Feature Article

September 10, 2014

Ericsson Unveils Fast, Flexible Picocell

In an effort addressing the widespread use of mobile devices indoors, Ericsson today is unveiling what it calls the fastest, most flexible picocell on the market. Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia also announced small cell solutions this week.

It’s no mystery as to why some of the largest wireless network vendors are expanding their offerings in this space. Almost 78 percent of mobile traffic will run through small cells by 202, according to Signals Research Group.

The tablet-sized Ericsson RBS 6402 was designed to address the mobile broadband needs of small buildings, such as suburban hotels and strip malls under 50,000 square feet. The LTE, WCDMA and Wi-Fi solution is unique, according to Petter Blomberg, strategic product manager of small cells at the infrastructure supplier, in that it supports 10 frequency bands in one box, which is helpful as service providers transition from 2G, to 3G, to LTE; allows for remote software activation, which can reduce a carrier’s operational expenses; and enables LTE speeds of up to 300mbps, which he said is more than double the capacity of competing products now on the market. Pricing was not disclosed for this product, which is slated for general availability in the first quarter of next year.

Service providers that add the RBS 6402 to an existing macro outdoor network can coordinate features and networks to allow for the most efficient use of spectrum, added Blomberg. Ericsson’s real-time traffic steering in this product, he explained, dynamically shifts the connection of mobile device between different kinds of mobile networks to enable both the best user experience and optimization of the network. And the RBS 6402 has self-organizing features that enable it to be live within 10 minutes of being powered up, he added.

In other news this week, Alcatel-Lucent announced the 9962 Multi-Standard Enterprise Cell. This is also slated for general availability at the beginning of 2015.

This product, which Alcatel-Lucent developed in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies Inc., also allows service providers to extend 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity into buildings for better coverage. Alcatel-Lucent calls this product the first small cell of its type to support both 3G and 4G LTE connectivity using a single chipset that also enables carrier aggregation.

As for Nokia Networks, it unveiled this week a small cell base station called Flexi Zone G2 Pico, and an indoor planning service that leverages 3-D geolocation. Flexi Zone G2 Pico base station is a 3.5 GHz TD-LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation Pico with 4x4 MIMO for LTE and also integrates Wi-Fi 802.11ac.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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