Enterprises and venue owners have been clamoring for multi-operator small-cell products, while wireless operators demand multimode small-cell solutions. Vendors are responding in kind, as evidenced by a couple of new product announcements from this week's Small Cells World Summit in London.
Addressing the multi-network demand, Airvana announced OneCell, an LTE small-cell system for medium-sized to large enterprises and public spaces that is based on the distributed base-station architecture found in C-RANs (centralized or cloud radio access networks). OneCell is composed of a baseband controller and multiple radio points that work together to create what Airvana describes as a single "super" cell.
OneCell can be deployed to cover indoor spaces ranging from 50,000 to 1,000,000 square feet using standard Ethernet cabling and switches.
Multi-operator solutions for indoor coverage are in considerable demand in public spaces as well as within enterprises, thanks to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend among employees. "Multi-operator deployment was previously DAS (distributed antenna system) territory," but Airvana's multi-operator small-cell offering costs much less, Vedat Eyuboglu, Airvana's CTO and co-founder, told FierceWirelessTech.
"OneCell is uniquely capable of supplying multi-operator deployment in a practical and economic way," he said.
Eyuboglu said OneCell also offers investment protection because support for future LTE releases can be done via software upgrades. In addition, because OneCell eliminates handovers and interference zones, it provides the low latency needed for voice over LTE (VoLTE).
OneCell is being trialed by operators and will be generally available in the first quarter of 2015, Eyuboglu said.
Meanwhile, on the multivendor front, wireless-infrastructure vendor Radisys and RAN intelligence-software developer AirHop Communications announced a self-organizing network (SON) solution for LTE and LTE Advanced small-cell networks. The companies said their platform enables the integration of small cells into multivendor, multitechnology and multimode heterogeneous networks (HetNets).
The product includes AirHop's eSON software, Radisys' Trillium LTE TOTALeNodeB solution and Broadcom's BCM617xx Series small-cell silicon. Trial deployments are underway with mobile operators.
"Our partnership with AirHop comes at the right time, as mobile operators increasingly opt for a third-party SON solution to enable their small-cell deployments," said Todd Mersch, general manager of software and solutions at Radisys.
Radisys said the distributed-SON solution offers automatic discovery, self-configuration and other operational support system (OSS)-level SON functions, support for distributed, real-time intercell coordination, real-time coordination among multiple cells coupled with interference management and load-balancing algorithms, and improved system capacity via intelligent radio-resource allocation, among other things.
- see this Airvana release
- see this Radisys release
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