Mobile networks: The evolution will be televised

WiMAX and LTE networks promise to bring to users the prospect of high quality mobile broadband services. .We find out what new innovations Swedish communications giant Ericssonit has up its sleeve.

The prosperous cities of the future will be those that offer ubiquitous advanced fixed and mobile networks supporting a wide range of rich media services such as video conferencing. These will in turn emerge as a ‘constant companion' to those that want it.

Furthermore, evolving communication services will reach everyone, anywhere at anytime. They will support rich one-to-many communications from time to time; rich communication and interaction at all time and all places. In short, such networks will be a true marriage of the internet and telecoms.

These were among the key findings from Ericsson's Business Innovation forum in Stockholm in which the network giant aimed to outline the future that advanced networks would bring over the next five years.

At the event based in Kista, otherwise known as Scandinavia's equivalent to Silicon Valley or Silicon Fjord, the network equipment supplier said that mobile broadband would be a necessity to enable people's business and consumer needs. Jan Häglund, deputy head of product area IP and broadband networks, offered the proposition that “broadband benefits society Individuals, enterprises and governments. He suggested that in this brave new world Ericsson would have the advantages of being a primed driver in a future converged world with its own portfolio based on open standards and architectural flexibility that enabled cost-effective growth.

Right at the heart of this proposition is the notion that the development of Long Term Evolution (LTE) would be crucial to the mass availability of mobile multimedia services.

LTE networks will almost certainly boast data speeds that are equivalent to those offered by fixed line broadband today. The first networks are expected next year and Ericsson confirmed that it had signed licence agreements for LTE essential patents. The announcements are based on the industry practice FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) licensing. Commented Kasim Alfalahi, Vice President and Head of IPR Licensing and Patent Portfolio at Ericsson, "This is an important milestone for us to demonstrate our LTE leadership. We aim to strike a balance between providing value for our customers and earning a fair return on our significant R&D investments when other parties have the opportunity to benefit from them."

Ericsson saw a world where people deployed content servers at home especially in the transport of rich media content such as video to a range of compatible mobile video platforms. It also sees the rise and rise of the app store concept within mobile video.

Another area touched upon by Hakan Djuphamar, and Ericsson vice president of systems architecture, was the need for service and/or content providers to be able to use brokerage technology to enable a reversed charge model for mobile services.

But there will be a lot more than just one device of the likes of Casey Harwood to have to support. The LTE-powered future will support billions of data-hungry Internet-connected PCs, mobile Internet devices, MIDs, TVs and other mobile devices and platforms. These will drive huge waves of traffic on mobile networks and Ericsson concluded that this was an opportunity to be addressed pro-actively and innovative business models and new technology would be required to translate this traffic to revenue opportunities.



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