& cplSiteName &

Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group

Ray Le Maistre
9/15/2006
50%
50%

Seven of the world's biggest wireless carriers have formed an "initiative" called Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) to "provide a coherent view of what the operator community is going to require in the decade beyond 2010." (See Carriers Form NGMN.)

China Mobile Communications Corp. , KPN Mobile , NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), Orange SA (London/Paris: OGE), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), T-Mobile International AG , and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) are the founding members that plan to spell out to wireless technology suppliers what's needed after HSPA (high-speed packet access) and CDMA EVDO, the current 3G technologies being deployed.

But with standards bodies such as the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2) , and industry bodies like the GSM Association (GSMA) and CDMA Development Group (CDG) already well known and established, why the need for a new body?

Steve Falk, VP for global standards at Sprint Nextel, says the "primary feeling among the carriers is that, with 2G and 3G, the operators hadn't spoken early enough and with as focused a vision as they might have done. We work very closely with the standards and other industry bodies but thought it would be useful to have some guidelines and principles."

He says it will help the carriers focus on their needs but also help their suppliers. "It will save time and resources at the vendors. Instead of chasing a disparate group of technologies, they can focus on a smaller group."

So which technologies will NGMN be focused on? Nortel Networks Ltd. , for example, said recently it is going to focus its 4G developments on WiMax, LTE (long term evolution), and EV-DO Revision C. (See Zafirovski: We'll Get 4G Right.)

Falk says the group "is technology neutral. We are creating a set of guidelines instead of technology choices. In selecting WiMax, Sprint used the guidelines and principles" laid out in the NGMN's white paper, "Next Generation Mobile Networks Beyond HSPA & EVDO version 2.1," which the organization is distributing on a request basis.

So what are the main criteria laid out in the NGMN's vision? Falk says the technology must be based on "open IPR [intellectual property rights] and must be all IP," and that there are a number of other guidelines related to issues such as performance and interoperability.

The NGMN is hoping for more members. "We've had a gratifying expression of interest from other carriers and from about 20 to 30 vendors with regards to joining," says Falk. He said the group decided to start with a manageable number to get the initiative up and running and get the white paper edited. "It's very early days in the process. We expect the number of operator members to expand.

"I haven't participated in any discussions with operators who declined to join," says Falk.

And what about the GSM Association? How does it feel about some of its high-profile members forming an alternative industry group? "We see it as a positive," says Association spokesman Mark Smith. "The operators are looking at the future, and we're very supportive of this. We're looking forward to working with the group."

Heavy Reading senior analyst Patrick Donegan says he can see why the group has been formed, and says there's a chance it could be effective.

“The GSM Association does a lot of valuable work. However, on the standards side of things, it is limited in its effectiveness because of the highly consensual approach it has to take in representing the interests of its 663 members," says Donegan. "The NGMN group believes it can be more effective in wielding a stick amongst the vendors in steering the industry’s technology roadmap.

"The acid test of its effectiveness will be how the individual member carriers behave and vote in the standards and other industry bodies. If most of the time the individual carrier members align with the NGMN group they're part of, then the vendors will take the NGMN group seriously, and it may prove effective. If they don’t, then the vendors will spot it straight away and proceed with business as usual."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:40:47 AM
re: Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group
Well, didnGt the operators initiate 3GPP? Look how that ended up.

Why would 4G (what an awful term) turn out any different.

3GGs not so bad G have you tried using it?

The market isnGt making anywhere near optimal use of the capacity 3G provides at the moment.

The cost/complexity of the next-gen of systems is daunting. And for what return?
materialgirl
50%
50%
materialgirl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:47 AM
re: Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group
How bad can things get for 3G? These guys are so anxious to move on, they are even bypassing standards bodies. The NG wish-list highlights what they dislike about 3G.
yhza
50%
50%
yhza,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:40 AM
re: Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group
" The cost/complexity of the next-gen of systems is daunting."

I have to disagree. As someone who is currently deploying a M-WiMax network, I can see the cost savings very clearly. Both network units and handsets prices are looking very good, and vendors have just started.

And the network couldn't be any simpler. Yes, there are still some issues when it comes to voice and roaming, but I see no reason why it can't be solved within the next year or two.
zwixard
50%
50%
zwixard,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:39 AM
re: Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group
The cost/complexity part on 3G is very high. With WiMAX, one flat network can provide both voice and data services.

We need a wireless access network based on pure IP that can INTER-WORK with our Wi-Fi access points at home. I know some people who already have designs to solve WiMAX voice and roaming issues. The natural force of pursuing lowest cost will result in WiMAX taking over the wide area wireless access technology sector.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:40:38 AM
re: Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group
IGm no 3G fanboy. Just acknowledging whatGs available and getting deployed on a large scale.

I think this group has something other than WiMax in mind G otherwise thereGd be no point to it. WiMax is a step along that road.

Flat IP is obviously nice, ItGs well acknowledged that 3G is over-complex with RNCs and such.

YhzaGǪ would love hear more about where and why youGre deploying mobile WiMax (brown@lightreading.com, in confidence).
zwixard
50%
50%
zwixard,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:37 AM
re: Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group
"
Flat IP is obviously nice, ItGs well acknowledged that 3G is over-complex with RNCs and such.
"

Flat IP is non-mobile. 3G mobility is based on 2G and a significant portion of the complexity in the cellular network is for mobility.

Mobile WiMAX standard, IEEE 802.16e, defines how a device can be "hardware mobile" in the physical and MAC layers. This 4G group can very well define how to achieve "software mobile" for WiMAX.
materialgirl
50%
50%
materialgirl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:36 AM
re: Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group
Dear Gabriel:
3G is dead precicely because it is complex and costly, and for what? What "must have" app has shown up on those pricey networks that justifies this cost? Even Blackberry e-mail works on older networks.
The biggest payback I have heard of so far is how more voice channels can be put over the air.
3G may be "nice", but is it "worth it"? Seems not.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:40:34 AM
re: Carriers Form 4G Pressure Group
Well thatGs kind of my point.

If the one app that people seem to want (Blackberry) works over 2G, and we have 3G as well, do we really need 4G?

The complexity referred to in next-gen systems is on the radio itself -- as you get closer to ShannonGs limit, the more complex and costly it is.

The app that really needs 4G better come with some new battery technology as well.

Also, whatever the technology arguments, the cost of these networks is in the sites, the civil works, equipment volumes, and so on. Oh, and the spectrum.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. Well cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.