Baicells selects Radisys small cell software for LTE-U deployments

Baicells, a Chinese startup aiming to disrupt the mobile space, has selected Radisys' CellEngine TOTALeNodeB LTE small cell software to deliver LTE in unlicensed spectrum functionality for Baicells' Light4G small cell solutions.

By aggregating their existing licensed LTE spectrum with unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band, operators can add bandwidth to their radio access networks. According to a press release, Baicells' Light4G small cell solution combines LTE-U technology with small cells, enabling mobile operators to provide high-capacity LTE mobile service at a lower cost, thereby reducing capex and opex. The Baicells' small cell integrates Radisys' TOTALeNodeB software, enhanced with LTE-U functionality, on the Intel Transcede LTE system-on-a-chip processors.

Baicells is already using Radisys software, so it's a perfect opportunity for it to deploy the LTE-U functionality and going forward, the two will be offering the solution to carriers, according to Renuka Bhalerao, senior product line manager of CellEngine and Trillium Software at Radisys.  

Baicells, which is based in Beijing, describes itself as a high-tech company with the vision to connect the unconnected. China Mobile has completed field trials of Baicells' solution and deployments are planned for later this year.

LTE-U has been the subject of controversy in the United States as Wi-Fi and cable industry players want to make sure LTE doesn't disrupt Wi-Fi and other unlicensed spectrum. Work has been underway in the Wi-Fi Alliance to establish a test regime, and the alliance plans to continue facilitating that development.

"It's all about how you can leverage that unlicensed spectrum and how you can make sure that you do take advantage of that available spectrum but at the same time you do need to be a good neighbor," Bhalerao told FierceWirelessTech.

"This is a perfect value add" to take the product to the next level, and it's good timing because the FCC has given the go-ahead for trials of LTE-U. "We are right there with our proof-of-concept" solution being validated in the labs. Bhalerao declined to say if Radisys is involved in any specific trials with operators.

Last month, the FCC granted a special temporary authority (STA) to Qualcomm Technologies (NASDAQ:QCOM) to conduct "very small scale performance evaluation" tests of LTE-U equipment at two Verizon (NYSE: VZ) sites in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Raleigh, N.C. In announcing the grant, the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) chief Julius Knapp said LTE-U devices will require equipment authorization by the FCC Laboratory before they can be marketed in the United States and applicants for certification of such devices will be required to submit sample devices for testing.

The coming months in 2016 will be a time to make sure carriers and the Wi-Fi community are satisfied they have the right solution in LTE-U, Bhalerao said. LTE-U is considered a pre-standard and including a listen-before-talk (LBT) feature, she said, is one way to make sure it is closer to what eventually ends up in the standard LAA, which is being developed in 3GPP.

Radisys and Baicells will conduct a joint demo of LTE-U small cell capabilities at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona next week.

For more:
- see this press release

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