VTC 2011 opened today in Budapest with two interesting keynotes that addressed the research challenges ahead in mobile data. Magnus Frodigh, Director of Radio Access research in Ericsson, Chairman of Wireless@KTH and KTH/RST Alumn started on the theme “Navigating the Data Growth”. Magnus showed projections of 1000-times more traffic in the next 5 years – user experience and technology being the main drivers for growth. Interestingly enough – the demand in this time period is still mainly met by HSPA systems. LTE will grow fast but will only taking a limited share of the total deployed infrastruture in this period. Frodigh stressed that there is so much traffic to be handled, that many different access systems – combinations of macro, pico and indoor WiFi solution will be needed. He also talked about modular RBS design and centralized base-band processing (“main-remote” in Ericsson lingo) is one key technology that will provide larges gains in cost and energy efficiency. Reducing the time to adding new cells in multivendor, multistandard networks from weeks to minutes using Self-Organization (SON) techniques is a another. Magnus also addressed the M2M opportunities with “cellular”/mobile broadband networks as “horizontal enablers”. He asked us to be exercise some caution – M2M applications are not a homogenous group – but very diverse with many different requirement. He ended his talk with an outlook on research challenges the future – “Super dense deployment”. This included requirements for operator (spectrum)sharing systems. (Yes finally -my remark).
Steven Gray, CTO of Huawei, gave a talk entitled on the “Theoretical and Practical considerations for the Design of Green Radio Networks”. He’s talk started with some general energy consumption and operator cost reflections (including the “gap picture”) and then he moved to the fundamental tradeoffs and energy consumption modelling which became to a large extent a repetition of the key note by Shugong Xu in the Greenet workshop on Sunday. He also addressed alternative deployment techniques (“smart” distributed antennas, centralized base-band, HETNETs) – as key enablers to achieve “greener” radio networks.
Interestingly the degree of agreement between the two competing giants regarding future research challenges is striking.