Realizing the potential of the next mobile evolution

Realizing the potential of the next mobile evolution

Peter Briscoe Telcordia
Peter Briscoe Telcordia

Peter Briscoe, executive director of innovation and solutions for Telcordia’s strategy office, comments on the rise of LTE.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) addresses the issue of growth in data traffic over networks designed for voice. However, deploying LTE brings with it certain issues that must be addressed.

Market and commercial drivers

Recently the introduction of mobile internet services by wireless service providers has added a large level of traffic to the networks. Most of this new traffic is data rather than traditional voice or messaging. This growth is expected to continue, possibly reaching triple digits.

Much of the growth has been driven by new social network services and applications as well as email and location-based services, like Google Maps and Bing, all of which require regular connected data connections.


The trouble is these networks were designed for voice, not data services. Radio interference limits the amount of data traffic within the current spectrum. Increasing the overall size of these networks to accommodate the demand would make the mobile services uneconomical to communication service providers (CSPs).

LTE technology aims to address this through a combination of simplifying the backhaul network, removing the need for complex control functions and using cheaper transport technology that reduces the price per port for connections from the cell sites to the core network.


Technology impact of LTE

LTE technology addresses the radio interference issue by allowing much more efficient use of cell capacity. It also simplifies the access network by removing layers [Radio Network Controllers (RNC)] and increases the complexity of the enhanced NodeB by making it responsible for call handoffs between cells.

CSPs will need to extend their IP networks all the way to the cell site as these radio changes are often isolated from the rest of the network. This will require a complex audit of every existing cell site location.

LTE will speed up migration to IP technology within the core network, but will not cause a major restructuring. Most of the impact of LTE will be seen in the backhaul network.


Business processes impact

Radio planning will need modification to support the potential volume and high frequency of optimisation. There will be a greater need for the backhaul planning processes to be closely linked to the radio planning process. This is because the frequency of changes at the radio interface will be much higher and will have a direct impact on the ability for the access network to support traffic demands.

Even when using leased or rented backhaul delivery, bad planning can increase the price of services by 10-20%. Therefore, no matter what backhaul technology is used, ordering with lead times in mind is essential.

The operational systems will also require new algorithms and rules to support the new limits of LTE. Backhaul planning platforms will need upgrading to support IP configuration and QoS.

Interfaces directly between radio planning, logical demand and build-out functions will be required to reduce errors in handover seen today. This will result in faster planning cycle-times for new equipment rollout.

The introduction of policy platforms, such as Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF), should make the user transition as smooth as possible. However, CSPs will need to move from protocol based charging to a more flexible dynamic charging model to support new services.

Also the extended use of IP will require the enhancement of fault and performance tools from the core to the access network. The wider definition of a service will further increase the need for true service quality management over just SLA’s.

Telcordia is a global provider of fixed, mobile, and broadband communications software and services. For 25 years it has created the innovations that have helped organisations deploy advanced networks and groundbreaking new communications services.



The biggest impact of LTE will be in the planning and service quality management areas. Greater integration will be needed between radio and backhaul systems and departments. In meeting the demand for high bandwidth, operators will need to use better processes and find common practices that reduce the costs of managing the roll-out.

Telcordia continues to invest in consultancy, systems and partnerships to further simplify and maximize the return on investment in LTE technologies.

Figure 1: Plan-to-Provision: Secure a Sounds Business Foundation; (2009) Telcordia


About the Author

Peter Briscoe is the Executive Director of Innovation & Solutions, in Telcordia’s Strategy Office.

Peter directs new programs aimed at addressing evolving priorities in telecom operations support. Peter has spent over 17 years working in telecoms operations support, with experience in consulting and software creation spanning fault management, service fulfillment and planning.

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