CTO, UK Broadband: “We need to move away from the technology ‘wars’”

Philip Marnick, CTO of UK BroadbandPhilip Marnick, CTO of UK Broadband is speaking on Day Two of the inaugural TD-LTE Summit taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how TD-LTE will develop and where voice fits in.

Why do you believe the TD-LTE is a better choice for delivering mobile data than FDD LTE?

It is not a question of is TD-LTE better choice than FDD LTE, both are good at what they are designed to do. However, as data becomes increasingly asynchronous TDD technology enables network resources to be fully optimised, whereas FDD would, in these situations be underutilised. As data demand on the move increases TDD will start to be more widely used to meet customer demands and driving an optimum return for the operator.

Your spectrum holdings are at 3.5GHz/3.6GHz. As part of your licence were you free to deploy either FDD or TD technology?

Yes, our licences enable us to deploy TDD and FDD

The inaugural TD-LTE Summit is taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure.

As a wholesale network you can offer direct services or act as a backhaul yourself.  Which sort of usage might dominate?

It will be interesting to see how the data market evolves. Users buy applications – we believe that mobile data capability will be just built-in to the application you want to use. Every device that is mobile will communicate – so we see a multifaceted market developing and often the user will not know which communication technology or operator is being used at any particular time.

What are your thoughts on the development of the TD-LTE eco-system and how it can be developed to increase adoption?

The development of the eco-system is important for any technology. TD-LTE is developing quite rapidly – over the last year we have seen an increasing level of interest in 3.5/3.6 TD-LTE. More needs to be done – we believe that through industry collaboration much will be achieved. We need to move away from the technology “wars” that dominated the early days of the mobile market.

You’re a data service as opposed to a voice network. Do you have any desire to enter the voice market and if so to what will VoLTE help you to do that?

Voice is an interesting application. VoLTE is developing rapidly – but there are still some challenges to overcome. As an industry we need to ensure we always look at the most cost effective way of delivering services.

What are you doing to optimise your network and are you making plans for LTE Advanced/carrier aggregation?

UKB’s network has been planned to fully leverage LTE Advanced. We are already deploying 20MHz channels and frequency re-use of 3. There are still a number of practical device challenges to be sorted for everyone to fully leverage the new capabilities that are being developed by the standards groups.

What would you say to any operators considering the move to TD-LTE?

The technology is mature and the eco-system is developing – if you believe your market will need very high speed data – then look at deploying the technology or working with someone who has it – and just add it as part of your customer offering.


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