Feature Article

March 07, 2014

Qualcomm, Sprint and NASCAR Conduct First Hyper-dense Small Cell Network Trial

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2013 to 2018, the global mobile data traffic will reach an annual run rate of 190 exabytes by the end of the forecast period. One exabyte equals to 1 billion gigabytes, so to say the amount of data that is going to be generated by mobile devices is massive doesn't quite cover it. In 2013 mobile networks carried close to 18 exabytes of traffic, and managing this ever increasing amount of data is straining the existing infrastructure. Unless new technology that is in the pipeline is integrated quickly, congestion will be the norm in mobile networks.

The same forecast also expects mobile cloud traffic to grow 12-fold from 2013 to 2018, a 64 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). With that looming in the background, Qualcomm conducted a live trial at a NASCAR Cup Series in Phoenix along with Sprint to test its small cell technology for enabling a new level of network performance to improve fans' experience in a heavily dense venue.

A NASCAR event has tens of thousands of people with their own mobile device, many different broadcasting outlets, emergency personnel, NASCAR participants and others all using the network in the venue as well as other radio frequency. The over-the-air trial conducted at the Phoenix International Raceway was the second phase of an LTE TDD hyper-dense small cell network on March 1- 2, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series March Phoenix Race.

The first trial was completed in November of 2013 and in that instance Qualcomm Technologies was able to demonstrate its technology improved wireless data performance and quality of service in hyper-dense small cell networks while at the same time showing significant reduction in signaling load to the network.

Qualcomm Technologies installed 31 small cell-based stations in the garage area of the raceway to test density limits and determine the impact on users' mobile experiences while measuring network performance capabilities.

The installation was composed of Airspan's AirSynergy 2000 LTE-Advanced Pico Base Stations powered by Qualcomm Technologies' small cell chipsets and UltraSON (Self Organizing Network) technology. This installation was equivalent to1000 cells per km2 operating on Sprint's band 41 LTE-TDD spectrum.

During the second phase trial the installation demonstrated substantial capacity gains with hyper dense-small cell networks compared to larger cellular technology. This was achieved while a large number of users were experiencing quality service throughout the trial area with UltraSON.

"This trial of a hyper-dense small cell network allowed us to showcase how our silicon and software solutions, including UltraSON software, improve the aggregate throughput of a cellular network, and reduce frequent handovers and signaling load to the core network,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president, Qualcomm Atheros.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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