Airvana has announced a distributed small cell node system aimed at enterprises for improved indoor LTE coverage, notes Dan Jones in Lightreading.
The company will offer an LTE controller and radio nodes that can support multiple operators and cover a range of 50,000 to 1 million square feet. Airvana creates a “virtual” single cell from multiple radios. It eliminates the need for inter-cell borders, handovers and interference, according to Airvana.
As Airvana explains it, the system is based on cloud RAN architecture. Airvana says its Cloud-RAN architecture supports carrier aggregation, Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP) and Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO), via software upgrades, without replacing any installed equipment.
The OneCell system consists of a Baseband Controller and multiple Radio Points. Together they form a single “super” cell that delivers high quality LTE service without handovers or inter-cell interference.
Because the “thin” Radio Points are primarily just radios, only the Baseband Controller needs to be software upgraded to support future LTE-Advanced, according to Airvana.
Airvana’s distributed approach most closely resembles that of the start-up SpiderCloud Wireless, according to Light Reading. Vodafone is a customer for SpiderCloud’s 3G and 4G small cells in the UK and the Netherlands.
For urban public spaces, getting 60 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s cost-effectively to each small cell is the challenge. Perhaps 2.6 GHz relay nodes with integrated WiFi will be one solution. LTE relays require no separate backhaul, they just use a separate “channel” on the Time Division signal.
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