Small cell specialist vendor ip.access showcased several new 4G small cells and a 4G access control gateway at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona (22-25 February 2016).
LTE access points
The ip.access E40 LTE Enterprise 4G access point, which has already shipped to more than 40 customers worldwide, is now available in a new US frequency band variant, supporting bands 2, 4, 13 and 17.
The E60 LTE access point is an all-new high-end wall mounted enterprise access point targeted at larger buildings, supporting up to 32 simultaneous users. The E60 is a multi-band design, with initial variants to support deployments in the US (Bands 2, 4, 5, 13 and 17) or Asia/Europe (Bands 1, 3, 7, 8 & 20). Both variants feature 2x2 MIMO, and an indoor range of up to 250m.
ip.access also announced the S60, its first 4G/LTE SoHo access point (pictured). Designed as a freestanding product with a fully plastic enclosure, the S60 is targeted at higher volume, lower cost applications such as small offices and retailers. The S60 can simply be mailed out to end users, who just connect Ethernet and power.
Advanced SON and network listen features auto-configure the small cell, which is automatically provisioned into the operator’s core network, providing a true plug-and-play experience.
Supporting 20 MHz LTE bandwidths and up to 16 simultaneous users, the S60 is available in a variety of frequency bands, including 3.5-3.7 GHz to support the new US Citizen’s Broadband shared spectrum.
4G access control gateway
ip.access is also launching its new 4G access control gateway, a fully virtualised high availability solution incorporating a security gateway (Sec-GW), network orchestration system (NOS) and an LTE home eNodeB gateway (HeNB-GW).
The 4G access control gateway provides mobile operators with a single interface between their existing core network and all LTE small cells. This simplifies the deployment of small cells, and provides a scalable solution which does not overload the core network as the number of small cells grows, allowing unmanaged deployment of access points by installation technicians and end users.
The new HeNB-GW component of the 4G access control gateway wraps up all the small cells in the network, and presents them to the LTE Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) network as a single macrocell, connected via industry-standard S1 and S1-Flex interfaces. This allows management of the small cell network to be completely separated from the macro network, enabling rapid rollout of small cells in different locations without impacting the EPC.
In addition to the HeNB-GW, the 4G access control gateway also incorporates a proven security gateway, and ip.access’ network orchestration system. The NOS provides network management services for the small network, and has already been integrated into the NMS/OSS systems of many mobile network operators.
The 4G access control gateway software can be licensed on dedicated hardware or cloud-hosted, and is also available as a fully managed service from ip.access and its partners. It can also be combined with ip.access’ proven 2G and 3G Access Controllers for seamless multi-mode small cell deployments.
The E40, S60, E60 and 4G Access Control Gateway are all key components of the ip.access Viper platform for virtualised enterprise RAN, enabling LTE small cells to be deployed as easily as enterprise Wi-Fi.
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