2B 3G Subs by 2015

Courtesy:  Mobile World Live

Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, discussed the need for continued network evolution as the number of mobile broadband subscribers grows, stating that by 2015 the company expects another 2 billion subscribers to be using 3G services.

In his keynote speech at the company’s Innovation Qualcomm event in Turkey this morning, he detailed the benefits of this to operator customers:  “really, this is a way for them to roll out data capacity at much, much lower cost.” This is important because while customer demand for mobile data services is growing, the market remains price sensitive – making the ability to deliver services efficiently critical.

Describing HSPA+ as “really a baseline now for a 3G operator,” Jacobs said that the company has an evolutionary roadmap in place for 3G technologies, alongside development work on nascent technologies such as LTE.

In his presentation, he noted support for dual-carrier HSPA+, which combines radio carriers to deliver significantly improved data throughput compared to standard HSPA+ networks. Apparently, 39 operators worldwide are currently supporting this technology.
Qualcomm is working on “even more multi-carrier scenarios” for HSPA+, Jacobs said.

Also highlighted was the potential of “smart networks,” which monitor usage in real time to shift resources to where they are most needed, and “heterogeneous networks,” where small base stations can be connected to an Ethernet connection to provide localised mobile coverage, while not interfering with other transmitters.

Jacobs also noted the importance of spectrum refarming, with 2G spectrum re-allocated for 3G services. He said that “2G is so spectrally inefficient, and spectrum is such a scarce resource.”

Apparently, 34 networks are currently using 900MHz spectrum for 3G services which was previously allocated to 2G, “and we expect that to move rapidly in future.”

While rollouts of LTE technology are still at an early stage, Jacobs also noted that the company is working on the evolution of this through LTE Advanced, stating that: “like HSPA+, we are advancing the ball on LTE.” This will include the promotion of similar technologies to those being pushed for HSPA+, including smart and heterogeneous networks.

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