FierceBroadbandWireless Editor-in-Chief Sue Marek talked with Johan Wibergh, Ericsson’s executive vice president and head of business unit networks about the company’s traffic predictions and how wireless operators will be able to handle all that additional network congestion.
FierceBroadbandWireless: Can you be more specific about the technologies that will help solve this problem? Do you mean small cells?
Wibergh: Yes. We talk about three things that will make it happen with heterogeneous networks. The first is to improve the existing macro network. There are lots of things we can do. Add more carriers, more software features.
The second is to densify the network. Adding more cell sites gives you the best capacity. Cell splitting, where you have one base station that gets fully loaded, and then you split that cell into two, that also gives you more capacity out of it. Cell splitting is the most common way to get more capacity.
The third is small cells– add them inside enterprise buildings and venues. We do some with DAS [distributed antenna systems] in train stations and such. We have a range of small cell products from Wi-Fi access points to picocell base stations and microcell base stations.
FierceBroadbandWireless: Can you talk about LTE Broadcast? Operators seem to be looking at that.
Wibergh: This technology may have several uses. The one use case that I like to give as an example is if you are at a venue, such as a sporting event. In the past, people mainly used their cell phones to make calls before the event and then they paid attention to the event. Now people want to see game videos. People want to watch video on their phone, and it’s hard for the operator to know whether they can give a good service in a venue with several thousand people.
With LTE broadcast you can turn it on, you can have a one-way downlink, you can choose several different TV channels and people can see one camera angle or another camera angle. You can decide.