‘India has limited spectrum resources’

By Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo

Dr Harri Holma joined Nokia Research Center in 1994 and was located both in Finland and in USA during that time. He is currently working as Fellow with special interest on radio system performance.

Dr Holma has edited the books ‘WCDMA for UMTS’, ‘HSDPA/HSUPA for UMTS’, ‘LTE for UMTS’, ‘Voice over LTE’, ‘LTE Advanced’ and ‘HSPA+ Evolution’ and contributed to a number of other books in the radio communication area.

He talks with Voice&Data about new developments in LTE during his India visit.

Voice&Data: Will LTE ever be the technology for the masses?

Harry Holma: Absolutely, the global economics of scale will make LTE devices affordable to the masses. Due to more and more smartphone penetration in the country, we expect data to grow further at a very rapid rate in the coming year. LTE technology is the most efficient mobile broadband technology for providing an excellent user experience.

Voice&Data: Consumers don’t get the real 3G speeds as expected. Do you think operators will put money on LTE deployment?
Harry Holma: The limiting factors are typically spectrum, backhaul and site density. The typical 3G data rate in drive testing in urban area in Europe is 10 Mbps and LTE 40 Mbps. The technology enables such high data rates when the network is properly designed and dimensioned.

The 3G data traffic has grown very fast in India during the last 12 months, which gives a clear indication that customer finds a lot of value in the mobile broadband connection.

Voice&Data: What are the new developments in LTE that we will witness in the coming year?
Harry Holma: The latest hot topics are carrier aggregation, Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Multiantenna usage (MIMO) and new users’ cases over LTE, like machine-to-machine for internet of things, vehicle communication for traffic safety and public safety over LTE. The data rates increase rapidly with smartphones supporting peak rate of 1 Gbps in the near future.

Voice&Data: Is there anything that Indian operators need to implement to provide the experience the consumers want to have?
Harry Holma: The main technology components are spectrum, base station sites and backhaul in order to provide good end user experience. Spectrum is needed for capacity and for data rates, base station sites are needed for good coverage and backhaul is important to provide the connection between base station and core network gateway. One of the challenges in India has been the limited spectrum resources which limits the data rates in practise.

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