LIVE FROM LTE ASIA 2014: The need for service innovation, the rapid move to VoLTE and the power of combining TDD and FDD were among the key topics discussed yesterday at LTE Asia in Singapore.
In his opening address, Alan Quayle, independent consultant, advised mobile operators to look to the fixed-line operators as an example of how critical service innovation is to maintaining revenues in the future.
Asia may be leading in LTE and VoLTE, accounting for about a third of total worldwide 4G connections, but he warned operators to look over their shoulder to see what’s coming next.
He asked: “How many apps go to market via operators? Everyone knows, very few have.”
South Korean 4G success
Meanwhile, in a presentation on the vision of 5G, Jin Park, SK Telecom’s head of network technology R&D centre, said 4G is drastically changing usage patterns.
Despite the lack of a killer application, he said 4G’s faster speed drives customers to use more data, particularly multimedia content. SKT’s traffic is 11.6 higher than just three years ago.
Half of South Korea’s 28 million connections are 4G. The company completed 99 per cent nationwide coverage with LTE and LTE-A in just one year, Park said.
The operator is moving quickly to VoLTE, which has 2.2 times more bandwidth for voice than 3G. He said call setup time is 20 times faster than 3G.
From WiMAX to TD-LTE
Pen San Tang, a member of the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) steering committee, noted in his talk that mobile operators around the world now have a clear understanding of the power of combining TDD and FDD.
He said 80 per cent of China Mobile’s spectrum is on the TDD band, and about 500,000 base stations.
Tang, who also was the founding director of the P1 Group and is a regional director of the WiMAX Forum, said TDD has come a long way in the last two to three years. “Previously there were many questions,” he reflected.
With 39 TD-LTE networks and 73 more planned, he said the technology is now universal. Asia has 33 per cent of the deployments. “It’s no longer just a China play.”
He said GTI now has 112 operators (50 from Asia) and 88 partners, which includes vendors.
The WiMAX Forum officially signed an MoU with GTI to collaborate on aligning the WiMAX future roadmap to TD-LTE. “They are both aligning. WiMAX 2.2 is officially compatible with TD-LTE, so they can co-exist.”