Convergence Of Multi Media Services
the industry moves toward mobile broadband networks that go beyond
current 3G capabilities, carriers are focusing their attention on
considering and evaluating the deployment of technologies based
on orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), to prepare
for the capacity demand of millions of subscribers consuming an
aggregate of terabytes of data. In context, 1,000 subscribers consuming
1 GB of data per month, by themselves, means 1 TB of data has to
traverse the radio access network (RAN), to the edge and into the
network core. This proposition scares most carriers, especially
when they will make broadband data services available to millions
of paying subscribers.
networks in the near future will have to be capable of supporting
millions of customers consuming gigabytes of data per month, setting
the stage for "Triple Play" services of voice, broadcast
TV/video and data.
pending increase in consumption raises the issue of network and
subscriber capacity, particularly regarding IP data traffic and
the complexities of managing IP packets across a true end-to-end
all-IP link. To make the Triple Play viable, a carrier's network
must be capable of supporting up to a gigabyte of data traffic per
subscriber, per month – and terabytes of backhaul traffic.
For today's 2G and 3G networks, consumption is measured in megabytes.
For tomorrow's networks, with Triple Play and true broadband access,
the content and application traffic will easily shift from megabytes
to several gigabytes per user, quickly becoming an imperative for
carriers and vendor partners.
Play creates the opportunity for carriers to access new customer
segments, attain higher average revenue per user (ARPU) and sustain
revenue for the next decade. Operators are faced with the dilemma
of how to add capacity and lower costs of network operation to deliver
new IP-based services. Carriers' requests to Santa Claus this year
is for a network that can deliver 1 GB of data per subscriber, per
month, at capex, opex and selling and marketing expenditures equaling
$10 or less, per subscriber. Lower cost of operation translates
into higher profit margins. It is no longer a war over which technology
will win or whether a network is standards-based or not. Lower cost
IP networks are where the margins lie, and subsequently will be
the battleground for network vendors for years to come.
almost 15 years of successful growth using circuit-switched technologies,
the mobile telecommunications world is making the move toward OFDM-based
mobile networks for higher capacity and IP services. OFDM is the
technology earmarked for "beyond 3G" networks and is currently
used in various audio and video broadcast standards, as well as
in Wi-Fi and fixed wireless access technologies such as WiMAX and
FLASH-OFDM for mobile broadband. 3GPP is currently reviewing submissions
to use OFDM as a future enhancement to 3G, and the CDMA group has
announced its future move toward OFDM-based air-link solutions.
Global operators such as NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Telstra
have publicly announced OFDM-based network trials. Nextel Communications
has been testing FLASH-OFDM since 2002. Vendors such as Siemens,
Nortel and Motorola have all demonstrated high-speed data solutions
using OFDM, with more to come.
cable operators and wireline service providers are increasingly
competing for the same customers and are now evolving to create
a new breed of communications companies. Some will be pure-play
voice or "just data" providers; others will recreate themselves
as truly integrated communications companies where mobile broadband
voice, video, data and broadcast services are offered for bundled
prices. Delivering a Triple Play solution requires a network that
can be scaled to accommodate thousands of users per cell, consuming
gigabytes of data per month at a cost at which operators can effectively
compete and make a profit. Carriers and OEMs are making the migration
toward OFDM for mobility and broadband – this is the reality
for 2006 and beyond.