Thursday, 31 July 2014

Wi-Fi and Cellular: Authentication & Security

While in the past WiFi was considered not as secure as the cellular counterpart, things have been changing slowly and steadily. While the cellular is able to offer authentication using the EPS-AKA, Wi-Fi is now able to offer EAP-AKA and EAP-SIM. 

In fact the above table is quite interesting to know about. Recently I was following a discussion that talked about the lack of QoS support in WiFi. As we can see, its supported but not guaranteed. 

Devices that contain the USIM card can use EAP-AKA while that without one can offer EAP-SIM. EAP-AKA works in a similar way to the cellular authentication protocol EPS-AKA. For anyone who is interested in reading more details about the authentication and how it works, including signalling, see this whitepaper here.

If you haven't seen our whitepaper on Cellular and WiFi integration, please check it out here.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

SDN and Distributed NFV for Small Cell Mobile Backhaul

An interesting presentation on how Distributed NFV can be used for Small Cell backhaul. The calculations show that 80% TCO savings. The presentation is embedded below and the video is available for viewing here.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Case Study: Fastback IBR Small Cell Backhaul Usage Scenarios

An interesting presentation from the recent Small Cells World Summit 2014 (kindly shared by Lance Hiley of Fastback Networks). The first part is a trial by Virgin Media and the later part is the case study by Fastback networks where they used their Intelligent Backhaul Radio and reduced the number links required to obtain similar performance as compared to a 'line of sight' solution. The presentation is embedded as follows

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Huawei's Lampsite

Huawei unveiled its 'Lampsite' for 'Deep Indoor Coverage' back in 2013. This is what they announced then:
LampSite includes a comprehensive set of BBU, RemoteHUB(rHUB) and PicoRRU(pRRU) products along with accompanying transmission solutions. The compact pRRU supports multiple bands and modes and can simultaneously support LTE TDD, LTE FDD, UMTS and GSM. A LampSite indoor coverage network can also be deployed simultaneously with Huawei’s SingleRAN solution. 
Thanks to BBU’s baseband sharing feature, one fiber is used for several cells, saving up to 87% of fiber typically used for indoor deployments. rHUB connects to pRRU by cable, and support power over Ethernet (PoE) to simplify site construction and reduce total deployment costs. 
In an early deployment phase, individual pRRU cells aggregate into one cell to reduce interference. Once the network offloads heavy traffic, the cells are split again and Adaptive SFN is enabled to balance capacity and interference. Huawei iManager system and evaluation tools are then used to accurately monitor and intelligently optimize indoor hotspot traffic.

This innovative solution has not only helped them to win contracts with China UnicomTDC Denmark and Telenor Norway but according to TMN magazine article, "Huawei is shipping more than 10,000 PRRUs (Pico Remote Radio Units) per month in some countries and regions for its LampSite in-building system, according to Peter Zhou, Huawei's President of Small Cell & WiFi, Wireless Network."

Recently Huawei and Telenor also won an award in the LTE World Summit for "Innovation in HetNet Development". With Huawei’s LampSite, Telenor is able to provide average downlink throughput of 46Mbps at any location in a building and significantly cut costs. Deployment of each pico Remote Radio Unit takes only three hours – from site survey, through installation, commissioning, to going live, ensuring rapid rollout in areas with weak signal penetration.

Based on presentations in different events, looks like Huawei is not complacent with its achievements. It plans to develop the next generation or NG Lampsite to achieve 1Gbps Indoor throughput with whole lot of technologies to help achieve this. Multi-stream Aggregation (MSA) being the key. See my earlier post on MSA on the 3G4G blog here.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Tight, Tighter and Very Tight Integration between LTE and WiFi Networks

For those who are unfamiliar about the trusted and non-trusted access, I strongly recommend reading our whitepaper on Cellular and WiFi Integration here.
The standard and the most popular Integration approach between LTE and Wi-Fi is via the Trusted architecture as shown above.

There is a proposal for RAN level Integration which would result in Even Tighter Integration of WiFi

Now some researchers are proposing a Very Tight coupling between LTE and Wi-Fi which would mean that regardless of the access, the UE can be sent data from the same data stream over WiFi and LTE. Though this is radical, these approaches are already being thought about for '5G'. Whether it will happen in a future release of 4G or 4.5G remains to be seen. Here is the complete paper embedded below:

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

3GPP Definitions of Small Cells

While the Small Cell Forum defines the different types of Small cells clearly and these Small Cells can be said to contain the complete/partial functionality of the eNodeB, 3GPP definitions of Small Cells can be a bit fuzzy sometimes.

Generally, in the 3GPP documentation, there is a reference to Femtocells and Picocells. Femtocells are Small Cells that are defined as Closed Access (see my old post here) by 3GPP. The open access small cells are referred to as Picocells. Sometimes remote radio heads (RRH's) are also referred to as Small cells, open access type.

Relays, even though not referred to as Small Cells by 3GPP, is also referred to as Small Cells by some people.

Do you know of anything else?