Six stories for the first morning of Small Cells World Summit

The first morning of Small Cells World Summit in London has seen a clutch of companies lift news embargoes at or just before the event. Here are six pre-show releases that caught our eye and which would be worth catching up on.

PRODUCTS:

1. AIRVANA INTRODUCES ONECELL

Multi-operator C-RAN for the enterprise

Airvana has launched OneCell, an LTE small cell system for enterprise and public spaces that “can act as a multi-operator small cell solution with up to a 10x performance improvement, at a fraction of the cost of distributed antenna systems (DAS)”.

OneCell consists of a Baseband Controller and multiple radio points, connected via existing Ethernet infrastructure, that together form a single “super” cell that delivers LTE service across indoor spaces ranging from 50,000 to 1,000,000 square feet without handovers or inter-cell interference issues.

“OneCell is well-distinguished from solutions that address this space [indoor enterprise environments] using macrocell BBUs, and is particularly attractive compared to the cost of traditional Distributed Antenna Systems,” said Ed Gubbins, senior analyst with Current Analysis.

By eliminating handovers and interference zones, OneCell also provides the low latency needed for services such as voice over LTE (VoLTE).

“Operators and building owners look for cost-effective, IT-friendly ways to deliver small cell capabilities in enterprise and public space facilities,” said Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst with Yankee Group. “An approach like Airvana’s, which leverages standard Ethernet networks, hides complexity, isolates signaling activity, and aims to make a virtue out of small cell overlap in dense network environments, promises substantial capacity and performance gains.”

For more information on OneCell, you can watch this video.

2. RADISYS, AIRHOP AND BROADCOM INTEGRATE SON FOR SMALL CELLS

AirHop does the SON, Radisys the software platform, Broadcom the chip integration.

Radisys Corporation and AirHop Communications have announced the integration of AirHop’s eSON software with Radisys’ Trillium LTE TOTALeNoden solution and Broadcom Corporation’s BCM617xx Series small cell silicon.

The integrated SON solution for LTE and LTE-Advanced small cell networks is designed to enable operators to quickly deploy interference management functionality across a broad customer base. Trial deployments of the integrated SON solution are underway with operators.

AirHop’s eSON is a cloud-based client-server architecture enabling coordinated optimisation across small cell layers as well as between small cells and macrocells. Radisys’ TOTALeNodeB software is a small cell solution that simplifies the development and integration of LTE small cells while cutting product development time.

EASING DEPLOYMENT

3. ARQIVA TRIALS SMALL CELL TECHNOLOGY IN SOUTHAMPTON

Working with a number of vendors to validate Arqiva’s Small Cell RAN managed-services proposition.

Arqiva has been trialling Small Cell backhaul technology with Intracom, CCS and Siklu Communication, in operator trials in Southampton (UK) that will run until the end of June.

Arqiva announced in February 2014 that it had won the exclusive rights to provide outdoor wireless connectivity in Southampton, together with a number of London Boroughs and other city centres, including Manchester.

Intracom is trialling its StreetNode product in both Point-to-Multipoint and in Point-to-Point configurations, claiming the a worldwide first demonstration in the field of a small cell backhaul radio operating at 2048 QAM modulation providing almost 1GBps capacity.

CCS trialled its self-organising microwave backhaul solution, with features including automatic re-organisation and re-alignment.

Siklu is demonstrating 60 GHz, V-band backhaul with its EtherHaul-600T product covering the small-cell street-level.

4. CISCO LAUNCHES PARTNER PROGRAMME TO EASE PATH TO ENTERPRISE SMALL CELL DEPLOYMENTS

Cisco has launched Small Cell Enterprise Select – a programme aimed at accelerating operators’ small cell enterprise deployments.

Cisco has defined a service methodology that allows mobile operators to certify Cisco partners and support the market opportunity for lower cost and faster in-building deployments of enterprise small cells.

Small Cell Enterprise Select is composed of the following elements:
Enterprise In-building Partners: Cisco channel partners will be certified to sell and deploy in-building 3G/LTE services in collaboration with a mobile operator.
Technology: Cisco Small Cell Solutions, which features Quantum Self-Optimizing Network (SON) capabilities of the Evolved Services Platform and Cisco’s portfolio of enterprise small cells that take advantage of existing power, real estate and backhaul provided through the enterprise Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Increased Service Offerings: Cisco partners enable the creation of additional services and enterprise value over and above existing offerings.

Partners in the programme include World Wide Technology and Block Solutions.

There is a definite and significant value-added opportunity here for operators who can react first and fastest

5. SIKLU CLAIMS LINE OF SIGHT MILLIMETER WAVE BACKHAUL WITH AUTOMATIC ALIGNMENT
Siklu and technical service provider AWTG claim to have successfully deployed 60 GHz backhaul radios on lighting poles using an auto-alignment toolkit that requires no human intervention. The installation took place in AWTG’s Small Cell test bed located in Barnsley, UK, and work was done by Barnsley Council’s Highways Department.

AWTG provides a free WiFi service in Barnsley town center.Upgrading the capacity of street level backhaul is a top priority, but moving to higher throughput, line of sight technologies is proving a significant challenge: how to enable non-telco professionals, such as the Barnsley Highways Department, to install complex narrow-beam systems.

AWTG and Siklu set up a field trial for auto-aligning Siklu’s EtherHaul-600T link.

“We have a real need for high capacity backhaul that can be installed on street furniture. Siklu’s auto-alignment toolkit makes installing it feasible, since we can use any installers. It also reduces the cost of installation, making it a very competitive solution,” said Bobby Mughal, Engineering Director of AWTG.

The Siklu auto-alignment kit is in the final stages of development. “We expect to provide a consistent 15-minute auto-alignment time in a few months,” said Itzik Ben-Bassat, Siklu’s CEO.

BUSINESS CASE

6. OUR SURVEY SAYS… enterprises want more from small cells that coverage and capacity

In a Maravedis-Rethink survey of 20 tier one mobile network operators, all of whom were intending to deploy small cells before 2017, only 20% said that coverage and capacity alone were sufficient reasons to drive enterprise small cell deployment. 70% wanted to see additional benefits as part of any deployment.

The survey was commissioned by small cell developer ip.access and results released this morning. 20 enterprise organisations considering new technologies for retail or banking premises were also surveyed.

When looking at the additional services that could be deployed using small cell solutions both operator and enterprise respondents highlighted location and presence-based services coupled with targeted marketing and advertising. Both groups also strongly highlighted security and authentication benefits.

Enterprise customers, in the retail and banking sectors, felt that the ability to connect mobile subscriber data to their existing big-data analytics systems was the second most important objective. This was noticeably higher than the operators ranked big-data system harmonisation at present.

Caroline Gabriel, who led the research at Rethink said: “There is a definite and significant value-added opportunity here for operators who can react first and fastest to understand the key drivers within their target enterprise customers and offer small cell solutions that can underpin presence-based marketing and big data analytics. It is largely untapped territory and is ripe for exploitation.”

“Small cells have some significant advantages over other potential solutions – such as Wi-Fi and beacon technology – as they are able to pick up information from the SIM card which adds greater security in areas such as authentication.”

ip.access is marketing the localised services capability of small cells it terms presenceCells and Simon Brown, CEO of ip.access, said, “We commissioned this research to independently test our thinking and approach to the marketplace.”

“The moves we have made to develop a specialist, stand-alone presenceCell, and to bring our experience from the security world into play alongside some big-data analytics capability looks to have strong resonance with the target market.”

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