Small is in when it comes to new LTE base stations and supporting equipment, and recent announcements from NEC and NTT DoCoMo exemplify the trend.
NEC said its new compact LTE small cell gateway accommodates about 1,000 LTE small cell access points in a single unit.
The gateway enables small scale LTE small cell services while supporting the AdvancedTCAR standard, a PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) specification, and concentrating security, maintenance, user data processing and traffic control functions on one blade. The gateway's capacity can be extended to accommodate additional numbers of subscribers by increasing the number of blades, said NEC.
The gateway can connect to existing 3G small cell gateway equipment, enabling operators to support both 3G and LTE services.
NEC said it is also working on development of an LTE small cell gateway that supports more than 10,000 LTE small cell access points.
As for DoCoMo, the company said its new compact LTE/WCDMA base station with simultaneous 3G capability entered commercial operation in the Japanese carrier's Xi LTE and FOMA 3G networks this month.
The base station, designed for deployment in low-traffic areas such as mountainous locations, is less than one-tenth the size and less than one-fifth the weight of conventional LTE base stations. It also consumes less than a quarter the energy of a conventional base station.
DoCoMo added that it intends to double its existing deployment of 24,400 LTE base stations to 50,000 by the end of March 2014 throughout Japan.
- see this NEC release
- see this DoCoMo release
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