T&W: Small cells are expected to be “a major building block” for 5G networks
Mobile network operators are increasingly looking to small cell radio access nodes to densify capacity on LTE and 5G networks in order to increase capacity and support enhanced quality of experience (QoE).
To address the increasing need for streamlined deployment of small cells, Altran revealed at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles that it is combining its 5G New Radio RAN software framework with Shenzhen Gongjin’s (T&W) small cell solutions, based on the Qualcomm FSM100xx 5G Platform. According to the companies, the combination will simplify mobile network operator efforts to deploy small cells to densify capacity on 5G networks for a variety of enterprise and business use cases.
“5G can drive a wide array of use cases, ranging from low-latency IoT deployments to high-speed mobile broadband on varying spectrum bands and deployments,” said N. Mohan Rangan, group SVP and chief engineering officer at Altran. “Combining Altran’s flexible, scalable 5G RAN software framework with T&W’s Qualcomm SoC-based solution will enable the quick development and deployment of 5G small-cell solutions that cater to different verticals and a wide variety of mobile broadband business use cases.”
T&W is prominent in the LTE small cell space, but is in the process of expanding its small cell product line to support 5G, including support for the Qualcomm FSM100xx 5G Platform. According to Hu Zumin, senior vice president of Mobile Business at T&W, small cells are expected to be “a major building block” for 5G networks. “We are one of the first companies in China to adopt the Qualcomm FSM100xx 5G Platform,” he said.
Altran’s 5G NR RAN software framework contains 3GPP-specified Layer 2 and 3, which is fully compliant to the F1 interface between central unit (CU) and distributed unit (DU) modules and will be integrated with Qualcomm FSM100xx PHY. The solution’s CU and DU modules are highly optimized on target platforms to meet the strict performance needs for carrier aggregation. The CU module is platform agnostic and can run on x86-based architectures and ARM-based platforms.
The Altran framework supports both millimeter wave and sub-6 GHz bands and is also fully compliant with 3GPP and ORAN specifications.
Small cell systems have experienced opposition all over the world. In the U.S., specifically, residents and tribal and environmental groups from California to Colorado to New York have been pushing back against the deployment of small cells. Those in opposition at best, consider the towers an eye sore and at worst, a serious health risk.
Last year, the Federal Communications Commission adopted an order meant to streamline the review and permitting process associated with small cell site builds in an effort to accelerate small cell deployments in support of U.S. 5G leadership. But then in August of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided to vacate some aspects of the FCC order, calling the “deregulation of small cells …arbitrary and capricious.”
However, as Altran and T&W’s collaboration shows, small cell deployment is underway as operators need an efficient and effective solution to densify capacity on their emerging 5G networks. And further, according to a 2018 report from the CTIA, the number of deployed small cells is predicted to increase from 86,000 in 2018 to more than 800,000 by 2026.
The post Altran, T&W to accelerate 5G small cell deployment appeared first on RCR Wireless News.