Fixed Line Threat & Deployment

Is LTE a potential threat to fixed line broadband?

JPB "Of course. The end users will increasingly ask their mobile providers for the same performance as fixed line. When you speak of fixed line the threat will not immediately exist for fibre which is the future for fixed line broadband where you can have 100Mbits on your PC and IPTV. But of course upgrading fixed lines is more troublesome and expensive than LTE which can be upgraded over the air."

CS "In some parts of the world where there is no DSL you can have an excellent experience. Outside Europe in the wider land masses you have more than one billion people for those markets and ISPs are thinking 'Well we don't need to lay out copper, dig up streets'. That {LTE} will be the way I'll supply my customers. China is very interested in this. It is a much easier way to get a high quality broadband experience and it's also much faster to setup. It's instant. Deploy a base station and you're there."

Will existing phones and modems be able to tap into LTE's extra bandwidth or do you need new hardware?

CS "You would need a new multi-mode device but an LTE device will be backwards compatible allowing it to fall back to 3G or EDGE."

3G is still a massive power drain on the battery of smartphones and mobile devices. Is LTE going to have the same, or worse, of an effect?

JPB {pictured} "You know battery will always be an issue, for cars, for consumer electronic devices for mobile phones. Always batteries and particularly at the start of 3G though now it is better."

CS "The first way of LTE will be dongle driven, it's not about smartphones it will targets laptops and desktops. Handsets will be for the 2011/2012 in the second wave of equipment. The first wave will be in 2010 with the likes of Verizon in the US, Telesonera in the Nordic countries, Telstra in Australia and NTT DOCOMO will be in Asia. The UK perhaps in the second half of 2010."

How does a network go about setting up LTE?

CS "It's a new radio interface, you can reuse your sites and a lot of the network infrastructure but you need new base stations and an adaptation of the core network with IP. The big break with LTE is it's a new standard. We've basically come from GSM world and put plasters on it to enable it to do more things but it's still at the end of the day a circuit switch, voice orientated network solution. With LTE we chuck all that out the window and start again. It's a clean sheet of paper and an IP network."

Does this not scare the hell out of providers? Because with LTE you're bringing fast enough data to make traditional voice packages irrelevant, it could be the first inevitable step into turning networks into so-called 'dump pipes' or mobile ISPs?

CS "That's right."

JPB "The debate is already beginning with Skype {as with the Nokia N97 and there is a move to create free calls. It will have to be made gradually and the investments in LTE are at first to cope with the increase with the added demands for data traffic and then bringing more capacity in the network, getting rid of blockages. So this will come later."



March 9, 2010, 7:46 pm

So can some one say what the difference between wimax and LTE is, in a sentence or two?


April 6, 2010, 4:22 am

WiMax is like WiFi just thrown out over huge (potentially city wide) distances. LTE is a new form of 3G like you (most likely) have on your mobile phone or tap into with a 3G dongle.

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