Monday, October 31, 2011

Video: Sprint's Iyad Tarazi on LTE-Advanced, VoLTE and Clearwire TD-LTE

In this interview taped at 4G World in Chicago, Iyad Tarazi, Sprint's VP of Network Development and Engineering, discusses the move to LTE and the newly announced agreement with Clearwire.

Key points covered:

LTE Rollout Phase 1 -- the LTE rollout is underway with the Network Vision program, which will touch every cell site over the next 2 years. This phase of the rollout will use the 1900 MHz spectrum and extend to 270 million POPs.

LTE Rollout Phase 2 -- expected in Q2 2013 will leverage features of Release 10, including interference management, capacity improvements, spectrum management, and possibly carrier aggregation. This phase of the rollout could also add the 800 MHz spectrum from the iDen network, as well as the 1.6 GHz spectrum from LightSquared.

The Clearwire Partnership -- WiMAX and the Clearwire relationship has been very good to Sprint, but it is time to look to LTE. The companies are in tentative agreement that the future is LTE and will work together to make FD-LTE and TD-LTE operate in a seamless network. That means developing a chip ecosystem, network interfaces and interworking between the two LTE networks, allowing for the 2.5 GHz spectrum to be accessible to Sprint customers.

Small Cells -- the HetNet architecture will be critical because mobile broadband traffic is increasingly an in-door experience. Hotspots can be very effective in addressing the indoor mobile broadband trend.

VoLTE -- Sprint will continue to invest in next gen voice, even on the CDMA network. The reason to deploy VoLTE will be to simplify the consumer experience. VoIP over LTE is likely at Sprint in the first half of 2013 to a subset of LTE handsets. There are likely to be multiple ways of supporting voice streams.


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