Light Reading

C Spire Engineer: Major Concerns About VoLTE

Sarah Thomas
3/27/2014
50%
50%

SAN ANTONIO -- CCA Global Expo -- When asked about his biggest concern around small cells, C Spire's Manager of RF Design Engineering Mitchell Jordan had one clear answer: VoLTE.

"One concern I have on small cell is it's all LTE focused, and I get that, but in a lot of places, we need that voice option for the small cell," Jordan said on a panel here. "I guess we have to depend on VoLTE for that. I just have major concerns about VoLTE."

His concern with the 4G voice technology is that the Tier 1 operators have said it would be deployed in 2013, then pushed it back to 2014, and now he worries it will be several more years out. The reason that worries him is C Spire is waiting on the Tier 1s to see how VoLTE goes before making any moves of its own. (See VoLTE: So Close You Can Hear It.)

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) will power VoLTE for the operator, but C Spire hasn't laid out its own timeline for the technology. Jordan said its CDMA network won't be going anywhere until at least 2020, and it won't do VoLTE until the quality is comparable to voice on its CDMA network. (See C Spire Picks AlcaLu for 4G LTE Depolyment.)

That said, the carrier is moving forward on LTE. The engineer said that two-thirds of its network, which spans four southeastern US states, will be overlaid by LTE by the end of 2014, and it will convert nearly all, if not all, of its cell sites to LTE by the end of 2015.

It is also planning to start public-access small cell trials in the second or third quarter this year, and it has WiFi indoors through an agreement with Devicescape Software Inc. , but is working on expanding its managed access points outdoors. (See C-Spire Picks Devicespace for Wi-Fi Reach.)

The regional operator offers unlimited data plans, including a new $65 option it introduced this week, which Jordan said has really challenged its capacity constraints. He said C Spire's vendors have been surprised about how high its per-user data usage is, higher than most other carriers. That's why it's so interested in deploying small cells to help bolster capacity, but is also concerned about the cost of deployment, as well as the significant backhaul challenge. (See Poll: Backhaul Holds Up City Small Cells and Public Access Small Cells: Off to a Slow Start.)

"We embraced [WiFi] because we had to," Jordan said. "That's why femtocells, small cells come in too. We just don't have any other options to address the capacity crunch."

And, given its smaller size, it can't use dedicated carriers and it doesn't have a "war chest of spectrum," Jordan said. Self-organizing network (SON) technology will be critical to its small cell rollout.

"We need better coordination between networks to maximize spectrum," he said. "The FCC is not giving us spectrum as fast as we need it... We haven't deployed SON yet; we are still evaluating. A concern I have is as quickly as you can improve your performance on a network, you can destroy it as well."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
3/27/2014 | 3:10:47 PM
Re: Waiting on tier ones
Another C Spire exec expressed to me that the carrier is not actually all that concerned about VoLTE and it won't be slowed by tier ones. It's actively exploring it, he said, but it's not in trials yet and has no launch date to announce.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
3/27/2014 | 1:37:39 PM
Waiting on tier ones
I guess another way small operators get the short end of the stick is that they don't get vendor attention for new technologies until long after tier ones have deployed it. MetroPCS bucked that trend with VoLTE, but I wouldn't say the launch went all that well. I spoke with an Ericsson VP about it, and he just said big operators "have enough heft to move ecosystems. Small carriers can draft off that." It makes sense, but I also think the rural guys are often the most innovative, so it's too bad to see them stymied by the big guys.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cambodia's TRC Discusses Its Plans for National Broadband

7|17|15   |   10:33   |   (0) comments


In this video, Chakyra Moa, Chairman of Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), talks in in-depth with Heavy Reading about the Cambodia's current telecom market and TRC's goals and expectations for the future.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Phone

7|16|15   |   2:09   |   (4) comments


A man has an opportunity to purchase the world's first working 5G phone. Imagine the possibilities...
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Qualcomm Wants FCC to Stay Out of LTE-U Fray
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Distract-a-Cat Click Here
The vibrate function makes for a useful cat distraction.