Home Latin America 2006 Mobile broadband arrives

Mobile broadband arrives

by david.nunes
Fernando TerniIssue:Latin America 2006
Article no.:8
Topic:Mobile broadband arrives
Author:Fernando Terni
Title:Executive President, Nokia Brasil and Vice President
Organisation:Nokia Networks, Latin America
PDF size:284KB

About author

Fernando Terni is the Executive President of Nokia Brasil and Vice President for Nokia Networks in Latin America. Mr Terni served as the first President of Intelig-23, launching this long-distance telecommunications company in Brazil. Fernando Terni began his career at Asea Brown Boveri, ABB, and over time became its Vice President for the Energy Transmission and Distribution area. Fernando Terni is an electrical engineer. He has also studied business administration at the Kellogg School of Northwestern University, USA and at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas, São Paulo.

Article abstract

Mobile telephony is possibly the fastest growing technology in history. So far, voice calling has pushed its growth, but wireless broadband technologies – including WiFi, 3G cellular and WiMAX and Internet Protocol-based standards such as IMS – make many new voice, video and text services available. Users will be able to choose the access network that gives them the best price or availability for services such as push-to-talk, video sharing, content sharing, presence, messaging (SMS, MMS) and voice over IP, VoIP.

Full Article

The phenomenal success of mobile telephony has so far been built on a modest set of services dominated by the basic person-to-person voice call. However, the building blocks of a communications future that will offer users far more options are now falling into place. Connectivity is more diverse than ever with wireless and wire-line access technologies such as GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, DSL and WLAN becoming commonplace and providing broadband on the move. Now it is the turn of IP convergence. Packet-based networks of all types will give users the ability to access, create, consume and share digital content using interoperable devices that are connected with each other anytime, anywhere. Content-to-person services have advanced in recent years with the advent of applications such as browsing, downloading and Internet access coming to the fore. Mobile operators are following this up now by placing an increasingly high priority on renewing person-to-person communications. Our research in cooperation with the UK-based research agency Market and Opinion Research International, MORI, indicates a clear demand for IP multimedia services. Between 33 per cent and 43 per cent, or 90 million main mobile phone users, in Great Britain, Germany, Singapore and the USA consider they would be likely to use these services in the next two years. The top three services in terms of likely adoption are push-to-talk, video sharing and instant messaging, while content sharing is also appealing to consumers in many countries. The demand is there, and users are interested in the benefits that IP multimedia services can bring; clear proof of this is already seen in the market. Several operators worldwide have launched the push-to-talk service commercially. The importance of presence has been recognized and more and more operators are combining presence with their other services. There are two main benefits to users of adopting IP-based peer-to-peer communications. First, users will be able to mix and match a variety of IP-based services in any way they choose during a single communications session. Users can integrate voice, video, text, content sharing and presence as part of their communication and can add or drop services as and when they choose. This is what is often referred to as a rich call and is not possible without peer-to-peer connection. For example, two people can play an interactive game directly between terminals, make comments during the game using voice, and share files or video with each other. Second, these services and the way they can be used will be available regardless of the access network used. Users will be able to choose the access network that gives them the best price, bandwidth or availability at a particular time and location. User interfaces and services will be independent of time and place, but at the same time customized for the terminal used. For example, a videoconference could be held with some participants using a fixed line connected to a PC, others with a mobile phone connected via WCDMA network or a laptop connected via WLAN. This is an example of true fixed and mobile convergence. Furthermore, users will gain easy access to new applications because the same SIP, Session Initiation Protocol, client in their terminal can be used for all services. SIP-capable phones are becoming more widely available and SIP clients are already available for downloading into some mobile terminals. Applications The key applications emerging for the IP-converged world include: Push-to-talk Already implemented over GPRS networks, push-to-talk provides direct one-to-one, or one-to-many, voice communication over the mobile network, emulating the traditional walkie-talkie service. The push of one key starts a call and directly connects the participants, thus enabling a conversational voice service. Push-to-talk calls are half-duplex – while one person speaks, the others can only listen. Video sharing Video sharing enables mobile users to share one-way video in real time while they are already actively involved in a voice session. This is a great way to gain additional revenue from voice calls and differentiate within 3G services. Wideband operators can offer one-way video sharing as an enhancement to existing voice calls. Content sharing A SIP-based peer-to-peer connection will enable two or more users to share all types of content. As an example, a user could send (‘content push’) the best photo as a MMS (Multimedia Message Service) and share the rest of her photos with her friends if they wish (‘content pull’) by using content sharing. Direct file sharing is possible between not only mobile terminals, but also between mobiles and PCs or any other IP-connected device. Presence Presence will add a new dimension to personal communication. Widely used on the Internet to support instant messaging, presence enables mobile users to allow their terminals to provide dynamic status information – such as, are they on-line? – about subscribers, including their call/connection status, identities, terminal capabilities and availability. Presence is an application in itself, but is also an enabler and enhancement of other applications, such as rich call, push-to-talk and messaging. Messaging Messaging will evolve building on the existing SMS (short message service), MMS and e-mail. From the user’s perspective, messaging services can converge into a single messaging service using different messaging technologies enabled by the network. Messaging will be driven by user services rather than enabling technologies as is the case today. Key messaging services are expected to include text messaging, chat, multimedia messaging, voice and video messaging, business messaging and application messaging. Voice over IP The importance of Voice over IP (VoIP) is increasing all the time. It is already widely used in fixed networks, using VoIP capable fixed phones or PC VoIP clients. The emergence of mobile terminals capable of supporting both cellular and WLAN (wireless local area network – WiFi) access, allows mobile terminals to use an IP-based connection for voice within a WLAN access zone, increasing the need for a VoIP solution for mobile operators. Rich call A rich call integrates voice, video and text, supported with parallel sharing of content (image, data, or other value-added information) into a seamless and coherent user experience. SIP provides the essential elements for a rich call. Third party SIP applications Developers can create applications for use directly by SIP-capable terminals, taking advantage of the peer-to-peer capability, although operators will remain in control. More versatile services based on application servers are also possible. IMS – the technology for convergence Richer person-to-person applications demand a mechanism that can establish a peer-to-peer connection between IP-enabled devices. IMS – the IP Multimedia Subsystem – is the network technology to achieve this. Defined by the 3GPP, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, IMS will form the heart of a converged network and will provide authentication, roaming and network interconnectivity to allow IP-enabled terminals to network fully. When a SIP client issues a ‘find-and-connect’ request, the IMS finds the relevant terminals and connects them via IP. IMS supports open service creation and third-party applications and application servers, enabling operators to tailor services and applications for their customers. Operators can develop the new services themselves, outsource the development work, or purchase the applications from external sources. IMS also allows operators to take advantage of applications, hosted on external servers, from third party service providers and application developers. More than a thousand developer companies worldwide are currently estimated to be working on SIP applications, bringing innovation far beyond most early expectations. Some of these companies are already developing and testing their applications on mobile terminals using SIP APIs, application program interfaces, and SDKs, software development kits. The use of standard open specifications based systems, such as IMS, is important to developers because it enables them to create applications that can be used across networks and on terminals of all types with minimal customization. IMS security architecture consists of access security and network domain security. For access security, IMS supports IETF, Internet Engineering Task Force, authentication typical for fixed SIP clients, as well as SIM-based, subscriber identity module, authentication, which is the sort most favoured for use with mobile terminals. Network domain security provides security between network domains and nodes within one domain. In a typical case, this means a well-defined security architecture for use between operators’ core networks. All the key components for IP convergence are available today. IMS infrastructure equipment is commercially available, service development tools are widely available from sources such as mobile equipment manufacturers, and IP-capable terminals are becoming available. SIP applications, such as push-to-talk, are already being deployed. Operators will benefit from taking advantage of the opportunity today and implementing the necessary IMS machinery in their core network. The winners in IP multimedia will be those that are proactive and take the early initiative.

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