Ubiquisys, the UK developer of 3G and LTE intelligent small cells, announced in June that it now has more than 50,000 public access small cells commercially deployed by operators in several countries.
The company also announced that it has completed the first deployments of its new G7 indoor small cell hotspot, featuring ActiveCell(tm) technology, with two operators in Asia after successful field trials in extremely-challenging public environments.
The Asian G7 deployments have tested extremes of data and signalling traffic, including hotspots experiencing 10,000 users moving in and out every day, with each user typically running HSPA data for over 25% of the time. Indoor public spaces such as cafes, stores, malls and airports are ideal environments for small cells - as operators face rapidly increasing data usage and have abundant fixed broadband available for backhaul.
‘We are seeing rapid growth in demand for our public access small cells solutions, particularly in the demanding Asian market,’ said Will Franks, CTO and co-founder of Ubiquisys. ‘These deployment scenarios represent significant technical challenges, but our adaptive technology was designed to run in open-access mode from the outset. We've built a substantial base of public access small cell deployments over the past two years and this real-world experience led to the development of ActiveCell(tm) technology.’
The Ubiquisys G7 range of 3G/LTE/Wi-Fi public access small cells feature new ActiveCell(tm) technology developed on the back of years of experience in deploying small cells in public environments. ActiveCell(tm) complements Ubiquisys' ActiveRadio(r) and ActiveSON(r) systems for small cell self-management and self-organising clusters.
It extends these capabilities to provide carrier grade symbiotic interworking with the macro network, in particular to manage interference effects, whilst retaining the advantages of simple installation and commodity IP backhaul. ActiveCell(tm) consists of groups of software-encapsulated techniques:
- Automatic cell sizing: preserves the target quality of service in hotspots.
- Loaded cell adaptive radio resource management: continuous monitoring of the radio environment even while serving active users.
- Hotspot robustness: ensures the best possible quality of service during high spikes of transient users.
- Edge processing of smartphone signalling to significantly reduce the load on the core network.
The challenges facing public access small cells arise from the sheer volume and unpredictability of traffic, the particular demands of smartphones, and the need to adaptively complement neighbouring cells. According to Ubiquisys, current small cell solutions fail to convince on one of two counts:
- Traditional solutions such as picocells require manual planning and lack adaptive behaviour in operation, which makes them both prohibitively expensive and unsuitable for dense hotspot deployment.
- Small cells created by simply renaming residential femtocell technology are designed for relatively benign closed-mode operation, and are not robust enough to cope with the traffic demands of a public access hotspot environment.
Small cells running Ubiquisys ActiveCell(tm) technology combine low operational costs with the ability to deal with the real-world requirements of mobile users in public spaces. They have been field proven to meet the demanding network performance metrics of the macro networks they complement.