This blog is by Ashish Dayama at Nokia Networks. Twitter: @akdayama
With TD-LTE growing in popularity among the world’s operators, Nokia underlined its leadership in the technology with its prominent role in the 14th GTI Workshop held last week in Budapest.
Nokia’s expert speakers emphasized the company’s drive to bring TD-LTE’s benefits to many more operators and users, telling the Workshop participants of its innovations in beamforming and showing what needs to be done in areas such as spectrum and eMBMS to make the promise a reality.
The exponentially growing market demand makes TD-LTE the natural choice for operators seeking to deliver data more profitably. During a well-attended panel discussion, Nokia stated that it believes each operator will need bandwidth ranging from several hundred MHz up to several GHz to provide the expected 5G user experience.
The current FDD spectrum pool is simply not adequate – in contrast, TDD 3.5GHz spectrum can provide up to 400 MHz of additional bandwidth for each operator, in almost all countries.
Although initially requiring more sites than a network based on 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz TD-LTE will ultimately offer 30 percent more capacity than the lower band. 3.5 GHz also offers a lower site cost, particularly when deploying technologies with multiple antennas. For example, a 3.5 GHz, 8-pipe antenna takes less than half the space of a 1 GHz band, 2-pipe antenna.
The ecosystem is also already well established, offering users a vast choice of more than 1,200 devices.
As a leading technology innovator, Nokia was keen to show its latest developments, particularly its Intelligent Beamforming solution that offers up to 50 percent improvement in throughput using interference avoidance with new features like 8 Transmit Coordinated Beamforming.
It also offers double the upload throughput using upload beamforming, while Nokia TM9 Advanced Beamforming gives deep indoor penetration and wider coverage than TM8, reducing the need for new sites. And because it is simply a software upgrade, these benefits can be achieved with no need to invest in extra hardware.
Nokia also presented its ideas of how it sees operators building business opportunities based on eMBMS, the LTE version of 3GPP’s Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service. These include mobile edge video orchestration, which could allow users at a stadium event to select and watch High-Definition video streams in real-time, using mobile cameras connected over LTE. Wider broadcast services could use eMBMS for car entertainment and data services, or hybrid TV, featuring both broadcast programming and on-demand broadband.
Nokia has already shipped several hundred thousands of TD-LTE cells and supplies four out of five of the largest TD-LTE operators, making it well placed to help operators make the most of this crucial 5G enabler.
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