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The New 4G/LTE Radio: Small Cells & New Architectures
"The capacity crunch" the explosive growth of mobile broadband traffic has been a buzz-phrase of the mobile industry for a couple of years now. Sooner or later mobile networks are doomed to buckle under the load of billions of mobile broadband users all streaming video at the same time. And there is some evidence to support this claim already.

One solution is for operators to build networks that offer a very high network capacity exceeding 1 Gbit/s per square kilometer by increasing 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) base station density through mass deployment of small cells. As new radio technologies are developed, small cells are becoming a real option for mobile network operators (MNOs) fighting to meet heavy traffic demands.

But small cells are also a complex topic as a great variety of new solutions are appearing on the market. They range from consumer 4G femtocell customer premises equipment (CPE) for residences or enterprises, to sophisticated picocells or compact remote radio units (RRUs) with integrated antennas. In this report, LTE small cells will mean any smaller than macro-cellular LTE radio network base station that is operated in whole or in part by MNOs.

There is no doubt that small cells and new architectures are starting to form an indispensable part of the solution landscape for 4G/LTE radio. The principal drivers are two: (1) meeting the ever-increasing demand for mobile broadband capacity through the deployment of high-density 4G/LTE networks, and (2) accomplishing this in the most cost-efficient manner possible, especially with minimized opex.

At the same time, the variety of solutions and possible deployment scenarios for small cells and new architectures is growing rapidly. While some constitute the natural small cell extension of carrier grade radio network equipment, other vendors are approaching the small cell market with enterprise and residential femtocell-type equipment more reminiscent of consumer class CPEs. It is very likely that commercial 4G/LTE networks within a few years will include all of the above solution types, as well as some new architecture types.

The New 4G/LTE Radio: Small Cells & New Architectures examines the small cell market, focusing on how small cells and new network architectures will affect 4G/LTE offerings. It analyzes the mobile landscape, explores drivers and threats in the market, and evaluates new solutions available. Finally, the report profiles 11 leading vendors in the 4G/LTE small cell market.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (4gltei0612_toc.pdf)
The other key new area for radio access is new architectures, i.e., solutions that change the way 4G/LTE networks are designed and deployed in order to address capacity, coverage and quality that must be more cost efficient. Such architectures include the pooling of radio access processing resources, dynamic allocation of resources and the extensive use of fiber-optical transmission for cloud RAN.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: Airspan Networks Inc.; Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); BelAir Networks Inc.; Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.; ip.access Ltd.; Mindspeed Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MSPD); NEC Corp.; Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); Ubiquisys Ltd.; and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).
Total pages: 22
To view reports you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it, it can be obtained for free at the Adobe web site.
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