|By Deborah Strickland||
|August 5, 2014 04:53 PM EDT||
by Andrew Mackay, Manager Mobile Solutions, Cisco Systems
As Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks continue to be deployed, it is becoming evident that matching the existing 3G coverage quality is going to be a challenge. This is reminiscent of the early days of 3G, when it took many years to get coverage matching underlying GSM. The higher carrier frequency (2.1GHz) and partial initial overlays left deep indoor coverage with “cold spots.” This resulted in unreliable calls and increased battery consumption, which led many users to disable 3G out of frustration. Over time, operators invested in more infill Broadband Telephony Services (BTS), wider use of In-building Systems (IBS) and repeaters, but indoor coverage was only really resolved when 3G on 850/900 MHz was deployed as a coverage “safety net.”
In Asia, the majority of LTE deployments are in the 1.8GHz band and higher. As a result, the typical LTE user drops back to 3G (850/900MHz) on a regular basis when deep indoors, commuting, or even inside their home. Initially, the user experience of dropping from LTE to 3G for data services may not be so irritating since voice is still falling back to 3G in the majority of networks. Plus, in many indoor scenarios, good Wi-Fi service is available to fill-in the missing bandwidth. But, ultimately, this is a branding issue: customers subscribing to a 4G service expect that level of service, not to see their service provider icon showing 3G. It becomes an even larger issue when you want to serve your subscriber real-time services over 4G, such-as voice and streaming video. So how do we avoid these service “pot-holes”?
“Warning: 3G pot-holes ahead.”
Many operators tell me that they will wait for sub-1GHz LTE coverage before considering wide spread VoLTE (Voice over LTE) deployment, but this may take years. Unlike in the US and Europe, the benefits of the digital dividend have yet to arrive at APAC with only live LTE APT700MHz deployments (in Taiwan so far). But even after the networks arrive it will take a while for the majority of devices to support the new band. 3G band refarming isn’t as easy as it sounds either; i.e., how do you refarm from carriers full of voice, which you can’t move to 4G until you have good VoLTE coverage? A classic “catch-22.”
One possible solution is to rely on Wi-Fi as a stop-gap measure for voice. Certainly, this approach has been in the press recently with operators 3 and EE in the UK discussing VoWiFi (Voice over Wi-Fi) strategies. In the case of EE, the role of using VoWiFi to plug LTE coverage holes was made explicit: “The aim of VoWiFi is to improve in-building coverage. Calls will be automatically routed via WiFi, for instance, in a user’s home or office, where there is an absence of cellular coverage.” VoWiFi received further attention with the announcement of iOS8 support for Wi-Fi calling on T-Mobile’s USA network.
“iOS8 adds VoWiFi”
The challenge I foresee with VoWiFi is providing a “Carrier Grade” user experience. My concern is not with voice quality, which can be maintained in HD on an uncongested access point, but more the limited mobility. At present, as a Wi-Fi signal fades, the client hangs on to the connection despite quality dropping below what VoIP (Voice over IP) requires, before giving up and switching back to cellular. Another issue is variability of up-stream connectivity on different Wi-Fi networks accessed on a typical day. In the case of a work Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), for example, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) traffic might be blocked as per the enterprise policy. Both of these issues are critical in the case of terminating calls, where the user may be forced to stay put to complete the call or have the call go straight to voicemail.
I believe Wi-Fi will be an important stop-gap for poor LTE indoor coverage, but, eventually, it should take on the complementary role of picking up the non-real-time bandwidth workload. The ideal end game has to be to provide sufficient LTE coverage and capacity to match (or exceed) the current 3G user experience for real-time services, particularly voice. How this is achieved given the multiple RAN tools available (lower frequency bands, LTE Smallcells, Repeaters, Relays and IBS) becomes a question of time and the best TCO business case, and that’s a whole other topic.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 989
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,116
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,001
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
Nov. 26, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,050
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,048
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 730
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 723
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Nov. 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 727
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,087
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,036
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,504
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
Nov. 25, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,178
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,257
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,310
"Verizon offers public cloud, virtual private cloud as well as private cloud on-premises - many different alternatives. Verizon's deep knowledge in applications and the fact that we are responsible for applications that make call outs to other systems. Those systems and those resources may not be in Verizon Cloud, we understand at the end of the day it's going to be federated," explained Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,348
"For the past 4 years we have been working mainly to export. For the last 3 or 4 years the main market was Russia. In the past year we have been working to expand our footprint in Europe and the United States," explained Andris Gailitis, CEO of DEAC, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 25, 2014 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,132
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,018
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,345
"Cloud consumption is something we envision at Solgenia. That is trying to let the cloud spread to the user as a consumption, as utility computing. We want to allow the people to just pay for what they use, not a subscription model," explained Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 25, 2014 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,000
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,352