Monday 27 May 2013

'China Mobile' and 'Ericsson' deploy GSM Picocell/Metrocell in Nanning, the capital of China's Guangxi region

While the whole world has been focussing on HSPA+ and LTE small cells, a recent press release from Ericsson told us about GSM based 'City Site' deployed in Nanning. From the press release:
Currently, China’s urban construction is in full swing, and its mobile network coverage is rising. In the increasingly crowded urban environment, however, ensuring the quality of mobile-network coverage has become a problem.
In order to meet this challenge, Ericsson has launched the City Site integrated solution, and successfully applied it to China Mobile’s GSM network in Nanning, Guangxi. The City Site, which has been deployed with the standard RBS6601 base station, has an integrated Omni Antenna, which only covers a small area and is, therefore, easy to deploy. It could also be launched with just access to power and transmission cables.
According to the test of the live network, the City Site has effectively met the capacity and quality needs of network coverage, as well as ensuring excellent user experience.
In addition, the City Site has also been equipped with functions such as electronic advertising, clock and public information inquires with touch-screen technology. Operators now can not only enhance the mobile coverage but also launch more value-added services via the City site.
The City Site has fewer limitations for site selection compared with standard radio base station, as it can be deployed in crowded areas, and is suitable for a variety of places, such as railway stations, business districts, schools, parks, squares, and main avenues. While enriching the base station building approaches, it provides users with an excellent and satisfactory network experience. Ericsson will continue to cooperate with China Mobile to apply the City Site more extensively through further research.

Fierce Broadband Wireless also provides additional details on this as follows:
Ericsson's small cell, called City Site, consists of a 13-foot-high panel with a base station and an integrated multidirectional antenna. China Mobile is testing a GSM version of the City Site, but Ericsson says the small cell can also support 3G and LTE. Depending upon the frequency band and coverage and capacity requirements, the City Site can cover anywhere from 50 meters to 200 meters.
So the focus is on Voice/SMS for the time being but depending on the success we may see TD-SCDMA or LTE based City Site's available soon.

Thursday 16 May 2013

Metrocells to help cut energy consumption in telco systems upto 90% by 2020

From a recent news article in Rethink Wireless:

Greentouch believes three key changes will make the difference to cellular networks' power hunger and CO2 emissions levels. These are the use of smaller, low power metrocells to add capacity in dense areas; wider infrastructure sharing; and techniques to match power consumption flexibly to the level of usage of the network at any time.
"We need to make resource usage proportional to the amount of traffic the network is handling," said Klein.
Smart antenna technologies will also be vital. Greentouch revealed first results of a key low energy project in 2011, demonstrating proof of concept base stations that use large arrays of up to 1,000 smart antennas to cut power consumption. The trial found that the energy needed to power each one dropped significantly as more were added, without impacting the range or capacity of the cell. The team was using fairly standard MIMO techniques, but harnessing the arrays not to boost capacity, but to reinforce a single transmission, creating a single strong beam from many low power signals.
There is work to be done on the fixed line side too. Key techniques will be the BIPON (bit interleaved passive optical network) protocol, which enables an optical network unit to recognize data destined for other units rather than processing it.
Greentouch was founded by Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs and has harnessed some of that legendary R&D group's expertise in areas like MIMO. Other firms whose labs and scientists are heavily involved include Samsung, Huawei, Freescale, Orange and IMEC. The organization describes its mission as a "five-year quest to achieve sustainable networking". Its members include operators, government agencies and research centers.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

LTE-A Metrocells to boost the data capacity capabilities in HetNet base stations

From Business Weekly:
A transatlantic technology collaboration between Cambridge Consultants in the UK and Florida-based Airspan Networks is set to enhance speed and capacity over the transformational LTE (long term evolution) platform.
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.
Cambridge Consultants has collaborated with Airspan, a leading vendor of LTE small cells and broadband wireless products and solutions, to boost the data capacity capabilities of the US company’s heterogenous network (HetNet) base stations.
The enhancements include LTE-Advanced features that support the deployment of HetNets, allowing operators to deploy small cells on the same radio channel as macrocellular LTE networks. Integrated networks deliver better coverage and capacity to users on both the small-cell and macrocell base stations, Cambridge Consultants’ Tim Fowler said.

Complete article can be read from the Business weekly website here.

There is also an interesting presentation from Airspan that I posted earlier here.

Friday 3 May 2013

Deutsche Telekom: Tackling the data deluge with help from customers' Wi-Fi

From a recent ZDNet article:
...Deutsche Telekom putting its foot firmly in the Wi-Fi offload camp, and marks a further signal of Wi-Fi's growing importance to operators who seek alternative ways of managing rampant mobile data traffic.
"The astonishing increase in data traffic calls for network optimisation and expansion, as well as the implementation of new high-speed networks," said Deutsche Telekom spokesman Dirk Wende, citing comments made by outgoing Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann. "The partnership with FON fits perfectly with Telekom's network expansion strategy. Wi-Fi and hotspots can be used to divert heavy data traffic to fixed-line networks and thus reduce the load on mobile networks."
Deutsche Telekom sees Wi-Fi as complementary to its existing services, and certainly has no plans to blanket Germany (a geographically large country) with its own Wi-Fi hotspots.
As it builds up its Wi-Fi offering, the operator is continuing with its LTE rollout across Germany, aiming for 85 percent population coverage by the end of 2016. Wende said Deutsche Telekom doubled the number of its LTE sites by the end of 2012 compared to 2011, and has deployed LTE services in 1800MHz spectrum in more than 100 cities.
"With Wi-Fi To Go we want to extend our Wi-Fi network; a wide area coverage with Wi-Fi like we have with mobile is not the intention," said Wende. "Wi-Fi is a complement to mobile and fixed lines. In our mind we want our customers to be always best connected — it doesn't depend on the technology."
Deutsche Telekom is launching the Wi-Fi To Go service based on the FON partnership, and said by 2016 it wants to set up more than 2.5 million additional hotspots in Germany through the offering. As part of the FON deal, Deutsche Telekom customers now have access to some eight million hotspots worldwide, with Deutsche Telekom adding 12,000 hotspots to the FON pot...
Complete article: How one mobile operator is tackling the data deluge with help from customers' Wi-Fi | ZDNet:

This brings us to the same debate as I mentioned in a post earlier 'Is Wi-Fi the Third RAN?