Feature Article

February 10, 2010

AirHop and Continuous Computing Announce Small-Cell Reference Design Based on picoChip's HSPA Platform

AirHop Communications, a provider of wireless infrastructure software solutions critical to the next wave of the mobile Internet communications, has released a small-cell reference design based on picoChip’s fully integrated picoXcell PC302 High Speed Packet Access platform.
This new solution will address the demands of mobile operators for solutions which can automate the deployment and optimize performance in small-cell networks. The design includes Trillium protocol software from Continuous Computing and Evolved Self Organized Networking software from AirHop.
AirHop has stated that it is the first to exhibit the practical use of dynamic self-organizing network principles to manage interactions between cells in real time using eSON which increases the mobile operators’ ability to hold on to customers by giving unique user experience. It optimizes spectrum usage and considerably improves data rates.
Advanced mobile services such as WiMax, high-speed packet access, long-term evolution and UMTS are forcing mobile operators to re-evaluate macro-focused network architecture. Small-cell architecture offers the opportunity for carriers to provide truly eye-popping service quality on a build-as-you-grow basis.
The companies have stated that they have recently demonstrated the world's first coordinated real-time self organizing network solution for small cells on picoChip platform at the 2010 Mobile World Congress and this demo carried live video traffic at HSPA rates via commercially-available user-equipment devices and simulates a real-life radio channel via multiple simultaneously operating base stations in close proximity. It also exhibited how operators can increase availability and usability of a given slice of spectrum using AirHop’s eSON software.
Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX at Infonetics Research, has said that 2010 is the year they believe that small cell networks will deploy in a way that will have some real impact. To have three innovative and well-respected vendors team up to provide a comprehensive solution could be a game changer in terms of just how fast small cell networks will emerge and how much impact they will have on a customer’s experience.
Manish Singh, Vice President of Product Line Management at Continuous Computing, has said that the topic of ‘self-organized networking’ or ‘SON’ is now becoming widespread, with many vendors claiming that they have a solution. “Small cell networks are being deployed now, and like any advanced, disruptive technology, they require new thinking from the network operators and the equipment vendors who supply them.”
Rupert Baines, vice president of marketing for picoChip, said that the integration of Continuous Computing’ field-proven Trillium software and picoChip’s carrier-grade platform is the industry standard for femtocells. picoChip sees immense scope to optimize the efficiency of networks with better real-time SON algorithms or cognitive radio concepts.
Garrett Choi, Chief Operating Officer for AirHop Communications, said that operators don’t care about data sheets and white papers, and are rapidly growing tired of hearing ‘SON’ used as a buzzword. AirHop wants “real solutions that can help them in the field.” This demonstration shows that eSON, pre-integrated with a widely adopted standard platform, significantly improves network efficiencies.

Nathesh is a contributing editor for MobilityTechzone. To read more of Nathesh's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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