Feature Article

February 20, 2013

'Smart Cells' Tackle Congestion Management for Video over LTE

Forget small cells; enter the smart cell. As LTE buildouts begin to ramp up around the world, small cells are being deployed to help offload traffic being created by rich media content such as streaming video, providing seamless secure connections with fast low-latency performance.  

But with the rapid growth in LTE video usage, these small cells will soon regularly be running at close to full capacity.

To tackle the issue, and to prevent video quality from degrading in small-cell environments, Cygnus Broadband has partnered with small-cell developer Ubiquisys to create a range of quality of experience (QoE)-aware “smart cells.”

The joint solution combines Cygnus eQoE software with Ubiquisys’ range of intelligent LTE/3G/Wi-Fi small cell hotspots with an integrated computing platform based on Intel architecture.

"Video is the real test of mobile QoE because any time the user has to wait for content to buffer it ruins the whole experience," said Pete Keevill, vice president of engineering and cofounder of Ubiquisys. "Running Cygnus video optimization on the smart cell, closer to mobile users, releases the full potential of universal LTE streaming."

Cygnus eQoE examines application-layer LTE video traffic passing through the smart cell in real time; it uses packet inspection to estimate the quantity of video queued in each user's device buffer, then dynamically adjusts the flow to that device accordingly.

The result is a video experience for mobile users that automatically adapts to cell congestion.

The application is distributed and remotely provisioned on smart cells through the Intel AppUp SMB Service, which is built on the Intel Hybrid Cloud software platform and enables service providers to deliver the benefits of cloud computing on distributed networked devices.

"We are very happy to join forces with Ubiquisys. Their smart cell provides an exceptional enabler for our technology," said Ken Stanwood, CEO at Cygnus. "Our joint solution delivers an improved user experience while allowing cell capacity utilization to be increased by 15 percent or more."

Edited by Braden Becker

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