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UK Broadband Ltd. provides wireless solutions and products to consumers, businesses, and the public sector. It is the largest commercial holder of 4G mobile spectrum in the U.K. and employs almost 19,000 people in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and much of Asia. UK Broadband is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based PCCW Ltd.
The U.K. government plans to promote LTE technology for emergency communications and other enterprise customers who expect their networks to handle voice and Big Data, such as airports, harbors, and railway sectors. In order to expand their data-only business into other areas, UK Broadband and Huawei piloted an eLTE broadband trunking network to provide coverage for a 1 square mile (3 sq. km) area of London’s financial district.
At the outset, UK Broadband considered an Over-the-Top (OTT) solution, but rejected it in favor of Huawei’s superior embedded eLTE solution. They also rejected the current Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) solution for the government’s planned emergency services communications.
The Huawei embedded eLTE solution provides several key advantages over both the TETRA and OTT solutions.
Call setup time and quality: Setup times for voice calls took less than 300 ms and the 3GPP Adaptive Multi-rate CODEC (AMR) delivered the equivalent of 12.2 kbit/s. Unlike the OTT solution, call pre-emption was also available.
Direct Mode Operation (DMO): While TETRA supports DMO in the same band, Huawei uses dual handset transceivers.
Power consumption: Huawei’s solution conserves battery life using handsets that go into standby mode when they are not carrying traffic, which neither the TETRA nor OTT solutions can provide.
Emergency call support: Huawei’s eLTE solution fully supports emergency “in-distress” communications for full end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS).
End-to-end encryption: Unlike OTT, eLTE fully supports end-to-end encryption using transparent data channels.
Since the pilot began, visitors from the government, police, and municipal administration sectors came to see Huawei’s network and UK Broadband’s trunking applications exhibit their top-notch performance.With the success of the London pilot as a starting point, UK Broadband plans to provide eLTE coverage across the UK in collaboration with Huawei. Unlike the other solutions, 4G LTE technology permits video calling, advanced data services, and the best security emergency operations need.