Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Nokia's AirScale indoor Radio (ASiR) Small Cells

Nokia’s AirScale indoor Radio solution, ASiR for short, is the latest in a long line of small cell solutions deployed in more than 300 networks around the world. ASiR supports multiple radio access technologies and is a great solution across a wide variety of situations from a small office to large enterprises, hospitals and transportation hubs. It’s easy to deploy, using Cat 6a cable, which significantly simplifies and speeds up installation. What’s more, the ASiR pico radio heads (pRRH) are powered from the same Cat 6a cable, via power over Ethernet; no more unsightly power supplies and their cables.

ASiR is highly flexible. Begin with LTE and when the time is right, add 5G. Need to expand coverage? Simply daisy-chain additional pRRHs in the required locations. Network planning of in-building solutions can be challenging. However, with ASiR’s single frequency network (SFN) approach, interference and network planning concerns all but disappear … and so do the associated costs.



ASiR System is an enhanced indoor solution with a centralized architecture, including multi-band ASiR-pRRH, ASiR-sHUB, and AirScale BBU. The platform supports 2G/3G technology via an optional ASiR-RFC (RF Converter). ASiR System is 5G-ready and can evolve into a 4G+5G mixed network on the same platform via graceful 5G radio insertion.

Nokia’s next generation indoor system supports all technologies (2G/3G/4G/5G) and is designed to upgrade 4G to 5G NR via plug-and-play with minimal on-site work. To ensure consistent network performance across all layers, ASiR is driven by AirScale BBU and combines multiple ASiR-pRRH into one Single Frequency Network (SFN). Each ASiR-pRRH is a high power ( 4x250mW) access point that is connected via a single Ethernet cable for both fronthaul and Power over Ethernet (PoE). Planning should be considered in such a way that support the capabilities of each technology.

The key components of the ASiR solution include:
  • ASiR-BBU: Same BBU used by the macro deployment.
  • ASiR-sHUB: Connects to the ASiR-BBU via CPRI 9,8Gbps (Option 8) and serves as an ASiR-pRRH aggregation point. For the downlink, the ASiR-sHUB provides multi-casting to all ASiR-pRRH in a given SFN. For the uplink, the ASiR-sHUB provides radio summing and forwarding to the AirScale BBU.
  • ASiR-pRRH: Connects to the ASiR-sHUB via a proprietary CPRI over 10GBASE-T/5GBASE-T. The ASiR-pRRH provides DFE and Radio functions.
  • ASiR-RFC: Supports neutral hosting, 2G/3G/4G technology.
The connection between ASiR-sHUB and ASiR-pRRH is a highly optimized interface designed to specifically carry more carrier bandwidth and MIMO layers as well as support the ability to chain 5G ASiR-pRRH other ASiR-pRRH. Since ASiR-pRRH chaining provides both traffic and power, ASiR-pRRH (e.g. 5G or non-5G) may simply connect together without the need for additional ASiR-sHUB cabling.

The ASiR solution is very flexible and supports various indoor deployment scenarios.

ASiR-pRRH
  • Tri-bands support – 3 technologies into 1 box
  • 40MHz OBW / legacy band , 100MHz OBW / 5G band
  • 50 - 250mW output power – Wide coverage, high ceiling support, cost saving
  • Integrated / External antenna variants – Extend deployment to full scenarios
  • 4G-5G chaining – 4G/5G co-site with just one Cat6a transmission
ASiR-sHUB
  • 12 x 10GBASE-T ports – The highest pRRHs connectivity in industry, perfect for adding 5G
  • 4 x 9.8G (SFP ports) backhaul to BBU – Strong backhaul capability to enable 4 Hub chaining or use 1x 9,8G for ASiR RFC connectivity
  • 4G/5G concurrent support – smooth upgrade to 5G without hardware changing
  • Rich feature support (SFN, Virtual 4T4R) – coverage or capacity driven, as customer wish
ASiR-RFC
  • Multi-tech RF conversion – GSM/WCDMA/LTE in one system
  • 3 x 4 RF ports (12 SMA connectors)– Neutral Hosting for multi-vendor scenario
  • 8 x 9.8G SFP ports (CPRI interface)– Strong connectivity to Hubs
Resolving the issue of indoor densification and providing a path to 5G
Today’s networks must be densified to provide the extreme capacity needed to meet soaring traffic demand. Yet densification is often perceived as a challenge by many CSPs as it may require multiple small cell sites, which could delay roll outs and incur large investment.

The ASiR was designed to provide the flexibility needed to ensure smooth installations with an easy and cost-effective upgrade path from 4G to 5G.



With Nokia deploying 5G networks with many different operators, we will surely see more of these soon.

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