X

Connect (X)

Tag Archives: Ericsson

Small Cells Vendor Activity Increases During Year

After a lot of talk about what constituted a small cell, OEMs clearly gave the matter more attention in 2013. Through acquisitions, alliances and new product announcements, vendors began to flesh out the future of small cell networks. Here are some of the highlights from the last 12 months.

Cisco Confirms Small Cell RAN Strategy

In April, Cisco left no doubt of its intention to be a player in the small cell RAN space, with the purchase of Ubiquisys, a U.K.-based intelligent small-cell software provider. The Ubiquisys acquisition, valued at $300 million, followed the purchases of Intucell and BroadHop in January of this year, and the November 2012 acquisition of Cariden. Ubiquisys had helped develop the 3G small cell debuted by Cisco earlier this year. Cisco is now attacking the mobility market with an end-to-end product portfolio that includes integrated, licensed and unlicensed small cell solutions, which are coupled with SON and backhaul.

Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm to Develop Next-Gen Small Cells

As it struggled to survive in 2013, Alcatel-Lucent made the decision to specialize in ultra-broadband wireless access technology in July. Then the vendor that kicked off all of the small cell buzz in 2011 with its lightRadio cube announced its collaboration with Qualcomm on small cell base stations that enhance 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity in residential and enterprise environments. The two companies plan to jointly invest in a strategic R&D program to develop the next generation of Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio small cell products featuring Qualcomm Technologies’ FSM9900 family of small cell chipsets.

Ericsson Takes the Plunge into Small Cell Market

Telecom giant Ericsson launched a minimalist small cell radio late in September, which will provide indoor coverage that mirrors the functionality of the outdoor cellular infrastructure, according to Johan Wibergh, head of networks and executive vice president. The disk-shaped small cell, which is small enough to fit a person’s hand, is called Ericsson Radio Dot System.

The radio fills the gap between pico/femtocells and distributed antenna systems, according to Wibergh. Perhaps the most important goal for small cell technology is the functional parity between the indoor wireless systems and the macrocellular network, Wibergh said.

“If you want to have seamless connectivity, you need the same functionality indoors, so you need to use the same software everywhere,” he said. The product is expected to be commercially available in late 2014.

Industry’s First Dual-Mode Small Cell Unveiled

The increasing wireless industry focus on indoor spaces is opening the door for smaller OEMs to compete with new small-cell technologies. Early in November, scrappy SpiderCloud Wireless introduced a dual-mode small cell, the SCRN-310, which is targeted at the enterprise market. The radio node, which simultaneously offers UMTS and LTE service, combines an integrated 3G/LTE baseband system on a chip from Broadcom with SpiderCloud’s software.

“The in-building wireless market is the next frontier. That’s where data traffic happens, and the variety of building types and enterprise types will create a very dynamic market,” said Joe Madden, principal analyst, Mobile Experts. “Even better, because the indoor environment does not need the same kind of mobility, new competitors like SpiderCloud have an opportunity to beat the major OEMs by offering a more tailored enterprise solution.”

Ericsson Takes the Plunge into Small Cell Market

Two years in the making, Ericsson has launched a minimalist small cell radio that will fulfill the need for indoor coverage that mirrors the functionality of the outdoor cellular infrastructure, Johan Wibergh, head of networks and executive vice president, announced at an industry analyst forum Sept. 25.

Networks are struggling to keep up with smart phones depending on multimedia applications and people expecting the same experience indoors as well as outdoors, Wibergh said.

“We don’t really live up to that as an industry it is hard to provide great indoor performance,” he said.

The disk-shaped small cell, which is small enough to fit a person’s hand, is called Ericsson Radio Dot System. It fits into a gap that Ericsson perceived between pico/femtocells and distributed antenna systems, according to Wibergh.

“Are there not indoor coverage solutions already being used today? The best performance you can get indoors today is called DAS and it is quite costly. On the low-end side, you have the emerging femto/pico cell market, which provides less performance,” he said.

Perhaps the most important goal for small cell technology is the functional parity between the indoor wireless systems and the macrocellular network, Wibergh said. Ericsson’s macro-base station software currently has 7 million lines of code. Every year it adds another million lines of code, adding new functionality, standardization, performance improvements and redundancy.

“If you want to have seamless connectivity, you need the same functionality indoors, so you need to use the same software everywhere,” he said. “With DAS you use macro base stations, but with picocells it is too much software [to access the same functionality of the macrocellular system].”

By coordinating the indoor cell with the macrocell, fewer indoor cells can be deployed, saving 50 percent of the total cost of ownership.

Dots are connected and powered via standard internet LAN cables (Category 5/6/7) to indoor radio units that link to a base station. The Radio Dot System supports integration with Ericsson’s carrier Wi-Fi portfolio enabling real-time traffic steering across both Wi-Fi and 3GPP networks.

Kris Rinne, senior vice president, network and product planning, AT&T Services, also took part in the industry analyst forum, to give the operators’ viewpoint.

“Small cells are a key component of AT&T’s Project VIP network enhancement program as we seek to constantly improve our customers’ mobile Internet experience,” she said. “We have been talking about designing networks from the inside out, rather than outside in. We needed to address a wide variety of environments, from the home to the office to the neighborhood to the venue or workplace.  In order to accomplish this, we needed a solution that is flexible, where we can add incremental functionality and capacity as people move around the environment.”

Tom Sawanobori, vice president of corporate technology for Verizon, was on the dais the second day of the industry analyst forum and gave his tacit approval of the product.

“Verizon looks forward to collaborating with Ericsson to test and trial this innovative in-building coverage solution,” he said. “The Ericsson Radio Dot system has the potential to meet customer needs for a flexible, cost effective solution, while also allowing for faster deployment.”

The product is expected to be commercially available in late 2014.

Ericsson Makes Peace with Airvana Buying Macro-cell Business

After an IPR battle with Ericsson, Airvana Network Solutionts has sold its EV-DO macro-cell radio access network business unit to the Swedish electronics giant. No terms of the sale were disclosed.

Early in 2012, Airvana sued Ericsson, alleging intellectual property rights violations concerning EV-DO network technology.  (Airvana Network Solutions Inc. v. Ericsson Inc., 650360-2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County Manhattan)

Airvana and Ericsson agreed to negotiate a settlement in the software licensing dispute in May after the court issued an injunction against Ericsson’s use of hardware that used software developed by Airvana.

NSN Tops in ‘Hyper Competitive’ Macro Base Station Space –– ABI Research

ABI Research has ranked Nokia Siemens Networks at the top in its macro base station vendor competitive assessment for its performance in innovation and implementation. But Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei were not far behind.

“The macro base station market is hyper competitive and we noticed a high level of innovation from all vendors, coupled with real and significant achievements as the vendors equip and modernize the world’s mobile networks as they continue to build out for coverage and transition to the latest 4G protocols and distributed architectures,” said Nick Marshall, principal analyst at ABI Research.

The subjective assessment by ABI graded the major base station manufacturers in terms of criteria under two major categories: innovation and implementation. Criteria determining innovation included R&D investment, essential intellectual property, advanced feature road map, small cell/hetnet development, and multi-protocol support. Under the category of implementation ABI looked at market share, geographical penetration, financial and organizational health, LTE RAN contracts, major customer wins and vendor portfolio.

In particular, NSN gained best-in-class scores in the essential IP, advanced features road map, and multi-protocol support categories and LTE RAN contracts.

In terms of innovation, NSN’s Smart Scheduler, which is responsible for efficient interference mitigation and QoS assurance, drew the attention of ABI. Technologies like the Smart Scheduler will give systems the ability to handle voice over LTE traffic.

“The Smart Scheduler uses fast-frequency selective (uplink and downlink) distributed scheduling for guaranteed bit rate and latency with minimum fading and maximum uplink interference mitigation,” Marshall said. “The Smart Scheduler capability enables superior network quality and a significant reduction in costs by enabling a higher number of simultaneous subscribers in a given site.”

Both Ericsson and NSN are providing base station infrastructure for T-Mobile’s LTE Advanced ready system deployment, which has been getting a lot of press for potentially being able to deliver 150 Mpbs over a 40-megahertz swath of spectrum. To get the speed and maintain the signal-to-noise ratio, the specifications for LTE-Advanced call for advanced antenna technology, while the base station must have the computing power to handle the data.

“[T-Mobile’s network] is going to be super-fast, because it bought the latest [LTE-Advanced-ready] gear from NSN with two-by-two MIMO and four-by-four MIMO [antennas]. It’s helping them achieve some pretty good performance figures,” Marshall said.

Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent Also Receive Accolades

NSN had company in ABI Research’s competitive assessment, which ranked Alcatel-Lucent as the most innovative vendor with three best–in-class scores for innovation in the areas of R&D investment and commitment, small cell and hetnet development and TCO innovation. Ericsson achieved first in the implementation category with the most LTE contracts and subscriber potential among the vendors from networks equipped by Ericsson. Huawei also ranked among the leaders.

Samsung is the rising star in base stations, according Marshall, with increasing market share and a growing number of LTE contracts with carriers, such as Sprint and MetroPCS and several in the U.K. and Ireland. Additionally, Samsung has entered the small cell arena with contracts with Sprint and KDDI in Japan.

“Samsung has a huge R&D staff. They can pull on all sorts of resources to do this,” Marshall said. “I can see them moving into position as a base station power some day.”

NSN Tops in ‘Hyper Competitive’ Macro Base Station Space –– ABI Research

ABI Research has ranked Nokia Siemens Networks at the top in its macro base station vendor competitive assessment for its performance in innovation and implementation. But Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei were not far behind.

“The macro base station market is hyper competitive and we noticed a high level of innovation from all vendors, coupled with real and significant achievements as the vendors equip and modernize the world’s mobile networks as they continue to build out for coverage and transition to the latest 4G protocols and distributed architectures,” said Nick Marshall, principal analyst at ABI Research.

The subjective assessment by ABI graded the major base station manufacturers in terms of criteria under two major categories: innovation and implementation. Criteria determining innovation included R&D investment, essential intellectual property, advanced feature road map, small cell/hetnet development, and multi-protocol support. Under the category of implementation ABI looked at market share, geographical penetration, financial and organizational health, LTE RAN contracts, major customer wins and vendor portfolio.

In particular, NSN gained best-in-class scores in the essential IP, advanced features road map, and multi-protocol support categories and LTE RAN contracts.

In terms of innovation, NSN’s Smart Scheduler, which is responsible for efficient interference mitigation and QoS assurance, drew the attention of ABI. Technologies like the Smart Scheduler will give systems the ability to handle voice over LTE traffic.

“The Smart Scheduler uses fast-frequency selective (uplink and downlink) distributed scheduling for guaranteed bit rate and latency with minimum fading and maximum uplink interference mitigation,” Marshall said. “The Smart Scheduler capability enables superior network quality and a significant reduction in costs by enabling a higher number of simultaneous subscribers in a given site.”

Both Ericsson and NSN are providing base station infrastructure for T-Mobile’s LTE Advanced ready system deployment, which has been getting a lot of press for potentially being able to deliver 150 Mpbs over a 40-megahertz swath of spectrum. To get the speed and maintain the signal-to-noise ratio, the specifications for LTE-Advanced call for advanced antenna technology, while the base station must have the computing power to handle the data.

“[T-Mobile’s network] is going to be super-fast, because it bought the latest [LTE-Advanced-ready] gear from NSN with two-by-two MIMO and four-by-four MIMO [antennas]. It’s helping them achieve some pretty good performance figures,” Marshall said.

Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent Also Receive Accolades

NSN had company in ABI Research’s competitive assessment, which ranked Alcatel-Lucent as the most innovative vendor with three best–in-class scores for innovation in the areas of R&D investment and commitment, small cell and hetnet development and TCO innovation. Ericsson achieved first in the implementation category with the most LTE contracts and subscriber potential among the vendors from networks equipped by Ericsson. Huawei also ranked among the leaders.

Samsung is the rising star in base stations, according Marshall, with increasing market share and a growing number of LTE contracts with carriers, such as Sprint and MetroPCS and several in the U.K. and Ireland. Additionally, Samsung has entered the small cell arena with contracts with Sprint and KDDI in Japan.

“Samsung has a huge R&D staff. They can pull on all sorts of resources to do this,” Marshall said. “I can see them moving into position as a base station power some day.”