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Alcatel-Lucent and Motorola Driving 4G Synergy and LTE Leadership From WiMAX Experience

14 апреля 2009

As you might expect, a major focus at CTIA 2009 for leading wireless infrastructure suppliers was on their ability to deliver products and network solutions for mobile operator early deployments of LTE. This was especially true for those vendors that received a major boost earlier this year when they were selected by Verizon Wireless for its early LTE deployment planned for 2010.

Alcatel-Lucent emphasized its years of experience with CDMA and its ability to help Verizon smooth the evolutionary path to LTE and integrate its new LTE network with its existing infrastructure. My interview with Alcatel-Lucent Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy, Jean-Pierre Lartigue, reinforced previous reports that Alcatel-Lucent has combined WiMAX and LTE in a common business unit and has significantly increased its R&D investment in LTE driven in part by the effort to meet Verizon’s requirements. Alcatel-Lucent has also expanded its wireless networking portfolio to enable mobile service providers to offer both 3G CDMA and Long Term Evolution (LTE) services using a common network infrastructure. For example, Alcatel-Lucent’s innovative “Converged RAN” offerings support multiple technology standards in a common base station platform and the delivery of a wide variety of new wireless broadband services while simultaneously reducing power consumption and lowering operating costs. This Converged RAN uses software defined radio (SDR) technology to enable CDMA service providers to deploy one technology today and then upgrade smoothly to LTE in the future, or even introduce both technologies in the same existing base station simultaneously.

Alcatel-Lucent believes the requirements of LTE are revolutionary, not evolutionary, and therefore new platforms must be purpose-built, all-IP and optimized for LTE. At CTIA 2009, Alcatel-Lucent positioned its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) as service nodes that tie together existing CDMA and new LTE networks. This is a critical element of the company’s end-to-end LTE solution and as the focus of convergence between next generation wireless and wireline networks. EPC replaces the service gateway architecture in 3G networks with an all-IP platform designed for any operators planning to deploy an LTE network. The EPC solution includes network policy and personal subscriber policy control and it is equally applicable whether an operator is moving from the CDMA and EV-DO world or from HSPA to LTE. In response to Verizon’s open network program, Alcatel-Lucent has established ng Connect, an industry program driving an open LTE ecosystem of devices, content and application partners. With ng Connect, wireless broadband operators benefit from open innovation, reduced time to market with LTE-enabled services, and the ability to drive new and non-traditional business models.

The increased R&D investment in LTE corresponds with Alcatel-Lucent’s decision to stop funding efforts to deliver truly mobile broadband services via mobile WiMAX. Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen has recently said that WiMAX is not a viable mobile broadband option as compared to LTE technology. Alcatel-Lucent now positions WiMAX 802.16e as a flexible broadband access technology that offers new entrants both an efficient way to deliver high-speed Internet access and VoIP-based telephony services in rural environments where copper DSL is not available, and advanced “on the go” broadband services in urban markets to extend the reach of broadband coverage. Although the company has dramatically reduced its investment in WiMAX for 2009, Alcatel-Lucent has announced several new contracts for fixed/nomadic WiMAX networks in developing markets since the beginning of 2009, but has not been selected by any operators seeking broadband mobility such as Clearwire.

Nortel and Motorola were both strong contenders for Verizon’s LTE network, but neither was among the Verizon LTE vendors selected during this round.  Nortel filed for bankruptcy and withdrew from its mobile WiMAX partnership with Alvarion in January 2009, and this major CDMA vendor used its CTIA exhibit to showcase its LTE base stations and advanced femtocell solutions developed with partner LG.  The focus for Nortel is now on smaller US-based CDMA operators that have also selected LTE as their path to 4G, such as MetroPCS.  Making the path even more challenging for Nortel of course are that executives have now begun to openly acknowledge that it will be difficult to win a multi-year LTE deal until their bankruptcy is cleared up, and resolving the rumours about a Nortel break-up.

Verizon plans to use IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) equipment from Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks, and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) equipment from Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Starent Networks.  Motorola has recently selected Starent Networks to provide multimedia core networking solutions for use in its LTE network offerings. The inclusion of Starent Networks’ solutions into Motorola’s LTE portfolio allows Motorola to offer an end-to-end network solution for its operator customers. The Starent Networks products are designed for a smooth migration to LTE for both CDMA 1X/DO-A and GSM/UMTS operators.  Starent Networks solutions will serve as an eHRPD function upgrade and a bridge between the EV-DO and the Evolved Packet Core network fulfilling the functional requirements defined in the SAE standards.

Unlike Motorola, Samsung has yet to make any announcements regarding LTE, and remains committed to delivering full mobility on its WiMAX network solution.  Samsung highlights the headstart its customer Clearwire has enjoyed by selecting Mobile WiMAX as its 4G network technology, and its major product announcement at CTIA 2009 was the Mondi, a WiMAX and WiFi enabled Mobile Internet Device (MID) to be offered by Clearwire later in the second quarter.
By Berge Ayvazian

Источник: http://4gtrends.com

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