NSN Expands Flexi Zone Small Cells Portfolio
ESPOO, Finland -- Nokia Solutions and Networks is creating new ways to deploy and integrate LTE and Wi-Fi to boost Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) capacity and coverage, indoors and outdoors. A comprehensive expansion of the Flexi Zone small cells range adds TD-LTE and extra frequency bands, as well as incorporating Wi-Fi. A new indoor Flexi Zone pico base station, the industry’s smallest, is the only indoor small cell with the same capacity and running the same software as a macro base station. Pico base stations for indoor coverage provide easier connection options and higher capacity than a distributed antenna system (DAS)* can offer.
“Although operator interest in small cells is clearly growing, deployments have been limited as operators still have lots of concerns with current small cell offerings. Vendor enhancements, such as those NSN has recently announced, are bringing those portfolios in better alignment with real-world operator requirements,” said Daryl Schoolar, principal analyst, network infrastructure, Ovum. “NSN’s focus on software parity between small and macro cells, for example, will make it easier for operators to tightly couple the two network layers and address such concerns as spectrum interference, radio interoperability, and simplification of operations and maintenance.”
NSN’s new Flexi Zone base stations are the industry’s smallest indoor and outdoor micro/pico cells and provide the same capacity and features as macro-cellular base stations, offering 30% lower overall costs than conventional units. They also benefit from NSN’s recently announced dynamic, load-balancing eICIC that provides 30% capacity improvement**.
“These developments will catalyze the wide adoption of small cells to help operators build capacity and coverage by complementing the macro-cellular network with access points that integrate LTE and Wi-Fi,” said Randy Cox, head of Small Cells product management at NSN. “Adding Flexi Zone controller can create almost unlimited capacity and up to very large indoor coverage by deploying clusters of access points, which also deliver overall cost savings of up to 50% compared to conventional small cell deployments.”