Highlights from the LTE World Summit 2012

The curtain has come down on another successful LTE World Summit event, which took place this week, in Barcelona, Spain. More than 2,000 delegates attended the event, representing more than 100 countries from around the world, indicating LTE’s impact the world over. There were over 100 exhibitors and also a series of masterclasses for the more technically minded to enjoy.

There was a wide range of speakers across the packed 11-track program and those attending the main keynotes were treated to speeches and presentations from some of the leading operators and vendors in the industry. They addressed some of the big topics and issues of the day, including signalling issues, strategies for lowering rollouts cost, the use of small cells, the problems with wifi offload, pricing strategies and general concern over LTE monetisation.

The actual event was prefaced by a Signaling Day that, as the name implies, focused on the signaling issues that are affecting all operators. It was well received and by the end of the day the phrase, ‘signaling storm’ had clearly taken over from last year’s ‘data tsunami’ as the buzz word of choice.

There was also the Operator Mindshare, a new format that involved executive from major operators hosting round table discussions on key topics to encourage new innovative thinking. There was much lively discussion and it all went off without any fisticuffs, with is either a relief or a disappointment, depending on your point of view.

The main event in the Catalan capital was opened by a welcome from Spain’s telecommunications minister, Mr Victor Calvo Sotelo, and followed by comments by the CTO of Orange Spain, Eduardo Duato. After admitting that operators in the region were having a particularly hard time, Duato called on the communications minister to make things easier for local operators, by freeing up more spectrum and helping to promote site sharing.

Also beamed via a live video link was the CTO of Deutsche Telekom, Germany, Bruno Jacobfeuerborn.  Jacobfeuerborn admitted he didn’t have to worry about bandwidth, with a 70MB/s LTE connection in his office. “But what about the rest of Germany?” the host Informa’s chief research office Mark Newman, cheekily quipped.

Other key figures appearing on stage included the CTO of 3, UK, Ed Candy, the CTIO of Etisalat Marwan Zawaydeh and the animated Yoshiki Chika, the CTO of Japan’s SoftBank. In his keynote speech Chika gave an animated talk highlighting the benefits of using TD-LTE spectrum as the most suitable technology for mobile broadband.

Another keynote highlight was the chief policy officer of Russian LTE provider Yota, who revealed that it was learning to deal with being one of the most congested network in the world with ouver 100 users per cell.

Meanwhile, Sung Man Kim, president of the network business unit for Korea’s KT Corporation said that the industry needed a paradigm shift in its approach to dealing with data traffic, and put forth its cloud-based RAN as the way to go forward. With speeds of 35Mbps and rising at its busiest location in Seoul Gangnam area, it seems to be doing a good job.

Clearly the event was a major success for the industry and all now look forward to the next one, LTE Asia, taking place on 18-19 September 2012 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

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