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Russia’s SkyLink latest carrier to adopt Rev B

21 мая 2010

The next generation of CDMA, EV-DO Rev B, has been deeply overshadowed by LTE, and many CDMA carriers are choosing to make an early move to 4G, bypassing Rev B altogether.

However, it is gradually signing up supporters, and is expected to thrive in countries where no spectrum for mobile broadband becomes available in the near future, or where data requirements are less pressing than in the west. This week, market leader Alcatel-Lucent has signed a deal to deploy Rev B for Sky Link the largest CDMA operator in Russia/CIS, while ZTE is working with Tata in India on Rev B trials.

Sky Link plans to upgrade its current EV-DO network to Rev B, starting this year in the cities of Moscow, St Petersburg and Krasnodar. Other regions will receive new build-outs. ALU will software upgrade the existing base stations to the all-IP system, which boosts end user data rates to a peak of 6.2Mbps downlink and 3.9Mbps uplink, without wider channels.

Gulnara Khasyanova, SkyLink’s general director, said: ‘We have successfully been using Alcatel-Lucent’s mobile network equipment in 10 licensed territories for years - covering amongst others our three largest and most important regions, Moscow, St Petersburg and Krasnodar. It is a priority for us to introduce EV-DO Rev B first in these regions.”

Meanwhile, ZTE and ALU were among those conducting Rev B trials for Tata Teleservices in India. Emerging markets are important for Rev B, as they may not require the full functionality of WiMAX or LTE for some time. The flagship operator planning to deploy Rev B is China Telecom, whose subsidiary Shanghai Telecom has been working on trials with Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, though the first to sign up was Japan’s KDDI, which is also using WiMAX (via its UQ venture) and in future, LTE. The first to announce a commercial network was Smart Telecom, in another key mobile growth market, Indonesia, in January. Smart is using equipment from ZTE and kicked off its dongle-based roll-out in Bali Densapar, with plans to reach all the country’s major cities by year end.

However, Verizon moved quickly to deny rumors that it would deploy a Rev B upgrade alongside its high profile LTE strategy. The US CDMA carriers have steered clear of Rev B, with Sprint moving to 4G via its Clearwire WiMAX venture and others, like MetroPCS, looking to LTE. A firm called Telecom Pragmatics issued a note saying that both Verizon and Sprint were working on Rev B. Sprint has not commented, and could conceivably aim to enhance its own CDMA network in parallel with pushing its ‘Sprint 4G’ dual-mode WiMAX services in areas of coverage, mainly the urban centers. But Verizon’s executive director of corporate communications, Jeffrey Nelson, issued a quick rebuttal. “You shouldn’t be surprised: Verizon Wireless is not working on EV-DO Rev B.  We’re locked and loaded for LTE,” he wrote. Although adding Rev B is relatively trivial on the infrastructure side, requiring a software and network card change, it does require new handsets, and could divert cost from the higher capacity 4G systems, which also offer lower cost of data delivery - the key incentive for adopters.

Last year, the CDMA Development Group announced significant enhancements for Rev B, following Qualcomm’s outlining of its future chip roadmap the previous fall. At the time, the CDG pointed out that 4G was likely to account for only 5% of the market in 2017, and EV-DO would have to be continually enhanced until about 2015, then achieving maturity and living alongside the growth of LTE and WiMAX. Rev B, with VoIP, multicarrier support, femtocell support and other improvements will evolve over the coming two years. It supports three carriers instead one in each channel, and the number of users per carrier is doubled to 30. This is a software upgrade but a further 20% spectral efficiency gain can be achieved with a hardware update to support MIMO smart antennas.


Источник: 4G Trends

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