from multiple vendors – and not all parts are likely to be replaced. And considering the fact that operators keep pushing for multivendor compatibility, the value proposition of E2E solutions might be diluted in favor of offerings from different vendors. Nevertheless, although E2E vendors might not be able to sell a complete network to certain operators, their R&D in different areas will provide them with additional experience that might be very valuable for mobile network deployments. Specialist vendors – those that focus on specific parts of the network – might say that their equipment is best-of-breed, but in many cases limited visibility and integration problems with third-party hardware dampen their value propositions. Being able to focus R&D efforts on a specific network segment (e.g., RAN) might provide a competitive edge against generalist vendors, but deployment and operation might be challenging due to their smaller scale. The fact that the infrastructure is experiencing some consolidation with IT (e.g., virtualization and SDN) might be another advantage for E2E vendors. In summary, E2E vendors are usually at an advantage, though market and operator RAN Enhanced network performance Operator-branded services Performance improvements DevicesEPC Services Fig. 2: E2E-vendor requirements and example synergies Source: Informa Telecoms & Media
  8. 8. 8© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com conditions dictate success and contract awards. Especially as LTE continues to be deployed, device/network synergies are expected to increase, giving more opportunities to vendors that can exploit synergies between different product lines. Multimode devices including smartphones The number of commercial handset and tablet models has risen dramatically, from dozens of devices available in 2011 to a staggering 232 models at end- 2012. There have been about 95 LTE dongles available since the launch of LTE services. About half of mobile LTE device models use the 700MHz band, and 33% use 2.6GHz. The takeoff of LTE services in North America has encouraged OEMs to accommodate the 700MHz band, and most devices support at least three bands, notably combinations of 700MHz, 2.6GHz, AWS band 4, 1.8GHz Band 3 and 800MHz Band 20, depending on the region targeted. Featuring five bands in a single RF will soon no longer be technically challenging but could put a lot of strain on the device reference design and therefore increase the price for the end- user, which has to be justified. LTE-TDD devices About a dozen LTE-TDD computing devices have been announced, and dozens of dongles have been released (see box). The majority of these devices support 2.3GHz or 2.6GHz – bands used by Japan’s Softbank, India’s Bharti and Saudi Arabia’s STC – or a combination of the 2.3GHz and 1.9GHz bands, which have been adopted by China Mobile. The early trends indicate that 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz, and 1.9GHz will be the main bands supporting LTE-TDD services. Economies of scale for devices will be dictated by these three bands, so any mobile operator launching services over an alternative band could struggle to convince vendors to add support for its bands into the already crowded real estate of the device. The 3.5GHz band might primarily target fixed-wireless and indoor services, though the spectrum has so far been used for wireless broadband and backhaul rather than for mobile services. According to a GSA report, seven types of 3.5GHz devices were available as of January, and more are expected to come this year. Current commercial LTE-TDD smartphones are targeted at the high-end segment of the market (see figs. 3 and 4). They all feature high-resolution displays with an average size of 4.3 inches, come with dual-core processors with speeds exceeding 1.5GHz and support additional cellular modes, including GSM and HSPA. The average selling price of commercial Selected examples of early LTE-TDD smartphones and devices
  9. 9. 9© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com LTE-TDD smartphones is estimated at US$420, but the figure could drop to below US$300 by 2014. This drop will predominately be driven by the launch of LTE-TDD services in China, led by China Mobile. The company aims to secure geographical coverage of up to 35% of the Chinese mainland by 2013, which means a significant proportion of its 700 million subscribers could have access to LTE-TDD services between end-2014 and 2015. The migration to LTE-TDD will create strong demand for LTE-TDD smartphones, targeting various segments rather than just the high end of the market, as is the case today. This demand will ultimately be accompanied by strong price Fig. 3: Announced LTE-TDD computing devices, Dec-12 Device model Device type Manufacturer Operator Availability Frequency (GHz) Modes supported Modem chipset Display size (in.) Processor Ascend P1 Stream HW201 Smartphone Huawei Bharti Airtel, Softbank, STC, Mobily 4Q11 2.3/2.6 LTE-TDD/GSM/ EDGE/HSPA+ Snapdragon MSM8960 4.3 Dual-core 1.5GHz RAZR (Scorpion Mini) Smartphone Motorola Softbank 4Q12 2.6 LTE-TDD/GSM/ HSPA+ Snapdragon MSM8960 4.3 Dual-core 1.5GHz Aquos Smartphone Sharp Softbank 1Q13 2.6 LTE-TDD/GSM/ HSPA+ n/a 4.9 Quad-core 1.5GHz (APQ8064) Pantone Smartphone Sharp Softbank 4Q12 2.6 LTE-TDD/GSM/ HSPA+ Snapdragon MSM8960 4.5 Dual-core 1.5GHz Arrows A 201F Smartphone Fujitsu Softbank 1Q13 2.6 LTE-TDD/GSM/ HSPA+ n/a 4.7 Quad-core 1.5GHz (APQ8064) Honey BEE Smartphone Keyocera Softbank 1Q13 2.6 LTE-TDD/GSM/ HSPA+ RMC RMP5225 n/a Rensas Grand Era U985 LTE Smartphone ZTE China Mobile 1Q13 2.3/2.6 LTE-TDD/LTE-FDD/ TD-SCDMA/GSM/ HSPA n/a; rumored to be Icera 4.5 Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core ZTE LTE MT73 Smartphone ZTE n/a (concept design) n/a 2.3/2.6 LTE-TDD/TD- SCDMA/GSM MediaTek MT73 4.1 Mediatek dual- core 800MHz ZTE Coolpad Tablet ZTE n/a (concept design) n/a 2.3/2.6 LTE-TDD/GSM Innofidei TD- LTE chipset n/a n/a TD-LTE tablet Tablet Acer n/a (concept design) n/a 2.3/2.6 LTE-TDD Innofidei TD- LTE chipset 10.1 Nvidia Tegra2 1GHz TD-LTE booklet Notebook Nokia n/a (concept design) n/a 2.3/2.6 LTE-TDD ST-Ericssion M700 10.1 Intel Atom TMZ530 1.6GHz TD-LTE NK1 Tablet Quanta n/a (concept design) n/a 2.3/2.6 LTE-TDD n/a 10.1 NVIDIA TEGRA2 T20 1GHz ARM9 dual-core Source: Informa Telecoms & Media: Fig. 4: Announced LTE-TDD USB dongles, Dec-12 Vendor Model TD-LTE band Other modes supported Chipset Huawei E398s-81 dongle 2.3/2.6GHz FDD/HSPA Hisilicon Hi6910 E589 Mobile 2.3/2.6GHz GSM/HSPA MDM9200 E398 2.3/2.6GHz Single-mode Huawei Hi6910 E392 USB dongle 2.3/2.6GHz UMTS MDM9600 Altair ALT-C186 2.3/2.6GHz, FDD band 12 FDD Altair Atel USB LTE dongle 2.3/2.6GHz n/a Altair FourGee-3100/6200 NSN LTE MIFI 2.3/2.6GHz Single-mode MDM9210 USB-LTE 7210 dongle 2.3/2.6GHz Single-mode Altair ZTE MF880 USB modem 2.6GHz, FDD 800/2600MHz FDD/HSPA MSM9200 MF820T USB modem 2.3/2.6GHz Single-mode MSM9200 Datang LC1760 Leadcore dongle 2.3/2.6GHz FDD/TD-SCDMA n/a Innofidei P3A 2.3/2.6GHz Single-mode Innofidei chip Quanta USB dongle 2.3/2.6GHz FDD MDM9200 Samsung 4G dongle 2.3/2.6GHz n/a n/a Sequans USB dongle 2.3/2.6GHz Single-mode Sequans chipset ST-Ericsson THOR M7400 n/a FDD/HSPA ST-Ericsson M7400 Source: Informa Telecoms & Media:
  10. 10. 10© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com erosion, due to economies of scale but primarily to the emergence of low-cost LTE-TDD smartphones. China Mobile says it is confident that the price of an LTE-TDD smartphone could fall as low as CNY1,000 (US$160) by 2015. China Mobile is in talks with 16 suppliers to source thousands of dongles, PC cards and routers and hundreds of LTE-TDD/TD-SCDMA smartphones and tablets. The first phase of certifying devices was resumed in late 2012, and the operator plans to conduct user trials throughout 2013. Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE are among the OEMs that passed the first phase of device certification and have been selected to supply smartphones and tablets to China Mobile. It is not obvious whether Apple will be involved in making LTE-TDD devices for the operator, but Reuters and Internet news sources reported in January that Apple CEO Tim Cook made time on a recent trip to China to discuss cooperating with China Mobile. Apple will reportedly set up an R&D center in Beijing and plans to move some servers used for its App Store and iTunes service to locations in China. Multimode, multiband support is high on China Mobile’s list of required specifications. The operator requires that all LTE-TDD smartphones and tablets running over its networks support TD-SCDMA and other cellular modes, including GSM, EDGE, UMTS and LTE-FDD. The operator is also encouraging device manufacturers to create designs for affordable devices rather than focusing solely on high- priced premium devices. LTE-TDD chipset availability The first LTE-TDD chipsets were announced in 2009 and were single- mode, with no ability to integrate with other technologies, including LTE- FDD. The value proposition at that time was based on the competitive advantage the technology offers compared with LTE-FDD, namely its lower deployment costs and reducedv spectrum requirements. LTE-TDD does not require paired spectrum channels for its functionality, which means that there is no need for diplexers and other upfront components to separate the transmitting and receiving ends. But the industry has come to realize that adding support for LTE-TDD to existing cellular technologies adds only a marginal cost to both digital and analog basebands. Therefore, the architecture of the chipset could be designed to overlay LTE-TDD over other technologies, including LTE- FDD, TD-SCDMA, GSM, GPRS, EDGE and HSPA or CDMA2000 at almost no additional cost. Multimode chipset architectures offer OEMs the flexibility to support various modes and bands as required by the market segments they address. Under this approach, vendors will be able to switch on or off the modes and bands of their choice according to market demand. Although the cost of adding LTE-TDD support to the baseband is marginal, the incremental cost is mainly associated with the addition of upfront components, including antennas, amplifiers, filters and compatibility software, meaning that the overall price of the modem depends significantly on the number of modes and bands activated. Although vendors will support all popular bands and modes, they are unlikely to activate all of them in a single device, at least in the early stages of deployment. Instead, they will create device variants whereby they activate only a limited number of modes and bands per variant, in line with the requirements of each operator partner. Qualcomm remains the main chipset supplier for LTE-TDD smartphones and tablets. Virtually all LTE-TDD smartphones in the market are powered by Qualcomm chipsets, though some Huawei devices are powered by Hisilicon chipsets, which support five modes, 10 bands and Category 4 at speeds of up to 150Mbps. Many key LTE-TDD chipset manufacturers support multimode chips (see fig. 5). The LTE-TDD chipset Fig. 5: Key suppliers of LTE-TDD chipsets and support for multimode chips Chipset supplier Key chipsets TD-LTE multimode strategy Qualcomm MSM9200, MDM9600, MSM8960, MSM8930, APQ8064T, MSM8974 Cat3/4 TDD/FDD, GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA+/ TD-SCDMA/CDMA2000 Renesas RMC MP5225, MP5232 Cat3 LTE-TDD/GSM/HSPA+, Cat4 modem set to be announced in 1Q13 ST-Ericsson M7400, L8540 Cat3 TDD/FDD/HSPA+ MediaTek MT73 LTE-TDD/TD-SCDMA/GSM, pans to launch TDD/FDD multimode chipset in 2H13 Marvel PXA1801, PXA1802 LTE Cat4 TDD/FDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE Hisilican/Huawei Balong 710, Hi6910 Cat4 TDD/FDD dual-carrier, TD-SCDMA, HSPA+, EDGE Sequans SQN3110, SQN3010, SQN3140RF TD/FDD only Spreadtrum SC9610 LTE-TDD, TD-SCDMA, quad-band EDGE/ GPRS/GSM Altair ALT C186 TDD/FDD only Source: Informa Telecoms & Media:
  11. 11. 11© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com market enjoys a healthy degree of competition, with a number of small and larger chipset suppliers adding the technology to their multimode portfolio. Competition will help the average price of LTE-TDD multimode chipsets fall significantly in the future. It is also clear that the majority of chipset suppliers are committed to LTE-TDD multimode and multiband chips. However, OEMs are selective in choosing the cellular technologies and spectrum bands they want to support in conjunction with LTE-TDD. Market conditions do not enable device manufacturers to accommodate all possible modes and bands in a single smartphone, but as economies of scale build and as roaming between different technologies becomes a key differentiator, OEMs will incrementally add support for additional bands and modes according to market demand. Readiness of LTE-TDD Standards and regulation TDD/FDD convergence The software stacks for TDD and FDD are virtually identical; only the physical layer is different. Devices for the two technologies can therefore be built on the same platform, creating economies of scale in the chipsets, which keeps costs down. It also allows for much simpler roaming between the two, and for network sharing if an operator has both types of spectrum. TDD 2.3/2.6/3.5GHz global harmonization The adoption of LTE-TDD by China, Japan and India is likely to be a major factor in encouraging other countries to do likewise, due to the creation of a flourishing ecosystem that includes devices and is centered on the core TDD bands. For example, China has announced that it expects to make 190MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum (Band 41) available within a year, and possibly to more than one operator. The same band will be used by Clearwire in the US and will potentially be adopted in Japan. Due to previous developments in WiMAX, many countries are using Band 41 (see fig. 6), the main exception being Europe and those countries following the EU standard. Since Band 41 is being heavily pushed by the TDD giants, other markets are expected to follow. Also sitting at around 2.6GHz, Band 38 is already widely available in Asia, Western Europe, Russia and CIS. Two operators in Russia, MTS and Megafon, are already using 2.6GHz. There is also spectrum in the 2.6GHz band in Latin America, with Mexico planning auctions soon. In Europe, TDD-spectrum ownership is extensive, though it is not widely used. Most EU countries have already issued TDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, with the 50MHz TDD block that forms part of the overall band plan offered on a stand-alone basis in some cases and combined with the FDD part in others. Among the region’s key markets, only the UK and France have yet to award spectrum. In the Netherlands, where the auction of 2.6GHz spectrum was recently completed, KPN and T-Mobile acquired unpaired spectrum in the band. UK regulator Ofcom commenced its 2.6GHz auction process in January and is offering 50MHz of TDD spectrum in lots of 5MHz each, which Ofcom says will leave bidders free to aggregate spectrum according to their requirements. The extent to which European operators will be able to use the 50MHz of TDD spectrum available to them will depend in part on the need for TDD and LTE-FDD services to coexist in the same band, and the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) has already focused on minimizing the impact of measures designed to mitigate interference on overall TDD- spectrum availability. There is a strong drive by the EU to release significantly more spectrum in Europe by 2015, based on estimates by ITU-R of future spectrum demand for new mobile broadband services in the region. Meanwhile, the 2.3GHz band (Band 40) which is expected to be adopted in China, is already widely available in Asia, Africa and Australia and is also likely to become available in Europe. China Mobile had initially planned to use the band exclusively for indoor coverage and has been pushing the development of indoor products to support the band. But a recent change of heart by the regulator appears likely to extend use of the 2.3GHz band to outdoor coverage, subject to agreement among all operators in the particular locality where it is being employed. Fig. 6: Global, adoption of Band 41 Frequency range (MHz) Bandwidth (MHz) Description Regions/countries where in use 2496-2690 194 US 2.6GHz band North America; Russia; Asia-Pacific (Bangladesh, Philippines, Taiwan); South Africa Source: Informa Telecoms & Media:
  12. 12. 12© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com In Japan, the anticipated decision on the release of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band in June 2013 could have a positive effect on other markets, such as Europe, where 3.5GHz spectrum is being used for WiMAX and where US operator Clearwire holds licensed spectrum in Belgium, Germany and Spain. The US and Canada are also considering the use of 3.5GHz. The 3.5GHz band encompasses a full 400MHz, covering 3GPP Band 42 and Band 43. Industry bodies The growing worldwide interest in LTE-TDD led in 2011 to the creation of the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), an association of operators that is driving the early adoption of LTE-TDD and the creation of an ecosystem around both LTE-TDD and FDD. From its initial seven founder-member operators – Aero2, Airtel, China Mobile, Clearwire, EPlus Group, Softbank and Vodafone – the GTI has grown into an organization with more than 50 operator members and 44 partner companies, including all of the major vendors. On a regular basis, the GTI brings together global operators to share their experiences of commercial LTE-TDD deployments and trial results. It also provides a forum where operators can track key industry developments in terms of device support, conformance and interoperability testing, regulatory developments and requirements for LTE-TDD frequency bands worldwide. An industry group formed to promote 3.5GHz, called the 3.5GHz Interest Group, has been created as a study group within the GTI. The group promotes the LTE-TDD 3.5GHz ecosystem and is mainly driven by the 3.5GHz group operators. The GTI’s action plan, announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2012, is to achieve construction of 500,000 LTE-TDD base stations and coverage of 2 billion people by 2014. Analysis of spectrum demand Need to use full TDD/FDD spectrum Even at this relatively early stage in the rollout of 4G networks, there is widespread and growing concern that the global supply of spectrum will be insufficient to meet future demand for high-speed mobile broadband services. Scarcity of spectrum is already being felt acutely by operators in more- advanced markets, where the rapidly growing number of smartphone subscriptions is leading to rising data consumption, particularly in terms of video traffic. Regulators around the world are acknowledging an urgent demand for more spectrum, including in regard to the significantly greater channel bandwidths required to support mobile services. In Europe, CEPT, which regulates the use of radio spectrum throughout the region, acknowledges that high-speed mobile services, such as enhanced Internet browsing, video streaming and video calls, require bandwidths greater than 5MHz (for example, blocks of 10MHz, 20MHz and 40MHz), and thus much more contiguous spectrum, to accommodate demand. A study by the European Commission’s Radio Spectrum Policy Programme has found that operators need 1.2GHz of additional spectrum by 2015 to support the growth of mobile broadband services. The European Commission has already taken steps to define the harmonized technical conditions enabling 4G TDD-based services in the 3.6-3.8GHz and 2.3-2.4GHz bands. In the US, the Federal Communications Commission is attempting to boost mobile networks with the National Broadband Plan, which aims to secure 300MHz of additional radio spectrum for use by US wireless carriers by 2015, with another 200MHz to be found by 2020. US operator Verizon estimates that carriers will need 50 times as much capacity in 2015 as they did in 2010 just to keep up with customer demand. At the CTIA wireless show in May, Verizon CEO Dan Mead warned that the economic success of the US was at risk due to spectrum shortage. Global LTE-TDD-spectrum pricing, bandwidth and availability Globally, TDD spectrum represents a rich resource that remains in large degree untapped in terms of adoption for communication services generally, and for mobile broadband services in particular. Although the value placed on TDD spectrum in relation to FDD varies considerably between different markets, some recent auctions have seen the price of TDD spectrum roughly achieve par with FDD. For example, in terms of average price per megahertz per person, operators in Germany in 2010 and in Belgium in 2011 paid about the same for TDD and FDD. In other recent auctions, the difference in the value placed on TDD versus FDD has been more marked, but not massively so. In Italy’s auction in 2011, TDD spectrum was valued at roughly 70% that of FDD.
  13. 13. 13© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com The price that operators end up paying for spectrum can depend on a number of factors, including conditions attached to the auction and the process as defined by the regulator, in terms of bidding rules and aspects such as spectrum caps; and those external to the process, such as the level of competition in the market and the commercial value placed on spectrum by the various bidding parties. Larger blocks of TDD spectrum need to be made available for effective use to be made of the spectrum. This is particularly true in Europe, where TDD allocations have tended to be fragmented, though some larger blocks became available in the 12 months to end-November. Of the 170MHz of TDD spectrum in the 2.6GHz band that was auctioned over the year, the largest single allocations were of 45MHz, awarded to Swisscom, and 40MHz, awarded to EMT Estonia. Both were national licenses (see fig. 7). More than 600 licenses have been issued for TDD spectrum, covering 10 bands. Of these, the mainstream bands are at 1.9GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz, with the last three accounting for the bulk of available spectrum. More than 3.5GHz of TDD spectrum in the four core bands has already been licensed by the world’s leading economies and more-densely- populated countries (see fig. 8). Global operators employ LTE-TDD in their expansion plans Initial LTE-TDD adoption is expected to take the form of convergence with GSM/UMTS, followed by a phase in which LTE-FDD operators with insufficient spectrum start to supplement their networks with LTE- TDD. NSN says that as many as 70% of TDD users will be in this category. The remaining operators will be those migrating from WiMAX or TD-SCDMA. The proponents of the current push behind LTE-TDD – China Mobile, Softbank and Clearwire – are already looking to extend overseas from their local markets. Softbank is employing TDD to extend into the global market through its recent cooperation with Sprint, and it is in close discussions with other Asian operators. Clearwire is using 2.6GHz spectrum (Band 41) to cover its local market in Fig. 8: Global, availability of unpaired spectrum (core bands), selected countries Region Country 1.9MHz band Total (MHz) 2.3GHz band Total (MHz) 2.6GHz band Total (MHz) 3.5GHz band Total (MHz) Africa Cameroon 168 21 Congo 130 178 105 Nigeria 60 32 155 South Africa 10 78 80 112 Tanzania 28 Asia Pacific Australia 98 150 China 40 50 190 Hong Kong 90 India 20 20 Indonesia 30 Japan 60 Malaysia 105 40 Philippines 60 85 Singapore 50 66 South Korea 30 Taiwan 20 90 Thailand 64 Source: Informa Telecoms & Media: Fig. 7: Europe, spectrum wins in 2.6GHz band by operator, Nov-10 to Nov-12 Country Operator Frequency band (MHz)* Structure Coverage area Estonia EMT 40/40 FDD+TDD National Portugal Vodafone 40/25 FDD+TDD National Spain Euskaltel 20/10 FDD+TDD Regional Orange 40/10 FDD+TDD National R 20/10 FDD+TDD Regional Telecable 20/10 FDD+TDD Regional Vodafone 40/20 FDD+TDD National Switzerland Swisscom 40/45 FDD+TDD National *First number refers to FDD and second to TDD. Source: Informa Telecoms & Media:
  14. 14. 14© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com the US but is planning initially to use its extensive spectrum holdings at 3.5GHz in Europe to extend overseas. China Mobile is planning to use the same band as Clearwire to account for roaming, meaning that it is driving the global adoption of LTE-TDD, particularly in the 2.6GHz band. As operators in the other BRIC countries and markets around the world start to define the products and features for LTE-TDD, they will see economies of scale developing in the larger markets and will align their requirements with the likes of China Mobile. The business drivers for LTE deployment Softbank Softbank is Japan’s third-largest operator. Its 4G services were soft- launched in late 2011 using 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum and more than 16,000 sites acquired from former PHS operator Willcom, operating under new company Wireless City Planning. Full commercial service was launched in February 2012. Softbank has the world’s largest commercial LTE-TDD network. Its dense network uses compact macrocell sites and covered 30 major cities in Japan as of mid- 2012, and it aims to cover 99% of the population by early 2013. Softbank uses AXGP (Advanced eXtended Global Platform) technology, which is fully compatible with LTE-TDD. Huawei is the sole vendor covering key cities including the core economic circles of Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and their surrounding areas. The capital, Tokyo, is one of the world’s most densely populated cities. Its GDP ranks No. 1 among world cities, and Osaka’s and Nagoya’s rank No. 6 and No. 13, respectively. The three metropolitan areas account for more than half of the country’s population and 80% of data traffic on Softbank’s mobile broadband network. The network initially provides connection via a Wi-Fi router offering peak download rates of 76Mbps, set to rise to 110Mbps in the future. Softbank’s average daytime downlink speeds were independently verified at more than 15Mbps as of August, over 30% higher than the next- fastest network and over three times Fig. 8: Global, availability of unpaired spectrum (core bands), selected countries Region Country 1.9MHz band total (MHz) 2.3GHz band total (MHz) 2.6GHz band total (MHz) 3.5GHz band total (MHz) CIS Estonia 20 40 Kazakhstan 32 80 Latvia 15 60 Russia 20 80 50 130 Ukraine 5 100 Uzbekistan 100 15 200 Europe Austria 50 145 Belgium 15 45 240 Czech Republic 15 68 Denmark 20 50 244.5 Finland 15 50 France 15 90 Germany 20 50 168 Greece 15 Hungary 15 112 Italy 20 30 147 Netherlands 20 55 80 Norway 25 50 Poland 20 50 112 Portugal 10 25 168 Spain 20 40 160 Sweden 15 50 Switzerland 15 45 42 Turkey 30 28 UK 20 124 Latin America Argentina 84 200 Brazil 50 112 Chile 42 200 Mexico 194 150 Venezuela 168 50 Middle East Bahrain 20 Saudi Arabia 52 155 112 North America Canada 30 50 175 US 194 Source: Informa Telecoms & Media:
  15. 15. 15© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com that offered by the country’s two leading operators. The LTE network launched with a tariff similar to the pricing of UMTS, but offering significantly higher data rates. LTE data prices were reduced in August for customers using a Wi-Fi router. Fully mobile services were introduced in October, with the launch of a range of six LTE-TDD smartphones. Softbank had 864,200 LTE-TDD subscriptions as of end-January, according to the operator’s website, and is adding a net 145,500 each month. The operator’s overall subscription count was up more than 12% year-on-year at end-2012, compared with growth of 6% or less for its two main rivals. In future, Softbank plans to use LTE-TDD to provide data capacity primarily for mobile Internet and other asymmetric broadband services, using FDD primarily to support voice. Softbank is exploring the use of small cells operating in dedicated core TDD bands to provide a significant amount of additional capacity on its network, using cloud RAN and dark fiber to connect RRHs to a centralized BBU. According to Softbank, TDD’s frequency-reciprocity capability could support autonomous small-cell deployments outside Japan, where dark fiber might be unavailable. Saudi Telecom Saudi Arabia’s leading incumbent, Saudi Telecom Company, launched LTE-TDD services in September 2011 at the same time as its two leading competitors, with the initial aim of covering the country’s major cities and 70% of its population in the first year. STC acknowledges that spectrum availability is a problem for most operators but says that FDD offers no particular advantage over TDD, particularly because most major operators in China and India will opt for LTE-TDD at 2.3GHz or 2.6GHz. STC doesn’t charge a premium for LTE but instead incorporates it into its data offering. Under a three- month trial arrangement at launch, subscribers could sample the service before choosing whether to subscribe. In November, STC launched the QuickNet 4G offer with a choice of pre- or postpaid subscription and reduced its prices. After initially launching with dongles, STC recently introduced the Huawei Ascend P1 smartphone. The company says it expects more multimode, multiband smartphones to become available in 2013. STC had 11,200 LTE subscribers at end-2012. Mobily Mobily is a mobile operating subsidiary of Etisalat, which also has a fixed subsidiary, Bayanat Al-Oula, through which it initially launched WiMAX services. It is now transitioning to LTE. The operator is gradually replacing its existing WiMAX network and continuing to roll out fixed-wireless broadband using LTE-TDD, using a Huawei-supplied single-RAN platform. The network was launched in early April and will continue as a hybrid network for some time, during which the company will be actively moving WiMAX subscribers to the LTE network. In January, Mobily announced that it had about 1 million subscribers on its TDD-LTE network, illustrating the success of its shift to LTE-TDD. Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel is a global telecoms provider with operations throughout Africa, South Asia and India. In June 2010, Airtel won 2.3GHz frequencies for four telecoms circles in India, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kolkata and Punjab. In April, the company became the first operator in India to launch LTE, when it started offering LTE-TDD services in Kolkata via USB dongles at speeds up to 40Mbps. The service was extended to the city of Bangalore in May, followed by the city of Pune in Maharashtra state in October. Bharti selected ZTE to deploy its network in Kolkata and NSN to build and operate the Maharashtra network. Huawei has been chosen to supply the network in Karnataka. Also in May, Bharti Airtel acquired a 49% stake in the Indian 4G venture of US company Qualcomm, which had won BWA spectrum in four circles. The acquisition enables Bharti to launch LTE services in markets including Delhi and Mumbai. Since launch, the operator has reduced the prices of its LTE devices to INR4,999 (US$90.90), from INR7,999 for the USB dongle and INR7,750 for its Wi-Fi router. It has also reduced the costs of its 4G plans.
  16. 16. 16© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com In October, Bharti Airtel announced the launch of India’s first LTE-TDD smartphone, the Ascend P1 from Huawei. The phone uses circuit- switched voice-fallback technology to support voice calls over 3G, because it is allowed to provide only data services under its 4G licenses. China Mobile China Mobile has emerged as a major champion for LTE-TDD and a significant force behind the technology’s global adoption. Even though commercial LTE services have yet to be launched in China, the operator has been closely and actively involved in all aspects of LTE-TDD, covering standards creation, technology development, field trials and new technical advances. China Mobile has been engaged in large-scale LTE-TDD trials in its home market that have put the technology through a rigorous testing program. Extending to 13 cities, the trials have been conducted in cooperation with 10 infrastructure vendors (including all the major OEMs) and nine chipset providers. Network-performance tests encompassed aspects such as coverage, throughput and latency, and network KPIs such as call- setup, handover and call-drop rates. China Mobile reports that in virtually all aspects, the performance and reliability of the TDD network were in line with design targets and comparable to those of live FDD networks. The operator is eager to highlight the ease with which its existing TD-SCDMA base stations, operating in the 1.9GHz band, were upgraded to LTE-TDD: It says that by employing the existing RRU and antennas, with site and antenna sharing between LTE and 2G/3G, it managed to upgrade each BTS in just a few hours, with the resulting performance comparable to that of a new eNodeB. China Mobile plans to increase the number of LTE-TDD base stations in its network to 200,000 by end-2013, eventually using LTE in three of the core TDD bands: 1.9GHz, 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz. In June, China Mobile demonstrated LTE-TDD data roaming between the China Mobile Hong Kong FDD network and China Mobile’s TDD network in Hangzhou, on the mainland. China Mobile is also looking to expand its geographic footprint and was rumored recently to be considering markets including Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Portugal and North Korea. UK Broadband UK Broadband, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based PCCW, became the UK’s first LTE-network provider in February 2012. The company’s LTE-TDD network uses spectrum previously allocated for WiMAX services, in London and the south of England. The network uses 124MHz of spectrum in the 3.5G-3.6GHz bands (bands 42 and 43), for which it holds a national license, operating in 6x20MHz channels. The operator’s plan is to compete with ADSL by offering fixed access with speeds up to 60Mbps. The first customer-premises equipment for the network has been jointly developed by UKB and network provider Huawei. Multimode mobile devices supporting LTE- TDD, LTE-FDD and 3G have been available since September. UK Broadband operates a wholesale model, offering commercial services to businesses – including SMEs and retail outlets – and a consumer offering, Now Broadband. The company is aiming to roll out the service to more than 65,000 households and 2,600 businesses. The choice of LTE-TDD technology enables UK Broadband to maximize download capacity to meet the growing demand for data services. Telkom Telkom South Africa entered the mobile market in 2010 as the country’s fourth mobile operator, launching services under the 8ta brand. The operator has been trialing LTE-TDD technology, achieving speeds of up to 90Mbps in the downlink and 25Mbps in the uplink, using 60MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band. The trial network uses 200 base stations. Telkom customers in the coverage areas were invited to apply to participate in the trial, which runs until March 31. The service bundle offered for the trial includes 50GB of data plus an LTE-enabled router, mobile data modem and SIM card. The router can serve up to 32 Wi-Fi- enabled devices simultaneously and has a range of up to 15 meters indoors. Telkom says that it has been has been testing the LTE service
  17. 17. 17© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com internally for about a year and that feedback from the trial will be crucial to enabling it to develop the best possible LTE offerings. Optus Optus plans to launch its LTE-TDD network in 2013, using the 2.3GHz spectrum it acquired from Vivid Wireless. The operator launched LTE-FDD services in September using the 1.8GHz band, and it is using TDD to expand its service footprint and strengthen its competitive challenge to its main competitor, Telstra. Optus has plans to develop LTE-TDD coverage in Canberra in March and April this year, and to ramp up its number of LTE sites. During the trial phase of its LTE-TDD network, Optus reported peak site throughput of over 200Mbps and a consistent per-user range of speeds between 25Mbps and 87Mbps. Vodafone Vodafone has been a major supporter of LTE-TDD development from the outset, being a founding member of the Global TD-LTE Initiative. The operator is chair of the Network Working Group within the GTI, with a lead role in the technical activity for eNodeB product planning and specification. Recently, Vodafone Spain began deploying TDD as wireless backhaul based on 2.6GHz technology from Huawei. Vendors’ value proposition LTE-TDD market share and analysis The relatively small number of commercial LTE-TDD networks means that any metric employed to illustrate vendor market share at this early stage is susceptible to fluctuation. Informa’s estimate of vendor LTE-TDD market share uses as its base the number of publicly announced LTE-TDD contracts that resulted in commercial launches as of end-2012 (see figs. 9 and 10). Informa defines a commercially launched network as one where an operator has launched a network with supported mobile phones, mobile data cards or routers. It does not include cases where an operator has launched a limited commercial service or is offering service only to “friendly” users. This data has been benchmarked against each vendor’s share of combined publicly announced LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD commercial contracts, to provide an indicator of the overall market strength of each vendor in the LTE sector. Due to the similarity of TDD and FDD network technologies, experience with FDD deployments can give vendors an advantage in deploying LTE-TDD and negotiating with mobile operators. Fig. 9: Live commercial LTE-TDD networks, end-2012 Vendor Spectrum Country Region Customer ALU 2.3GHz (Band 38) Saudi Arabia MENA STC Ericsson 2.3GHz (Band 40) India Asia-Pacific Bharti 2.3GHz (Band 40) Oman MENA Omantel 2.3GHz (Band 38) Saudi Arabia MENA STC Huawei 2.3GHz (Band 40) India Asia-Pacific Bharti Airtel 2.6GHz (Band 41) Japan Asia-Pacific SoftBank 2.3GHz (Band 40) Oman MENA Omantel 2.6GHz (Band 38) Poland EU Aero2 2.6GHz (Band 38) Saudi Arabia MENA Mobily 2.3GHz (Band 40) Saudi Arabia MENA STC 2.3GHz (Band 40) Sri Lanka Asia-Pacific Dialog 3.5GHz, 3.6GHz (Bands 42 and 43) UK EU UK Broadband NSN 2.6GHz (Band 38) Brazil Latin America Sky TV 2.3GHz (Band 40) India Asia-Pacific Bharti 2.6GHz (Band 38) Russia CIS MTS 2.3GHz (Band 40) Saudi Arabia MENA STC Samsung 2.6GHz (Band 38) Saudi Arabia MENA Mobily ZTE 2.3GHz (Band 40) India Asia-Pacific Bharti 2.6GHz (Band 41) Japan Asia-Pacific Softbank 2.6GHz (Band 38) Sweden Western Europe Hi3G Source: Informa Telecoms & Media: Fig. 10: No. of commercial LTE-TDD networks in service by vendor, 4Q12 Vendor No. of contracts ALU 1 Ericsson 3 Huawei 8 NSN 4 Samsung 1 ZTE 3 Source: Informa Telecoms & Media:
  18. 18. 18© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com The data also takes into account the vendor’s financial performance and stability over the previous four vquarters on the basis of operating profit (EBIT), to provide a qualitative measure of their ongoing ability to address the broader market for network equipment. EBIT is applied as a linear weighting function to the data about overall market strength. Although financial stability may be a subjective measurement, it is often a critical factor in discussions between operators and vendors and is taken into consideration when assigning nationwide LTE contracts. Taking into account experience in LTE contracts and financial stability, Huawei has by far the highest estimated market share of any vendor, at 55% (see fig. 11). Vendor positioning GSM/UMTS/LTE market share A number of important factors can strongly influence a vendor’s position in the LTE-TDD market, not the least of which is its existing market share in GSM, UMTS and LTE. Leading tier 1 vendors that have an existing relationship with an operator are more likely to occupy key geographical regions in the operator’s network, where the user base is much larger. Vendors with a converged offering, such as a multiradio (or Single RAN) platform that can provide a cost-effective and technically advantageous means of combining advanced LTE-TDD offering with existing legacy services, have an additional edge. EPC market share It is notable that the leading vendors to emerge in the market-share study are those with a strong presence in the Evolved Packet Core market for LTE (see fig. 12). Industry contribution Market-leading vendors such as Ericsson, Huawei and NSN are already playing a key role in the development and promotion of LTE-TDD by bringing their experience to bear in areas such as patent and standards development, industry trials, interoperability and device testing, and support for industry initiatives. Recent analysis based on figures from ETSI shows that these three vendors – or in the case of NSN, parent company Nokia – together account for 32% of registered essential patents for LTE. As LTE-TDD networks move toward providing commercial services, vendors’ core competencies in TDD will reassure operators that the network performance, cost and future road map of LTE-TDD will meet their needs and expectations. There are several factors important in assessing a vendor’s level of contribution to the industry. • Patents: A vendor’s patent portfolio is its most important contribution. In particular, essential patents – those that would be infringed when implementing the standard – are a good measure of success in the value chain. Intellectual-property rights (IPR) are a major focus for all vendors, including chipset, handset and network companies. In general, the strength of a patent portfolio is assessed by a few generic parameters ZTE: 4% Samsung: 1% NSN: 13% Huawei: 55% Ericsson: 26% ALU: 1% Fig. 11: Estimated LTE-TDD market share by vendor, end-2012 Note: Weighted by number of TDD and FDD commercial networks and financial performance. Source: Informa Telecoms & Media Fig. 12: Selected LTE core-network contracts, Jan-13 Country Operator Supplier Contract date Australia Optus NSN Jul-12 Brazil Sky Brazil NSN Dec-11 China China Mobile Ericsson Apr-11 India Bharti AirTel Huawei, NSN, ZTE May-12 Poland Aero 2 Huawei Nov-10 Saudi Arabia Saudi Telecom Company Huawei Sep-11 Sweden HI3G ZTE Dec-10 Source: Informa Telecoms & Media:
  19. 19. 19© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com that translate expertise into commercial ability. • Technology legacy: Presence in the value chain and expertise in previous technologies – such as GSM, UMTS and WiMAX – have been necessary to develop IPR for LTE. Several patents in previous technologies have also been carried over to LTE, and although it is a 3GPP technology, TDD and OFDM have been developed for WiMAX, which is considered to be similar to LTE-TDD. Therefore, vendors that have a legacy in WiMAX are considered to be at an advantage for LTE-TDD, especially when considering R&D strength and OFDM IPR. • Standardization activities: Being involved in 3GPP and other standardization bodies illustrates the strength of a vendor’s patent portfolio and enables it to influence standardization activity. Vendors that have more presence in standardization bodies are expected to have more expertise than their competition, although this might not always be an accurate representation of patent- portfolio strength. • Ability to license patents and commercialize: The ability to license patents to third parties and commercialize network components that take advantage of them is a key success metric for IPR, especially in the case of essential patents, which are valuable elements in a vendor strategy. • Global presence: The state of the mobile industry requires that vendors have a global presence, especially for IPR. Declaring a patent in only a single country office might lead to complications in foreign markets, especially those of significant size. On the other hand, international presence might be an expensive and arduous process for smaller vendors, costing valuable resources. In some cases, vendors deploy networks before standards are in place or implemented, such as femtocells and RCS services launched by operators that did not want to wait for the standard – or standards-compliant equipment – to be in place. Although such moves usually fragment the technology landscape, early adopters have a chance to shape the market and create new opportunities that they – and their competitors – can exploit in later stages. This approach does not apply to RAN technologies (including LTE), however, where 3GPP releases usually come 1-2 years before equipment. RAN contracts are usually worth billions, and operators are not willing to take risks regarding technology maturity. Financial status Financial stability and robustness in a vendor partner are important concerns for any operator contemplating a long-term commitment to a new technology, such as LTE- TDD. Just as critically, ongoing research and development needs to be fully funded and sustained to ensure compliance with the latest technological advances in the field. These considerations become even more critical in an uncertain financial climate where pressure on cash flow and a volatile business environment can plunge businesses into crisis and jeopardize continuity in the supply chain. Selecting an established and financially secure tier 1 vendor can go a long way toward guaranteeing that these criteria are met. The leading providers in the development and supply of LTE-TDD equipment, such as Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens Networks and Huawei, all have a solid history of commitment to technological advancements and fully funded R&D efforts. Full-year financial data for 2012 provides evidence that these tier 1 suppliers are weathering the financial storm better than many of their competitors. Both Ericsson and Huawei reported year-on-year rises in sales in 4Q12 after a year of sustained profitability, and NSN reported record levels of profit in the quarter, building on a solid 3Q12. Key technologies for LTE-TDD Although LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD are about 90% identical, there are some fundamental differences that make TDD unique in the evolution of mobile standards from 3GPP. TDD’s similarity to FDD means that vendors can exploit economies of scale in several parts of the value chain, including chipsets and handsets, and reach volume much quicker than for a completely new technology. The following list illustrates key technical elements of LTE-TDD: • Asymmetric channel: Defined by time duplex, LTE-TDD can allocate time slots according to traffic demand, unlike FDD, which allocates spectrum rigidly between downlink and uplink. FDD has been defined in legacy voice-driven networks starting with GSM, but the flexibility and granularity of TDD is more suitable for data services, especially fixed broadband, where
  20. 20. 20© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com the downlink channel is usually more in demand than the uplink. • Scheduler and resource allocation: Following the asymmetric nature of TDD, the base-station scheduler is able to allocate resources with more granularity and efficiency in the downlink channel, enabling the network to make use of all spectrum allocated to it. • Simpler hardware: Operating in a single frequency is expected to lead to the need for less RF hardware, but specific components are expected to support wider bandwidth and transmit at higher power. Given that the uplink and downlink channels are almost identical, several synergies can be exploited, such as using information collected from the uplink for downlink-channel estimation. • Channel reciprocity: By being reciprocal, the TDD channel allows for greater flexibility when deploying advanced technologies, especially MIMO and beamforming. Softbank reports that by using MIMO and LTE-TDD, its network has achieved an average 18% throughput gain and a maximum 50% gain at the cell edge. WiMAX Like with FDD, vendors report as much as a 90% crossover between WiMAX and LTE-TDD. Multiantenna solutions such as beamforming started with WiMAX’s development around 10 years ago, giving companies such as Huawei valuable experience and an early market lead. TD-SCDMA TD-SCDMA was developed by Siemens and the Chinese Academy of Telecommunications Technology. It is closely related to WCDMA/HSPA but differs in that it uses TDD frequencies rather than FDD. The technology is highly spectrally efficient, using techniques such as smart antennas, joint detection and dynamic channel allocation to minimize radio interference. In these respects, TD-SCDMA shares many features with LTE-TDD and provides operators in China that are using TD-SCDMA with a relatively smooth migration path to LTE-TDD. TD-SCDMA has been widely deployed throughout China by China Mobile, using frequencies around 1.9GHz. The operator received its license in 2009, after large-scale commercial trials of the technology in 2008. At end-2012, the total number of subscribers on China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network was estimated to be in excess of 9 million. China Mobile its Band 39 TD-SCDMA network can be upgraded smoothly to LTE-TDD sharing the same hardware, with only a software upgrade required for the remote radio unit, taking less than three hours per site. it adds that tests show that both LTE-TDD and TD-SCDMA work well after an upgrade. It plans to upgrade more than 200,000 TD-SCDMA sites by end-2013. Backhaul With early small-cell deployments likely to be starting later this year, mobile operators will be looking for the means to provide the capacity and flexibility required for backhaul of small-cell traffic. Technologies that are already widely used, including copper and DSL, are not applicable for small cells, and alternative fixed backhaul technologies, such as fiber, can provide capacity but are inflexible and costly. Wireless backhaul is proving to be an attractive alternative, though the dense, urban environments envisaged for small-cell deployments are more distributed in nature and will therefore often demand flexible wireless transmission that can support non- line-of-sight wireless backhaul as well as point-to-point and point-to- multipoint. Operators that own TDD spectrum have the option to use it as backhaul for FDD small cells, and vendors are reporting a rise in the number of enquiries from operators exploring such an option. In response, a number of vendors are developing products that can use the existing air interface to provide backhaul connectivity, which includes using LTE-TDD. One example is Huawei’s eRelay product, which addresses small- cell, last-mile backhaul for hot spots, indoor coverage and suburban areas by using the air interface to connect base stations and remote radio nodes. ZTE’s recently announced LTE small-cell backhaul offering includes support for LTE-TDD. Positioning and strength of vendors Alcatel-Lucent After a period focusing mainly on LTE-FDD, Alcatel-Lucent has recommitted its efforts to the development of LTE-TDD, though it is something of a latecomer to the TDD market. Its early caution about the direction China and India
  21. 21. 21© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com were taking cost the company valuable time in addressing LTE- TDD, but clear commitments to the technology from major players, such as China Mobile, have convinced Alcatel-Lucent that there are opportunities in the TDD business. Also influencing the vendor’s decision to go all-out for LTE-TDD were the work of the GTI and endorsement of the technology by key stakeholders including Qualcomm and Apple, particularly after China Mobile stated that Apple would supply an LTE-TDD version of the iPhone. Alcatel-Lucent is focusing on the 1.9GHz band, having been persuaded by China Mobile that it could play in the 1.9GHz market and expecting that the band will see wider adoption in Russia and elsewhere. It has been heavily engaged in China Mobile’s LTE-TDD trials, among other things proving that antennas and radio heads deployed for TD-SCDMA can work with LTE-TDD. The 200,000 sites being deployed by China Mobile in 2013 will include a large portion of TD-SCDMA sites operating at 1.9GHz, and Alcatel- Lucent claims to be responsible for twice as many sites as Ericsson and three times as many as NSN. The vendor says it has found a high degree of crossover with LTE-FDD, having to rewrite only about 15-20% of the software code for its LTE-FDD products for use in TDD. In terms of infrastructure, only the remote radio head differs between the two systems, the vendor says. Alcatel-Lucent also cites its experience with WiMAX and TD-SCDMA, stressing its capabilities in beamforming and in providing rapid switching between downlink and uplink in TDD systems. With a strong presence in the US, Alcatel-Lucent is looking toward a possible combined FDD/TDD rollout with Sprint. If China Telecom opts to use TDD, it would also be a big opportunity for Alcatel-Lucent, which has a major CDMA presence in China Telecom. The vendor is also considering the use of TDD metrocells to provide indoor coverage. Ericsson Ericsson is well placed to extend its influence in the market for LTE-TDD. Through its engagement in large-scale commercial FDD networks, such as those of Verizon and AT&T, the company has played a major role in the growth of LTE-FDD and can point to a proven range of features and performance advantages offered by its LTE solutions, which it says are available for TDD operators too because they support both duplex modes. The company says LTE-TDD has a promising future, built on the current success of FDD and the common factors between the duplex modes’ standards. It regards LTE-TDD as essentially another frequency variant of LTE, with the only fundamental difference from FDD being that TDD uses unpaired spectrum for uplink and downlink and switches in time, whereas FDD uses paired spectrum. The vendor says one of its key differentiators is that its LTE products use the same baseband hardware and the same RAN software for FDD and TDD. Only the radio unit differs, though it is based on the same platform as FDD. Customer requirements might differ in terms of antenna configurations and bandwidth, for example, but these factors are independent of whether it the product uses FDD or TDD. Ericsson cites interworking solutions that it has implemented for converged FDD/TDD networks, including full mobility and load balancing, which it has demonstrated in commercial networks such as China Mobile Hong Kong and which it says is proof of its capabilities in handling TDD as just another frequency layer. Although Ericsson acknowledges that the choice of downlink-to-uplink ratios in TDD – there are seven defined in 3GPP – adds flexibility in choosing a configuration to meet actual traffic distribution, it warns that this flexibility can be limited in commercial deployment due to certain factors: • Uplink coverage and capacity is limited by the output power of user equipment (which is significantly lower than that of the base station), and user equipment does not support MIMO in the uplink. • Even with an equal allocation of resources – spectrum in the case of FDD and time in the case of TDD – for the downlink and uplink, uplink capacity is already far lower than that for the downlink, meaning that the 3GPP-defined downlink-to-uplink ratios with low uplink resources are probably not practical for commercial-network deployment, due to the limited coverage/ capacity in the uplink. • If there are two TDD networks in the same band and geographic area, they should be coordinated, synchronized and using
  22. 22. 22© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com compatible downlink-to-uplink ratios. Otherwise, they will interfere with each other, leading to degradation of performance. Although it is no longer directly involved in the development of devices for LTE, preferring to focus on its core businesses in RAN, core network and managed services, Ericsson states that it is in cooperation with leading global user-equipment and chipset vendors. Huawei Huawei can boast true end-to- end capabilities in LTE, with businesses ranging from chipsets (via its Balong chipset arm), through devices, to RAN and core network products. In terms of TDD, the vendor has a depth of experience through its history of involvement with the technology, including WiMAX, and for LTE-TDD it has more customer engagements than its closest competitors. Huawei also contributes extensively to LTE-TDD development through its engagement with standards bodies and its extensive portfolio of essential patents. Huawei is also general secretary of the recently- created 3.5GHz interest group within the GTI. Huawei’s strategy for LTE-TDD is to focus on three aspects: best performance, best convergence and innovation. It achieves this through technical innovation designed to maximise performance of the TDD technology. Thus its LTE-TDD products can support an operational bandwidth of either 60MHz or 40MHz, regardless of whether the spectrum is contiguous or non-contiguous, allowing an operator to extend its effective operating bandwidth while keeping down costs. Working with SoftBank in Japan’s complex network environment, Huawei has demonstrated improved LTE-TDD performance through a number of technical innovations, including SFN (Single Frequency Network), 4x4 MIMO, and Cloud BBU, providing enhanced adjustment capabilities between sites (site-to-site distances in SoftBank’s dense urban deployments can be as little as 150 metres). Live network performance tests recently showed SoftBank’s LTE-TDD network in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka as delivering the best levels of performance among all the four 4G operators in Japan. Huawei has also supplied Saudi Mobily’s LTE-TDD network, helping the operator to smoothly migrate from WiMAX to LTE-TDD. Huawei’s solid foundation in its 2G and 3G market has enabled the vendor to offer converged solutions with LTE, in particular for deployments in high density areas such as Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka for SoftBank; Delhi and Bangalore for Bharti, and Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu for China Mobile. The vendor is also moving to a distributed base station model for LTE-TDD by consolidating the baseband part in a BBU “hotel” or “cloud” architecture, similar to the approach it is using for GSM and UMTS, and a flexible antenna configuration that can be of either a 2x2 or 4x4 transmit/receive configuration depending on local requirements. Huawei is also leveraging its WiMAX experience to provide multi-antenna solutions such as beamforming. In 2012, the vendor offered the industry’s first multimode, multiband LTE-TDD commercial smartphone which has been launched in Japan, Saudi Arabia and India. Huawei has also demonstrated 4x4 MIMO carrier aggregation in Barcelona, and will announce support for carrier aggregation on its Balong 720 chipset early this year. NSN Like Ericsson and Huawei, NSN is well positioned to play a leading role in the development of LTE-TDD, albeit with a more narrow focus that concentrates on the network-and- services elements of the supply chain. The company says the way for it to win in LTE-TDD is through innovation and by providing offerings that can reduce operators’ capex and opex. The company says it is responsible for a number of “firsts” in LTE-TDD that showcase the capabilities of the technology and its own platforms. In 2012, it demonstrated the aggregation of three carriers in LTE- TDD, achieving speeds of 1Gbps, and it has recently demonstrated speeds of 1.6Gbps using three 20MHz carriers and multiuser 8xMIMO in the upstream. NSN says its results show what can be achieved with today’s commercial equipment, particularly for operators that own a lot of spectrum. NSN says it will offer all the advantages of its Flexi MultiRadio platform for LTE-TDD, including high capacity, the ability to support multiple technologies and the economies of scale and stability of a proven platform. NSN’s LTE-TDD radio heads provide a wide instantaneous bandwidth, currently 40MHz and moving to 60MHz in the next generation. It provides separate controller software and radio head on its
  23. 23. 23© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com Flexi MultiRadio base station, depending on whether an operator is using FDD or TDD, and it says LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD will never fully converge at the radio head, because the requirements of the two technologies are slightly different. NSN has eight commercial LTE-TDD network contracts: four in Europe, including in Russia; two in the Middle East; one in India; and one in Latin America. In the Middle East, it supplies STC/Saudi Telecom, the first LTE-TDD operator in the region. NSN also supplied MTS, the first LTE-TDD operator to launch in Russia, and Sky Brazil, the first 4G network in Latin America. The vendor says its products account for half of commercially launched LTE-TDD networks (excluding UK Broadband), though its share of sites is smaller. Samsung Samsung has developed a presence in the LTE market through its heritage in CDMA and WiMAX, working with operators in the US and its home market of South Korea. It is a relative newcomer in the global market for LTE networks, however, and more specifically for LTE-TDD. Although it is well established in the device market, its network-equipment business has a great deal of ground to make up on the true market leaders. Nevertheless, Samsung’s long history of supplying WiMAX equipment, and involvement in the development of OFDMA technology, could potentially provide the company with a foothold in TDD. The South Korean vendor promises its WiMAX customers a smooth migration path from WiMAX to LTE- TDD, and it is supplying its LTE-TDD offering to Mobily in Saudi Arabia, including its Smart LTE technology coupled with its Smart Scheduler to manage traffic flow across the large number of connected small cells in the network. In 2012, Samsung beat competition from the industry’s more established players when it won a contract to supply LTE-TDD equipment to India’s Reliance Industry, which holds a national wireless-broadband license. ZTE ZTE supplies network equipment and terminals for both LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD. Recent growth in the company’s terminals operation has been offset by the poor financial performance of its networks business however, and the company has been forced to embark on a number of cost-cutting measures, including scaling back some of its R&D activities. ZTE is heavily engaged with China Mobile’s LTE-TDD trials and in the design and supply of Softbank’s LTE-TDD compatible 4G AXGP network deployment in rural parts of Japan. The impact of the recent financial problems on the company’s LTE-TDD business remains to be seen. On the radio-access side, ZTE’s offering is based on its Uni-RAN platform, which employs software- defined-radio technology, and supports GSM, UMTS and LTE. The company says its products enable smooth network evolution while protecting investment. ZTE’s distributed architecture includes a BBU that it says is the smallest in the industry and a small, lightweight remote radio unit. A single BBU can support up to 18 LTE-TDD cells, each with a bandwidth of 20MHz, with a maximum throughput per cell of 100Mbps in the downlink and 50Mbps in the uplink. Hi3G in Sweden selected ZTE to supply a dual-mode FDD/TDD network, under a contract signed in December 2010. The network supports interoperability between LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD and UMTS, with multiband networking in the 2.6GHz TDD band and the 2.6GHz, 2.1GHz, 90MHz and 800MHz FDD bands. ZTE’s handset division accounted for 33% of its total revenue in 1H12. Outlook through 2015 Positive outlook for LTE-TDD Informa expects the global LTE-TDD subscription count to see major growth in 2013 and to follow a growth path similar to that of LTE-FDD, albeit two years behind. More than 6.3 million LTE-TDD subscribers are expected to be added by end-2013, equating to an annual growth rate of over 550%, with 17.5 million and 32.5 million subscribers set to be added in 2014 and 2015, respectively. According to Informa’s forecasts, LTE-TDD subscriptions will account for more than a quarter of global LTE subscriptions at end-2017 (see fig. 13), and the number of subscriptions in the largest market for LTE-TDD, China, will exceed those for LTE-FDD by about 21 million and account for 57% of China’s total LTE subscriptions. Networks The accelerating pace of LTE- TDD-network deployments will
  24. 24. 24© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com be boosted in the coming years by major commercial rollouts, notably in China, the US, India and Russia, but also in numerous other markets where mobile operators, WiMAX-network providers and fixed-line and cable operators are expecting to deploy TDD technology. Many networks that initially provide fixed-wireless service will be extended to support mobile broadband services. Among the major operators making the transition from WiMAX to LTE-TDD are US operator Clearwire, which is coordinating the rollout of its LTE network with that of part- owner Sprint, and Malaysia’s P1 Networks, which says the ecosystem for LTE-TDD will be more affordable than that for 4G WiMAX. P1 expects to commence a commercial LTE-TDD rollout in 2013. Devices The launch of LTE-TDD networks at Softbank, Bharti and STC has provided early momentum in the LTE-TDD-device market, but the major force likely to boost demand is China Mobile, whose large-scale LTE-TDD network deployment can only increase demand for a range of LTE-TDD devices. Economies of scale are set to be found in the 1.9GHz, 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz bands, though there is some early evidence of demand for devices at 3.5GHz. Importantly, future demand for smartphones will target various segments, not just the high end of the market. As demand increases, economies of scale will in turn drive down prices and lead to the emergence of low- cost LTE-TDD smartphones that are accessible to the wider market. China Mobile says pricing for LTE-TDD smartphones could fall as low as US$160 by 2015, and with only a marginal cost differential set to exist between LTE-FDD and LTE-FDD/LTE-TDD multimode devices in 2015, the case for incorporating TDD support into FDD devices would be incontrovertible. Spectrum The 2.6GHz band is expected to continue gaining support for TDD, particularly from a number of operators in markets such as Europe, where the band is seen as a complement to 2.6GHz FDD service. The forecast addressable market for the 2.6GHz TDD band shows continued rapid growth (see fig. 14), and as of 2017 the band is expected to have an addressable market of almost 200 million people, equivalent to 16% of the global addressable market and second only to 2.6GHz FDD. Prospects for adoption of the 2.3GHz TDD band (Band 40) rest primarily with China Mobile, which has been trialing the frequency alongside the 2.6GHz and 1.9GHz TDD bands (Bands 38 and 39). Elsewhere, Australian mobile operator Optus’ acquisition of Vivid Wireless will enable Optus to gain access to up to 98MHz of frequencies in the 2.3GHz band and accelerate its plans to build a national LTE-TDD network using the spectrum in 2013. Optus plans to use the 2.3GHz spectrum to complement its 1.8GHz LTE-FDD service. Meanwhile, the 1.9GHz TDD band is expected to be used by some branches of China Mobile for providing LTE alongside TD-SCDMA. The country’s regulator allocated spectrum in the 1.9GHz band to China Mobile for its TD-SCDMA services in 2009 when PHS services, which used the band, were terminated. Although the spectrum used for PHS is likely to be allocated for LTE-TDD in the future, in some provinces it has not yet been cleared. There is evidence that support for the 3.5GHz band is growing, driven initially by the entry into the market of operators such as UK Broadband and by the 3.5GHz Interest Group members, including operators in Australia, the Middle East, Canada, Latin America and the rest of Europe. Although the market is still at an 0 200 400 600 800 1,000 TotalLTE-FDDLTE-TDD 2017201620152014201320122011 Subscriptions(mil.) Fig. 13: Global, LTE subscriptions, 2011-2017 Source: Informa Telecoms & Media
  25. 25. 25© 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com early stage and therefore difficult to quantify, it can be expected to grow significantly, boosted by the licensing of 3.5GHz spectrum in major markets, including the US and Japan. 0 100 200 300 400 500 2.6GHz2.3GHz1.9GHz 201720162015201420132012 People(mil.) Fig. 14: Global, addressable LTE-TDD market by band, 2012-2017 Source: Informa Telecoms & Media Conclusions Because LTE-TDD technology is widely adopted in key markets such as China, India and Japan, the ecosystem around TDD bands is expected to build. Market volume is set to grow rapidly in 2013, due to reductions in the cost of equipment and devices to the level of those for LTE-FDD. The next global focus will be the 1.9GHz band (Band 39), where spectrum is in abundant supply but is difficult to pair. China Mobile’s adoption of the 1.9GHz band will stimulate the growth of its ecosystem. Informa recommends that global regulators and operators consider releasing, reallocating or acquiring currently unused or ineffective spectrum in the 1.9GHz band for LTE-TDD, particularly because the ecosystem is expected to grow quickly, starting this year. As operators such as Softbank and China Mobile extend their global reach in the coming year, they are expected to make more acquisitions aimed at boosting their TDD- spectrum holdings. Operators in markets such as India will look to acquire more spectrum to develop national coverage. In terms of vendor selection, operators should consider the following factors with regard to their plans for LTE-TDD: • In addition to the product or feature offered by the vendor, look into the vendor’s delivered performance in commercial networks, especially with regard to capital deployments in high- value regions. • An established market presence in LTE-FDD, coupled with experience in GSM/UMTS, which are key factors governing a vendor’s converged network capability and its ability to ensure rapid deployment combined with low TCO. • Consider a vendor’s end-to-end capability, especially its ability to develop tailor-made chipsets or use bargaining power to influence global chipset vendors. In light of the findings in this report and the global growth of LTE-TDD, regulators should: • speed the release of frequencies in the main TDD bands (1.9/2.3/2.6/3.5GHz) as the ecosystem matures; • encourage policy-making that will promote effective use of TDD spectrum, such as by releasing new spectrum in large, contiguous blocks of 20MHz to 40MHz; and • encourage the rapid commercial deployment of TDD spectrum by operators with financial muscle, physical infrastructure and experience of providing mobile broadband services, to benefit mobile broadband services for end-users.

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