Thursday, 31 October 2013

Small Cells and Wi-Fi in 3GPP Releases

Here is a quick chart of features of Small Cells and Wi-Fi introduced by 3GPP in different releases. Please feel free to suggest anything that has been missed out.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Optimizing Small Cells and the HetNets

Came across a whitepaper from JDSU, not so new but its got some interesting stuff. In an earlier post here, we saw the challenges for small cells deployment, the picture above shows another view.

Another interesting item is adding intelligence to small cells. This can mainly help by reducing the traffic back to the core. This also relies on predicting the user behaviour which could be a challenge in it self. There is a lot more interesting stuff in the paper, which is embedded below:

Sunday, 20 October 2013

New opportunities in Carrier Wi-Fi & Wi-Fi offload

Interesting webinar from Maravedis-Rethink exploring the new opportunities with Carrier-WiFi and Offloading. Embedded below is the video and presentation:

Monday, 14 October 2013

The right technology for different Enterprises

The enterprise deployments seem to be hotting up. Back in May, Telefonica O2, Germany, announced 'Signal Box', their enterprise femtocell based on UMTS to improve indoor coverage. Recently Vodafone in Netherlands announced that they are offering enterprise small cells from Spidercloud. There was an interesting article in Fierce Wireless about the enterprise small cells opportunity. The relevant part is reproduced below:

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Super Macros and HetNets

The other day I read the following on Light Reading:

UK operator EE wants to turn its existing macro cell sites into "super macros," according to Andy Sutton, the carrier's principal network architect, speaking at the recent Base Station conference in London.

EE 's plan to super size its macro cell sites fits in to a broader Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) strategy for adding capacity and extending coverage. The operator rolled out the first LTE network in the UK last year, and has now covered 55 percent of the UK population and has 1 million 4G customers.

"Super macro is the first step toward building a HetNet,” said Sutton. “Evolving the macro is the most cost-optimized way to adding capacity into our networks."

But what makes a macro super?

According to Sutton, a super macro would typically have multiple radio access technologies (RAT), three-to-six base station sectors, and operate in multiple frequency bands using carrier aggregation techniques. It could be a standalone base station or a hub for subtended, smaller micro cells. He added that infrastructure sharing is vital to the strategy as well.

Once the operator has sufficiently beefed up its macro cell sites, then it can look to smaller cells to be deployed indoors and outdoors in hotspots or cell edge locations. Sutton described a small cell deployment as an "underlay" to the super macro.

The term super macro isn't exactly new, but the fact that operators are talking about it now indicates just how much more they are looking to do with their existing radio access network (RAN) infrastructure before introducing new small cells or while planning a small cell deployment.

"Within the super macro concept, there's quite a lot operators can do to improve performance," says Heavy Reading senior analyst Gabriel Brown.

Along with adding sectors, using more spectrum bands, or employing carrier aggregation, Brown also includes in the super macro concept using 4x4 and 8x8 MIMO, active antenna systems, vertical sectorization, or beamforming.

The advantage of improving macro sites is that many of the basic elements that go into the total cost of ownership of a cell site are already in place, such as power, real estate rental, and backhaul, according to Brown.

I remember the folks from Ericsson mentioning about Super macros but I had not given any thoughts to it. Well, I went back to see what they have been talking about and found this:

Since it was not very clear, I found some additional information from an NGMN presentation as follows:

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Ericsson's Radio Dot System

Just come back from the SON conference, I noticed that Ericsson's dot system was discussed heavily on what it is and how its different from Alcatel-Lucent Light Radio and NSN's Liquid radio. Here is a bit of detail from the Ericsson press release:

Ericsson Radio Dot System is compact and offers flexible mounting. The device weighs 300 grams, is the result of two years of research and development, and incorporates 14 patents. It introduces a revolutionary antenna element, or "dot," which delivers mobile broadband access to users. Because of its convenient size, scalability, and compelling evolution path, this product caters to different kinds of users in medium to large indoor locations, and aims to address operators' needs of offering a complete indoor solution.
Dots are connected and powered via standard internet LAN cables (Category 5/6/7) to indoor radio units that link to a base station. Radio Dot System leverages the same industry-leading features found in Ericsson's macro base station. Deployments and upgrades are simple, addressing growing capacity and coverage requirements. Thus the users' experience is consistent wherever they go and the indoor network evolves in lockstep with the outdoor network. Ericsson Radio Dot System supports integration with Ericsson's carrier Wi-Fi portfolio enabling features such as real-time traffic steering to ensure the best user experience across both Wi-Fi and 3GPP networks. 

There was a bit more detail available from a discussion in the Linkedin HetNet group here. My edited version of the discussion:

A related patent by E///, on how they may be transporting digital I&Q (essentially CPRI) between RadioDot and IRU by introducing APL.