BelAir Networks has launched an outdoor picocell that delivers mobile broadband internet via both licensed and unlicensed wireless spectrum.
The units are being marketed as an ideal solution for mobile networks wanting to provide better internet coverage in dense urban areas to meet the increasing demand for data, while at the same time enabling them to cut their capital expenditure.
The BelAir100SP Strand Picocell is a compact wireless base station that increases network capacity and allows networks to offload data traffic. The equipment is less expensive to buy, install and commission than 3G or LTE macro base stations, but compliments both those technologies, according to BelAir.
BelAir chief technology officer Stephen Rayment said that although operators have been looking for a way to use picocells, until now they suffered from three main problems; a lack of base station power; problems with finding suitable ways to mount the picocells in urban areas; and meeting the necessary backhaul requirements.
Rayment said the BelAir100SP has overcome all these problems. The system is designed to be mounted on existing cable infrastructure with both power and backhaul provided by the broadband hybrid fibre coax plant. It supports a range of licensed HSPA 3G radios, along with dual 802.11n Wi-Fi radios.
It also establishes a new network architecture that could prove critical for the future migration to LTE.