By: Giovanni Fruscio

 

An inspiring speech was delivered yesterday by Steve Parry, swimmer and UK Olympic Bronze Medalist. He talked about the parallels that exist between the challenges faced by an Olympic medalist and those of a Technology company.  Steve translated sporting success into business success. Soft lights were the background for a funny description of his career, starting from hard training sessions at 5:30am every day in Liverpool, ending with a ceremony at Buckingham Palace hosted by The Queen. He shared his thoughts on his every day intensive training, his feelings during the most important race of his life and his emotional state when standing in front of The Queen.

 

 

The final takeaway message from this encounter would be:

In order to achieve important goals everyone should take individual responsibility for what is done, have a good team and a strong mind.

 

The host of the event was Duncan Mitchell, Senior VP of the EMEAR Emerging Theatre, who welcomed participants and highlighted the strong commitment of Cisco in the Mobility Market that is growing at an impressive pace, following the 18x increase in mobile data traffic forecasted for the next four years.

 

It was amazing to see so many people coming from such distant places and meeting in the same room. It made me think, “Could it be that finally LTE and WiFi are the Universal Standards which we were seeking since a decade or so?”.

 

Read my next MWC Blog Post: Take a Look: Cisco Demos at MWC 2012

 

More Resources
Expectations for Mobile World Congress 2012 By: Giovanni Fruscio
Cisco Goes Big Into Small Cells By: Kurt Rosenthal

Redefining Mobile @ Mobile World Congress 2012 By: Zeeshan Najmuddin

Two Great Things About Barcelona: MWC and Delicious Food By: Kellie Wong

 

For more on details on Cisco at MWC 2012
For the latest Mobile VNI Findings, watch here

LTE se ha convertido en la tendencia sobresaliente en comunicaciones móviles a lo largo de toda la región, la mejoría que esta tecnología puede ofrecer a la navegación de Internet, el uso de redes sociales y a otras aplicaciones de la red, está creando expectativas nunca antes vistas. Pero lo que sucede a menudo cuando debuta nueva generación de arquitectura celular, es que existe una gran brecha entre las expectativas del usuario y lo que una implementación real puede lograr en términos de desempeño.  Lejos de ser optimista (algo que debo a mi formación técnica), pienso que habrá más clientes insatisfechos que satisfechos a menos que los actores principales de la industria empiecen desde ya a informar a sus usuarios, también que los entes reguladores del gobierno se concienticen de su importante papel para definir de forma rápida las políticas de uso del espectro y que los operadores habiliten rápidamente las características avanzadas de LTE.

 

LTE se esparce como un virus, pero más se parece a un resfriado que a una epidemia de gripa


El esparcimiento viral está alimentado por los lanzamientos comerciales de LTE en Brasil, Puerto Rico y Uruguay sumados a anuncios de otros lanzamientos durante el 2012, más la gran cantidad de pruebas de campo terminadas y el gran interés de la prensa. La verdad es que los operadores inicialmente solo anuncian el cubrimiento en ciudades principales no a nivel de país, situación que estaría justificada por varias limitaciones que mencionaré más adelante, otro factor de debe mencionarse, es que el ofrecimiento de dispositivos o terminales móviles está limitado a módems USB que en algunos países se ofrecerían gratis; finalmente, el espectro está limitado a las bandas de 2.6 y 2.1 Ghz, vale la pena mencionar que sin embargo existe un gran interés de reorganizar bandas ya otorgadas.

 

¿LTE seguirá el mismo camino de adopción que UMTS?


Estoy totalmente convencido que la historia de adopción de ambas tecnologías es totalmente diferente, pero en términos de penetración de mercado, habilitación tardía de características avanzadas y la influencia para disminuir el crecimiento de otras tecnologías, no me siento tan seguro de qué tan diferentes serán estos caminos. De acuerdo con varios reportes, al final de 2011 UMTS cuenta en América Latina con 100 millones de suscriptores que representan casi un 15% de todas las conexiones en la región, así mismo, las proyecciones dicen que se agregarán 4 millones de suscriptores cada mes y que solo hasta el final del 2012 iniciaría una retracción del crecimiento de la tecnología GSM, estas cifras pueden servir como referencia para un análisis a largo plazo. Otra forma de comparación puede hacerse teniendo en cuenta que los primeros servicios de UMTS en AmLAt iniciaron en el 2006 y no fue hasta 2009 que finalmente arrancó con fuerza, entonces se podría usar una medida de tres años para determinar la diferencia entre ambas tecnologías. Sin embargo cual sea el caso o escenario considerado para compararlas, hay una realidad latente y es que algunos de los retos enfrentados por UMTS, tendrán que solucionarse también para LTE; como la capacidad de la arquitectura de transporte de la red, que debe ser mejorada y el espectro no es abundante, los cuerpos regulatorios continúan usando límites en la cantidad licenciada como un medio de control hacia los operadores.

 

Implementaciones de la vida real


Los operadores usan la siguiente frase “LTE va a revitalizar nuestro portafolio de servicio de datos” con el estado actual de LTE, esto significa que por lo menos en sus inicios, los siguientes dos factores no serán tenidos en cuenta; el primero, es el efecto atrayente que tienen los teléfonos inteligentes en los consumidores de AmLat y del Caribe y el Segundo es que el servicio de voz no estará invitado a la fiesta tampoco. ¿Qué tan malo es para la adopción de la tecnología? Revisemos la demografía de usuarios en la región.

 

Usuarios de banda ancha móvil (BAM)

 

AVN_CELLPHONE_118537f.jpg

Imagen tomada de: http://www.thehindu.com/business/article437402.ece


 

Existen tres grupos de usuarios de BAM en la región y un grupo que potencialmente usaría BAM: Los Ocasionales, los Pesados, los Élite y los Usuarios de comunidades en las que es difícil prestar el servicio convencional de BA cableado. Está claro que esta clasificación corresponde a mi apreciación personal y puede estar abierta a la discusión, así que agradezco los comentarios del lector. En el grupo Ocasional se encuentran aquellos usuarios que recientemente adquirieron un teléfono móvil con capacidad de navegación decente y funcionalidades de chat por Internet o pin a pin, este grupo hasta ahora se encuentra adoptando un nuevo patrón de uso de Internet pero su plan está limitado a un techo máximo de consumo o está restringido en cuanto a contenido, de manera que el uso es ocasional o muy limitado y el concepto de “Nube” sigue significando aquello que vierte lluvia sobre ellos. En el grupo Pesado se encuentran aquellos usuarios que dependen de estar conectados para trabajar, entretenerse o simplemente para sentirse normales, usan un amplio número de aplicaciones y el concepto de Nube está bien entendido, para este tipo de usuarios es vital que sus aplicaciones funcionen cuando las necesiten. El grupo Élite está conformado por personas que han cambiado totalmente su patrón de uso de Internet y retan las capacidades de la red, esperando que la BAM se comporte como la BAF (Banda ancha fija), su uso normal incluye juegos en línea, aplicaciones P2P, servicio ininterrumpido a cualquier hora, en cualquier lugar y con varias aplicaciones al tiempo. Para ellos, mucho no es suficiente. El último grupo es el objetivo de los planes de varios gobiernos en la región para aumentar el cubrimiento de Internet y para lo cual la infraestructura móvil representa una alternativa atractiva por varias razones.

 

Expectativas de usuarios en la región


Nosotros los usuarios de esta región sobresalimos por nuestra necesidad de permanecer en contacto y de ser notados por nuestros pares, somos colectivistas por naturaleza y la música es un factor importante que nos ayuda a interactuar, estos factores deberían ser tenidos en cuenta antes que cualquier otra cosa por los operadores a la hora de promocionar LTE. Ahora, lo que el grupo Ocasional debe esperar de la tecnología es casi obvio, beben ver en LTE la motivación para aumentar su interés en servicios soportados por Internet y lo más importante, que empiecen a usarlos. La motivación para que estos usuarios migren a LTE puede lograrse con la ayuda de los operadores por medio de la promoción activa de aplicaciones para el uso de voz sobre IP. Sí ¡Voz sobre IP! El servicio de voz sigue siendo la joya de la corona, personalmente no se me ocurre un mejor catalizador que el servicio más importante de todos

 

La mayoría de usuarios pesados ya usan aplicaciones para uso de voz sobre IP y otros servicios albergados en la Nube, de manera que este grupo debe ser el más beneficiado en la medida que logren convivir con el hecho que inicialmente el cubrimiento será poco y que tendrán que limitarse al uso del PC portátil, si se les informa claramente sobre estos inconvenientes, no veo porqué no puedan verle el beneficio a una experiencia de navegación con hasta 10 veces menos latencia y planes con umbrales mayores de descarga teniendo en cuenta que LTE hace un mejor uso del espectro disponible. Los operadores deben gradualmente pero de manera rápida, introducir las características avanzadas de LTE, como agrupación de portadora, MIMO de alto orden, despliegue heterogéneo de red y esquemas avanzados de coordinación de interferencia, sin olvidar presionar a los fabricantes de terminales para agilizar la entrada de dispositivos atractivos aparte de los módem USB.

 

Para el grupo Élite dedico mis palabras más cortas, sigan esperando…a pesar de la posibilidad de la inclusión de complicados modelos de QoS y QoE, soportados por planes comerciales ajustados a las medidas de todo el mundo (por lo menos en papel), El potencial total de LTE no será desplegado inmediatamente después de la implementación, está tecnología posee un amplio número de características avanzadas y muy probablemente no todas estarán disponibles inmediatamente debido a las políticas de evolución que tiene cada fabricante de equipos, adicionalmente los grupos de estandarización e investigación siguen trabajando en nuevas características, todo lo anterior marca un largo camino por recorrer.

 

Finalmente, las políticas de espectro juegan un gran papel para llenar las expectativas del usuario, ya que las bandas por encima de 2Ghz no darán abasto y el cubrimiento de LTE continuará siendo limitado, de ahí la necesidad de reorganizar la banda ya otorgada de 700Mhz, también es imperativo agilizar la conversión de la difusión analógica hacia digital, los límites en el licenciamiento de espectro para los operadores incapacita la adopción de la tecnología y es difícilmente un buen método de control. Por último se debe tumbar el paradigma de tener que liberar geográficamente toda una banda para poderla licenciar; una banda puede licenciarse parcialmente para ser utilizada en áreas rurales.

 

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Read this in English

About the blogger

So LTE is becoming the big trend in mobile communications throughout the region, browsing, social networking and other Internet applications being benefited by the new technology create expectations above levels never seen before. But when a new generation of cellular architecture is introduced in a market, more often than not, there is a gap between user expectations and what real life implementations can effectively accomplish. I'm far from being optimistic (which is something I owe to my technical education); so I think unless key players within the local industry start to inform mobile consumers now, government regulatory bodies get conscious about the importance of quick spectrum policies release and MNO quickly enable LTE enhanced features, the number of angry users will be bigger than the happy ones.

 

LTE going viral, but less flu viral more like cold viral


LTE commercial launches in Brazil, Puerto Rico and Uruguay, more launches announced for 2012, several completed trials, and media frenzy have set up the viral behavior for the technology. But the truth is MNO’s are initially targeting principal cities and are not offering a total country coverage which is well justified if several constrains are considered, constrains which I’ll mention later, additionally the end device offering is restricted to USB modems in some countries free of charge, and the spectrum is also limited majorly 2.6Ghz and some in 2.1Ghz, worth to mention that it is a strong desire for refarming several bands.

 

Is LTE walking the same path of UMTS?


I’m well convinced their adoption story is very different, don’t get me wrong,  but in terms of delayed penetration, enhanced features being introduced also late, and its influence to slow the growth of other technologies, that’s when I’m not so sure how different paths really are. According to several reports, UMTS 3G technology accounts for 100 million subscribers in LATAM at the end of 2011 something like 15% of all cellular connections in the region, projections state that 4 million of subscribers will be added each month, and a initial retraction of 2G GSM technology growth is expected no early than last part of 2012; these figures can be used as a reference for a long term analysis. Another approach can be used considering that LATAM UMTS first commercial services where available back in 2006 and that it wasn’t till 2009 that it finally took off, so a three year mark can be used to decide how different paths would finally be as well. Whatever the case or model used to compare them, the fact is that some challenges of the past must be addressed again for LTE; Backhaul network capacity is not being improved quickly and spectrum is not abundant, regulatory bodies today use spectrum caps as a mean to control operators.

 

Real life implementations


MNOs use the line “LTE is going to boost our data business” for current LTE state of the art, this means that at least at the beginning two important factors must be put aside; the first, is the mesmerizing effect smartphones have on LATAM and Caribbean consumers which will not be an ingredient of LTE, the second being that voice service is not going to be invited to the party either. How bad is it for the adoption of the technology? Let’s take a look the users to find out.

 

MBB (Mobile Broad Band) users

AVN_CELLPHONE_118537f.jpg

Image source: http://www.thehindu.com/business/article437402.ece

There are three MBB user groups in the region and one potential MBB user group: Occasional, Heavy, Elite and Users inside communities where conventional wired BB is hard to implement. Of course this classification is personal and might be open to debate, so comments are welcome. In the Occasional group you´ll find users who recently acquired an IM (Internet Messaging), Pin to Pin, or a decent web browser enabled phone, and are just discovering mobile social apps, this group is just adopting new internet usage patterns but they have either a content restricted plan or a cap in the amount of monthly data, so usage is mostly occasional and the “Cloud” stills something that pours rain on them. In the Heavy group you'll find those who already depend on staying connected to develop business, to entertain themselves or to just feel normal, they use a bigger set of apps and the Cloud is a familiar concept, for them as long as they get their vital apps delivering as expected, they're happy. The Elite group, is form by people who already changed completely their Internet usage pattern and challenge the network performance, they expect MBB to behave as FBB (Fixed Broad Band), normal usage involves online gaming, P2P, ubiquitous service, anytime, anyplace and every application at the same time. For these users sometimes a lot is never enough. The final group consists of people targeted by several government plans to increase internet coverage and mobile infrastructure represents an attractive alternative for various reasons.


User expectations in the region


We users in this region stand out for the need to stay in contact and to be noticed, we are collectivist by nature and music is a factor of major importance that eases interaction, so above all, operators should keep this in mind when designing new plans or apps. Now, what the first group should expect it's almost straight forward, these users should see LTE as a motivator to increase their interest towards Internet based services and more important, to start using them. The motivation of migration towards LTE can be accomplish with a bit of help from MNO through the active promotion VOIP apps. Yes, VOIP! Voice service is the jewel of the crown, I can't think of a better catalyst to speed adoption of a technology other than the killer of the killer services.

 

Most of the heavy users already use VOIP apps and other Cloud base services so this group should be the most beneficiated, as long as they understand that in the beginning, coverage will be limited and service is going to be bound only to their laptops, if these limitations are well informed by MNO, the "Heavies" should expect an improved browsing experience with at least 10 times better latency and plans with a higher threshold on total downloaded data taking into account that the new technology has a better usage of the available spectrum. MNO should gradually but quickly take advantage of the best of LTE advance features like Carrier aggregation, High order MIMO, Heterogeneous network deployment (Macro/Femto) and Advanced interference coordination schemes, without forgetting to put some pressure on device manufacturers to introduce attractive handsets besides USB modems current offering.

 

My words for the Elite group, are the shortest, they should keep expecting... although MNO can use enhanced QoS/QoE models, backed up with commercial plans adjusted to everyone's needs (at least in the paper), LTE full potential will not come immediate after implementation. LTE has a big set of advance features and not all may be available right away due to manufacturer roadmap policies, not to mention that investigation and standardization bodies continue to work on new features, so a long way still ahead.

 

Finally, the spectrum polices play a huge part on fulfilling user expectations, bands above 2Ghz will just not be enough and LTE coverage will be limited, that’s way the need of refarming 700Mhz band, it is imperative to speed up analog broadcast to digital conversion, spectrum cap on operators in the region hinder the adoption of technology and is arguably a good method of control. Lastly the paradigm of having to geographically free a whole band to license it, must be taken down; a band can be auction partially to be released in rural areas.


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About the blogger

Mobile World Congress is coming up next week and as I am sure most of us have our eyes focused on mobility, we should also take the time to make sure that those attending in Barcelona should not miss out another great thing the city has to offer: delicious food and eateries. It is time to enjoy the beauty of Barcelona, get ready for Cisco at Mobile World Congress and expand those stomach lines!

 

paella-600x400.jpg
Paella

 

Below is a list of Barcelona restaurants to check out provided by Eric Crespin of Executive Accomodation and Services (EAS):

 

EL CANGREJO LOCO

Address: Moll de Gregal, 29-30 (Barcelona)

Phone: 933 300 303

 

LA FONDA DEL PORT OLIMPIC

Address: Moll de Gregal, 7 (Barcelona)

Phone: 93 221 22 10

 

DOS CIELOS

Address: Carrer de Pere IV, 272-286 (Barcelona)

Phone: 93 367 20 70

 

XALET

Address: Avinguda de Miramar, 31 (Barcelona)

Phone: 933 300 303

 

LA FONT DE PRADES

Address: Plaça de la Font P E, 4-5 (Barcelona)

Phone: 93 426 75 19

 

ACAI

Address: Carrer d' Elkano, 69 (Barcelona)

Phone:  93 600 78 39

 

LA BODEGUITA DEL POBLE

Address: Plaça Aragonesa P E, 4 (Barcelona)

Phone: 93 424 61 10

 

TABLAO DE CARMEN

Address: Avinguda del Marquès de Comillas, s/n (Barcelona)

Phone: 93 325 68 95

 

LA BELLA NAPOLI

Address: Carrer de Margarit, 14 (Barcelona)

Phone:  93 442 50 56

 

FUNDACIO MIRO

Address: Avinguda de Miramar, 71-75 (Barcelona)

Phone:  93 329 07 68

 

CAN MARGARIT

Address: Carrer de la Concòrdia, 21 (Barcelona)

Phone:  93 441 67 23

 

 

LA PERLA

Address: Passeig de l' Exposició, 62 (Barcelona)

Phone: 93 329 20 52

 

CERVECERIA CATALANA

Address: C/ MALLORCA, 236

Phone: 932 16 03 68

 

 

TRAGALUZ

Address: Passatge Concepció, 5

Phone: 934 87 06 21

 

L´OLIVE

Address: C/ BALMES, 47

Phone: 934 52 19 90

 

FISHOP

Address: Passeig Gràcia, 53 – 55

Phone: 934 87 72 08

 

THAI GARDENS

Address: Diputació, 273

Phone: 934 87 98 98

 

CITRUS

Address: PASSEIG GRÀCIA, 44

Phone: 934 87 23 45

 

SR PARLLEDA

C/ ARGENTERIA, 35  933 10 50 94

By: Giovanni Fruscio

I plan to attend the Mobile World Congress this year with the objective to capture the key innovations in the mobility market.

LTE standardization had, first, the objective to lower Total Cost of Ownership of Mobile Networks, thus allowing for Voice and Messaging business to be sustainable over time and, in the meantime, to expand the “pipe” in the wireless access. The latter would allow to support new applications, that is to open the opportunity for the Operators of new revenue streams and for the end users to experience an improved quality, speed and responsiveness of the applications they access.

This will not necessarily mean that the Killer application for LTE is there in front of your eyes, being it convergence, video or, possibly, Desktop Virtualization.

Thus, service creation and monetization will be king from my perspective, as Mobile Service Providers for the first time see declining SMS and voice services revenues in favor of Social Networking, Video and Mobile Cloud. Unfortunately, all of these new revenues streams are originated by Over the Top Players like Social Networks, Youtube and, recently, by iCloud.

All of these concepts are not new to Service Providers, but implementations and real efforts to deliver efficiently and monetize these applications, like cloud backup and synchronization, were lacking. As a result, some Service Providers are now partnering with OTT to deliver value to end users, while some others are thinking to create Apps and Premium Video Services on their own and compete in this space.


From my perspective, mobility will mean more and more any service on any device and LTE could open new frontiers for experiencing the advantages of a broadband connection over mobile devices. The key for the implementation of the concept will be to abstract the personal and professional profiles from the device itself and this is the major benefit the Service Provider can deliver to the end user. In particular, the SP can store the profile in a central secure location, and the whole data is kept there regardless of whether it's being used a Laptop, Tablet or a Mobile phone over LTE or WiFi, to access the Desktop environment and regardless of what happens to the device be it broken or stolen. No data or session will be lost.

And this is what I expect to see this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I will be posting more blog posts from MWC so stay tuned!

For those attending, please visit us at Hall 8 Stand A111.

Read Giovanni's other MWC Posts:

EMEAR Service Providers Emerging Theatre Reception Event at MWC 2012
Take a Look: Cisco Demos at MWC 2012

Postcards from MWC 2012: A Journey Through Mobile Devices, Infrastructure and Applications

 

More Resources
Cisco at MWC 2012

Mobile World Congress Videos
Cisco at MWC Facebook Tab

As nearly no one knows, the UK has their own version of the Oscars known as the BAFTAs (which is short for the slightly redundant British Academy of Film and Television Association).  The BAFTAs – a quick and witty show, btw -- took place this past Sunday evening at the Royal Opera House in London, and almost immediately after the glamorous movie crowd moved out, the equally glamorous Cisco crowd moved in. 

 

(So “almost” meeting Brad Pitt may be a bit of a stretch, but I was in the same building, separated by a mere 36 hours and innumerable social circles. )

 

Cisco invited a number of influential press and analysts to the Royal Opera House, a beautiful old building recently restored to its full 19th century splendor,  to hear its latest Mobile Visual Networking Index findings, as presented by Cisco executives and a distinguished panel of industry and regulatory officials. 

 

photo.JPG

 

You can read all about the VNI report and its forecast for mobile Internet traffic in Doug Webster’s blog on SP360, but set aside some time to watch the event here, if for no other reason than to see what $5 million in chandeliers looks like.  Enjoy!

 

mobile-vni.png

February is the month for the highly anticipated, or for some the highly dreaded, holiday of Valentine's Day. Instead of focusing on love for another, let's focus on the love for hot gadgets. Some love hot gadgets so much that they have made it an attraction factor in thier dating life. I was skimming through the web as most of us do and came across an intersting article on it.business.ca blogs titled Looking for Love? That iPad Probably Won't Help.  Apparently, "Retrevo conducted a study by checking the preferences of a sample size of over 1,000 people distributed across gender, age, income, and location in the United States". Here are some of the results (cited from the article):

 

  • Males and rich people are more interested in gadgets (and the people who use them) than females and non-rich people.
  • 50% of the male participants reported that they would be more attracted to a person who was using a cool phone, while only 42% of men would be interested in a person reading a book
  • 36% of male respondents said iPad-usage would be an attraction factor
  • 38% of female respondents said they’d be interested in and attracted to someone using a cool laptop, while 36% said they’d feel the same way about a cool phone and 29% said they thought an iPad would be attractive
  • 71% of people making more than $200,000 per year said they find cool cell phones attractive, 61% of that group said they find cool laptops attractive, and 54% said they liked people using iPads.

people-balcony-phone-55x3something.jpg

Interesting isn't it? I am not surprised the percentanges were less than 50% for most of the responses, but I am still surprised at how high they are. I was expecting 10% or at least < 20% of respondents to make an iPad or cool laptop, phone a factor in their sets of attraction, but I guess we never know until we get out there and find the answers ourselves, which is what Retrevo did. I can honestly say I am not surprised at all at the high percentages drawn in from the more high level income tech lovers. With their $200,000 they should just buy everyone a cool laptop, phone and/or iPad and they can be attracted to everyone around them. I guess the latest gadgets have become the new "hot car" factor. Personally, I love neat gadgets like my phone and laptop but I like to keep my relationship with them separate from my personal relationships. That's just me, but I guess 38% would think differently.

 

Coming Up

Look forward to more blog posts relating the two things I love: Technology and the Holidays.

 

More Resources

January 2012 Holiday/Tech Post The Birth of the Mobile Phone

December 2011 Holiday/Tech Post QR Codes: Making the Holidays Easier

November 2011 Holiday/Tech Post A Smartphone App Will Save My Thanksgiving Dinner

Top 12 Blog Posts of 2011

 

Sources/References

it.business.ca blogs: Looking for Love? That iPad Probably Won't Help

 

 

Since the GSM Association first held this annual conference in 1987, it has now grown to be the largest venue within the Mobile Industry, now breaking record attendance in 2012:

  • over 60,000 participants
  • over 12,000 App Developers
  • over 4,000 CEO's
  • over 3,000 members of the Press
  • approx 1500 Exhibitors

 

Some refer to this as the Oscar's of the Mobile Industry, yet hundreds of times larger, this annual mega-event will now be held at Fira de Barcelona until 2018. This year's theme is "Redefining Mobile". Which I think is quite deserved.

 

MWC has always been a premiere event for mobile operators, network infrastructure vendors, handset and device manufacturers, application developers, and services companies. 2012 marks an important turn in the evolution of mobile technology and proliferation of wireless within other industries. There will be special focus on health monitoring devices, embedded payment terminals, as well as integration within cars, home monitors / controls, appliances, utility meters, and transport / fleet management systems.

 

(Image source: cec900)


Today, mobile is not just about Mobile Handsets or Tablets, the industry has truly redefined the Mobile Experience.
My 4 year old girl is a great comparison of how much the industry as a whole has come forward. She does not know how to use a mouse (thanks to abundance of touch screen devices), and likely never will learn what MS-DOS or ASCII level programming is. She now gets frustrated at the living room TV, when she tries to touch the display with her hands, expecting the program to display her Sprout network favorites, and nothing happens. In her 4 year old mind, everthing is touch enabled, and on demand when she wants it.

 

Kids are spending more time in front of a screen than ever
(Image Source: Kiwi Commons)

 

We have a long way to go as an industry to enable the next generation of users and experiences, but I somehow think we are now enabling a new way of connected life, one device, one touch, one app, one child at a time.......

 

Get ready for MWC 2012 coming up February 27-March 1 in Barcelona. For more information on Cisco at Mobile World Congress 2012, click here.

 

Sincerely,

 

Zeeshan N.jpg

Zeeshan N.

Social Media Blogger

Subject Matter Expert

Service Provider Industry

lte.jpg Gmail.png Twitter 02.png LinkedIn.png

 

 

 

More MWC 2012 Resources

Mobile World Congress 2012 Videos

From CES to MWC Blog Post

Cisco Mobile World Congress 2012 Facebook Tab

 

 

 

Reference / Sources:

- GSMA, 2012.

- Cloud Times, 2012.

- Telecoms, 2012.

- Wikipedia, 2012.

- Kiwi Commons, 2011.

- cec900, 2012.

 

 

How long have you been in Telecom? What excites you the most about mobility? What disappoints you the most about mobility?

 

I have been covering the telecoms industry as a journalist since 1997, including a five-year spell as a technology-media-telecoms correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in London.  Between 2005 and 2009, I handled media relations for the GSMA, the mobile operator trade group. Since then, I have been a freelance writer, editor and content consultant in the telecoms sector.

 

I am most excited about the potential to use smartphones to bring online-style interactivity to offline experiences. What do I mean by that?  Here are a couple of examples: You are on a family holiday and trying to decide which of ten restaurants to have dinner in. So, you hold up your smartphone, press a button and up pops reviews of the restaurants you are looking at.

 

Or you walk into a conference hall and your phone alerts you that a dozen members of your social network are in the building, with arrows indicating the direction of each. Although such services exist today, they will become much better as the connectivity improves and smartphones pack more powerful processors and better displays.

 

My biggest disappointment is the inadequacy of smartphone batteries.  If you want your handset to last all day, you often need to turn off the data connection, so it no longer works in the background, potentially depriving yourself of the smart services I describe above.

To overcome the problem, we really need every smartphone to use the same charger, which could then be installed in cafes, offices and homes. When you stop for a coffee, you should be able to recharge your phone as well as your brain.

 

2.  

        In your opinion, what are the key market drivers, opportunities, and challenges for Service Providers?

 

Mobile operators are clearly in the midst of a tricky transition from providing bundles of voice, messaging and data services to providing connectivity.  Whereas demand for traditional voice and messaging services will decline, the potential demand for connectivity is enormous. The transition is tricky because mobile operators have to price these three different services in a way that ensures they remain competitive, but also enables them to generate enough revenues to keep investing in the network capacity needed to cope with the surge in traffic generated by smartphones, tablets and laptop dongles.

 

At the same time, mobile operators have an opportunity to provide a suite of enabling services to companies from other sectors. They are well-placed, for example, to authenticate and bill people without debit or credit cards.

The two biggest challenges for mobile operators are probably ensuring that their role in the mobile Internet value chain extends beyond simply providing connectivity and ensuring that they can get access to sufficient spectrum at a reasonable price.

 

3.  

        Where do you think mobility will be in 5-10 years from now?

 

That all depends on how much spectrum the mobile industry secures.  If the amount of spectrum available for mobile and wireless services remains very limited, downloadable apps will continue to be very important. They will store a lot of data and content on the device, to keep network traffic down to a minimum.  In this scenario, automated services will scan an individual’s calendar for the day ahead and download relevant information overnight, so that it is readily available the next day.

 

However, if the amount of spectrum available expands dramatically, the mobile Internet is going to offer a very dynamic experience, in which people continually have access to content and data about the world around them.  For example, shoppers will be able to point their handset at an item of clothing and then immediately see 360 degree images of how it would look on their body shape.  Moreover, mapping software will provide rich 3D images of nearby bars, restaurants, hotels and shops, complete with links to personalized videos highlighting products and services that fit best with the individual’s profile.

 

 

The future of mobility depends upon connectivity and that depends on spectrum.

 

 

I look forward to sharing more blog posts in the near future,

 

David Pringle

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I was a first time attendee at CES earlier this month, as part of a Cisco contingent attending to meet with many Service Provider customers. For sure, the main attraction for our customers – beyond the lights and magic of Las Vegas – was seeing and learning about the Cisco Videoscape architecture which enables Operators to create unified consumer Digital TV and IP video experiences across a variety of screens. At CES, we introduced a series of new cloud-enabled Videoscape innovations. We showed customers, analysts and the industry how we are leading the evolution to an IP-enabled TV everywhere environment. We underscored that with announcements of several new customers.



It was also an opportunity to showcase some of our SP Mobility solutions which were  of great interest to our Service Provider customers, especially those who won’t attend Mobile World Congress next month, where we will pull out all the stops! For example, the Cisco Videoscape solution also includes unique capabilities for a video-optimized mobile network, and we demonstrated how operators can leverage the intelligent mobile packet core along with new capabilities in Dynamic Policy & RAN Analytics to deliver premium video experiences to customers on 3G and LTE networks.

There was also extremely keen interest in our Service Provider Wi-Fi solution, as operators of all types are looking at Wi-Fi as a complementary/ubiquitous (depending on operator point-of-view!) wireless network technology to be used for both voice and data services as well as to increase coverage and capacity. Our Next Generation Hotspot demo showed how Mobile, Fixed, Cable and Hybrid Operators can deliver a seamless and secure Wi-Fi experience, enabled by the Cisco Service Provider Wi-Fi architecture and enhanced by the intelligent mobile packet core.  And we illustrated how SP Wi-Fi can also be used to deliver new indoor  location-based services.

Lastly, we also demonstrated how Cisco’s mobile internet architecture enables mobile operators to more quickly create new revenue-generating services, by monetizing “Network as a Service” capabilities to application providers via a network and subscriber abstraction layer that provides access to the intelligent network capabilities of the Cisco Mobile Internet Architecture. We created a simulated online game called Crazar with a Turbo Boost feature that I became pretty proficient at playing after a week of demonstrating it!

We’ll bring this SP Mobility magic to Mobile World Congress next month – hope to see you there!

1.      How long have you been in Telecom? What excites you the most about mobility? What disappoints you the most about mobility?

 

I have been in telecom production since 2005.  What excites me the most is the creativity and connection that comes from this screen. I view the platform as its own venue with its own production needs and its own audience.  It is the fourth screen; the first is the film screen, the second is the television, the third is the computer, and the fourth is the mobile – tablet or phone. The mobile has its own needs for telling a story and engaging the audience whether it is for entertainment or an advertising agency for marketing a product, or for the benefit of connecting people with information as an addendum screen. Mobile, anytime, anywhere, one viewer at a time; yeah, it’s personal, it’s emotional, it’s an extension of one’s existence. 

 

2.      In your opinion, what are the key market drivers, opportunities, and challenges for Service Providers?

 

I believe that the key market driver is the audience, plain and simple; their needs and their balance of self and lifestyle will encourage innovation and their acceptance will allow the necessary uptake. Key audience drivers include utilization as a personal device; a value-added screen for video; and addendum information platform for various industries such as entertainment, educational, healthcare, personal lifestyle, mobile payment, retail, banking, marketing, communication, finance, business, government, etc. via sms and video. Mobile’s key driver will be through audience needs, balance and ease of access and simplicity of operation.

 

As far as opportunity, if you can dream it, think it through, find the value-added gap in the market, then it is possible and plausible.  It’s an exciting, opportunistic time for creatives in a new venue, as transmedia entertainment and marketing, and connected home for information and value to lifestyle. The challenge for service providers is to understand how to harness the power and the audience whilst keeping ahead and on top of the expectations of the audience and being able to deliver a steady dose and satisfying audience needs and wants.


3.      Where do you think mobility will be in 5-10 years from now?

 

I believe that the future of the mobile industry will be in finding value and balance within each person’s daily life, at home and away from home; including personal, social, communication, connected home, connected tv, smart appliance connectivity and delivery of information.  I believe we are living in the sunrise of the future, and all that we see now will have uptake and become commonplace.

 

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More from Nora Goodman

The Mobile Minute: CES 2012

kelliwon

The Birth of the Mobile Phone

Posted by kelliwon Jan 12, 2012

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With MLK Jr. Day  this month, it got me thinking of his famous I Have a Dream speech, which I very much treasure, made in 1963. The only thing this time, being a fan of mobility, I decided to finish off that sentence with "... to one day have a mobile phone!". Imagining the times before mobile phones were invented, I couldn't help but wonder who exactly had this dream of the possibility of mobile phones? I fully admit I would not have that genius thought back when it was developing and I would have most likely resorted to the classic two can, one string of yarn method as a solution to my communication problem- very ineffective I must say.

 

As I thought of this question about the birth of the mobile phone, I decided to do some research and discovered "the first hand-held mobile phone was demonstrated by Dr. Martin Cooper, an engineer form Chicago, Illinois and now 83 years old, in 1973, using a handset weighing around 1 kg". Cooper is considered to be the inventor of the first mobile phone for handheld use and after his initial testing in Washington for the F.C.C. he took the phone technology to New York to show the public. I guess we can say the rest is history! Thank you Dr. Martin Cooper for the birth of the mobile phone - its been a lifestyle changer and proved it from 1990 to 2010 alone, when worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 4.6 billion. Who would have thought the development of mobile phones would have come to be what it is today with features such as apps, cameras and touch screens? Still amazed and still grateful.

 

If the story of the birth of the mobile phone interest you, watch this video with Dr. Steven Shepard featuring stories of the pioneers of the telecom network, including the transatlantic cable in 1858.

 

 

Coming Up

Look forward to more blog posts relating the two things I love: Technology and the Holidays.

 

More Resources

February 2012 The Latest Gadgets: Determining Factors in the Rules of Attraction

December 2011 Holiday/Tech Post QR Codes: Making the Holidays Easier

November 2011 Holiday/Tech Post A Smartphone App Will Save My Thanksgiving Dinner

Top 12 Blog Posts of 2011

The Cisco Systems Development Unit (SDU) is pleased to announce availability of the first release of the Unified MPLS for Mobile Transport System (UMMT) – bringing industry leading developments in the scale and operational simplicity of MPLS to the highly competitive RAN backhaul market.   The UMMT design utilizes platforms optimized for mobile services, in a system architecture customized to the mobile opportunity. The UMMT system solves the scale challenges inherent in extending MPLS to cell sites, while at the same time simplifying the operational aspects of managing such an MPLS network.

 

Why UMMT and Why Now?

Operators are making huge infrastructure investments now to support the 4G/LTE technology transition for mobile networks. This transition brings with it substantially greater throughput capabilities, with requirements for transport virtualization to maximize return on investment by supporting multiple services.  Packet transport is universally accepted as the solution to build 4G/LTE networks, with MPLS as the technology of choice to support virtualization and legacy protocol transport when required. To enjoy the benefits of MPLS in 4G/LTE networks, new scale requirements, operational simplicity and management capabilities need to be added to traditional IP/MPLS to make deployments feasible. UMMT meets these new requirements with industry leading technology and cost optimized platforms.

 

What is UMMT 1.0?

UMMT combines new developments in MPLS technology, like Loop Free Alternates and Hierarchical Label Switch Paths with optimized platforms like the ASR901 and ME3800X into an architecture that supports the throughput, availability, QoS and synchronization requirements of 4G/LTE networks.

 

UMMT System Target

UMMT is designed for customers with significant interest in deploying MPLS in the Access to scale MPLS networks for Mobile backhaul, facilitating deployment of 3G/4G/LTE mobile infrastructures. The UMMT design is applicable to both greenfield deployments as well as to operators with existing TDM- and ATM-based infrastructures, providing a flexible design capable of simultaneously transporting all generations of mobile services on a single network infrastructure. 

 

UMMT System Details 

UMMT 1.0 is the first in a phased roadmap of the system. As these releases become available, updates will be posted to the SP Mobility community. Subsequent releases will include support for new partners NSN and NEC providing microwave integration, and new technologies such as ATM/TDM pseudowires on ASR platforms. 

 

Architectural Role

Hardware

Software Revision

Core Node

CRS-3

XR 4.1.1

Pre-Aggregation Node

ME 3800X

IOS-15.1(2)EY1

Aggregation Node

ASR9000

XR 4.1.1

Cell Site Gateway Node

MWR2941

ASR-901

IOS-15.1(1)MR

IOS-15.1(2)SNG

 

Please note that a newer version of UMMT has been released.  Details on this release may be found here: SDU Unified MPLS for Mobile Transport (UMMT) 2.0 Available NOW, and the updated Design Guide may be found at the following link: https://communities.cisco.com/docs/DOC-29526.  This document describes in detail the design methodology behind the UMMT system, functional considerations of the design, and the system validation performed on the design, including platform configurations used in the validation.

 

For more information on the SDU UMMT System, please email ngcsb-info@cisco.com.

Data offload is an over-abused term, and I get to read articles where it is taken as standard terminology, usually portrayed as providing a universal solution for many of Service Providers’ challenges, so it is worth taking a look in more detail at what it can really mean and what can be done with both current and upcoming technology options. This time I'll look at the current options.

 

One big challenge for cellular operators is the growth of mobile data driven by phenomena such as the rise of social media including the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; the related massive growth in smartphone use; and the growing phenomenon of internet tablets. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index from 2010 predicts a 26x growth between 2010 and 2015, so it’s a serious issue. However, there are a number of potential choke points in a cellular network – the radio spectrum, the backhaul from the cell site, and the core network routers are key ones.

 

The figure shows a simplified 3G network with a WiFi extension based on the 3GPP I-WLAN standard (although there are other mechanisms), and focusing on a home use scenario.

 

 

 

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Click Image to Enlarge

 

In the figure the TOF is a Traffic Offload Function that separates external internet traffic from operator services data and routes it to the internet via a Packet Data Gateway (PDG), whilst the Tunnel Termination Gateway (TTG) handles access control, authentication and forwarding the user data to and from 3GPP format.

 

Consider the radio spectrum first. Today’s 3G and LTE networks make very efficient use of radio spectrum when they are transmitting and receiving, operating near the Shannon limit which is the theoretical maximum for a given level of interference. Consequently if you want to get more user data through part of a cellular network where the spectrum is heavily loaded then you only have a couple of options:  either reduce the interference level – typically by inserting more cells operating at lower power (e.g. femtocells), or get some more spectrum which could either mean obtaining more expensive licensed cellular spectrum, or making use of alternative technologies such as WiFi. One issue with WiFi is that there currently no deployed way to dynamically control whether a UE selects WiFi for a service rather than cellular or to handover from one to another – it can only be done as a general preference.

 

As far as backhaul is concerned. There are clear gains if you can make use of a user’s own backhaul (such as DSL line in the home) and there may be a better distribution of traffic load in an outdoor scenario if some is sent over WiFi rather than the macro network. The operator may be able to delay capital expenditure on upgrading the macro network backhaul links to, say, optical fibre.

 

Core network data routers (GGSNs) faced a massive load increase once the iPhone and subsequent smartphones were deployed as they made it much easier for people to consume and create data to and from the internet. This affects both the bandwidth needed to the processing centres where these were housed, and the amount of processing power needed in them. However, whichever way the user data is routed, it has to go through one of these routers in the operator’s (or a partner’s) core network. If the user is able to use WiFi directly from their home without going at least partially by the operator network then this will offload the core – but then the operator can’t bill for the data.

 

We can put together a table showing what currently deployed solutions impact:

 

Impact areaMacrocell UseFemtocell / Small CellWiFi
Radio SpectrumNoYesYes
BackhaulNoYes (if in home)Yes (if in the home)
Core NetworkNoNoOnly if free from operator control and charging
Service ImpactNoPotentially positive in the home if new services are introducedMobility control limited

 

The data offload solutions end up offloading the radio spectrum (in different ways) and potentially the backhaul, but not really the core network. As a small cell enthusiast this is good news for me – small cells were conceived to help meet the radio challenge - and it addresses a key immediate issue (radio spectrum) but it is not yet a total solution in itself - it is a good start but there are opportunities for future enhancement and convergence (Mark Grayson has a post on one approach here) some of which we have been working on in the standards bodies, and which we’ll look at in the future.

 

About the Blogger

What an exciting week!  The CES is here, now and live, and there is more to it than just Elvis clocks for the consumer to drink-in!  See what innovations are happening and which previous ideas have advocated uptake! Always an exciting time; filled with expectations and new products and services.

 

Mobile as a distribution venue is legitimized at this year’s CES. The streams and discussions of  entertainment and engagement as forward motion pertaining to the position video entertainment, video marketing, and video connectivity via the mobile device, as it pertains to every aspect within each person’s life, stands a marvelous base to the necessity of the video-audience architecture.

 

Statistically, in this era of communication, the mobile is no longer simply a “cell phone”; more people sms than they do voice calling.  The mobile device is now as common as a pair of sunglasses, and just as personally telling.  Every person owns a device and uses it for the convenience and balance of their particular lifestyle; mobile phone or texting, tablet or iptv controller, social media, applications, etc. it doesn’t matter if the device is old-school with an antennae, or a flat screen, or even a touchscreen, the communication is in the connection, and the content and its convergence, is the engagement.

 

In my newly launched series with Cisco, “The Mobile Minute”, I mention the fact  that Hollywood meets technology at the CES. The Daily Variety, Digital Hollywood, IPTV, OTT, Social TV, Web TV, etc. tracks involve some of the major studios and popular players who discuss their world in today’s era. The Hollywood conference tracks referencing entertainment, content, advertising, marketing, and the convergence and are absolutely worth attending to glean their understanding of the digital and creative venues and revenue avenues.

 

This year is the year when visual storytelling and the importance of the audience, one heart at a time, takes it rightful place on the red carpet; when entertainment has once again become an innovative collaboration on all fronts and platforms, for both audience and advertisers.

 

To learn and see more about the CES please visit the CES site and the Cisco/CES site. Enjoy the CES and feel empowered for your future! 

 

And oh, yes, catch a show, beware of the one-armed bandits, have a steak, and give Steve Wynn a big hug from me!

 

See you for my next entry on Mobility, and the next episode of, "The Mobile Minute", brought to you in association with Cisco Systems.

 

Tah for now dear reader!

– MsMobileConverg

 

About MsMobileConverg

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