LTE World Summit Sees Advent of New LTE TDD Business Model with Huawei’s TDFi Solution
A key topic discussed at the 2012 LTE World Summit (LTE WS) in Barcelona from May 23 to 24 was how to build business models capable of facing unprecendented mobile broadband (MBB) traffic demands. The event was attended by over 200 global operators, government regulators, vendors, industry analysts and media, and largely focused on the rapid development of the LTE TDD industry as well as operators’ latest industry achievements.
LTE TDD is a gold mine for the MBB era. Data services are usually one-way-oriented, where uplink and downlink traffic are not balanced. The asymmetric nature of TDD fits in with the growing trend of mobile internet connectivity, which has enabled the industry to recognize the value of TDD. LTE-leading vendors Huawei, NSN and Ericsson have provided solutions to fulfill the market demand. Huawei, with over 60% LTE TDD market share, has provided solutions for mobile broadband and small cell backhaul, both of which are mainstream LTE TDD business models.
Since the beginning of this year, global operators have started large-scale LTE TDD commercial launches, and their progress has been promising. In Japan, SoftBank commercially launched an AXGP network in February in one of the most complex network environments in the world. Within two months, more than 70,000 users subscribed to the network according to published data, and is set to cover of the 99% population in two years.
Bharti Airtel launched a LTE TDD network in Karnataka, and are now heavily promoting the selling of USB dongle and CPE units. China Mobile, who announced plans to develop 20,000 LTE TDD sites this year and 200,000 the next year, recently deployed their first commercial network in Hangzhou via smooth evolution from TDS-CDMA to LTE TDD.
In Hangzhou, China Mobile deployed TDFi to provide high-speed internet service for public buses, an innovative solution provided that uses WiFi for terminal access and LTE TDD as backhaul. With this solution, CPEs with WiFi access points are installed at bus stations and inside buses with each CPE able to support up to 10 simultaneous users enjoying richer, easier to access service with any WiFi-enabled devices.
TDFi is now available for two bus routes in Hangzhou, and has seen over 5,300 connections per-day on average. Currently the service is free of charge with unlimited data and speeds up to 30Mbs per user. A TDFi network can support up to 80Mbps and an average of 30Mbps on moving buses. “[TDFi] is wonderful,” one user on the network remarked. “Online video loads smoothly, and the connected speeds are better than my home broadband.”
In the near future, TDFi-connected electronic display screens will be installed at bus stations or inside buses so real time information like bus arrival times, bus routes, videos and advertising can be displayed to passengers. China Mobile plans to extend TDFi to all bus routes and stations, and duplicate the experience to multiple other public environments in Hangzhou like in taxis, shopping malls, parks and commercial districts. Following in the success of the Hangzhou network, TDFi can open up new business models and speed up the development of intelligent data traffic planning in cities as a reference for other markets worldwide.