Nokia upgrades small cells to handle more frequencies and support 4.5G Pro

Nokia Flexi Zone Pico Cell

Nokia has added new features to its small cell radio line-up that it claims will make for simpler deployment while boosting performance.

The controller-enabled improvements to Nokia's Flexi Zone self-organising network (SON) portfolio include support for various new frequency bands, as well as a fleshing-out of the firm's LTE Advanced Pro push.

As is the way with small cell technology, the target here is operators trying to make mobile broadband work as well as possible in "megacities" that require dense network deployments to handle millions of devices.

"We continue to boost the performance of our Flexi Zone portfolio to smooth operators' deployment of much-needed capacity into their networks," said Nokia small cell chief Mark Atkinson. "This will allow them to prepare for the ever-growing demands of people and IoT, particularly in dense megacities."

Notably, Nokia is rolling out three features across its Flexi Zone small cell portfolio to aid support for LTE Advanced Pro, or 4.5G Pro as the company calls it. Nokia announced its 4.5G Pro plans at the start of this month, promising the technology would boost speeds and pave the way to 5G.

The Finnish firm is introducing uplink carrier aggregation with two carriers, allowing upload speeds of up to 102 Mbps and download speeds of up to 256 Mbps. It promises that new support for Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) will improve download peak performance by around a third.

Meanwhile, Nokia's Flexi Zone Multiband BTS small cells should get a third more performance thanks to doubling of support for LTE-U bandwidth to 40 MHz. LTE-U uses unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band, which is also used by Wi-Fi.

Nokia also announced 25 new frequency band and radio access technologies (RAT) variants for the Flexi Zone Multiband BTS devices, along with eight frequency variants of its Mini-Macro BTS small cells. Its Flexi Zone Micro cells also get 3G support in two bands.

For more:
- see this Nokia announcement

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