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February 27, 2014

Aricent Partners with Octasic to Develop 3G and LTE Small Cell Platforms

According to tech news site Voice & Data, global technology services company Aricent has partnered with semiconductor manufacturer Octasic. The two organizations will link their knowledge to create 3G and LTE small cell platforms for public entities such as government safety and defense markets.

Aricent's 3G small cell and LTE eNodeB framework will reportedly conjoin with Octasic's OCTBTS family of base stations, allowing the groups to provide equipment that handles features such as self-optimizing networking, a form of small cell automation concerning network planning and management. Aricent commented on the nature of its products in a recent statement.

"Aricent's 3G small cell framework and LTE eNodeB framework are field proven solutions that are being used by leading equipment manufacturers across the globe to build 3G and LTE small cells," the company said.

Small cell, micro networks are similar to cellular towers -- which form macro networks -- except they transmit cell signals over much smaller areas. While organizations build cell towers to reach over the tops of trees and serve a radius of tens of kilometers, small cells, according to the Small Cell Forum, typically have a range only up to several hundred meters. This range is obviously not ideal for providing cell service to an entire city through one cell. So, providers may position many small cells closely together to increase the density of cellular connectivity in an area.

Government safety and defense groups often cannot afford to lose cellular connectivity between their members. A personal small cell network can enhance a cellular signal in a congested area, where a macro network may be overburdened, or create 3G or LTE speeds in rural areas that macro networks don't readily serve.

The Small Cell Forum defines rural communities as those with only tens to hundreds of properties. Mobile access providers may not serve such communities well, and that hinders the capability of emergency crews in those areas. Indeed, the combination platforms that handle self-optimizing networking have the potential to positively affect such groups in those areas by making it easy for them to set up and use small cells.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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