Observations on MWC 2014 – My Takeaways

Saddlenode BifurcationIn a nutshell, the wireless industry keeps on getting broader and more bifurcated. This is the main trend that has been around for years and that will not stop. Communication is becoming truly pervasive. Opportunities and confusion are intermingled. To understand it all, one needs to cut across wider breadth and dive into greater depth to separate hype from reality. This is a challenge all in its own. Separating the real from the fake is harder than ever!

In this year’s edition, some of my observations are: Read more of this post

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Cloud RAN vs. Picocells: The Need for Integrative Approach in Next Generation Network Design.

Picocell vs. Cloud RANWhen it comes to deciding on deploying small cell base stations, one is faced with a few options. One option is based on cloud RAN architecture with remote radio heads connected through optical fiber to a central base station housing the baseband processing. A second option is that of a compact base station which includes both the radio frequency and baseband processing functions. The compact base station is connected to the core network by a number of different backhaul technologies.

The availability of low cost fiber is a gating factor in deploying cloud RAN architecture. Remote radio heads require very high capacity links to support modern air interface features such as multiple antennas for MIMO. CPRI and OBSAI interfaces run at between 3 and 6 Gbps depending on the number of supported antennas. The compact base station on the other hand requires much lower capacity for backhaul – on the order of tens to over a hundred Mbps.  Low backhaul throughput requirements should translate into lower deployment cost to the advantage of compact base stations. Read more of this post

Small Cells and the Predictability Challenge

Opinion: Small Cells and the Predictability ChallengeAnyone closely involved with small cells base station could not have failed to notice the contentious debate on backhaul capacity requirements. On the one hand, vendors of millimeter wave equipment advocate the need to support peak capacity figures, while on the other hand, vendors of other types of backhaul solution including point-to-multipoint systems point that the peak is rarely if ever achieved in practice. Read more of this post