London needs 70,000 small cells for world-class mobile broadband

27th September 2011
Posted By : ES Admin
For London to offer genuinely world-class, LTE everywhere mobile broadband, it will require the installation of 70,000 small cells across the capital, including 2,000 nodes covering the Underground network by 2015. These findings will be presented by Picochip CTO Doug Pulley at the Bath Basestation conference, starting 27th September.
Dr Pulley's report also concluded that there needs to be in excess of ten million small cells worldwide by end of 2015, in addition to residential femtocells.

For London to offer its residents high speed LTE mobile Internet in 2015, it needs 70,000 small cells and this will also deliver minimal traffic congestion, said Dr Pulley. With the Olympics just around the corner and the Mayor of London admitting that the networks will struggle to cope, the need for small cells to deliver added coverage and capacity is greater than ever. While Wi-Fi will offer some respite to the network, ultimately London's population density means that small cells, deployed in the most congested areas, are the only way for the mobile networks to cope with the traffic.
These small cells would be split between retail locations, from large shopping centers down to smaller coffee shops, enterprises including large office blocks, almost 12,000 'outdoor' metropolitan small cells and 1,772 covering London underground stations and walkways.

Small cells are already being deployed by network operators across the world in busy stations, shopping centers and airports for HSPA+, said Rupert Baines, VP of Marketing at Picochip. The report from our CTO is the first time that anyone has calculated, based on actual traffic patterns and population geography, together with data on new services and other factors, just how many small cells will be required to deliver the sort of mobile data rates that people want for LTE. While 70,000 may sound like a lot, compared to the cost and complications associated with improving the network using big (macro) basestations, small cells offer a much easier, quicker and cheaper solution for network operators.

Picochip pioneered the concept of optimized semiconductors for small-cell basestations. The company's portfolio is the only one in the industry to support the full range of cellular standards, including HSPA+, TD-SCDMA along with both LTE FDD and TD-LTE. Picochip's award-winning LTE small cell products are being trialed by carriers now, while its PC333, the highest-performing femtocell solution on the market, is in volume deployment.

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