05 Sep 2018

CommScope enhances OneCell C-RAN small cells

Enabling enterprise services—from autonomous vehicles in factories to e-health services in hospitals—can become a key business opportunity for wireless network operators in 5G. To help operators seize such opportunities, CommScope has designed its OneCell C-RAN small cell solution to deliver optimal in-building performance and enhanced it to ensure smooth migration to 5G.

“In-building delivery of 5G service will be a major opportunity for operators to own the user experience, differentiate from over-the-top service providers and monetize service offerings,” said Matt Melester, senior vice president, CommScope. “But the old ways of delivering cellular service indoors simply cannot achieve 5G performance levels. CommScope’s enhanced OneCell small cell solution is uniquely positioned to make indoor 5G an enabler of enterprise business opportunities.”

“Much of the industry thinking to date around 5G has carried an implicit bias toward outdoor delivery models. It’s refreshing to see this challenged with innovation focused on in-building use cases,” said Nick Marshall, research director, ABI Research. “Success in-building will become more critical for mobile operators as they seek to create value-added services for enterprises.”

Many 5G target use cases – such as ultra-high definition video, industrial automation and “smart building” applications – will be deployed inside buildings. To fulfill the 5G vision, operators need to deliver exceptional 5G performance—ultra-high data rates with high reliability and low latency—indoors. As an acknowledged leader in in-building wireless solutions, CommScope has identified four functional principles for in-building wireless in the 5G era:

  1. User-centric: The user experience is everything. Network capacity and the cell itself must be defined around users, not by physical space or equipment requirements.

  2. Edge-intelligent: The days of ‘dumb pipes’ are over. Bringing radio functions closer to users introduces capacity enhancing features like cell virtualization and distributed MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) to achieve 5G performance levels, and granular location-awareness to support smarter services including emergency services.

  3. Radio-adaptable: Multiple air-interface technologies will co-exist in 5G. Operators need a clear migration path to 5G with continued support for LTE and other cellular services.

  4. Enterprise-friendly: More buildings simply need to be covered for 5G. Simplifying installations with off-the-shelf Ethernet LAN fronthaul infrastructure components reduces cost and complexity for enterprise deployments.

CommScope has evolved its OneCell C-RAN small cell solution to meet all these 5G requirements. The enhanced OneCell portfolio includes a new radio point platform, the multi-carrier RP5000 Series, which features software-programmable radios that can flexibly support new air interfaces to enable LTE-to-5G migration.

With the RP5000 radio points, OneCell is a 5G-ready in-building LTE solution that combines carrier-grade performance and reliability with deployment simplicity for single- and multi-operator environments. With OneCell, wireless operators and neutral hosts can fully participate in 5G-enabled services while preserving their investments in LTE.

“The 5G future includes many use-cases that are indoors,” said Arturo Azcorra, vice president of 5TONIC, the international 5G technology research and innovation lab based in Madrid. “The high-performance, high-capacity features of OneCell today play an integral role in our 5G tests of autonomous vehicles for smart factory applications.”

“We always strive to ensure customers receive great indoor mobile coverage and capacity, despite the challenges inherent in the design and construction of old and modern buildings,” said Kye Prigg, Head of Networks, Vodafone UK. “We are committed to serving all our customers, whether they need a large macro cell solution covering a wider area over multiple floors or a dedicated system tailored for a specific construction. That’s why we continue to heavily invest in smart indoor technology that will take advantage of 5G to help improve business productivity and people’s well-being wherever they work.”

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