Displaying items by tag: LTE
Nokia has announced that it has expanded the 4G footprint of the Azerbaijan-based mobile operator, Azercell Telecom, with the installation of its AirScale 4G base stations at more than 1,400 sites across the country.
Nokia’s AirScale Radio Access solutions will provide Azercell with high-speed mobile connectivity to cater for increased demand as well as providing a clear migration path in the future. Nokia is the sole supplier in this deal and will replace the former 4G provider and develop the network further.
The deal will be the first large-scale regional deployment of 4G services outside of the capital city of Baku. Azercell will utilize Nokia’s Single RAN solution, which is an industry-first commercial end-to-end solution that offers huge capacity scaling and market-leading latency. It will reduce complexity, increase cost efficiencies, and enable a smooth upgrade path in the future via a software update.
Azercell will also utilize Nokia Software’s NetAct Cloud network management system, which is cloud-agnostic and meets customer demands for software-only delivery. It is deployed on the same data center platforms as other IT and telco systems for increased agility and lower operational costs. NetAct manages both radio and core networks and provides applications for fault management, configuration management, network and administration management, performance management, and security management.
The deal includes Nokia’s services for network design, deployment, and optimization. Installation began at the end of 2018 and was completed in July 2020.
Azercell is the largest operator in Azerbaijan and has prioritized increasing the geographic coverage of 4G with plans to roll out across the whole country including semi-urban and rural regions. Azercell is also planning to deploy low-power, wide-area NB-IoT services.
Marat Hamidov, Director of Network Technology Department at Azercell, said, “With more than 5 million customers, Azercell has improved and expanded its 4G network across the country with Nokia to provide its population with equal technological opportunities and the latest innovations through its high-speed Internet. It is worth mentioning that a European benchmarking test, conducted by “Systemics” in Azerbaijan, confirmed that Azercell provided the highest quality of 4G services in all the regions of the country. We look forward to a long partnership with Nokia.”
Mikko Lavanti, Market Unit Head, Central East and Central Asia at Nokia, said, “We are delighted to support Azercell in their efforts to deploy nationwide 4G connectivity. A high-performing 4G network is absolutely fundamental, and with our AirScale solution, we also offer a simple upgrade to the next technological era when Azercell is ready. I look forward to developing a long-standing and close-working partnership with Azercell and helping in its continued efforts to deliver best-in-class connectivity to subscribers across the country.”
Nokia has announced it has partnered with Vivo to provide private wireless services for Vale’s Carajás mine in Brazil.
The service will be part of an Industry 4.0 project by Vale to deploy autonomous drill platforms and trucks. The project will increase productivity at the mine and improve worker safety. The network will be also used for mine-wide communications between workers. Vale plans to expand the technology to other mines currently using older WiMax solutions.
Nokia is currently working with several mining operators worldwide to deploy private wireless networks based on LTE, with plans to migrate to 5G in the future.
Autonomous ore trucks have been shown to increase productivity by 15% and reduce fuel and maintenance costs by 10%. Nokia’s LTE and 5G, being mobile technologies, provide more reliable support than WiMax or Wi-Fi for operating and controlling trucks and drills on the move.
Nokia’s private industrial-grade wireless solutions are enabling many new applications in the mining field, including support for environmental monitoring, video-assisted remote operations and improved worker monitoring and safety. Nokia is partnering with key solution providers in the mining industry, including Komatsu and Sandvik.
Vale is also currently operating 13 autonomous trucks on a WiMax network at its Brucutu mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil, with the intention to also replace it with a private LTE network for improved performance and reliability. Other applications being considered include an IoT application connecting dam monitoring instruments using LTE.
The advantage of LTE is its ability to adjust performance characteristics to each individual application and to provide a single mine-wide wireless platform that can support any kind of critical communication requirement.
Gustavo Vieira, CIO of Vale, said, “This new generation of wireless technology — LTE and, eventually, 5G — is enabling us to explore many new applications and use cases for remote and autonomous operations. This will help to make our mining operations more efficient, sustainable and safe for our workers.”
Alex Salgado, Vivo’s B2B Vice-President, said, “The private wireless service we are implementing at Vale’s Carajás mine is one of many deployments that we expect to see in the next few years. Forward-thinking customers such as Vale are embracing Industry 4.0 technologies, fostering digital solutions at the heart of their businesses, whether in agriculture, transportation or mining. We are excited to be leading this transformation.”
Luiz Tonisi, Head of Market Unit Brazil at Nokia, said, “Nokia is making a lot of impact in the mining sector right now, and this project with Vale is a very important beginning here in Brazil. Our industrial-grade private LTE wireless solution is ideal for supporting the industry’s embrace of autonomous technologies. It solves a lot of issues that past wireless technologies have struggled with and opens the way for many new and exciting use cases for mines of the future.”
Nokia today announced the availability of a software based upgrade that will enable its 4G/LTE radios to be migrated seamlessly to 5G/NR.
These features will have a high value to Nokia’s customers as they provide immediate support for approximately one million radios, reaching 3.1 million by the end of the year and over 5 million in 2021. By upgrading existing radio elements via software, Nokia is helping to streamline the process of refarming 4G/LTE spectrum into 5G/NR. The move will also support existing customers and the installed base by offering a seamless and cost-effective upgrade path to 5G/NR.
Most of the 5G/NR deployments to date have been performed with TDD cmWave and TDD mmWave deployment but the next big wave of 5G/NR rollouts will be delivered by refarming existing FDD bands to 5G/NR. TDD spectrum benefits from enlarged coverage and capacity when combined with already deployed FDD network infrastructure and spectrum bands via TDD/FDD Carrier Aggregation.
The ability to upgrade 4G/LTE radios via a software update will significantly smooth out the deployment of 5G/NR FDD, avoiding costly and disruptive site visits. Nokia has a vast customer base of 359 4G/LTE customers with deployed FDD RF units most of which are possible to upgrade. This will provide a new and smoother way for operators to build 5G/NR coverage in lower bands via spectrum refarming. Nokia’s 4G/LTE radios are market leading and outperform all vendors according to independent testing.
Nokia also has Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) already in live networks covering 2G/GSM-3G/WCDMA-4G/LTE and recently introduced DSS for 4G/LTE-5G/NR. This capability completes a DSS solution, covering all access technologies and making the radio frequency refarming to 5G/NR a simple and efficient process.
In a typical case DSS will be introduced to one or few 4G/LTE bands which are then combined with carrier aggregation between other bands running pure 4G/LTE or 5G/NR. Nokia has the market leading DSS solution covering all radio access technologies from 2G/GSM to 5G/NR.
Nokia estimates that this solution will save the telecommunications industry potentially tens of billions of euros in site engineering and re-visit costs as communication service providers are able to upgrade their networks to 5G/NR on FDD with software.
Chris Nicoll, Principal Analyst at ACG Research, said, "While Open RAN promises software upgradability to ease transitions between ‘Gs’ and add new features, Nokia’s Flexi and AirScale portfolio shows it is ahead of the game by providing a software upgrade to transition over 5 million 4G radios to 5G. Efficient FDD spectrum refarming is critical for fast, broad and deep 5G deployments. With Nokia supplying the majority of the world’s top 4G operators, supporting key advanced features such as DSS helps those operators lead with 5G.”
“We already provide market- leading LTE radios to hundreds of customers around the world. This is an important solution because it will help our customers, quickly and efficiently upgrade their existing LTE radios so that they are 5G ready saving them time and money.”
Tech titan Huawei has revealed its plans to deploy high-speed wireless internet in a number of remote, underserved communities in the North of Canada.
The Chinese tech firm has planned to deploy mainly 4G technology. This comes amid Huawei and the US’s controversial relationship. The US has imposed sanctions on the company as they have deemed the company a potential threat to their national security. Also, Canada and China are still in the midst of a diplomatic crisis concerning the detention of a Huawei executive.
Huawei has revealed that it will partner with Ice Wireless and Iristel to ensure that the rural communities will be connected by 2025. They also stated that alongside the remote areas of northeastern Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador, around 25 communities in Nunavut territory would also benefit from the deployment.
“We strongly believe that everyone should be connected to 4G LTE, no matter where they live in Canada, even in areas where high-speed service may not be economically viable,” said President of Huawei Canada, Eric Li.
Huawei officials have stated that they will deploy wireless internet in some of the coldest places on earth, which are located in Canada.
VP of Ice Wireless and Iristel, Jean-Francois Dumoulin, said, “We need to use highly reliable, world-class equipment to minimize physical intervention and to avoid outages that risk making our communities isolated once again. That’s why we partner with Huawei Canada.”
In fact, this comes as the US has been pressuring its allies to avoid using Huawei to deploy their 5G networks and have claimed that Huawei has links to the Chinese government and may partake in cyber-espionage on their behalf. However, there has been no proof of this allegation being true.
Also, Canada and Huawei have also been at odds due to the arrest of Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Neng Wanzhou, in December in Canada at the request of the US. Washington believes that she committed fraud by violating Iran sanctions and lying to US banks about it, which is why they want to put her on trial for fraud charges.
Epiroc, a leading productivity partner for the mining, infrastructure and natural resources industries, has signed a cooperation agreement with Ericsson to jointly help mining companies achieve optimal wireless connectivity in their operations through LTE and 5G technologies.
Mining companies are increasingly seeking to digitalize and automate their operations to increase productivity, enhance operator safety and lower cost. This includes, for example, remotely operating machines from a control room, and collecting machine performance data to optimize use of the equipment. This creates a need for reliable, high-performance wireless connectivity at the mines. Epiroc and Ericsson have agreed to work together to provide mining customers with high-performing LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and 5G mobile technology solutions.
Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure, says: “We are happy to team up with Ericsson so that our mining customers can get the most reliable and high-performing wireless connectivity possible. This is a crucial step in our ongoing work to ensure mining customers reap all the benefits, including higher productivity and better safety, made possible by digitalization and automation.”
Åsa Tamsons, Ericsson’s Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses, says: “Cellular technology and the introduction of 5G is critical to realize the full value of digitalization and automatization for smart industries. This will open up for new business models and ecosystems across the mining industry, telecom services providers in each market, and Ericsson. By combining our expertise in connectivity and Epiroc’s cutting-edge technology in mining equipment, we will be able to ensure stable and secure mining operations, leading to increased utilization, improved productivity and reduced costs.”
Key advantages of LTE and 5G solutions compared with other wireless solutions include better coverage, higher reliability and stronger security, especially when machines are in the same area and share information. The technology, which is for both underground and open pit mines, has already been tested on Epiroc’s machines at the company’s test mine in Kvarntorp, Sweden. Further testing will be done before providing the solutions to customers.
Nokia and Vodafone Qatar are modernizing Vodafone Qatar's core network using Nokia virtualized applications to meet growing high-quality voice and data demands of customers living in and visiting Qatar.
The modernization of the network will provide increased capacity, scalability, flexibility and performance in the delivery of services such as high-definition Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to Vodafone Qatar's more than 1.4 million mobile subscribers.
Nokia began deployment in November 2017, leveraging its hardware, NFV applications and global services expertise. The first test call was completed in March 2018 and Nokia will complete the deployment in 2019. As part of the agreement, Nokia will provide care services for five years and managed services for 20 months.
Ramy Boctor, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Qatar, said: "We are working with Nokia to deploy virtualized core network capabilities that will enable us to provide world-class services. Our aim is to deliver superior customer services leveraging this 'Telco over Cloud core' network."
Deon Geyser, head of South Africa and Vodafone (SAV) Market Unit at Nokia, said: "We are pleased to continue a long-standing relationship working with Vodafone Qatar on this Telco over cloud core modernization project. With a history of proven deployments in the field, we are able to leverage our breadth of cloud core capabilities and services expertise to deliver a network that will deliver new flexibilities in the delivery of services such as VoLTE."
Vodafone Group’s Networks Centre of Excellence team and the Huawei Mobile Innovation Centre have been testing a way to help address spectrum constraints in Turkey. The teams have completed the world’s first trial of GSM/LTE (GL) 900MHz dynamic spectrum sharing on Vodafone’s commercial networks in the Black Coast city of Trabzon.
"Spectrum is an extremely precious asset. This new network optimization technique improves spectral efficiency and enhances the experience of Vodafone customers,” said Mallik Rao, Vodafone Turkey’s Chief Technology Officer.”
Last year Vodafone and Huawei achieved overlap by GSM (2G) and LTE (4G) services within the 900 MHz spectrum band. Now the companies have shown that it is possible to assign that spectrum dynamically i.e. available 900 MHz can be allocated between 4G and 2G services based on customer demand.
In the trial, which took place over several months, dynamic sharing allowed Vodafone Turkey to provide up to 10MHz of 4G capacity and throughput in a very effective way. 4G KPIs show the improvement in network performance and better user experience. The test cases showed that download and upload throughput improved by 20 percent.
Ying Weimin, President of Huawei Wireless Network Research & Development, said: “We are glad to have tested GL 900MHz dynamic spectrum sharing on Vodafone Turkey’s commercial networks, and to have achieved satisfying performance results in the past few months. Huawei is dedicated to offering technical innovations to secure our customers' business success.”
Nokia and China Unicom are to offer Nokia Flexi Zone small cells and an AirScale low power radio head for deployment in 31 provinces in China. This will give China Unicom's subsidiaries new flexibility as they densify busy city 3G and 4G LTE networks and further enhance performance in suburban and rural locations.
“This agreement extends the long-term cooperation between China Unicom and Nokia,” said Gao Bo, head of Customer Business Team for China Unicom at Nokia Shanghai Bell. “We have developed a small cell portfolio that will allow operators to cost-efficiently densify and scale their networks, boosting 3G and 4G performance to stay ahead of demand. By combining this small cell technology with our extensive global services expertise, we can optimize any deployment for China Unicom.”
Initial small cell deployments will allow China Unicom subsidiaries to extend coverage and capacity to meet growing subscriber mobile data demands. According to China Unicom's most recent operating report, the company has seen the number of 4G subscribers on its network increase during 2017 by approximately 55 million to reach a total of over 160 million.
By deploying the Nokia Flexi Zone portfolio, China Unicom will be able to densify the network where it isn't possible to add a macro base station because of space or cost constraints. Small cells can also be used to extend coverage and capacity inside offices and homes, as well as in high-traffic locations such as train stations and shopping malls.
The ability to upgrade the small cell portfolio via software to deliver narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT) support means that the deployments will also lay the foundation for the future introduction of IoT and 5G services. Future implementation of NB-IoT will enable the connection of myriad sensors for the delivery of many smart city services, including smart transport and metering systems as well as the introduction of smart healthcare.
Nokia will leverage its extensive global services expertise to optimize small cell deployments for China Unicom, including network planning and optimization, equipment commissioning and care in warrantee services.
Saudi Arabia’s Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), in collaboration with Nokia, has successfully conducted a trial of LTE to the Home (LTTH) and implemented it using FastMile technology to enable LTE technology on a 4G network and become available on 2G networks. This comes out of Mobily’s interest to provide the best speeds for its customers with high quality.
“We have a long and fruitful relationship with Nokia, and this successful trial starts a new chapter in our association, through applying FastMile Nokia technology that will enable Mobily to extend the reach of our network in new areas. At the same time, it will allow us to use the existing infrastructure thus helping us to control our expenditure,” said Alaa Malki – CNO, Mobily.
Such contributions from Mobily are due to it being a leading company in the field of telecom and IT in Saudi Arabia, and out of its pursuit to implement the latest technologies for the benefit of its customers to enjoy high quality services in line with current and future technological developments.
“We are pleased to work with Mobily on this trial and support their plans to provide best-in-class broadband services to their subscribers,” said Tony Awad, Head of Mobily Customer Team, Nokia. “With this deployment, Mobily will be able to attract new customers who are currently unable to enjoy broadband services. Nokia FastMile will also allow them to minimize the deployment cost by utilizing the existing mobile infrastructure.”
The US Territory of Puerto Rico was recently hit by the strongest storm in almost 90 years. Knocking out the island’s electricity grid, 90 percent of cell phone sites stopped working, according to the US Federal Communications Commission. The recent string of monster storms in North America has drawn attention to the importance of critical communications and promoting public safety.
In the space of two months (August and September 2017), the southern United States and Caribbean region were slammed by three mega storms: Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and the most recent Hurricane Maria. Harvey caused at least 75 confirmed deaths; 1 in Guyana, and 74 in the US. As of September 27, Irma caused at least 124 deaths; while as of October 1 Maria caused at least 68 deaths.
Still recovering from Irma two weeks prior, approximately 80,000 people in Puerto Rico were left without power after Maria hit. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) had struggled with increasing debt, reaching $9 billion even before the hurricanes, prompting them to file for bankruptcy. The island’s aging infrastructure left it vulnerable to damage from the storms. Consequently, mobile coverage was cut off.
When Maria finally subsided, in Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, cars were reportedly pulling up on the side of roads with occupants emerging holding their cell phones up in the air in search of network coverage. For miles, cell phones displayed a frustrating “No Service” message. This is in stark contrast to the US states of Texas and Florida that had cell service restored almost completely in storm-affected areas a week after Harvey and Irma hit.
The aftermath of the storms has drawn fresh attention to the importance of critical communications. Following the storms, the United States Federal Communications Commission urged Apple to activate the FM (frequency modulation) chips that are in iPhones to promote public safety.
Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement applauding those companies that have “done the right thing” by activating FM chips in their phones in light of natural disasters hammering the country. “In recent years, I have repeatedly called on the wireless industry to activate the FM chips that are already installed in almost all smartphones in the United States,” said Mr. Pai.
He highlighted the importance of FM chips during natural disasters. When wireless networks go down during a disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow people to get vital access to important information without an internet connection. “Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so,” said Mr. Pai. “But I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.”
According to the FCC, 89.3 percent of cell sites were out of service after Maria. All counties in Puerto Rico, except San Juan, had greater than 75 percent of their cell sites out of service. 29 out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico had 100 percent of their cell sites out of service. On the US Virgin Islands, 69.8 percent of cell sites were out of service.
Since there were widespread power outages in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, the FCC received reports that large percentages of consumers were left without either cable services or wireline service (one company reported that 100 percent of its consumers were left out of service due to lack of commercial power).
In one of the few places that had connectivity on Puerto Rico, the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, tourists reportedly overwhelmed the lobby to use the working cell service and Wi-Fi to connect with the outside world. With a cell phone penetration rate of nearly 100 percent, according to government data, Puerto Ricans have been heavily impacted by the lack of network services on the island.
Confidence in connectivity
Puerto Rico has five main mobile operators: AT&T, T-Mobile, Claro, Sprint and Open Mobile. Connectivity provided by operators is the backbone of relief efforts today. AT&T and Sprint both dispatched teams to restore coverage to the island. The companies also waived certain fees for customers to establish a way for people to contact their families and friends.
The electric grid fallout presented one of the biggest challenges to restoring connectivity to the island. “Power is essential to restoring wireless and wireline communications. Given the breadth of power outages across the islands, we’re deploying portable generators as quickly as allowed,” AT&T said.
Social media giant Facebook also pledged support for Puerto Rico. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced $1.5 million in aid to organizations assisting in the island’s recovery from Maria, together with direct assistance from Facebook’s connectivity team in an effort to get people back online. The company also said it would donate Facebook ad space to share critical information with Puerto Rican users.
Facebook’s connectivity team previously came under the spotlight for ambitious technology initiatives like the Aquila drone, a high-altitude solar-powered aircraft designed to connect remote areas to the internet. Facebook is pushing forward with the Aquila program's progress to help bring the world closer together through connectivity.
“Communication is critical during a disaster,” Zuckerberg said in a post after Hurricane Maria. “With 90 percent of cell towers on the island [Puerto Rico] out of service, people can't get in touch with their loved ones -- and it's harder for rescue workers to coordinate relief efforts.”
Recovery efforts have suffered in Puerto Rico as a result of its cell network outage. Utilizing social media proved immensely effective after fallout from Harvey in Texas, as people could publish posts that were quickly relayed to rescuers. Due to the lack of connectivity on Puerto Rico, in some remote areas people resorted to painting “Help” signs on roads and buildings, hoping that relief efforts would reach them.
The public safety community has long called for mobile broadband to support its mission to save lives. With the adoption of LTE mobile broadband technology, public safety networks can benefit from the advantages of fast and reliable broadband data and real-time video services, opening up new communications possibilities for rescue missions and disaster recovery situations.
In an effort to make mission-critical mobile broadband a reality, Nokia, for example, has a dedicated comprehensive technology and services portfolio called ViTrust. The portfolio includes rapidly deployable solutions for emergency and disaster recovery situations to establish coverage in remote areas, among other features.
The Finnish company recently expanded the portfolio with new services to help first responders take advantage of reliable and secure high-performance applications on their public safety devices. The services provide trouble-free continuity of operations for public safety agencies across a multi-vendor, multi-technology mission critical communications environment.
‘Care for public safety’, for instance, is a service Nokia introduced to ensure that the most demanding communications needs to public safety organizations are fulfilled. The company says it ensures that new network functionality and services interworking with multivendor LTE networks are available from day one.
One European operator is already using this service and seeing the benefits of reduced operational downtime risks, according to Nokia, with service levels stabilizing faster than before and fulfilling public safety requirements.
“The success of moving to broadband-based critical communications requires deep technological and operational expertise,” said Asad Rizvi, head of Nokia's global business development in Global Services. “Nokia has both, from our long history of working with agencies to our global service expertise in broadband.”
The public safety LTE market is expected to be valued at US$3,091.3 million by 2023, according to new market research published by MarketsandMarkets, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25.7 percent from US$782.9 million in 2017. The factors that are driving the growth of this market, according to the report, are the rising demand for unmanned operations and remote surveillances, and elimination of connectivity issues between networks.