Small cells inside enterprises can handle all voice and broadband needs

A year of system performance data shows 99.5% reliability made possible by soft handoff and self-organising network capabilities, according to SpiderCloud Wireless

Small cells inside enterprises can handle all voice and broadband needs

SpiderCloud Wireless, a provider of scalable small cell enterprise radio access network (E-RAN) systems sold to mobile operators, unveiled the industry’s first performance data for a scalable small cell system this week (4 June 2013).

Made possible from collecting 18 months of network data from live enterprise deployments, KPI benchmarking metrics reveal E-RAN systems performance reliability of 99.5%.

For macro cellular networks, mobile operators demand voice call set-up success rate (CSSR) to be higher than 98% and voice call drop rate (CDR) to be less than 0.8%. E-RAN networks, with soft handoff, today show average voice call set-up success rates of 99.5% and an average call drop rate of less than 0.8%. 

The benchmark testing found that the best E-RAN deployment achieved a call setup success rate of 99.8% and a call drop rate below 0.4%.  In comparison, individual or ‘mesh’ small cells using hard handoff experienced voice call drop rates of 5% or more.

Each deployment handles thousands of voice calls every day, ranging from 300 in enterprises where mobile devices complement desk phones to over 3,100 in enterprises where only mobile devices are used and the small cell system handles all broadband communications needs.

Each of the networks manages hundreds of thousands of data and handoff sessions every day, with the largest E-RAN deployment experiencing over 500,000 total sessions daily.

‘Over the course of the last six months, E-RAN networks have surpassed the operator performance requirements of 98% CSSR and less than 0.8% CDR, delivering unmatched small cell system performance, even when compared to busy macro cellular networks,’ said Michael Finlayson, SpiderCloud’s Vice President of Systems Engineering.

‘With these performance metrics, we have shown scalable small cell systems installed to support small to large businesses can indeed handle all of the voice and data needs of an enterprise.’

SpiderCloud multi-mode enterprise radio access network

SpiderCloud is the first company to offer a multi-access, multi-mode system with 3G, LTE/4G and dual-band Wi-Fi for reliable mobile services indoors for enterprise customers of any size, called an enterprise radio access network (E-RAN).

The E-RAN system consists of a services node (SCSN) that can control over 100 self-organizing and multi-access 3G, Wi-Fi and LTE/4G small cells that can be installed in just days using an enterprise-Ethernet local area network (LAN) as a managed service by a mobile operator’s network.

The average performance data for voice call set-up success rate, voice and data sessions and handoffs events were collected from scalable network deployments ranging from 7 to 65 radio nodes and supporting 500 to 3,000 people, each powered by one Services Node. Performance metrics can be collected by Spidernet, a centralised configuration, fault and performance management system that allows mobile operators to rapidly provision, deploy and monitor E-RAN deployments.

Dense indoor networks present several technological challenges. Experience shows the indoor radio frequency (RF) environment becomes increasingly complex and challenging as the density of the deployment increases. This is particularly true in multi-story buildings where mobile devices experience a three-dimensional RF environment.

A single handset is able to see a very large number of small cells, some on its own floor and others from floors above and below it in buildings with open atriums and in campus areas. A device may experience as many as 3-5 handover events per minute and the radio signal inside buildings experiences flat fading, which means that even a stationary handset sees signal from individual and uncoordinated small cells fluctuate by 6-8 dB.

Without a central coordination point or support for soft handoff, such network deployments will experience an unacceptable call drop rate of 5%. SpiderCloud’s system overcomes these obstacles while simplifying the installation process greatly compared to traditional methods.

One E-RAN can deliver unprecedented in-building capacity and coverage to over 10,000 connected smartphones and tablets, with just one connection to the mobile operator’s core network. The scalable system architecture simplifies deployment and overall network configuration for mobile operators as they address pent-up demand for reliable mobile services from enterprise and large venue customers.

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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