LTE is growing phenomenally in China. By the end of 2014, China gained almost 100 million LTE subscriptions in the first year of full LTE commercialisation, demonstrating an accelerating growth momentum, according to ABI Research.
Thanks to the first-mover advantages, China Mobile seized almost 90 percent share of the LTE market in China.
“Since the other two China mobile operators — China Unicom and China Telecom — were granted preferred FDD-LTE licenses in March 2015, it is expected that China will overtake the US to become the largest 4G market in the world, accumulating 500 million LTE subscriptions, or 36.5 percent of the domestic cellular subscriptions in 2015,” said Marina Lu, Research Analyst of ABI Research.
Global SIM card shipment will reach 5.2 billion units in 2014, a 5.32 percent increase from 2013, according to ABI Research.
LTE, NFC, and M2M are gaining momentum and considered the trends for the next few years.
Large markets such as India, China, and Saudi Arabia are currently among the last countries to undergo ID registration regulations. Among them only India saw a massive decline in shipments during 2013 but data from 2014 show that the market has successfully stabilised and steady growth is expected from 2015 onwards.
Mobile data roaming will generate about US$50 billion in revenue by 2019, contributing as much as 56 percent to global roaming revenues, according to Ovum.
The revenue contribution from Asia is increasing, particularly from Central and Southern Asia, which is expected to grow at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent over the forecast period, as one of the highest among all regions.
“The sheer size of the region contributes to the increase, as does the fact that mobile services will penetrate further into these markets over the forecast period, and the overall propensity to roam is set to improve gradually,” said Nishi Verma Nangia, Senior Analyst of Ovum.
Huawei has unveiled the Huawei Mobile WiFi Prime E5878, claimed to be the world’s thinnest at 7.5mm, the equivalent of five credit cards stacked on top of each other.
Delivering download speeds of up to 150 Mbps and connectivity for up to 10 devices, Huawei Prime is so compact and portable at 109.5mm long and 58mm wide that it can easily slide into a pocket or bag to stay connected on-the-go, making it ideal for small and home office business professionals.
Huawei Prime features press and play functionality with a five-second start up to provide quick connectivity for up to 10 WiFi-enabled devices at once with a range of 100 metres.
China Mobile has successfully deployed the world’s first LTE TDD 8T8R Active Antenna Unit (AAU) in Hebei, China. It was also the first to install Huawei’s LTE TDD AAU with 10,000 Huawei 4T4R AAU units in 2013. Once 8T8R AAU was rolled out, China Mobile adopted this solution in Hebei province and plans a large scale deployment in the near future.
The newly improved Huawei AAU simplifies installation and has improved the cell edge download rate by 55 percent in field tests. It integrates the antenna unit and the remote radio unit (RRU) in one box, removing the need to install two units separately. This improved installation efficiency reduces ongoing maintenance costs and site space.
Huawei has implemented its AAU solution in more than 10 countries including the UK, Germany, Singapore, and Russia.
With a highly-connected world where fast Internet access is vital, ZTE has pushed the envelope a little further with its pre-5G concept shared at LTE World Summit 2014 in Nice, France.
It has announced that under certain conditions, some 5G technologies can provide a 5G-like user experience on 4G terminals without changing the air interface standards.
“With next-generation 5G technologies being deployed in 2020, there were industry concerns over what technologies will be used in the next six years. To address this, ZTE proposes to apply some of the 5G technology on top of 4G to meet users’ requirements,” said Dr Xiang Jiying, CTO of wireless products at ZTE.
Huawei has won the bid for the Shenhua Group Corporation’s Shuo Huang Railway (SHR) LTE project.
One of the largest coal supplying and trading companies, Shenhua has developed and implemented the world’s first LTE network for heavy-haul railways. SHR, with an operating route length of 594km, is a critical railway section for China’s West-to-East Coal Transfer project.
Shenhua hopes to expand the railway’s capacity to transfer 350 million tons of coal and needed to maintain efficient and safe operations of 20,000-ton capacity heavy-haul trains. A wireless broadband system was required to communicate between the master-slave locomotives located at both ends of trains, which could be up to 2.5km apart. The railway’s 800MHz and 400kHz communications system would not be able to support the expansion with its limited coverage distance and low reliability.
NVIDIA has boosted its Tegra Note 7 with the i500 LTE modem – and its 4G LTE cellular connection. The seven-inch tablet is available with LTE and HSPA+ mobile connectivity and can operate on popular carriers across the world. With better cellular connectivity, consumers can now access the web, check out maps and play videos anywhere they go by purchasing a minimum data plan from many carriers.
The Tegra NOTE 7 LTE’s worldwide connectivity is provided by the fifth-gen NVIDIA i500 processor, which leverages a unique software-defined radio technology – meaning it can deliver new capabilities via software without requiring an entirely new chipset. Another big plus is higher efficiency – it’s only 40 percent the size of conventional modems but has 4x the processing capability of its predecessor.
Starting at US$299, it is available from partners worldwide starting in the second quarter, including Zotac in Japan, Gigabyte and Zotac in Korea, and Gigabyte and Homecare in China.
Ultra-portables are becoming increasingly popular, growing 100 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to ABI Research. This translates to 12.3 percent (22.5 million) of notebook PC shipment in 2013 (182.7 million).
“Across 24 countries tracked in November 2013, we found average ultra-portable PC selling prices ranging from US$940 to US$1,540 with the majority of models offered above US$1,200 in each country,” said Jeff Orr, Senior Practice Director of ABI Research. “The ASPs suggest ultra-portables including the convertible and detachable 2-in-1 configurations remained at the high-end of the notebook PC category exiting 2013.”
Beyond Apple’s MacBook Air running MacOS, the bulk of ultra-portable PCs are powered by the Windows 8 operating system, which suffered fits and starts during 2013 due to usability issues and poor first impressions by early adopter audiences. A revision, Windows 8.1, was released in the second half of the year to address these concerns, though popular opinion suggests many considering a refresh to their existing systems are willing to wait for the hiccups to be worked out before making a financial commitment.
Global mobile Internet service revenue grew an estimated 23.4 percent to US$300 billion last year, according to ABI Research. Wireless broadband subscription grew 28.8 percent and the smartphone share of total subscriptions advanced by 6.6 percent to capture 27.5 percent of the overall pie.
In 2014, mobile Internet related revenues will power ahead with growth in the 13 to 15 percent range in 2014 with the Asia-Pacific region leading the way.
“When it comes to mobile data traffic growth, Asia-Pacific will lead the pack, generating 16.8 exabytes of traffic in 2014 for a 40.2 percent share,” notes Jake Saunders, VP and Practice Director of ABI Research. “After launching LTE services in late 2013, China will experience a surge in data traffic in 2014. Even mature markets like South Korea and Japan will continue to see strong growth as operators boost capacity with LTE-Advanced technologies.”
IMS Core Network deployments are edging up as operators put the necessary infrastructure and capacity in place for planned 2014 VoLTE launches, according to ABI Research.
Spending for the core network products (HSS, CSC, Media Controllers and Gateways, MSF, IBCF, SBC and P-CSCF) integral to a functioning IMS network will reach US$4 billion by 2017. “We see increasing IMS Core Network revenues through 2017, after which IMS revenues will flatten and reflect capacity expansion,” said Joe Hoffman, Research Director of ABI Research.
IMS spending for mobile 4G markets follows the LTE deployments, as operators seek to get their network coverage in place, stabilised, and compatible mobiles for VoLTE become available. The leading LTE market, North America, will peak 2015 to 2016, while the largest market, Asia-Pacific shows continued growth into the foreseeable future.
Telecom New Zealand has launched a new 4G LTE network that can provide speeds of up to 150 Mb/s to mobile subscribers in parts of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
The telco has made access to the 4G network free for all of its current subscribers who have 4G-capable devices. It recognises that the network’s faster data will quickly become the “new normal” for New Zealanders who have embraced smart devices.
According to Tim Miles, CEO of Telecom’s enterprise business arm Gen-i, 4G would help to feed growing demand for new applications which leverage the high speeds, while the seamless integration of the 4G network with 3G, fibre and Wi-Fi into a single platform for mobility would deliver a superior overall experience for customers.
Huawei has demonstrated a Turbo Button solution for dramatically boosting delivered LTE speeds with a simple push of a button on a mobile app.
Turbo Button allows mobile subscribers to easily accelerate their data speeds on demand from 1 Mb/s up to 70 Mb/s over a set period of time with just one touch on a downloadable app. The service is especially useful for improving the experience of high-speed web surfing, online gaming, large file uploads and downloads, and HD video streaming among other bandwidth intensive services.
The demo was conducted by Indonesian mobile operator XL Axiata at the recent 2013 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Indonesia and made exclusive use of Huawei’s Networker solution for LTE. XL
The uptake of 4G-LTE is expected to grow to pass one billion by 2017, according to a new study by GSMA Intelligence. This translates to one in eight of the more than eight billion total mobile connections forecast by that point, up from 176 million LTE connections at the end of 2013. And around half of these are expected to be in Asia.
Nearly 500 LTE networks are forecast to be in service across 128 countries, roughly double the number of live LTE networks today.
“Since the launch of the first commercial 4G-LTE networks in late 2009 we are seeing deployments accelerate across the globe,” said Hyunmi Yang, Chief Strategy Officer of GSMA. “Our new report highlights a number of factors that are driving LTE growth: the timely allocation of suitable spectrum to mobile operators; the availability of affordable LTE devices; and the implementation of innovative tariffs that encourage adoption of high-speed data services. Mobile operators in both developed and developing markets are seeing LTE services contributing to a significant increase in ARPU.”
Just when you thought that the Galaxy line-up was packed, Samsung has unleashed yet another model — the Galaxy Tab 3 (10.1-inch) with LTE in Singapore.
Offering an expanded range of options along with previously announced 7-inch and 8-inch versions, the Galaxy Tab 3 (10.1-inch) with LTE is packed with enhanced content and intuitive design for viewing or sharing content.
Stacked with a 1.6 GHz Dual Core processor, it features a comprehensive suite of video, music, and photo software, making it ideal for mobile entertainment.
ZTE’s Grand Memo LTE is poised to become the first 4G device available for sale in China, after it became the first to be awarded a TD-LTE handset permit by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The single-SIM, dual stand-by voice solution used by ZTE Grand Memo LTE, a quad-band device compatible with the TD-LTE/ FDD/TDS/ GSM bands, means it is capable of supporting simultaneous high-speed data transmission and high-quality voice calls.
The ZTE Grand Memo LTE is the 4G version of ZTE’s flagship Grand Memo device, offering superior specifications including a 5.7-inch high-definition display with 1280×720 resolution, a 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 12-core GPU and 13 million pixel camera, supporting 1080P HD video playback and recording.
Samsung has announced the new eight-inch GALAXY Tab 3 that sports a slim bezel that makes it easier to read and have a more engaging multimedia experience. The physical keys on the bezel at the bottom give users a comfortable smartphone-like experience in navigation.
Travellers will enjoy features such as S Translator provides instant translation through voice recognition and via text on applications including email, text message, and ChatON. Additionally, Trip Advisor provides real-time local information along with the user’s travel paths. Users can get useful travel information and make reservations at tourist spots and hotels, among others.
The Galaxy Tab 3 will be available in white from August 3 at S$668 for the LTE version without contract and S$468 for the WiFi version at telecommunication operators, major consumer electronics and IT stores, and Samsung Experience Stores.
ZTE has launched the MF253 LTE wireless router that enables 4G mobile data access for homes, retail stores and offices.
With a sleek upright design, the MF253 supports data downlink speeds of 100Mbps, and 50Mbps for uplink, delivering high-speed mobile Internet access for up to 32 users simultaneously. It comes with a streamlined white chassis and blue indicator lights.
Customised versions for markets in the Americas, Europe and China ensure comprehensive support for a broad range of LTE spectrum used in different markets globally. Support for an external antenna will allow the MF253 to be deployed in areas of poor mobile signals.
Out of 470 LTE commitments tracked by ABI Research, 193 have gone commercial. Over the next two years, another 123 network commitments are expected to do likewise. Additionally, ABI Research is currently tracking 69 LTE-TDD commitments.
“By 2018, LTE deployments should deliver population coverage of 57 percent (4.2 billion) and 31 percent (2.3 billion) in legacy WCDMA and CDMA2000 markets respectively. Significantly, LTE-TDD coverage should achieve 49 percent population coverage by the end of the five year period,” said Jake Saunders, Vice President – Core Forecasting at ABI Research.
These coverage targets will be driven by macrocells and small cells. By 2018, the number of LTE macrocell base stations will reach 2.43m to achieve the population coverage targets. Small cells are an integral part of the LTE operator’s network strategy. As a result, ABI Research estimates that 18,000 LTE outdoor small cells will ship in 2013, and will expand to 986,000 by 2018.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S4 but prefer a smaller form factor? The good news is that Samsung has launched the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini with LTE, a compact version of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone.
Priced at S$698 without contract, the phone will be available in two colours — white frost and black mist — from July 6.
With a 4.3-inch qHD SUPER AMOLED display, 107g lightweight and compact design, it is easy to carry and operate with one hand. Though compact, the Galaxy S4 mini with LTE boasts a 1.7GHz dual core processor that allows users to quickly and easily perform data intensive tasks.
ZTE has introduced the new MF90 4G uFi (unified WiFi) mobile hotspot device that delivers high-speed data access for mobile consumers via LTE wireless networks.
The MF90 supports simultaneous wireless data access by 10 users, and offers maximum data transmission speeds of 100Mbps. It is supported on mainstream 4G frequency bands globally, including Asia Pacific, and is backward compatible with 3G and 2G networks. The MF90 supports dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz WiFi networks, WiFi 2X2 MIMO, and 802.11 b/g/n.
Offering improved power consumption capabilities compared with first-generation LTE uFi devices, the MF90’s 2300mAh battery supports four hours of continuous use, meeting the needs of most business users and consumers.
Hong Kong mobile operator CSL has successfully conducted a High Definition (HD) voice over LTE (VoLTE) call hand-off to 3G with an eSRVCC-based pre-commercial network. HD voice will keep service continuity before and after hand-off. All network equipment used in this demonstration was provided by ZTE. This HD VoLTE call with end-to-end QoS assurance provide highly reliable user experience and help operators differentiate their services.
The Adaptive Multi Rate Wideband(AMR-WB) speech codec was supported in the HD VoLTE call demonstration. This HD voice speech codec provides improved speech quality due to a wider speech bandwidth from 50 to 7,000Hz and ensures no significant impact on radio-frequency capacity due to the efficiency of codec suitable. HD voice technology will significant promote the development of high quality voice service, such as speech recognition, speech-to-text and HD conferencing.
“VoLTE provides an improvement in spectral efficiency and is needed to increase network capacity and allow to re-farm the 3G spectrum in the future,” said Christian Daigneault, Chief Technology Officer of CSL. “This HD VoLTE call using eSRVCC will shorten call set-up time, assure good handover to 3G where required and creates a better user experience for our customers. CSL has been the first to bring Dual Band LTE at 1800/2600 MHz in Asia and will continue to bring a superior network experience to its customers. The success of this demonstration is an important milestone in the development of LTE voice services in the mobile industry.”
ZTE has launched its 4G cloud radio solution at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.
Its cloud radio is a flexible solution that can adapt to existing transmissions for operators. This adaptability improves network performance. Cloud radio also enables dynamic coordination and guarantees a smooth user experience, especially on the cell edge.
Cloud radio is an emerging solution and aimed at helping operators solve a series of key problems during network evolution progress to 4G, such as unbalanced load in 2G, 3G and LTE networks, and uneven cell edge user experiences.
ZTE is teaming up with NVIDIA to deliver the first super phones powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 4 mobile processor, with the first models to be launched in China in the first half of 2013.
Launched at CES in January, the NVIDIA Tegra 4 will enable the ZTE devices to deliver ultra-fast web browsing, improved app load times, more realistic gaming experiences and great battery life – thanks to the processor’s 72 custom NVIDIA GeForce cores and quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU.
Tegra 4 also enables worldwide 4G LTE voice and data support through an optional chipset, the NVIDIA i500 processor. ZTE and NVIDIA are also planning a new LTE super phone using the i500 LTE chipset for blazing-fast networking.
ZTE has launched the industry’s first commercial trial VoLTE call with enhanced single radio voice call continuity (eSRVCC) in Hong Kong.
The VoLTE call with eSRVCC enables higher quality voice calls while the network is upgrading to LTE and provides end-to-end QoS assurance. The eSRVCC was proposed by ZTE at 3GPP in 2009 and is supported by a number of operators and vendors. It was accepted into 3GPP R10 as a standard technology promotion.
“eSRVCC VoLTE call improves connection time when compared to CSFB solution and shortens handover time when compared to SRVCC solution. It gives LTE users more options and better service experience,” said ZTE Core Network Vice President Tu Jiashun. “The success of this solution is a milestone in the development of the VoLTE ecosystem.”
ZTE has launched an energy saving solution to help operators reduce energy consumption in their LTE networks. According to test results, a single site employing this solution can save up to 40 percent in power consumption.
The global information and communication technology industry accounts for as much as 2.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to research firm Gartner. In a typical wireless telecommunications network, about 90 percent of the energy is consumed by base stations.
ZTE’s Energy Saving Solution offers an array of innovative technologies to reduce power consumption for base stations, including the industry’s first integrated system for automatic/dynamic PA bias voltage control and intelligent OFDM signaling shutdown without affecting performance.
Based on test results, ZTE’s Energy Saving Solution can generate energy savings of as much as 32 percent on a single site. Annual reduction of as much as 5,200KwH can be achieved on a typical 1,500W base station. For a network comprising 1,000 base stations, the annual reduction would amount to 5.2 million Kwh, reducing 4500 tons of carbon dioxide emission. When combined with the deployment of renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy or bio-energy, energy savings of more than 50 per cent of the entire network can be achieved.
ZTE will increase resources for LTE development and green technologies. The company has won 38 LTE commercial contracts and is working with more than 100 operators in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East on trial LTE networks.