LTE Goes Mainstream, But Beware of ‘4G Pretenders’
As the industry gears up for another Mobile World Congress, Total Telecom’s Nick Wood takes a look at LTE developments over the last 12 months, as it’s sure to be a key focal area at this year’s show. In February 2010, commercial LTE deployments were restricted to two countries, but by the end of last year, the technology was on its way to becoming mainstream. Some of the world’s largest operators, such as Verizon, TeliaSonera, Vodafone Germany, among others, have launched LTE services, with many more intending to follow suit in 2011. But, as Nick points out, while operators forge ahead with service rollouts, the industry as a whole is facing an unexpected LTE-related issue: marketing—leaving many wondering what actually constitutes true 4G. Basically, any CSP operating an HSPA network or faster can claim to be offering 4G services, so Total Telecom is focused on separate the true LTE players from the 4G players while in Barcelona.
Graham believes that policy management will be just as hot in 2011, as it was in 2010—and for similar reasons—mobile broadband and the need to manage fair usage. But what is interesting to note is that use cases are beginning to shift. Operators are applying policy control in new ways beyond fair-use management and looking at the OSS solutions as a way to personalise, monetise and offer differentiated services. For example, some operators have begun to use policy control to offer unlimited access to Facebook or providing differential access to particular types of subscribers. How do you see policy control shaping out for 2011?
Pipeline’s Guide to Mobile World Congress 2011
John Wilson puts together a helpful Mobile World Congress guide for those who are interested in BSS / OSS topics. He breaks down the relevant keynotes and breakout sessions. Some to highlight include:
- Tuesday’s keynotes from Vodafone, Telefonica, AT&T and more. While these talks aren’t necessarily related to OSS / BSS, this is a chance to hear what operators have planned for 2011 and the next steps in their next-gen mobile network rollouts.
- Thursday afternoon sessions on the future of the network and LTE. These talks will give an overview on how LTE is ultimately enabling attractive new mobile broadband services, while ensuring the support of voice and SMS services.
Telesperience analyst Teresa Cottam also provides a rundown of who’s at MWC11, where to meet people and what’s hot in her recent post BSSOSS at MWC11. Make sure you stop by Comptel’s booth (Hall 1, Stand 1C06) and say hello! We’ll also be blogging and tweeting throughout the show, so make sure you follow the conversations.