Offices, malls offering LTE speeds via picocells

Ericsson picocell

Picocells or small cellular base stations or carrier Wi-Fi access points have been known to be wanting in capacity and performance, with some expensive installations not even capable in placing a reliable connection.

New solutions today have addressed this particular limitation in such locations as small office buildings, venues, shopping malls or even stock exchanges or train stations, moreso at a lower cost.

Imagine delivering 300Mbps LTE speeds with carrier aggregation—leading to performance and economic benefits of smaller sites, such as restaurants or coffee shops, with a future-proof platform and a compact, tablet-sized footprint. This is what Ericsson offers today.

Its new RBS 6402 picocell precisely delivers that break-neck LTE-grade performance and cost-effectiveness that will surely benefit small site owners.

With mobile data traffic expected to grow tenfold by 2019, increasing enterprise adoption of Network-as-a-Service models, and new device-to-device, and M2M applications, present both opportunities and challenges for mobile operators.

In responding to the needs of consumers and business users in growing their mobile enterprise and expand into new industries, mobile operators must deliver consistently high performance indoor app coverage deep into buildings of all sizes and then back out onto the street again.

However, mobile operators are faced with network silos as a result of indoor small cell deployment, resulting in degraded network performance. As such, a picocell that supports 300Mbps LTE speeds is the crucial solution.

Here is where Ericsson’s RBS 6402 comes to the fore.

The RBS 6402 delivers twice the capacity and speed. It’s the only multi-carrier, concurrent multi-standard (LTE, WCDMA and Wi-Fi), and mixed-mode small cell to support 10 different bands, with two 3GPP standards (LTE and WCDMA) plus 802.11ac Wi-Fi operating simultaneously to deliver higher peak rates and capacity.

The RBS 6402 also integrates LTE and 3G radio access with Wi-Fi using Real-Time Traffic Steering to shift mobile device connection between networks. It also leverages LTE-Advanced and supports VoLTE. Remote software activation of frequencies, bands and features eliminates the need for site visits in conjunction with refarming or acquiring new spectrum.

Plug-and-play installation using existing Ethernet for power and connectivity and fast remote commissioning means the cells fully install and are network-live within 10 minutes. Cloud-based aggregation and gateway functionality reduce onsite equipment requirements and associated capex, while enabling consistent management across both indoor and outdoor network.

Optimized for indoor environments up to 5,000 square meters (roughly 54,000 square feet), the RBS 6402 packages four 250 milliwatt radios in a sleek 2.8 liter form factor that installs and auto-integrates in minutes.

Coordinating small cells with the macro network, the solution delivers reliable connectivity and mobility through heterogeneous networks that employ common traffic management across technologies, frequencies and locations. This holistic approach enables continuous monitoring of user performance across radio technologies, whether 2G, 3G, LTE or Wi-Fi, and between indoors and outdoors and coordinates decisions based on network load or service prioritization. By eliminating the need to send traffic to the core network when moving between cells, techniques such as soft handover between base stations reduce both latency and dropped connections. Radio coordination between the macro and small cells can also reduce the number of small cells required by up to 70 percent.

Given the increasing need for bandwidth, even for such small installations as office buildings, bars or even schools, to accommodate today’s high-performance devices, an LTE-ready picocell is surely one indoor solution that shouldn’t be ignored.