Friday 28 February 2020

Rakuten details how Cloud will make Telecommunications Industry Irrelevant

Yesterday we detailed Rakuten's Open RAN and Innovation Journey here. Today, we look at a presentation from the recent 5G Malaysia International Conference 2020 where Tareq Amin, CTO, Rakuten Mobile, presented his vision on how Cloud will eventually make Telecommunications Industry Irrelevant.

Innovation has allowed them to create a site with the smallest footprint. Not only that, the change of design has allowed the operator to save massive amounts of money and at the same time pushing the software in the cloud  allows the site to come up is 8.5 minutes as compared to the traditional time of between half to two days.

Rakuten uses 6 hardware types in their data centers which are COTS servers and this has helped them achieve some amazing results as can be seen here.

Tareq is expecting Opex to reduce even more due to automation. Time will tell. Here is the presentation embedded below.

Related Posts:

Saturday 15 February 2020

Verizon's Small Cells Start Paying Dividends

Pictures Source: Dr Jonathan L Kramer

In their recent investor meeting presentation, Verizon talked about many different approaches that have helped them keep pace with the increasing traffic.

While basic improvements like 256-QAM, 4x4 MIMO, Carrier Aggregation and CBRS/LAA have helped, other innovations like Interference Management Software has helped improve capacity.

Densification solutions include increasing number of small cells and more carriers per sector.

This chart above from the deck is a good summary of how different enhancements affect the LTE User Peak Throughput as well as the LTE Network Spectral Efficiency. According to the graph, this year they are planning to deploy FD-MIMO, a.k.a. Full-Dimension MIMO.

This research paper (link) on FD-MIMO provides an excellent overview of the topic. According to that "3GPP decided to use tens of antennas with a two dimensional (2D) array structure as a starting point. Full-Dimension MIMO (FD-MIMO), the official name for the MIMO enhancement in 3GPP, targets the system utilizing up to 64 antenna ports at the transmitter side."

This chart above is a good summary of how these enhancements have helped Verizon expand capacity to handle the increase of user traffic.

With regards to the small cells, the number of 5G small cells is expected to increase by at least 5 times this year to cope with the 5G traffic increase and coverage improvement. As Verizon has deployed mmWave spectrum for 5G, they will need significant number of smaller cells to provide coverage.

The tweet below shows an example of 5G Small Cell

Here is an interesting recent video from Verizon explaining small cells to their end users.

It would be interesting to see in the next few years how these small cells solve the coverage gap and handle the capacity need.

Related Posts:

Wednesday 5 February 2020

5G Small Cells at Home

Last year, NGMN published a whitepaper on '5G Small Cells at Home'. The whitepaper is available here. The summary on the website states:

The first objective of this white paper is to explore the potential technologies that could help improve the performance of local connectivity at home.

In addition to this, the second objective is to look for solutions of radio resources management at home that would be controlled by the network. The current situation is that the local connectivity is selected by a connectivity manager embedded in the operating system of smartphones that may not have a complete view of what happens, for instance in terms of traffic on cellular networks.

The global objective for operators is then to keep home users connected wirelessly to their local – fixed access network based – connectivity (delivered e.g. by Wi-Fi, a “small cell at home”) with a “premium” quality of service instead of adding pressure on the Radio Access part of the mobile macro network. Challenges for mobile macro networks are for example a lack of (licensed) spectrum that can cover efficiently indoors from outdoor macro network (e.g. low bands spectrum), cost of the radio sites, incl. equipment.

The abstract from the whitepaper as follows:

It is observed that traffic offload - from cellular networks to indoor local Wi-Fi connectivity - takes place when users are at home, but tends to decrease, due to increasing cellular data volumes and due to sometimes better user experience (coverage, throughputs) offered by 4G compared to Wi-Fi 5 (mainly available today at home).

In order to reverse the current trend, this white paper proposes to consider 5G New Radio- Unlicensed (NR-U) technology (that will be part of the future 3GPP Release 16 – Dec. 2019) as a potential (additional) candidate for future small cells deployed at home.

It is expected that small cells at home using NR-U technology will provide – at least – radio performance as good as what Wi-Fi 6 could do, will enable the optimization of the management of radio resources as NR-U could be connected to operators’ core network. Furthermore, the deployment of small cells at home can ensure that the traffic generated at home will be transported via the fixed network, regardless if the Wi-Fi interface of the device is switched on or off.

It's available here.

Related Posts: