Technicolor's David Baylis Explores the Role of LTE in Delivering Broadband Services to the Home – Even as Industry Gears Up for 5G
Long-term evolution (LTE) is rapidly evolving as a technology for providing broadband services in the home, complementing the traditional fixed broadband technologies: fiber, cable and digital subscriber line (DSL), says David Baylis, vice president of product management for next-generation gateways at Technicolor. These technologies will be the focus of much interest at Mobile World Congress 2017, which is being held in Barcelona between the 27th of February and the 2nd of March.
"Subscribers have become more and more bandwidth hungry, whatever their access technology," says Baylis. "People at home may not have access to cable, fiber or DSL technologies with an acceptable quality of service, particularly if they live in a rural or suburban area. For that reason, operators are looking to LTE broadband as a new option ... but it has to be competitive with the fixed broadband services already being offered."
Podcast Interview with David Baylis
Technicolor is incorporating LTE into its residential gateways, but Baylis says different service modes are being pursued in different regions, depending on local market pressures and opportunities.
"In some countries, the time lag between customers signing up to a fixed broadband service and activation of the service to give them that broadband access can be considerable, and therefore very frustrating. So, offering LTE access within the gateway is an immediate solution. Also, LTE bandwidth can be bonded with other fixed-line network technologies to enable operators to better participate in the endless competition for more speed," he says.
Technicolor's focus is not entirely on data, says Baylis. "At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we will be demonstrating our Voice over IP (VoIP) feature integrated into the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon X5 LTE chipset. Later in the year our LTE gateways will be integrating circuit-switched voice and Voice over LTE services to ensure full coverage of all operator requirements for voice," he says.
Technicolor is already looking beyond 4G and gearing up for 5G, the next evolution of mobile technology. It will use the same radio frequencies as LTE, but also use much higher frequencies with much shorter wavelengths.
"5G is going to give blindingly fast data rates and incredibly low latency, and it will enable a whole host of services and products that we haven't yet imagined," says Baylis. "Technicolor aims to be in the vanguard, with the device manufacturers resolving the complex issues that will be raised by the new millimeter wave technology."
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