A look at Telecoms through MENA

Factors necessary for succesful 4G network operations

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A look at Telecoms through MENA The future of telecoms in the Middle East will be driven by a range of factors.
By  Daniel Reinhold Published  November 11, 2010

There is more to developing a successful global 4G network than having the likes of WiMax or LTE fighting to be the predominant network provider. For 4G to be successful, several other areas need to be synergized effectively. In fact, media and entertainment, IT, sustainability and electronics all have a profound effect on the development of a thriving 4G network.

The convergence of media and entertainment, IT, sustainability and electronics across 4G networks, as well as the outcome of a WiMAX and LTE showdown was discussed last week at the NG Telecoms MENA Summit held in Dubai. With IDC providing a unique insight to industry trends during the event at Jumeirah, the Meydan, companies like Eltek Valere, Nokia Siemens Network, and PeerApp focused on sustainability, service oriented and value-added services, and benefits and characteristics of convergence.

Derek McManus, the CTO for O2 UK, explained that there is "[...] exponential demand on mobile data networks. Watching a YouTube video on a Smartphone can use the same capacity on the network as sending 500,000 text messages simultaneously."

The Middle East alone has seen a 137% increase in traffic during 2009. Video file sharing and Internet video consume 75% of all traffic and is expected to grow to 91% by 2013. This is even more important when considering the increase of mobile data traffic, which now accounts for 64% of streaming. Having the appropriate services and app stores that work on shortcuts for mobile devices are the most effective ways to provide the consumer with the needs they require and is a major talking point for PeerApp.

It is important to remember that LTE and WiMax are currently not 4G technologies and IMT-Advanced needs to define 4G specifications. The ITU is determining the candidate technologies that get the 4G label, either LTE-Advanced, 802.16m or another option. Current topics that are involved in meeting requirements include increased security, mobility, reliability, open internet, speed, and service quality assurance that are always on and always connected. Direct insight into these areas was provided by Vtel.

As the intricacies of a 4G network are ironed out, it is important for providers not to overlook the environmental impact. Telecom networks are a large part of the global usage with consumption of more than 160 billion kWh/year. This accounts for an additional 200-million tons of CO2 emissions at an annual cost of over $20 billion.

Spikes in global energy consumption, networks that can sustain constant mobile video streaming, and app stores that can easily provide the consumer its needs at the touch of a finger can only be done in a 4G world.

The global telecoms industry is using only one percent of the world's energy, but with individual operators expecting increases in consumption of over 25%, the industry will see similar increasing needs. Eltek Valere believes there are two main ways to combat these issues, one with high efficiency power conversation for networks with reliable AC Mains Grid and Hybrid & Alternative energy solutions with no or unreliable AC Mains.

3.5G has proven a success, but with 4G networks boasting quicker download times and speedier online access, it was only a matter of time before networks made the switch. The key now, is to ensure the 4G network is ready for that switch. This is what was discussed at the NG Telecoms MENA Summit in Dubai.

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