TDF Group: “Only two or three infrastructure manufacturers will survive”

Thierry Dupont is telecom project manager for TDF Group, the largest broadcast network operator in Europe with 11,000 sites. Ahead of his speaking role at the LTE World Summit 2012, taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain, we speak to him about the impact of LTE on TDF’s operations.

What are the main milestones you have reached with relation to your LTE deployment?

As far as TDF is concerned, we have setup an LTE trial showcasing the opportunity to build a shared network using Multi Operator Core Network (MOCN) concepts.

What are the main challenges you have faced, or expect to face, as you roll out LTE?

Using the 800MHz, one of the main challenges was to get a plethora of devices from the infrastructure manufacturers due to the need to maximise Inter-operability Testing (IOT). The other main challenge was to get network elements, as this can help provide dynamic QoS and consequently help with implementing VoLTE.

With so much attention paid to the radio access network is there enough focus on backhaul?

As TDF is also a broadcast operator, we have already upgraded both our backhaul and transport networks. We are aware of the necessity to design the backhaul network due to the traffic increase and the idea was to segment broadcast and telecom output within a single link.

What’s your view on FDD vs TD-LTE spectrum?

It will not have to be an either or situation. We see them as two complementary sources for offloading data traffic. Key issues will be first to define clear engineering rules for the deployment of these two heterogeneous networks and then to have dual-mode devices coming from the market.

Do you think that VoLTE will have an impact and if so in what time frame?

MNOs will first deploy and tune their LTE Networks and then implement IMS enabling them to propose RCS services (if standardisation occurs) like VoLTE.

Is there enough innovation occurring in the mobile network industry? Can you provide some examples?

Rich Communications Services (RCS) and Location Based Services (LBS) services are innovations coming in the mobile network industry.

What changes would you hope to see in the industry in the next five years?

On the infrastructure manufacturer side only two or three players will survive. On the engineering side, evolution of the RAN towards base-band clouding will force MNOs to dramatically upgrade their backhaul networks but also to become and/or work with Content Distribution Network (CDN) operators.

Why are you attending the LTE World Summit and what are you looking forward to most?

I am firstly looking forward to presenting TDF’s work on the LTE network sharing and then to exchange ideas with major players in the market from MNOs to device manufacturers.

The LTE World Summit is taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. Click here to register your

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