Thursday, 16 May 2013
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
From Business Weekly:
The partners have unveiled an LTE-Advanced metrocell boost for mobile broadband; 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals.
Friday, 3 May 2013
Thursday, 11 April 2013
From a recent Fierce Broadband Wireless article:
The carrier is also working on what it calls Multi-Standard Metrocells (MSMs), or small cells that combine LTE, HSPA+ and Wi-Fi into a single unit, but these are apparently proving tricky as the carrier appears to be in no rush to hustle the MSM devices out of the lab and into real-world deployments.
"It would be foolish to think less than a year" for the MSM deployments, Mansfield told Light Reading Mobile, but he added the rollout effort probably will not take two years either.
Speaking at the Citi Global Internet, Media & Communications Conference held during January in Las Vegas, John Donovan, senior executive vice president of AT&T technology and network operations, emphasized the importance of multi-standard small cells in the operator's network plans. "Our objective for 2014 is that we won't do any small cell or in-building systems that don't include Wi-Fi," he said.
AT&T announced last November that it intends to deploy more than 40,000 small cells over the next two years as part of its expansive Project Velocity IP (or VIP). The project also will entail the rollout of 10,000 new macrocells and 1,000 distributed antenna systems (DAS) throughout its service footprint.
During AT&T's Innovation Showcase in New York last week, Mansfield indicated that the end-of-2015 target for 40,000 small cells still seems quite feasible. "At this point I see no reason to believe that we won't hit that number...and we could revise it next year," he said.
Saturday, 30 March 2013
As mentioned earlier, backhaul is one of the biggest challenges for Small Cells Deployment. A recent article in Maravedis Rethink stated the following:
While some people forecast that as many as 80 or 90% of outdoor metrocells will be connected by wireless backhaul, Maravedis-Rethink believes we'll see something closer to today's split in macrocells - about 55% wireless and 45% fiber. Operators will use fiber wherever possible and install short range wireless in the gaps.In some countries, the availability of fiber is far higher than in others, for example in South Korea, China and Japan. Even in the US, where there is plenty of copper, my guess is that operators will try to reuse existing copper lines to reach the nearest fibre point of presence. As an analyst, it would be quite easy to be aggressive with high wireless backhaul forecasts, but we have to consider that in reality most operators are very conservative about adopting new technology.So wireless backhaul may be more important for metrocells than for macrocells, but not excessively so.The most important issue for a metrocell is to offload traffic from the macro network. Location is fundamental – the NGMN (Next Generation Mobile Network) Alliance has indicated that cells need to be located within 10 meters of each traffic hotspot – so there really needs to be far more flexibility in backhaul. This is where wireless backhaul becomes more significant.The role that third party players offering ‘small cells as a service’ such as Virgin and Colt can play is also important. The value of street furniture will increase in the coming years. Those who deployed city Wi-Fi in the past (and failed through lack of monetization) have now realised they were getting access to valuable infrastructure. If you get permission for public Wi-Fi and small cell deployment then that could make the service provider Wi-Fi business more interesting. This gives intermediate players like Virgin, who can deal directly with building, real estate and council owners, an important role to isolate network operators from many/multiple negotiations with location owners. This would make it much more convenient for operators to contract through intermediate players than directly themselves.
Thursday, 28 March 2013
From the Microwave Journal:
Mobile Experts has released a new Small Cell Market Forecast, predicting more than 5 million metrocells shipped in 2017.Based on weak shipment data during 2012, Mobile Experts predicts slow growth for residential femtocells, at only 12 percent per year. Faster growth will come from capacity upgrades, as mobile operators are pushing hard for high-capacity small cells. The new Mobile Experts forecast predicts that, taken together, outdoor metrocells and indoor capacity nodes will overtake residential femtocell shipments in the 2016 time frame.
Friday, 22 March 2013
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From Salisbury Journal:
A good example of how Metrocells can solve coverage problem and may also future proof against capacity issues.LAST year, the village of Cranborne was selected as one of 12 communities UK-wide that would participate in a Vodafone pilot project to bring mobile telephone signal to rural “not-spot” areas.Having successfully fulfilled the technical criteria for the trial, which included having no 2G or 3G signal and a sufficiently fast fixed-line broadband connection to support Vodafone’s new Open Femtocell technology, Vodafone engineers visited local businesses and community buildings in the centre of Cranborne to position five Metro Cells, each the size of a home broadband router, to give the best signal cover to the village.The only cost to the trial community is the cost of power to each box.In February the system was successfully installed and, earlier this month, the village celebrated the official launch of the technology.North Dorset MP Robert Walter attended the launch. He said: “I am thrilled the new technology has been successfully installed and that, for the first time, businesses, residents and visitors can make and receive mobile telephone calls from the heart of the village. It is my sincere wish that the experience of these trials helps to deliver more solutions to rural areas affected by signal blackouts.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
China Mobile was in news a few times the last month with regards to Metrocells and C-RAN. The first item from TelecomAsia:
Alcatel-Lucent has unveiled a new TD-LTE metro base station for its lightRadio product line that will be deployed by China Mobile, which co-developed it.The compact lightRadio Metro Radio – revealed at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – houses two lightRadio cubes, fully integrated with a directional antenna, with an output of 5W.Alcatel-Lucent says the design allows it to “provide the coverage normally associated with a much bulkier, heavier remote radio unit linked to an external antenna via an RF coaxial cable.”China Mobile will deploy the 2.6 GHz Metro Radio in its TD-LTE network in Shanghai, Nanjing and Qingdao – specifically, in busy indoor and outdoor locations like shopping centers where macro coverage can suffer either from building density or too many people trying to access the network.The Metro Radio is the first product to result from a co-creation agreement signed by Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile just over a year ago to conduct joint development and test activities on lightRadio TD-LTE projects.
An article on the same topic in Rethink-wireless throws a bit more light:
China Mobile (CMCC) has been pushing the cloud agenda for a long time. A whitepaper from them on the same topic is available here.ASOCS Ltd., a Silicon IP provider of software defined radio solutions and CMRI, Research Institute of China Mobile (CMCC) Ltd., the world's largest mobile operator, have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding for the joint development, commercialization, testing and deployment of large-scale baseband processing units for China Mobile's next generation Cloud-RAN network.Earlier trials undertaken by leading mobile operators, identified the bottleneck of Centralized Base-band Units, consisting of general purpose CPU, to perform major baseband calculations in cost and power efficient management. The solution was to introduce significant offloading capabilities of such calculations with highly specialized Modem Processing Units (MPU).Today there is a growing understanding in the industry that such MPU should support a wide range of system partitioning, topologies and real time system performance, including large scale Collaborative Multi-point communications (COMP) and massive MIMO. Since communication algorithms are evolving over time, and since the C-RAN concept provisions on-the-fly reconfiguration of the BBU to support a variety of mobile communication standards, an MPU solution which is re-configurable at runtime has a great advantage over traditional hard-wired designs.
Picture source: NTT Docomo press release
NTT Docomo is another operator who believes very much in C-RAN. Occasionally it refers to the C-RAN as Centralized RAN. There were couple of announcements from their side:
The first one was a press release from Docomo here:
Another one from Rethink-wireless here:
NTT DOCOMO, INC., Japan’s leading mobile operator and provider of integrated services centered on mobility, announced today it will begin developing high-capacity base stations built with advanced C-RAN architecture for DOCOMO’s coming next-generation LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) mobile system. The new architecture will enable quick, efficient deployment of base stations, especially in high-traffic areas such as train stations and large commercial facilities, for significantly improved data capacity and throughput.Advanced C-RAN architecture, a brand new concept proposed by DOCOMO, will enable small “add-on” cells for localized coverage to cooperate with macro cells that provide wider area coverage. This will be achieved with carrier aggregation technology, one of the main LTE-Advanced technologies standardized by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). The small add-on cells will significantly increase throughput and system capacity while maintaining mobility performance provided by the macro cell.High-capacity base stations utilizing advanced C-RAN architecture will serve as master base stations both for multiple macro cells covering broad areas and for add-on cells in smaller, high-traffic areas. The base stations will accommodate up to 48 macro and add-on cells at launch and even more later. Carrier aggregation will be supported for cells served by the same base station, enabling the flexible deployment of add-on cells. In addition, maximum downlink throughput will be extendible to 3Gbps, as specified by 3GPP standards.
If you are wondering what 'LTE-B' or the 'true 4G' is, see this post here.
In South Korea, both KT and SK Telecom have announced C-RAN strategies for their LTE deployments, dubbed Cloud Communications Center (CCC) and Smart Cloud Access Network (SCAN) respectively. As early as June 2011, SKT had deployed 1,772 RRHs and 609 baseband units within its LTE network in capital Seoul. The lower amount of baseband units suggests an average of almost three RRHs per baseband unit, assuming each RRH is single sector.
The above two pictures are from the Small Cells Standardization presentation here.
An old article from Rethink-wireless mentions the following:
Do you have an opinion on the C-RAN architectures in the future? If yes, we would like to hear.
Monday, 11 March 2013
Backhaul was probably the most talked about subject in our Masterclass last month and in the Cambridge Wireless Small Cells SIG event, the month before. I have also recently attended a few webinars in the last couple of months that have been talking about backhaul issues ad options. Having said that in a recent post a survey of operators showed that backhaul is the biggest challenge for Small cell deployment. There are also couple of other interesting posts on the backhaul here and here.
As can be seen in the picture above (from our Masterclass), the Millimeter wave starts from around 30GHz.
As can be seen in the picture above (from our Masterclass), the Millimeter wave starts from around 30GHz.