The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014 - (Page 41)

THEME: ON THE EDGE: MEETING CONSUMER DEMAND Wireless Challenges and Solutions for Competitive Carriers By: Rick Xu Director, Wireless Solution Sales, Huawei Technologies USA T he year 2013 saw lots of big events in the U.S. wireless carrier space: Softbank's acquisition of Sprint; Clearwire folding into Sprint; AT&T's acquisition of Alltel; T-mobile's merger with MetroPCS; and more. With this fastchanging competitive landscape it is becoming more and more difficult for carriers to maintain a viable business case. What can competitive carriers do in order to survive and flourish? They can change their coverage and enhance their capacity by utilizing techniques some carriers may not realize are available to them. Coverage has proven to be a huge challenge many competitive carriers face. As many of them operate in areas with large landmasses, low population density, and low penetration of cable/ DSL or other landline infrastructure, wireless is usually a good solution. To achieve maximum coverage and good indoor penetration, carriers can make use of techniques such as MIMO, high transmit power, high-gain antennas, and tower-top mounting of radio units. As carriers grow subscribers, and as demand for wireless bandwidth increases over time, capacity becomes another challenge. Capacity enhancement can be achieved in two categories: putting more spectrum to use; and squeezing more bits out of the existing spectrum. In the first category, carriers can look for radio hardware that can utilize wider channels or multiple channels and work with a wider bandwidth (i.e., they do not have to put up multiple radios simply because they want to add more spectrum). In some cases, the spectrum owned by competitive carriers is sparse and diverse (e.g., 700MHz, 850MHz, 1900MHz and 2.5GHz). The wireless infrastructure (RAN and site solutions) needs to support multiple bands and multiple technologies (e.g., CDMA at 850MHz and TD-LTE at 2.5GHz, when low band spectrum is key to ubiquitous coverage while high band like 2.5GHz is ideal for capacity). The synergy of the technologies in the equipment means lower upfront CAPEX, easier engineering and less tower loading. In the second category, carriers can employ techniques including MIMO, higher-order modulation or sophisticated interference mitigation schemes, such as enhanced intercell interference coordination (eICIC). Another useful concept is HetNet. This concept takes advantage of seamless cooperation between Macro and small cells. The Macro cells (usually deployed using a lower frequency for better propagation) provide the basic coverage of the area while the small cells (typically deployed using a higher frequency with more abundantly available spectrum of 2.5GHz, for example) provides added capacity where needed. We all know no networks are perfect, as these coverage and capacity issues are constantly evolving and in need of new and better solutions. Fortunately, wireless standards and technologies are also advancing daily, leading to better products and solutions all the time. Currently, many competitive carriers have upgraded to LTE and are enjoying the benefits of higher throughputs and better subscriber experience. The next generation of wireless equipment after LTE will be based on THE LTE-Advanced. LTE-Advanced provides many improvements over LTE. One key aspect of these improvements is carrier aggregation, which ties back to the concept of making more spectrum available. Carrier aggregation - as its name indicates - combines contiguous or non-contiguous spectrum allocations into wider channels and therefore improves system bandwidth significantly. LTE-Advanced also brings features such as coordinated multipoint (CoMP) and enhanced interference management and suppression. However, these enhancements come at a price and the question is: how much? This is an area where the design philosophy of the network infrastructure really matters. If the equipment is designed with forward-looking hardware and software-defined radio, many of the LTE-Advanced enhancements can be applied via software upgrades instead of forklift hardware upgrades. The software upgrade approach saves time and money for the competitive carriers and entails minimal service disruption to existing operations. The software-defined radio concept also often means a common hardware platform among multiple technologies (e.g., GSM/UMTS/LTE), with associated benefits of lower system costs and simpler spare part management. Changing coverage and enhancing capacity by utilizing these techniques will help competitive carriers survive and flourish. Huawei Technologies can help on this journey. Huawei is a global leader in wireless and is fully committed to provide unique value and innovation to U.S. carrier customers. Huawei's SingleRAN strategy delivers industryleading wide-coverage, high-capacity and future-proof wireless solutions, which provide competitive carriers with technology leadership and TCO savings. VOICE * www.competitivecarriers.org * Spring/Summer 2014 41 http://www.competitivecarriers.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014

Chairman’s Letter by Jonathan Foxman
A Message from the President and CEO by Steven K. Berry
CCA’s 2013 Annual Achievement Award Winners
Staying Ahead of “The Next Big Thing”
Near Tragedy in Nevada Demonstrates Need for Rural Investment
Competition – The Foundation for a Healthy Industry
Putting the “Incentive” in Incentive Auction
Beat ’Em or Join ’Em: Data Roaming in a 4G LTE World
2014: The Year of Small Cell Deployment
Band Class 12 – Beyond Broadband
Chat Mobility Utilizes Multi-Faceted Plan to Attract & Retain Customers
Blurred Lines: Reinventing in the Rural Market
Regional Carrier Bridges Digital Divide with Massive Network Upgrade
Wireless Challenges and Solutions for Competitive Carriers
Expanding America’s Wireless Networks: It Takes a Village
Lead with Location
Giving Your Customer Their Preferred Choices in Billing: Paper, Electronic, and Mobile
Monetizing Data Demand with Personalized Services
Making Sure Long-Distance Calls Reach Rural Subscribers
Mobility Growth with Emerging Devices
Mobile Broadband and the Rise of Mobile Security Challenges
On the Verge: Fulfilling 4G-LTE Consumer Demand in America
Transform Your Business by Making It Simpler
Lessons Learned on the Road to LTE
Let’s Get Personal
Even If the Voice Packets Make It, Does the Lack of Quality Ruin It?
Our Connected World: The Necessity of NFV for Telcos
Ten Hot Consumer Trends in 2014 and Beyond
Gain Your Edge: Effective Edge Out Strategies with 4G LTE
Reaching Consumer Demand Through Marketing in the Rural Driven Markets
Tips for Improving the Customer Experience
Creating a Super High-Capacity Network in Rural America
Your Competitors Are Coming for Your Customers
Index of Advertisers
Congressional Spotlight: Representative Robert “Bob” Latta

The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014

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