AirHop and Airspan collaborating on LTE HetNet platform
Systems software company AirHop Communications is collaborating with broadband wireless access networks company Airspan Networks on an LTE heterogeneous networks (HetNet) platform that integrates LTE radio access network (RAN) technology, network management systems and self-organizing network (SON) software.
AirHop and Airspan say their HetNet package, slated for commercial availability next quarter, will include Airspan's Air4G and AirSynergy multi-platform base stations integrated with AirHop's eSON Suite Release 1.0 advanced SON software. The Airspan eSON-enabled platform can be implemented in a number of network deployment scenarios, including distributed eNodeB architectures in autonomous mode or in coordinated mode via an X2 interface and also in hybrid architecture (eNodeB + SON server).
HetNets that combine small and large cells are seen as a viable option for expanding wireless network coverage and capacity, but mixing such a variety of cells can engender complexity and complications, including interference between cells, on a scale never witnessed before. The companies say they are trying to address the issues of coverage and capacity with the inter-cell interference that is widely predicted to be exacerbated due to the exponential growth in mobile data usage.
LTE networks will be unable to provide promised capacity unless small cells are actively managed in a real-time manner, said Yan Hui, AirHop CEO. "The goal is to provide intelligence. You need a lot of intelligence in the cells and in the network to make these things work," he told FierceBroadbandWireless.
He said the joint solution created by AirHop and Airspan can be deployed in a number of network deployment scenarios, including distributed eNodeB architectures in autonomous mode, coordinated mode via an X2 interface and hybrid architecture based on eNodeB plus a SON server.
AirHop is also working with InterDigital in an effort that integrates InterDigital's bandwidth management software (BWM) with AirHop's eSON software suite to provide capacity optimization and seamless connectivity across cellular, WiFi and other networks.
In addition, AirHop has joined several global operators to define SON requirements for HetNets and incorporate these requirements in LTE small cell RFI/RFPs. Further, the company has contracts for military/public safety projects incorporating its core eSON technology.
On the small cell front, AirHop is pursuing agreements with WCDMA and LTE small cell vendors. It recently secured its first LTE picocell design win and is working with the customer on integration.