Joint innovation efforts have been taking place between Softbank and Huawei with the aim of simplifying network deployment; Single Frequency Network (SFN) and Intelligent Baseband Array (IBA) have been among the fruit. The latter is scalable (supporting the interaction of dozens of BBUs), coordinated (enhancing base station-cell coordination, reducing interference, and increasing the gain for both transmission & reception), and reliable (supporting mutual backup of baseband data), leading to spectrum efficiency enhancements of up to 30%, while the SFN technology effectively inhibits inter-cell interference; users can enjoy 38.7% faster Internet speed at cell edges.
User experience has also been enhanced thanks to the 4T4R and beamforming technologies, with the latter changing array directionality to ensure optimal signaling. SoftBank has also used antenna sharing and reused all of its existing 1.9GHz PHS sites to accelerate network deployment. Before its commercial launch, SoftBank’s network performance tests were quite impressive.
The average network entry and inter-cell handover success rate exceeded 98.8% and 99%, respectively, while the packet loss rate was below 0.25%. In the Ginza district of Tokyo (that neon-lit shopping district that finds its way into pretty much every travelogue or Hollywood movie set in Tokyo), an interior user could enjoy downlink/uplink rates of 11Mbps/5Mbps, respectively; while 60Mbps could be enjoyed near a window and up to 58Mbps (30Mbps average) could be achieved outdoors. All these figures greatly strengthened the operator’s confidence.
On February 24, 2012, SoftBank officially launched LTE TDD services in its three target cities. The operator evaluated the UMTS and LTE TDD networks at Ginza, and the results were impressive; LTE TDD delivered nearly ten times the speed (34.13Mbps) that UMTS did, and service handover between LTE TDD base stations was smooth. Mr. Son was also further convinced that LTE TDD could help achieve Softbank’s strategic goal and its rollout pace could be sped up.
SoftBank had enjoyed exclusive distributions rights for the iPhone until October 2011, but as a lot of users around the world found out the hard way, the iPhone did not yet support LTE. SoftBank’s first commercial LTE TDD Mobile Wi-Fi terminal uses the category-3 chipset, which delivers a downlink rate of 76Mbps and uplink rate of 10Mbps, while supporting simultaneous LTE TDD access for up to ten Wi-Fi devices. In May 2012, the operator launched another LTE terminal based on the category-4 chipset. In addition, SoftBank launched a number of LTE TDD smartphones in Q3 of this year.
In its marketing effort s , SoftBank has highlighted its network as the country’s fastest, with high-speed Internet access available anywhere, anytime; ads have been sent out through customer service centers, subway screens, broadcast TV, and other channels; the operator also markets through service centers, handset outlets, and home appliance stores.
And this is where we will soon be....
The main new functionalities introduced in LTE-Advanced are Carrier Aggregation (CA), enhanced use of multi-antenna techniques and support for Relay Nodes (RN).
The increase in bandwidth in LTE-Advanced is provided through aggregation of R8/R9 carriers. Carrier aggregation can be used for both FDD and TDD.
Each aggregated carrier is referred to as a component carrier. The component carrier can have a bandwidth of 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 20 MHz and a maximum of five component carriers can be aggregated. Hence the maximum bandwidth is 100 MHz. (Clearwire has 100 MHz, on one else does.)
MIMO is used to increase the overall bitrate through transmission of two (or more) different data streams on two (or more) different antennas - using the same resources in both frequency and time, separated only through use of different reference signals - to be received by two or more antennas.
In multi-antenna techniques precoding is used to map the modulation symbols onto the different antennas. The type of precoding depends on multi-antenna technique used as well as on number of layers and number of antenna ports.
The aim with the precoding is to achieve best possible data reception at the receiver. Note that the signal will be influenced by fading of various types, which can also be seen as some type of coding caused by the radio channel.
In R8 the reference signal is added to the signal after precoding, one CRS (Cell-specific Reference Signal) per antenna. From the received CRS the UE will estimate how the radio channel influenced the signal. Using this together with knowledge about the used code-book based precoding, the UE will demodulate the received signal and regenerate the information sent.
In R10 the DM-RSs (Demodulation Reference Signals) are added to the different data streams before precoding. Knowledge about the reference signal will provide information about the combined influence of radio channel and precoding, no pre-knowledge about the precoder is required by the receiver, this case is referred to as non-codebook based precoding.
In LTE advanced, the possibility for efficient heterogeneous network planning - i.e. a mix of large and small cells - is increased by introduction of Relay Nodes (RNs). The Relay Nodes are low power base stations that will provide enhanced coverage and capacity at cell edges and it can also be used to connect to remote areas without fibre connection.
The easiest way to arrange aggregation is to use contiguous component carriers within the same operating frequency band (as defined for LTE), so called intra-band contiguous.
When carrier aggregation is used there is a number of serving cells, one for each component carrier. The coverage of the serving cells may differ - both due to component carrier frequencies but also from power planning - useful for heterogeneous network planning. The RRC connection is handled by one cell, the Primary serving cell, served by the Primary component carrier (DL and UL PCC). The other component carriers are all referred to as Secondary component carrier (DL and UL SCC), serving the Secondary serving cells.
Different component carriers can be planned to provide different coverage, i.e. different cell size. In the case of inter-band carrier aggregation the component carriers will experience different pathloss, which increases with increasing frequency. In the example shown in figure 3 the carrier aggregation on all three component carriers can only be used for the black UE, the white UE is not within the coverage area of the red component carrier.
Two things come to mind.
First, aggregating CLWR spectrum will be limited to inter-band aggregation only because no one besides CLWR is using 2.6 GHz, so pathloss will be a definite concern.
Second, to attain higher bandwidth it would require larger MIMO, but any MIMO of greater than 2x2 is significant to power drain especially on smartphones (forget about 8x8) and it gets worse with FDD because of symmetrical channels using ODFMA but a slight relief with TDD due to SC-FDMA on uplink.
Summary: In the past software and enhanced applications for devices was slowed by hardware unable to handle it, most specifically chip sets and processing speeds,antenna ranges etc.this occurred in the pc world. as the hardware limitations were overcome by innovation the number of pc applications via software grew exponentially thanks to ever more powerful processors by AMD and Intel etc..in effect we have the same exact occurance now in the mobile smart device world..imo clearwire has for a long time had the shared vision of SON.They have been, to quote a often used phrase "ahead of their time" now, finally, thru the hardware innovations you describe ,the world of advanced smart device applications is upon us and clwr is positioned perfectly to capitalize on this revolutionary industry changing technology going fwd.GL
Softbank and Clearwire @ Category 4
Category 4 of LTE UE provided by the 3GPP Rel 8 standard requires the following:
Downlink 150 Mbps; Uplink 50 Mbps
Downlink QPSK,16QAM,64QAM; Uplink QPSK,16QAM
2 x 2 MIMO - Bandwidth for all categories is 20 MHz.
Category 5 makes 4 x 4 MIMO mandatory. Having uplink and downlink in same frequency band (TDD vs FDD) lends itself nicely to beamforming, a techniques of 'phasing' multiple signals to effective increase the signal strength. Such antenna based technology will finally deliver the in-building coverage. This is already being seen by Son at Softbank.
I'm Indano because Ibeender!
More... same spectrum, same capability as CLWR
Ericsson & Huawei Support CLWR
Ericsson Hits 223 Mbps with TDD LTE Advanced
Ericsson announced a demonstration of LTE TDD (TD-LTE) carrier aggregation for China Mobile. The test achieved a peak download speed of 223 Mbps using two carriers of 20MHz each over a standard radio unit.
The demonstration was performed in Beijing on standard Ericsson Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Ericsson RBS 6000 radio hardware already running in China Mobile network, along with standard radio units and data link boards supporting carrier aggregation. Aeroflex provided the TM500 test user equipment.
"This demonstrates what is technically possible today, showing how operators with LTE TDD networks can benefit from their frequency holdings with Ericsson’s help. It proves that TDD operators can provide competitive peak-rate performance for their users," stated Per Narvinger, Head of Product Line LTE, Business Unit Networks at Ericsson.
TDD operators often have access to relatively large swathes of spectrum. The carrier aggregation can efficiently make use of this spectrum by combining two or more carriers into one channel (for example, 20+20MHz), effectively putting them on the same terms as FDD operators that have access to 20MHz for uplink and downlink separately.
Son's Softbank and China Mobile are compatible with Clearwire.
Idano, great article thanks! US is slow to catch on (compared to Son) about the future and importance of fast mobile, TV streaming.
On front page of USA Today, good article about how mainstream US TV loosing audience at unprecedented rate to those favoring streaming TV and DVR, and that finally major networks are taking notice. Too long for me to include here. But basically that the days of everyone sitting around with each other on the couch waiting for their favorite show to come on, suffering through commercials, are on the wane, and people are now preferring to download/watch at their convenience.
Great message - really appreciate the quality. Let me say up front that I am long CLWR and expect to receive immature responses to what I have written but I do not mind. This is for those who are long with me - articles like this help me keep the faith. I remember back in school studying technologies of the future and making my first investment into CLWR. I have not turned back - have bought through the years at drops and really need this to payoff. Admittenly I have most of my savings tied up in CLWR probably like other longs - hopefully they are more diversified than I am.
I come to this board to listen what other much smarter investors than I am believe based on technicals and other financials. I enjoy reading posts by Spok and others but this board is starting to get overrun by day trader pampers trying to make a quick profit. Post quality information people - some of us are tired of clicking Ignore User - really, just leave.
So - to my fellow longs - not sure what the future is going to hold but I am in CLWR with you. I was extremely optimistic after the last earnings call - the mgmt team was giddy over SB. Regardless of a buy out I believe SB and CLWR are going to do well together. SB will see the snake that S has of a leader and over time get rid of him. Keep the faith - rest your fingers over the weekend so you can go back on an Ignore User crusade Monday AM.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I always ask myself is the demand for data bandwidth increasing or decreasing? Is the amount of useable spectrum keeping up with demand or is it staying flat where demand is exceeding newly released useable spectrum? Are suppliers of mobile devices cutting back on capability or are they adding more rich features that require speed and capacity? The answers to these questions guide me as to the demand and practicality of CLWR in the near future. SB already realizes this and is acting on it. Others will come out soon to see this not happen under their noses or it will be absorbed forever by a foreign company.