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Evolution Of Symbian OS

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Symbian originated from EPOC, an operating system created by Psion in the 1980s. In June 1998, Psion Software became Symbian Ltd., a major joint venture between Psion and phone manufacturers Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia.

Afterwards, different software platforms were created for Symbian, backed by different groups of mobile phone manufacturers. They include S60 (Nokia, Samsung and LG), UIQ (Sony Ericsson and Motorola) and MOAP(S) (Japanese only such as Fujitsu, Sharp etc.).

In June 2008, Nokia announced the acquisition of Symbian Ltd., and a new independent non-profit organization called the Symbian Foundation was established. Symbian OS and its associated user interfaces S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) were contributed by their owners Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Sony Ericsson and Symbian Ltd., to the foundation with the objective of creating the Symbian platform as a royalty-free, open source software, under the OSI- and FSF-approved Eclipse Public License (EPL). The platform has been designated as the successor to Symbian OS, following the official launch of the Symbian Foundation in April 2009. The Symbian platform was officially made available as open source code in February 2010.

Nokia became the major contributor to Symbian's code, since it then possessed the development resources for both the Symbian OS core and the user interface. Since then Nokia has been maintaining its own code repository for the platform development, regularly releasing its development to the public repository. Symbian was intended to be developed by a community led by the Symbian Foundation, which was first announced in June 2008 and which officially launched in April 2009. Its objective was to publish the source code for the entire Symbian platform under the OSI- and FSF-approved Eclipse Public License (EPL). The code was published under EPL on 4 February 2010; Symbian Foundation reported this event to be the largest codebase moved to Open Source in history.

However, some important components within Symbian OS were licensed from third parties, which prevented the foundation from publishing the full source under EPL immediately; instead much of the source was published under a more restrictive Symbian Foundation License (SFL) and access to the full source code was limited to member companies only, although membership was open to any organisation.

In November 2010, the Symbian Foundation announced that due changes in global economic and market conditions (and also a lack of support from members such as Samsung and Sony Ericsson), it would transition to a licensing-only organisation; Nokia announced it would take over the stewardship of the Symbian platform. Symbian Foundation will remain the trademark holder and licensing entity and will only have non-executive directors involved.

On 11 February 2011, Nokia announced a partnership with Microsoft that would see it adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, and Symbian will be its franchise platform (dropping Symbian as its main smartphone OS of choice). As a consequence, the use of the Symbian platform for building mobile applications dropped rapidly. Research in June 2011 indicated that over 39% of mobile developers using Symbian at the time of publication were planning to abandon the platform.

By 5 April 2011, Nokia ceased to openly source any portion of the Symbian software and reduced its collaboration to a small group of pre-selected partners in Japan. Source code released under the EPL remains available in third party repositories.

On 22 June 2011, Nokia made an agreement with Accenture for an outsourcing program. Accenture will provide Symbian-based software development and support services to Nokia through 2016; about 2,800 Nokia employees became Accenture employees as of October 2011. The transfer was completed on 30 September 2011.

On 1 January 2014, with Nokia shifting their developer support away from Symbian, developers will not be able to publish new Symbian applications or content into the Nokia Store. However, existing Nokia Store content can still be downloaded.

posted Mar 18, 2014 by Rahul Mehra

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The LTE-based fourth-generation (4G) wireless landscape has become the new nexus where IT industry leaders from device makers to software developers to network operators are pursuing new business opportunities amid consumers demand for faster and more reliable networks. However, the concurrent mention of LTE and LTE Advanced networks in trade media may create a degree of confusion among managers who are not directly associated with LTE network technology.

This article attempts to make a clear distinction between regular LTE and LTE Advanced wireless networks. Long Term Evolution or LTE, as the name suggests, is actually evolution of the existing 3G standard, not a new standard in its own right. In fact, LTE is simply an advanced form of 3G, also called 3.9G by the ITU. However, LTE represents a paradigm shift from hybrid voice and data networks to data-only networks. LTE offers a theoretical capacity of up to 100 Mbit/s in the downlink and 50 Mbit/s in the uplink, and more if a more powerful MIMO technique for antenna arrays is used.

LTE Advanced, like its lower-speed predecessor, is going to be built on the prior LTE OFDM/MIMO architecture to further increase data rate and is being defined in 3GPP Releases 10 and 11. The LTE Advanced standard promises more than three times data speeds than basic LTE networks. It does it by incorporating five high-octane network features: carrier aggregation, increased MIMO, coordinated multipoint transmission, heterogeneous network (HetNet) support, and relays.


LTE Advanced Building Blocks:

First, the carrier aggregation scheme allows mobile operators to utilize more than one 20 MHz bandwidth carrier as specified in the original LTE specification, and in this way, increase the overall transmission capacity. Carrier aggregation technique combines up to five 20-MHz channels into one stream to increase data speed, making possible a peak downlink data rate of 1 Gbit/s.

Second, while the standard LTE defines MIMO configurations of up to 4x4arrangements, LTE Advanced technology extends that to 8x8 stream with support for multiple transmit antennas in the handset. MIMO is a fundamental element of the LTE system design and the first version of the LTE standard supports 2×2 MIMO in both the downlink and uplink. Subsequent developments will extend this capability, and the LTE Advanced systems will eventually support 8×8 MIMO in the downlink and 4×4 MIMO in the uplink.

Third, coordinated multipoint transmission (CoMP)—also known as cooperative MIMO—is a set of techniques that uses different forms of MIMO and beamforming to send and receive radio signals from multiple cells to a mobile device to reduce interference from other cells and ensure optimum performance at the cell edges. SK Telecom, which claims to have launched the world’s first commercial LTE Advanced network in summer 2012, actually used an early stage of coordinated multipoint to allow multiple base stations to communicate with a single device simultaneously.

Fourth, the LTE Advanced standard defines another base station type called relay station. The use of technologies such as MIMO, OFDM, and advanced error correction improves throughput, but they don’t fully mitigate the problems experienced at the cell edge. LTE relays can be used to increase the coverage outside the main area and to fill small holes in coverage.

Finally, heterogeneous network or HetNet is a multi-layered system of overlapping big and small cells which pumped out cheap bandwidth. Several small cells can be distributed within the area covered by a macrocell to provide extra capacity and fill in the gaps in cellular coverage. Mobile phone operators are very excited about moving to HetNets, which incorporate hundreds if not thousands of small cells or low-powered radio access nodes, which in turn, provide nearly the same functionality for a small region as of a larger radio base station.

Inevitably, LTE Advanced will be forward and backward compatible with basic LTE, meaning LTE handsets will work on LTE Advanced networks, and LTE Advanced handsets will work on standard LTE networks. That makes LTE a stepping stone to the much-higher-capacity LTE Advanced systems. The deployment of LTE Advanced networks is expected in 2014 and beyond.

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