ZTE and China Telecom have collaborated on a project to deploy ZTE’s multi-frequency Qcell indoor cellular coverage solution, which uses the same network management system as the macro network.
In the early stages of LTE (long-term evolution) deployment, China Telecom realised the importance and value of high-quality indoor coverage. When it comes to indoor 4G coverage, traditional DAS (distributed antenna system) has many constraints, which includes difficult MIMO (multiple input multiple output) upgrades, long construction periods and inflexible capacity adjustments.
The Qcell solution can simultaneously support multiple frequency bands and multiple modes such as TD-LTE (time division-long term evolution), FDD LTE (frequency division duplex-long term evolution), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access).
Qcell includes a picoRRU (remote radio unit), P-bridge and BBU (baseband unit). ZTE claims the picolRRU is the world's smallest multiband and multimode picoRRU, which adopts standard CAT 5E/6 Ethernet cables for connection to P-bridge and power supply. Optical fibres are used between the BBU and the P-bridge for sharing baseband resources among multiple cells.
The Qcell system can share the same network management system with traditional macro cells. Such simplified network architecture not only reduces engineering complexity and deployment and maintenance cost, but also saves 60% of the deployment time, ZTE said.
ZTE asserted that Qcell is the world's first multi-frequency 2G/3G/4G digital indoor coverage system, and has been officially launched in the Sichuan branch of China Telecom. Feng Jie, deputy general manager of the Sichuan branch, China Telecom said: "While exploring and constructing next-generation, multi-mode, and multi-frequency indoor coverage networks in the mobile Internet era, ZTE and China Telecom have worked together on product analysis, solution reasoning, field verification tests and pilot runs.
“This has occurred in a 300,000 square metre area including office buildings, shopping malls, campuses, hotels, and other areas that replicate other typical barriers to network coverage. As a result, both companies have accumulated extensive experience and achieved remarkable success in this area."
Zhang Jianguo, Vice President ZTE, said: "The ZTE Qcell solution has been successfully deployed in China Telecom’s digital indoor coverage system, where coordination between macro cells and small cells is involved. This demonstrates ZTE’s understanding of operator needs and the innovation strength of macro cell and small cell coordination, as well as deep indoor 4G network coverage.
“ZTE will continue to promote in-depth cooperation with operators, drive the application of its Qcell solution, and devote itself wholly to providing a more flexible and effective in-depth indoor coverage solution."
ZTE was recently jointly presented with the Wireless Network Infrastructure Innovation award at the Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation Awards 2015. ZTE and China Telecom won the award for their close collaboration on the Macrocell-Small Cell Coordinated Indoor Active Distribution project.