Light Reading

AirHop, picoChip Scale Back to 3G

Sarah Thomas

AirHop Communications Inc. and Picochip are joining forces to bring the power of self-organizing network (SON) technology to picocells -- but on 3G networks, not 4G.

Specifically, AirHop will integrate its evolved SON software into picoChip's 3G picoXcell PC302 high-speed access (HSPA+) platform.

The partnership, being announced tomorrow at 4G World, is targeted at helping wireless operators manage interference in real time and optimize spectrum reuse in heterogeneous networks, including crowdsourced small-cells. (See Startup Challenges AlcaLu's Single-Vendor LTE .)

It's the issue that startup AirHop was founded to address in 2007 for Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, but Garrett Choi, AirHop's chief operating officer, says it's a 3G problem too.

AirHop addresses the need for distributed networks and interference mitigation via small cells in LTE, where RF parameters are more complex. But an unprecedented increase in small-cell density has spurred the need for more advanced SON software in 3G networks, Choi says.

"This problem is not something we can wait around for," he says. "It's a 3G problem that hopefully 4G can make better."

AirHop's eSON can scale back to 3G, but with less functionality. Choi says that when the market is ready for LTE, AirHop will be able to update its software quickly. When that will be, however, is unclear. He guesses it will happen sometime after macrocells are in place, since that's the technology most operators are focusing on first.

Current Analysis analyst Peter Jarich says it could be about two years before small cells go commercial for LTE.

"As far as operators go, it's unclear for them when that time [for small cells] hits them," Jarich says. "It's not from the beginning, but when it becomes important is unclear."

The Femto Forum Ltd. is hoping to speed up that process with its announcement today of new APIs for interoperability between femtocell semiconductors and protocol software stacks from different vendors, of which there are many.

AirHop and picoChip teamed up back at the Mobile World Congress and Spring CTIA to demonstrate how SON principles can be applied to femtocells to manage interference, but this is the first time the two are announcing the technology's integration in picoXcell. (See 4G Startup Revs LTE Automation, picoChip Showcases LTE Femtocell Silicon, and MWC Preview: Femtos Go Macro.)

The companies are working together because they both approach the industry from the small-cell perspective, rather than trying to miniaturize macrocells like some competitors do, Choi says. picoChip has also been one of the vendors leading the charge in femto chips with a specific focus on SON applications. (See Small Cells Key to LTE, Analyst Says, PicoChip Unveils LTE Femto Chipset, and PicoChip Bags $20M, Plans IPO.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (9) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.