Wazco introduces multi-sector small-cell LTE base station

LTE solutions developer Wazco has teamed with Interphase, AirHop Communications and DataSoft to develop a multi-sector small-cell LTE base station.

Called the MetroStorm, the solution consists of a single self-contained, integrated enclosure that hosts up to four coordinated sectors. The base station resembles a street light and is powered via standard interfaces on street lights, power poles and other similar infrastructure. The small size is accomplished because the sector's power amplifiers are an integral part of the active antenna array, allowing up to four of its sector arrays to be self-contained within a single enclosure.

"We created an enclosure that would allow each eNode B to become a sector, and in this case, we picked four sectors rather than traditional three using 90-degree antennas," noted Mike Nasco, CEO and co-founder of Wazco in an interview with FierceBroadbandWireless.

Several MetroStorm base stations can combined into what is called the MetroStorm Cluster, which operates as a single unit thanks to AirHop's eSON technology and is designed to be deployed over a large area such as a city. In general terms, SON refers to the ability of an LTE network to configure itself, operate itself and optimize itself through its lifecycle. AirHop's eSON technology is designed to extend SON well beyond the initial set-up phase to include distributed, real-time, inter-cell coordination capabilities that enable neighboring base stations to communicate with each other to dynamically manage interference, data throughput and QoS as well as optimize frequency reuse. AirHop was a Fierce 15 winner in 2010.

Interphase's iSpan 36701 baseband module is powering the MetroStorm while DataSoft is providing RF front-end hardware derived from its RF transceiver portfolio of tunable RF filters, software defined radio and cognitive radio technologies. 

Wireless vendors since the beginning of 2011 have been tripping over themselves introducing small-cell architecture strategies as a solution to users' increasing demands for mobile data. A recent survey from Infonetics Research found that 58 percent of the global operators the firm interviewed plan to deploy small cells by the end of 2011, while 68 percent plan to do so in the future.

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