“Unlimited service plans can kill the network”: CTO, MobinNet, Iran

Nima PourNejatian, CTO, MobinNet, Iran, is appearing on Day Two of the LTE MENA conference

Nima PourNejatian, CTO, MobinNet, Iran, is appearing on Day Two of the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 13th-14th May 2013 at the JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai. Ahead of the show we catch-up with him to get an overview of how the operator is looking to transition from WiMAX to LTE.

What major developments have there been with regards to the LTE industry in your region this past year?

All operators have been negotiating with the various regulatory bodies in order to get the required permissions. It’s widely thought that one of the mobile operators will launch its FDD-LTE network this year using its 1.8GHz band. Some WiMAX operators such as ourselves (MobinNet) have applied for a TD-LTE license and the required frequency bandwidth and negotiations for these are still ongoing.

How are you managing the transition from WiMAX to TD-LTE?

Rather than building the network and securing the frequency bandwidth, the most important task for MobinNet is to distribute dual-mode terminals (i.e. TD-LTE and WiMAX) into the market. Hence, we are exploring all chipset and terminal manufacturers who can provide us with such products at reasonable commercial terms. Also, we are in contact with the WiMAX Forum to make sure that we are aligned with the WiMAX Advanced network roadmap, which supports coexistence of multiple broadband wireless access technologies.

What are the chief technical challenges you expect to face over the next 12 months?

Securing the frequencies and selecting the right dual-mode terminals will be our top two challenges.

Can FDD and TDD-LTE coexist on the same network?

I believe that they can. MobinNet may come to this scheme with the help of the incumbent mobile operator who will soon launch its FDD-LTE network.

Nima PourNejatian, CTO, MobinNet, Iran, is appearing on Day Two of the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 13th-14th May 2013 at the JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai. Click here to find out more about the event.

Pricing for LTE is a controversial subject. Will you offer an all-you-can-eat option to your customers?

As we are not new in a wireless broadband business, and we fully understand how unlimited service plans can kill the network. Therefore, based on our experience, I do not think that MobinNet might decide to offer such plans over the LTE network.

Do you have concerns regarding the development of TD-LTE eco-system?

Our concerns are less than those of WiMAX eco-system. I believe that by selecting the right frequency band; one that can guarantee the availability of the related terminals and network equipment within the next five years; one can decrease the concerns regarding the eco-system.

Does it make sense to think of LTE as a fixed-line replacement in certain cases?

I think, under certain circumstances, it does. For example, in markets where DSL infrastructure is not yet readily available, this makes sense. Replacing the existing fixed wireless broadband connections, is another example of this.

What are your plans around carrier aggregation and LTE Advanced?

Carrier aggregation depends on the frequency band and available bandwidth. Considering our limitation in the spectrum, we are not able to activate the intra-band contiguous or non-contiguous carrier aggregation.

Is VoLTE on your roadmap and what advantages will it bring to operators and consumers?

We don’t have any plan to offer VoLTE since our business focus is providing data services.

Do you believe that RCS services such as Joyn can genuinely help the industry compete with OTT?

I think RCS services may weaken OTT players but it will not wipe them out.

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