LTE (long term evolution) advanced is a mobile communication standard and a key enhancement in long term evolution. Current LTE technology offers internet speed of up to 150Mbps (mega-bytes per second), whereas LTE advanced is capable of offering internet speed of 300 Mbps. 5G is a 5th generation wireless system which denotes the advanced phase of mobile telecommunication standards, ahead of the current IMT (international mobile telecommunications) advanced or 4G standards. 5G can offer internet speed between 10 Gbps (giga-bytes per second) to 100 Gbps. In addition, 5G provides ultra low latency range between 1ms and 10ms, while 4G technology can offer low latency range between 40ms and 60ms. With ultra low latency range end-users can watch live stream of sports matches over internet. Rising demand for high internet speed to get real time response is one of the major factors driving the development of latest technologies such as LTE advanced and 5G.
Increasing demand for more advanced smart-phones, tablets and other mobile devices is expected to create demand for technologies that can provide high internet speed, which is, in turn, expected to drive the growth of LTE advanced and 5G market. Further, Japan is planning to showcase LTE advanced and 5G innovation throughout the Pyeongchang 2018 winter Olympics and Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics which would add to the growth of this market over the forecast period. Other factors responsible for supporting to the market growth include enhanced internet coverage, increased adoption of mobile broadband and growing machine-to-machine communications in organizations.
The LTE advanced and 5G market can be segmented into two major categories as technology and end-users. Depending upon the technology, the LTE advanced and 5G market can be segmented into five major categories, namely, RAT (radio access technologies), HSPA (high speed package access), GSM (global system for mobile), WiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) and Wi-Fi. On the basis of end-users, the market can be segmented into government and utilities, retail sector, healthcare sector, offices, defence and military, and individual user. The LTE advanced and 5G market can also be segmented based on major geographical regions into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (Middle East, Latin America and Africa). Countries such as South Korea, the United States, Germany, China, United Kingdom and Japan are taking initiatives to implement LTE advanced and 5G technologies. For example, recently South Korea announced to invest USD 1.5 billion in 5G infrastructure.
The key players in LTE advanced and global 4G/5G market include Reliance Jio, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T Inc., Ericsson Inc., SK Telecom Co. Ltd, NTT Docomo Inc., Verizon Communications, Qualcomm Inc., Nokia Networks, Samsung Group, Deutsche Telecom AG, Telefonica S.A and Huawei Technologies Company Ltd. among others. Key players in this market are focusing on introducing innovative LTE advanced and 5G technologies to gain first mover advantage. For example, in 2014 SK Telecom Co. Ltd entered into agreement with Ericsson Inc. for joint research on 5G technologies in South Korea. In addition, major companies such as Samsung Group, Nokia Networks and NTT Docomo Inc. are focusing on developing smart-phones that would be capable of deploying these technologies.
A digital revolution with LTE
It has been predicted by a report from The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) that the number of mobile internet connections in India will jump and cross the 300 million threshold from 159 million last year in August. The trend seems to hold up as Reliance Jio announced a massive 100 million user base for its 4G LTE connection. The 4G revolution which made the entire telecom industry engage in a price war also raised the average mobile connection speed from 3.3Mbps to 4.8Mbps in Q4 2016. In the global scenario, the United Kingdom continued its lead by raising its average connection speed from 23.1Mbps last quarter to 26.8Mbps in the fourth quarter while Australia remained at the top in the Asia-Pacific region with 13.8Mbps connection speed.
In addition, since Q4 2011, mobile data usage continues to outperform voice call usage. Data traffic grew more than 54 per cent from last year globally. The report states that mobile data traffic continued it strong growth while voice traffic growth remained in the low single digits per year. The cumulative growth of mobile data traffic over the past five years was more than 1200 per cent while cumulative voice traffic was a paltry 31 per cent. The growth in the traffic is mostly because of increasing smartphone subscriptions and a sustained increase in average data volume per subscription which once again is fuelled by a trend of viewing video content. With a rise in the average connection speeds in case of smartphones and tablets and other mobile devices, average page loading time also came down from 5909ms to 5018 while for broadband it came down to 3848ms from 4131ms last quarter. The lag in page loading times for mobile and broadband also improved with the report stating a mobile penalty of 1.3x, down from 1.4x last quarter.
Jio and Samsung with LTE & 5G
Samsung announced it’s innovative “I&G (Infill & Growth) Project” for Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd in India. This joint project was established to upgrade current LTE mobile communication services across India by expanding both the current network capacity as well as network coverage. The project sets a high benchmark for LTE services in India through wider coverage, in-building penetration and the highest speeds, regardless of the user’s location. Utilizing spectrum in the 850, 1800 and 2300MHz bands, it will enable seamless indoor and outdoor coverage in dense urban areas. The project will also extend Jio’s superiority in rural areas by expanding its reach to over 90% of the population.
Previously, Samsung provided the LTE core, base stations and solutions required for VoLTE services, as well as massive deployment services for establishing a nationwide network for Jio. The two companies have successfully established the world’s largest Greenfield LTE network. “I am excited to announce our new project with Samsung,” said Jyotindra Thacker, President of Reliance Jio Infocomm. “We successfully achieved 100 million subscribers in 170 days, making us the fastest-growing company in the world, and the numbers continue to rapidly grow. It was possible because we introduced a truly effective LTE service, Pan-India. We are committed to bringing game-changing digital experiences to India with superior ecosystems, mobile content, all-IP networks and ongoing process innovations.”
“As Jio’s end-to-end LTE solutions partner, it is a great pleasure for Samsung to contribute to Jio’s tremendous success,” said Youngky Kim, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “The massive deployment of over a million cells across India is especially remarkable. We will strive to create new paradigms for LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G by closely cooperating with Jio as a unified workforce.” Jio stands as an innovator which transformed the telecommunications sector in India last year. The company has already established itself as the leading data service provider in the country within a few months of commencing operations. It was also India’s first operator to introduce free-of-charge High Definition calls (VoLTE). This is especially notable, as this approach is now becoming a new market rule in India.
Samsung, as Jio’s strategic partner, has established a foundation for Indians to enjoy exclusive services, including voice calls, with data as their engine. It has also gone a step further, enabling Jio to offer a superior service to its users by providing professional solutions such as Samsung VoLTE, Quality Monitoring and Analysis (VoMA) and Cognitive Traffic Monitoring and Optimizer for a superior user experience. Further, it was through Samsung’s VoMA that the steady management of high traffic in data-dense environments was enabled. The tools monitor and optimize mobile data services, and have successfully contributed to enabling Jio to provide its subscribers with a stable and improved user experience. The relationship between Jio and Samsung goes back to 2012, when the two companies signed a turn-key agreement covering the entire scope of network, ranging from equipment to establishment and maintenance services.
Jio with Cisco
Besides, Reliance Jio has also partnered US-based networking giant Cisco to build its all-IP digital services platform. With this network, Reliance Jio offers a unique combination of high-speed data, mobile video, voice over LTE (VoLTE), digital commerce, media, cloud, and payment services. “With the Cisco All-IP network, Reliance Jio will help deliver the vision of Digital India and transform the delivery of citizen services from transportation, utilities and financial inclusion to entertainment, agriculture, education, and healthcare in the country,” the companies said in a statement.
Jio has announced collaboration with networking giant Cisco to further expand Jio’s existing multi-terabit capacity with the first All-IP converged network in India. With this network, Jio will offer a combination of high-speed data, mobile video, VoLTE, digital commerce, media, cloud and payment services, Cisco said in a statement. It is the first network of its kind globally with the fastest growth to 100 million broadband and VoLTE customers, reaching the milestone within six months of launch. “As part of our journey in fulfilling the aspirations of the nation to be a key transformational agent in digital adoption and Leadership, Cisco has been a great partner for in building this highly scalable cloud centric All-IP Digital Services Network Platform meeting unprecedented data growth,” Mathew Oommen, President of Reliance Jio, said in a statement.
A result of co-innovation around product and services between the two companies, the Jio All-IP digital platform is built on Cisco’s Open Network Architecture and Cloud Scale Networking technologies featuring IP/MPLS, spanning areas, including data centre, Wi-Fi, security and contact centre solutions. “We share the vision with Reliance Jio for an open, programmable infrastructure to simplify, automate and virtualized core network functions in order to digitize faster,” Yvette Kanouff, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Service Provider Business at Cisco, added.
Jio has more than 300,000 km of fibre and built India’s largest cloud data centre to build platforms for applications and vertical solutions. Cisco is building the simplified, automated and virtualized network platform of the future on industry-leading software, systems, silicon and services. This enables service providers, media and web companies worldwide to reduce costs, speed time-to-market, secure their networks and sustain profitable growth.
A result of Co-innovation around product and services between the two companies the Jio All-IP digital Platform is built on Cisco’s Open Network Architecture and Cloud Scale Networking technologies featuring IP/MPLS, spanning areas, including data center, Wi-Fi, security and contact center solutions. Cisco is building the simplified, automated and virtualizes network platform of the future on industry-leading software, systems, silicon and services. This enables service providers, media and web companies worldwide to reduce costs, speed time-to-market, secure their networks and uphold profitable growth.
Earlier Reliance Jio had claimed that it is the only company in the world providing digital services over all –IP, where Cisco already had IP equipment for Jio’s data centers, security solutions, and packet network. All-IP network, the telecom operator will help transform the delivery of citizen services from transportation, utilities and financial inclusion to entertainment, agriculture, education, and healthcare. “This network marks a milestone, transforming the mobility business in India by delivering a broad range of mobile apps and services rom on common platform” Said Yvette Kanouff. Senior vice president, GMSPB.Cisco.