Picochip argues London LTE coverage needs 70,000 small cells

World-class LTE coverage in London calls for the installation of 70,000 small cells, including nearly 2,000 of these mini base stations to provide access to travellers in the UK capital's Underground network by 2015, according to silicon developer Picochip.

Picochip argues that London needs 70,000 small cells for LTE coverage.

Picocip CTO Doug Pulley plans to present the findings at a UK conference on base stations, and the company said the claim based upon actual traffic patterns and population geography, together with data on new services and other factors. Picochip is a developer of semiconductors for use in small cell base stations, and said that a number of operators are trialling the technology now.

"While Wi-Fi will offer some respite to the network, ultimately London's population density means that small cells, deployed in the most congested areas, are the only way for the mobile networks to cope with the traffic," Pulley said in a statement.

To achieve widespread LTE coverage, Picochip suggests that small cells should be installed in coffee shops, small and large retail outlets and office buildings, with another 12,000 being located outdoors where network congestion can occur.

"Small cells are already being deployed by network operators across the world in busy stations, shopping centres and airports for HSPA+," Rupert Baines, vice president of marketing at Picochip, said in a statement. "While 70,000 small cells may sound like a lot, compared to the cost and complications associated with improving the network using big (macro) base stations, small cells offer a much easier, quicker and cheaper solution for network operators."

For more:
- see this Picochip press release

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