Light Reading

Huawei: 4G or Not 4G?

Dan Jones
LR Mobile Column
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
1/28/2009
50%
50%

There's one main problem with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 's claim that it has won the contract to supply the "world’s first commercial 4G/LTE network" for TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) in Oslo, Norway. (See Huawei Wins LTE Deal and TeliaSonera: We'll Do 4G in 2010.)

Simply put, there is no defined standard for fourth generation (4G) networks yet from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) , the organization that actually gets to define "4G."

In July last year the trade body issued its technical requirements for "IMT-Advanced" – the ITU's official term for 4G. It said it would take specification submissions from October 2008 and into 2009, and then start work on defining the standard. (See ITU Approves New 4G Specs.)

So, even if Huawei can meet the technical requirements of 4G, it's highly unlikely that a standard will be set in stone by the time the TeliaSonera network is deployed.

In addition, the expected technical requirements of true 4G standards are set to be beyond the current capabilities of mobile WiMax or LTE (Long-Term Evolution). (See 4G: What & When.)

The ITU said its IMT-Advanced specification will call for 100 Mbit/s downloads and a 1 Gbit/s link for stationary or local area connections. Unstrung has been told in the past that this will require very low latency on wireless connections – less than 100 milliseconds to set up a new session – and super-fat channels, at least 40 Mhz apiece.

By these criteria, nothing out there, and likely nothing coming down the pipe in the next several years, will be able to claim true 4G status. The ITU has said two specifications, 802.16m (or WiMax 2) and LTE-Advanced, will be considered, and it's also possible that the Chinese government will submit its own specification for consideration.

Meanwhile, NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) have come closest to the speed goals. NTT hit 250 Mbit/s with its "Super 3G" tests, and Samsung has demonstrated a 100-Mbit/s mobile connection in a bus being driven round Jeju Island in South Korea at speeds of up to 38 miles per hour, using its WiBro technology. (See DoCoMo Tests 'Super 3G' and Samsung: 4G Speed King.)

Once deployed, LTE is set to provide real-world, average downlink data rates of 34 Mbit/s and uplinks of about 7.3 Mbit/s, compared with the real-world, average HSPA downlink rate of about 7 Mbit/s and uplink of 2.6 Mbit/s, Heavy Reading analyst Gabriel Brown says in a recent report. Fast as hell, but nowhere close to the ITU requirements for IMT-Advanced. (See Operators Face LTE Deployment Dilemma and LTE Base Station Strategies.)

Of course, Huawei isn't alone in trying to wrap itself in 4G colors. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) referred to its Xohm WiMax service launches as "4G," Nortel Networks Ltd. talked up its "4G strategy," and many others have followed suit. (See Sprint Launches XOHM and Nortel Demos LTE.) [Ed note: That worked real well for Sprint and Nortel, didn't it? See Sprint Slashes 8,000 Jobs, Nortel Files for Bankruptcy Protection, and The Decline & Fall of Nortel Networks.]

Even Unstrung has been known to use the designation in a headline or story once in a while. Typically, though, we tend to use "pre-4G", "proto-4G," or "wireless broadband" when writing about the technology whenever possible.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Paladin
50%
50%
Paladin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:01 PM
re: Huawei: 4G or Not 4G?
Two things:

1: Oddly enough, you didn't call out Ericsson for the same issue since they were also noted to have won that contract with the same essential story (see below)

2: A quick google of Unstrung shows you are listed as "Unstrung the 4G authority" not the "proto-4G authority" or "the wireless broadband authority".

Why is that Danno?




Unstrung News Feed: Huawei Wins LTE Deal
JANUARY 15, 2009 - Huawei wins world' s first 4G/LTE commercial contract from TeliaSonera


Unstrung News Feed: Ericsson Wins LTE Deal
JANUARY 15, 2009 - Ericsson to build commercial 4G network for TeliaSonera

joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:12:59 PM
re: Huawei: 4G or Not 4G?
"Oddly enough, you didn't call out Ericsson for the same issue since they were also noted to have won that contract with the same essential story."

Impossible to constantly call out different vendors and operators for using this marketing term *all* the time, I do regularly write something reminding people that 4G is a marketing term.

"A quick google of Unstrung shows you are listed as "Unstrung the 4G authority" not the "proto-4G authority" or "the wireless broadband authority".

Well, I kind of alluded to that in the piece. The plan is to cover the evolution of what will become 4G from the roots up (eg, OFDM radio tech).

DJ
More Blogs from LR Mobile Column
Mobile operators are coming to terms with their supporting role in the mobile apps world
Radio access networks are set for radical change
After a sluggish start, mobile banking will grow exponentially in the US market through 2015
LTE mobile device sales are expected to reach anywhere from 500,000 to 1M units in 2011
China's ranks of 3G subscribers will more than double this year, reaching 40M units
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
Cats with Phones
Too Fluffy to Talk Click Here
Elmer found that his bountiful fur got in the way of meaningful conversation.