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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nokia Siemens concludes 4G trials in Berlin

Few months after its take off as a joint venture between the two global brands in telecommunications, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), has concluded trial of the Fourth Generation (4G) network in the city of Berlin, Germany.

This is coming as most telecommunications operators in the country are battling to launch Third Generation (3G) technologies.

Champion Infotel gathered that NSN had involved Long-Term Evolution (LTE), the successor to 3G in order to offer theoretical data rates of up to 173 Mega Bytes per second (Mbps).

LTE is known to have been on the same pedestal marketwise with mobile Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WIMAX), which only promises around 70 Mbps but has a significant impact in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market.

The fastest currently available mobile broadband, High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), offers around 7.2 Mbps.

Experts said that both LTE and mobile WiMax use the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation scheme and multiple-input multiple-output (Mimo) technology, which is based on the use of multiple antennae.

On the other hand, Mobile WiMax’s recent inclusion to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of standards has raised the possibility of both technologies becoming part of what will be known as 4G.

United Kingdom-based ZDNet reports that while announcing its latest trials, at the weekend, NSN said it had completed the world’s first multi-user field trial of LTE in an urban environment.

The trial, which was in Berlin, utilised 20 Mega Hertz (MHz) of bandwidth in the 2.6 Gega Hertz (GHz) spectrum, which is set for a hotly contested auction in the UK next year.

“[The trial confirmed] that LTE performance requirements can be met using 3GPP standardised technologies and it realised data rates of more than 100Mbps over distances of several hundred metres, while maintaining excellent throughput at the edge of typical urban mobile radio cells,” NSN’s statement read.

Calling the trial an “important initial proof of concept for LTE”, NSN’s chief technology officer Stephan Scholz said that LTE would further the company’s goal of connecting five billion users by 2015, due to LTE’s efficient use of spectrum.

Mobile WiMax has a good chance of deployment in the UK if spectrum is secured at auction next year. ZDNet.co.uk attended a demonstration of the technology.

Head, LTE at NSN, Mr. Matthias Reiss said that they have demonstrated that the platform meets the high expectations set for this new technology.

“Most importantly, we now have evidence that future LTE networks can run on existing base station sites and mobile operators can build LTE networks without requiring new antenna sites,” he said.

Champion Infotel recalls that UK telecoms regulator, OfCom announced recently the keenly anticipated auction of the 2010-2025MHz and 2500-2690MHz bands on last Wednesday.

The auctions will take place in mid 2008, and the deadline for applications by mobile operators is 16 January, even as its expected that the use of these bands will pave the way for a multitude of new mobile broadband services.

Although it is theoretically slower than LTE, mobile WiMax has the advantage of currently being in existence, albeit in just a few products, whereas the Fixed WiMax, which is in some cases upgradeable to mobile WiMax, is available as a commercial service in some parts of the UK today.

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