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the end of this year by network operator Everything Everywhere, if Ofcom grants regulatory approval. T e company, which runs the UK Orange and T-Mobile services, hopes to use its existing spectrum at 1800 MHz for LTE coverage, enabling a service to begin without waiting for the results of Ofcom’s coming auction of ‘digital dividend’ frequencies. Ofcom intends to issue a


licence variation allowing the use of LTE and WiMAX in the band, but has issued a public consulta- tion document seeking views on the change. In the document, the regulator explains that a European


How 4G may come early F


ourth-generation mobile services could be launched in the UK as early as


decision on harmonization re- quires EU member states to make 900 and 1800 MHz spectrum avalable for 4G technologies.


LTE trials Everything Everywhere is planning a new trial from next month in the Bristol area to test LTE at 1800MHz, in both urban and suburban environments. An existing customer trial of 4G technology over 800 MHz spectrum in rural Cornwall, launched last September, has recently been extended to July. Meanwhile, Every thing Everywhere is continuing its roll-out of a nationwide HSPA+ (3.5G) network to bring a 50 per cent speed improvement for


Wireless nodes at sea O


n-board wireless networks could provide a cost-effective means of linking monitoring systems aboard large ships such as passenger ferries and merchant ships, despite the obstruction of watertight doors and dense steel bulkheads. In a paper published in the Institution of Engineering and


Technology’s journal Electronics Letters, researchers at the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Rennes (IETR) report their finding that radio leakage between metallic watertight adjacent chambers is of a level sufficient for communication between network nodes in a wireless sensor network (WSN). Tests using a MIMO channel sounder at 2·2 GHz on the lower decks of a modern car ferry revealed that radio signals could pass through the edges of watertight doors, though they were heavily attenuated.


Cable costs On-board monitoring systems are an essential part of a ferry-sized vessel, which requires kilometres of cabling to connect thousands of sensors for systems monitoring, internal messaging and on-board communications. A wireless solution would reduce the cost of installation and the complexity of later upgrading systems to new specifications.


Another major advantage of a wireless solution over heavy cabling would be reduced weight. A WSN could lead to an increase in a ship’s payload or reduce its fuel consumption, with positive effects on the environment and financial costs. Next steps for the researchers will include determining the engineering rules necessary to install a WSN on a ship; adapting existing monitoring systems to support wireless devices; and testing the networks in difficult conditions. The researchers also plan to explore the scope for other ship-based wireless applications, such as on-board wireless local area networks, wireless personal area networks and cordless telephones for crew.


4


T-Mobile and Orange mobile broadband customers. “Everything Everywhere’s


vision is to launch 4G for Britain as soon as possible, and the rollout of 3.5G HSPA+ and our 4G trials across Britain are major steps to- wards delivering on that promise”, commented chief executive Olaf Swantee. “T ere is a great op- portunity for the UK to have the 21st Century network that it so deserves, putting the nation on a level playing fi eld with other parts of Europe, the USA and Asia.” • Everything Everywhere is also upgrading its backhaul network to cope with increasing data traffi c loads. In December it announced the introduction of Gigabit Ethernet technology.


Tunnel channel


P


assengers travelling to the Olympic Games this


summer will be able to use their mobile phones in the Channel Tunnel, with a 2G/3G coverage system to be supplied to Eurotunnel by Alcatel-Lucent.


The system, costing 14 million euro, has become practicable because Eurotunnel is already installing GSM-R2 railway signalling equipment. By choosing the same equipment supplier for both systems, it can ensure compatibility and minimize costs while accelerating the installation. French network operators


Bouygues Telecom, Orange SFR and Free will extend their 2G/3G coverage through the South running tunnel (running France–UK) via a radiating cable and optical repeaters positioned every 750 metres. The North running tunnel (UK–France) will be covered by British operators after the Olympic Games. Almost 20 million passengers use the tunnel each year.


Commercial 4G broadband for London


L


ondon will shortly have the opportunity to try an


alternative fl avour of LTE, on an LTE TDD network being built by UK Broadband (UKB), the UK’s largest commercial holder of spectrum suitable for 4G mobile services and fi xed wireless solutions. The system, based on equipment from Huawei, will be the fi rst LTE TDD 3·5 GHz deployment in the world and the fi rst commercial LTE TDD deployment in the UK. UKB will offer it on a


wholesale basis, working with partners to offer commercial services from May onwards to businesses, consumers and the public sector. Initially the network will initially cover the Southbank and Borough areas of Southwark. “We’re very excited to be


switching on our fi rst LTE TDD system in the UK”, said Nicholas James chief executive of UKB. “We’re working with Huawei because we believe they have the expertise and experience we need to deliver the best solution.” The network will use UKB’s


124 MHz of spectrum in LTE bands 42 and 43 (3·5 GHz and 3·6 GHz). Deploying six 20 MHz- wide channels, UKB will be able to deliver LTE Advanced speeds and enough capacity across the network to deliver super-fast broadband to a large number of users simultaneously. The fi rst terminals, jointly


developed by UKB and Huawei, include indoor and outdoor units for high-speed wireless broadband to homes and businesses within the coverage area. Multi-mode mobile devices supporting LTE TDD/FDD will be available from 2012. UKB has chosen LTE TDD


because most users typically download more data than they upload. It will be able to manage the network dynamically to maximize downlink capacity.


LAND mobile March 2012


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