Long Term Evolution
1st May 2013
Long Term Evolution (LTE)
Maravedis Survey, 2011.
Telecom Asia and Maravedis Survey, 2011
The global mobile broadband industry is at the brink of unprecedented change
with investments in Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology driving profitable new
business models, partnerships and pricing plans.
LTE is the fastest ever growing network technology with worldwide subscriber
numbers growing 428% between Q1 and Q2 in 2011.
Investments into the
development and operation of LTE networks are driven by vastly increased
mobile data usage and widespread consumer demand for speed and versatility
in line with the emergence of cloud computing, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and
other data hungry applications.
Significantly improved speed, scalable bandwidth, extended coverage and low
latency differentiates LTE from existing HSPA (3G) technologies; giving mobile
operators the opportunity to provide applications and services not currently
viable on 3G network infrastructure.
Mobile broadband operators are using the introduction of LTE as an opportunity
to develop improved business models to secure strong returns on network
investments. For new business models to succeed, operators must develop
solid relationships with device manufacturers, application developers and other
The nature of newly formed alliances will be determined by how operators intend
to compete. There are a variety of value add options that operators will use to
sell LTE services to consumers with the most obvious being to charge users for
increased throughput speeds, or a premium for performance. LTE will also be
positioned to leverage cloud based and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services.
Device availability has been cited as the primary challenge for mobile operators
with spectrum accessibility coming a close second.
With network deployments
utilising either FDD paired or TDD unpaired spectrums across a variety of
frequencies in different market conditions, the success of network deployments
will depend on the availability of access devices that can be customised to meet
individual carrier specifications.
Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies include: 3rd Generation Partnership
Project (3GPP) LTE and LTE Advanced. 3GPP LTE represents the latest standard
in mobile networking technology; while LTE Advanced is a 4th generation (4G)
standard of radio technologies designed to increase the speed and capacity of
mobile telephone networks.
LTE succeeds the UMTS / HSPA technologies currently used on 3G networks;
promising vastly improved speeds and performance with theoretical delivery
rates of up to 100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload.
Through the provision of high data throughput, low latency, improved coverage,
simplified worldwide roaming, power and capacity, LTE will significantly improve
the end-user experience while broadening community access to broadband
services and devices. LTE networks will be of particular benefit to those living or
working in areas not serviced by ADSL, cable or fibre.
In addition to providing advanced mobile broadband capabilities, LTE technology
enhances existing services and allows for the introduction of new multimedia
applications such as video.
Frequencies used are primarily 700, 800, 1800, 2600 MHz. The strong
momentum towards deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly 1800 MHz
(i.e. LTE1800) is continuing.
Operators can deploy LTE technologies to complement their existing networks,
spectrum and objectives.
GSA Evolution to LTE report (August 31, 2011)
TDD LTE & FDD LTE
According to GSA, initial launches have all been made in LTE-FDD mode;
commercial LTE TDD launches are targeted for 2011-2012.
LTE standards support both the Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum and
Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) technology.
The broad difference between TDD and FDD is that TD-LTE uses TDD unpaired
spectrum channels with a single carrier frequency to combine uplink and
downlink transmissions, separating signals according to real-time demand. The
FDD paired spectrum has two different carrier frequencies, one for uplink and
another for downlink transmission.
Most LTE deployments in North America plan to utilise the FDD spectrum.
Australia is set to become the first country to deploy an LTE network over the
TDD spectrum which was designed to operate in harmony with TD-SCDMA.
3GPP combines LTE TDD and FDD standards – enabling ease of implementation.
In both LTE FDD and TD-LTE the transmitted signal is arranged into subframes of
1 millisecond (ms) duration; and 10 subframes make up a radio frame.
Real time demand on mobile devices for uplink and downlink
Time Division Duplex (TDD)
Uplink and downlink frequencies running simultaneously within a band
Frequency Division Duplex (FDD)
Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs.
Drivers for LTE deployment
According to GSA, network capacity, performance management and efficiency
are the primary drivers of LTE with opportunities for new products, services and
revenue growth fueling its uptake.
A global survey of operators conducted by Telecom Asia and Maravedis (2011)
reported that well over half of the respondents surveyed specified an intention
to sell value added LTE services to consumers with a focus on charging for
increased throughput speeds and lower latency. While a large percentage
indicated a willingness to experiment with different ideas such as cloud-based
services to leverage LTE, a quarter of the respondents surveyed stated that they
did not intend to price and package LTE services differently to 3G.
Mobile broadband operators are in the process of revising their approach to
service packages with business models including:
• Charging for speed advantages over 3G
• Pitching LTE as a premium service over 3G
• Positioning LTE as a cost effective proposition
• Tiered service packages
• Unlimited data plan
More granular pricing plans help operators profit from new business models.
Mobile operators are evolving from “all you can eat” plans to fixed-price plans
where every gigabyte beyond the plan limit comes with an additional charge.
This is helping improve revenue and margins, but it’s only an interim step.
The next step is a per-click pricing model. With this approach, customers can
download or access any content they want, whenever and however they want it,
and be charged for their precise usage.
According to Alcatel-Lucent, mobile operators are exploring various ways to
profit from LTE network intelligence through the exposure of high-value network
capabilities to application developers. Mobile operators can charge application
developers when they incorporate high-value network capabilities (i.e. location,
subscriber services and billing – in their app) to improve their position in the
application and content value chain.
Peak data rates
LTE will provide theoretical speeds of up to 100Mbps downlink and 50Mbps
uplink. High bandwidth video streaming and Machine-2-Machine (M2M)
applications will benefit from considerably higher upload and download speeds
Increased peak data rates will provide users with speeds equivalent to those of a
fixed line connection.
Improved cell edge data rates will benefit wide-area coverage.
LTE also addresses multipath and multiuser interference issues to improve
mobility, power and performance.
LTE offers scalable bandwidths, from 1.4MHz to 20MHz. New video-based
services may only be possible using LTE which can deliver 3 to 4 times the
bandwidth of a 3G network.
LTE networks deliver high definition (HD) video, HD video teleconferencing, and a host of
other video-based offerings with exceptionally high quality of experience (QoE).
LTE user latency is significantly lower than in existing 3G technologies. This
will enhance the user experience, particularly in multimedia and interactive
Multiple user support
The two-dimensional resource scheduling capability of LTE allows for the support
of multiple simultaneous users at any allocated time as opposed to the one-
dimensional scheduling of 3G technology; thereby supporting the propagation of
embedded wireless systems and applications.
Market analysis - overview of the current LTE
climate (Alan Hadden, President, GSA)
Evolving from HSPA
Mobile broadband is driving traffic, revenue and profit growth in markets worldwide.
HSPA laid the foundation of mobile broadband success. Mobile broadband
began with WCDMA and first evolved with HSPA. Over the space of five years
100% of WCDMA operators have successfully deployed HSPA networks. This
equates to 410 commercial HSPA networks in 162 countries and 1 billion mobile
broadband subscriptions by end 2011. Today, 3,227 HSPA user devices have
been launched in the market by 264 suppliers; and most operators include
mobile broadband in their product offerings.
July 18, 2011
HSPA: cumulative network launches worldwide
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 July 18, 2011
Source: GSA reports-HSPA Operator Commitments
Migration to HSPA+ was the major trend in 2010 delivering higher capacity and
performance and an improved mobile broadband user experience. Today, 33%
of HSPA operators have launched HSPA+ on 136 networks; and 39 commercial
42Mbps DC-HSPA+ networks have been launched. GSA forecasts 170
commercial HSPA+ networks to be launched by the end of 2011.
July 18, 2011
HSPA+: Commercial network launches
May 09 Dec 09 Apr 10 Dec 10 Apr 11 July 18, 2011
Source: GSA surveys - Global HSPA+ Network Commitments and Deployments
LTE commitments are advancing at a significantly higher rate than HSPA.
LTE operator commitments are developing
faster than for HSPA
Source: GSA reports
Number of network commitments
12 months after 1st
6 months after 1st
LTE represents the next step of network evolution. The technology builds on
HSPA and HSPA+ successes and will deliver significant mobile broadband
performance gains and efficiencies to the mass market.
This progress will continue with the introduction of LTE-Advanced.
Source of data: Status of the LTE Ecosystem report-GSA: July 29, 2011
LTE Devices: 161 products by form factor
GSA has reported a 155% increase LTE devices in 6 months with 45 suppliers
launching 161 LTE user devices globally. Routers top the list with dongles,
modules, notebooks, smartphones, tablets and PC cards making up the
remainder. Only a small percentage of the LTE devices launched are tuned to the
1800MHz spectrum to be used by Telstra and other Australian carriers.
There is currently high global demand for 1800MHz-ready LTE devices.
Leading carriers attending the 2011 telecommunications summit in
Amsterdam joined the global push for equipment manufacturers to start
building routers for this spectrum.
Alan Hadden, President, GSA said ”Growing industry acceptance of the
benefits of deploying LTE in 1800 MHz spectrum, which is increasingly
supported by regulators and policy makers, confirm 1800 MHz as a core
band for LTE globally.”
LTE in Australia
The National Broadband Network (NBN) will give approximately 500,000
Australian homes and businesses the opportunity to receive the performance
benefits of the first fixed-wireless LTE network to run on the TDD spectrum.
NetComm Wireless will develop the Wireless Network Termination Devices
(WNTD) designed to connect rural and regional Australian households and
businesses to the 2.3GHz fixed-wireless LTE TDD broadband network to be built,
and operated, by Ericsson.
Telstra plans to launch LTE at the end of 2011. Mike Wright, executive director
of Telstra network and access technologies, said the carrier had deployed LTE
1800MHz dongles at mobile sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
Re-use of the 1800MHz spectrum (which was initially used for 2G voice calls) will
significantly minimise the costs associated with setting up new infrastructure.
LTE and Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is facilitating a host of new opportunities for consumer,
business and M2M applications. Cloud computing offers immense benefits to
businesses lacking the time and resources to purchase, install, configure, secure
and upgrade the hardware and software required for their marketing, customer
relationship management, human resources, accounting and operational needs.
Operators formulating LTE value add packages have ranked cloud-based
services at the top of the list with multiple device/SIM packages ranking a
LTE and wireless M2M
The M2M market has grown considerably over the past five years. M2M
connections increased 68% from 2009 to 2010 and GSM subscriptions for M2M
are forecast to reach 1.45 billion in 2016 (Source: Visiongain, 2011).
LTE technology will provide the bandwidth needed to help realise the potential
of connected devices central to M2M services, applications and products. For
consumers on the enterprise side, M2M has become an integral part of telematics,
marketing, monitoring, the smart grid, manufacturing, security and healthcare.
LTE services promise a vast increase in data speed, and the ability for developers
to produce more complex and content rich applications that require more data.
Telecom Asia, Aug/Sep 2011, John C Tanner.
NetComm Wireless and LTE
NetComm Wireless has developed products that optimise progressive LTE
network speeds and capabilities while ensuring compatibility with existing HSPA,
HSPA+ and/or EV-DO and TD-SCDMA services.
LTE technologies are customised to meet individual LTE specifications based
on individual carrier needs. With network spectrums and frequencies varying
between carriers and regions, NetComm Wireless tailors its LTE technologies to
provide support for both FDD paired and TDD unpaired spectrum and the entire
range of frequencies spanning 700, 800, 1800, 2600 MHz.
NetComm Wireless developed LTE WiFi Routers support worldwide roaming
and have the capability to connect consumer, business and industrial users from
anywhere within their Internet service provider’s coverage area.
LTE represents a major advance in mobile broadband technology. It will enable
operators to offer high-performance, mass-market mobile broadband services
through a combination of high bit-rates and system throughput with low latency.
LTE infrastructure is designed to operate across a wide variety of frequency
bands; with support for both FDD paired and TDD unpaired spectrum. The
technology supports flexible network configurations and will interoperate with
Mobile operators worldwide are competing to be among the first to offer
innovative services on LTE networks for customer acquisition and retention.
Returns on network investments will be realised upon the delivery of LTE
access technologies specifically developed to meet individual network and
NetComm Limited (ASX:NTC) is a leading developer of innovative broadband products
for telecommunications carriers and ISPs worldwide. Specialising in fixed and mobile
broadband technologies, NetComm customises products to successfully deliver the
performance capabilities of world-leading carrier networks to home, business and
Customer premises Equipment (CPE) and Edge technologies are specifically designed to
extend a reliable connection to fringe service areas globally. For 30 years NetComm has
engineered a solid portfolio of world-first data communication products and is today a world
renowned developer of HSPA+, LTE, machine-to-machine (M2M) and fibre access devices.
Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, NetComm has offices in New Zealand, Canada, Middle
East and Europe.
For more information about NetComm visit:
© 2012 NetComm Wireless Limited. Trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of NetComm Wireless
Limited or their respective owners. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Images shown may vary
slightly from the actual product. October 2012