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Femto, Pico, Micro: Small Cells Are Gaining Momentum

Companies mentioned in this article: 4G Americas

BELLEVUE, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 10/04/12 -- With relentless mobile data growth and the proliferation of new data hungry devices, mobile operators around the world are considering new and innovative mobile broadband network deployment models using small cells -- a market segment expected to grow from 3.2 million cells in 2012 to 62.4 million cells in 2016 (Source: Informa Telecoms & Media). 4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, today announced that it has published a detailed technical report to help with the integration and deployment of high performance heterogeneous networks.

A heterogeneous network consists of different wireless technologies working together to provide a seamless wireless experience to the end user. It is comprised of traditional large macrocells and smaller cells, including microcells, picocells and femtocells, as well as Wi-Fi, which can also be used as a mechanism for traffic offloading. Additionally, some of the deployment models supporting heterogeneous networks include distributed antenna systems and relays.

"We are at the tip of the iceberg as far as deploying intelligent heterogeneous networks to support the growing mobile broadband demand," stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "Heterogeneous networks offer operators a great opportunity to increase coverage, capacity and performance by deploying small cells closer to the customer."

Mobile broadband data consumption is soaring with some estimates expecting worldwide aggregate demand to increase 25 fold between 2011 and 2016. However, attaining new spectrum is difficult and building macrocell sites is cumbersome.

"4G Americas continues to advocate for more spectrum throughout the Americas to address network congestion and allow the industry to grow by serving society, and our member companies continue to invest in innovative new standardized architectures to improve network performance," Pearson said.

Small cells -- and the heterogeneous network -- are among the innovations for new network architecture to relieve some traffic congestion. Some research has highlighted that traffic distribution is uneven for some carriers with 80 percent of the traffic carried by 20 percent of the cell sites.

The white paper outlines challenges, opportunities and recommendations for the successful deployment of heterogeneous networks and provides technical details and insight to backhaul, mobility management, location planning/mapping, interference mitigation and radio planning. It addresses different aspects of heterogeneous network architecture and includes challenges arising out of bringing backhaul to the locations where coverage and capacity is needed, along with the associated challenges with radio access and core network.

The 4G Americas white paper, "Developing & Integrating A High Performance HET-NET," was written collaboratively by members of 4G Americas and is available for free download at: www.4gamericas.org.

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to promote, facilitate and advocate for the deployment and adoption of the 3GPP family of technologies throughout the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the successful commercial rollout of 3GPP mobile broadband technologies across the Americas and their place as the No. 1 technology family in the region. The organization aims to develop the expansive wireless ecosystem of networks, devices, and applications enabled by GSM and its evolution to LTE. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas. More information is available at www.4gamericas.org.

4G Americas' Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, CommScope, Ericsson, Gemalto, HP, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, Openwave Mobility, Powerwave, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Rogers, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

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4G Americas
Vicki Livingston
+1 262 242 3458
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