Rants, Raves, Reviews


Finally - Mobile Convergence Sanity

By Gary R, in , posted: 10-Apr-2008 13:00

From the look of this press release from Motorola we may finally see a future where mobile networks are no longer split down two camps - GSM and CDMA. Motorola have demonstrated at CTIA the first packet-data call handover from EVDO RevA to LTE. For those of you who do not know, LTE (or Long Term Evolution) is the GSM industry (3GPP) version of the future 4G (or Super 3G) mobile technology. In the CDMA world (3GPP2) we have UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) or EVDO RevC which was championed by Qualcomm but some of the rumours circulating recently are speculating that UMB may never 'see the light of day'. This is possibly driven in part by the decision of Vodafone owned Verizon who recently stated their intention of adopting LTE rather UMB even though they are a CDMA carrier.

What Motorola demonstrated was true handover from/to LTE and RevA with no packet loss. This represents the nirvana of inter-network interoperability. The experience today with handover from CDMA 1x to EVDO (and visa versa) is not exactly seamless.

In the 4G world voice over mobile is actually VoIP and it has always been the intention of EVDO operators to use VoIP over their RevA networks by utilising QoS infrastructure to ensure a consistent service. There is probably more incentive for EVDO operators to adopt VoIP now that the network migration path is much clearer.

What this also shows is quite a sound strategy by Telecom NZ to keep their RevA network while only building a much smaller footprint of HSPA.

Certainly LTE will offer quite a competitive challenge to WiMAX and also to fixed-line technologies. I can seea future where the GZ forums will no longer be filled with the same hyperbole over which is better - GSM or CDMA.









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Comment by sbiddle, on 10-Apr-2008 18:04

Telecom's strategy of only deploying 850MHz nationwide is very smart. It gives them the inbound roaming revenue for the next few years which some estimate could be up to $50 million per year all while work continues on HSPA+ and LTE. By the time LTE is commercially available in several years time Telecom will be at the magic 2012 where they can shut down CDMA and move. While they are going to lose some customers to Vodafone who will offer a nationwide 3G network with 900MHz and 2100MHz 3G they are going to save a lot of money in the long term!


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Gary R
Wellington
New Zealand


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