Light Reading

Small Cells: A Power Play

Ray Le Maistre
1/10/2014
50%
50%

There's little doubt that small cells will be big news at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona next month, even if the market for public domain small cell rollout isn't set to take off as quickly as some had hoped. (See How Heavy Reading Called Small Cells Right.)

While we're certain to see the latest models that can be deployed right now (indoors and outdoors), I expect (indeed, hope) to see companies talking about the backhaul and power supply support that small cells need if they are to be deployed successfully.

Small cell backhaul is already a hot niche topic in the vendor community and figuring in the plans of wholesale operators. (See Backhauling Small Cells, Small Cells: The Battle for the Lamp Post, Backhaul Tweaks Support HetNet Growth , Vodafone Tests Siklu Small-Cell Backhaul, and ZTE Tackles LTE Small-Cell Backhaul.)

Bell Labs , which is being asked to align its work more closely with the strategic direction of its parent company, is also looking at solutions to the power and backhaul challenge, as I discovered when trawling back through some of the small cell-related announcements made late last year. (See AlcaLu Breathes New Life Into Bell Labs.)

The Bell Labs team in Dublin, Ireland, is collaborating with researchers at the University of Edinburgh to tackle the small cells challenge. The Bell Labs team has been investigating how laser beams could be used to power small cells, while the Edinburgh team, working with spin-out startup pureLiFi, is working on the use of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) for data communications. Now the two teams are combining their research to develop an integrated solution that, they hope, will result in small cells being able to be deployed anywhere without the need for connecting cables.

It's that sort of venture that will help to make small cell deployments viable in the future: let's hope we see a number of such developments in Barcelona.

Related posts:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
1/14/2014 | 3:53:20 PM
Re: SPIT tools also critical
How many carriers have easy access to dark fiber though?
MarkH28201
50%
50%
MarkH28201,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/14/2014 | 12:09:39 PM
Re: SPIT tools also critical
My understanding is that Ethernet maybe too slow for SON features to work effectively, both in the macro/macro and small cell/macro intigration.  If so, is CPRI via dark fiber the answer or are there new protocols to emerge?
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
1/13/2014 | 5:35:18 PM
Re: SPIT tools also critical
Don't forget there's SON features in the latest 3GPP LTE specs so a lot of operators are waiting to see what features arrive baked as part of the LTE hardware and what they need to add.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
1/13/2014 | 12:42:38 PM
Re: SPIT tools also critical
For sure the SON tools would be  apart of that SPIT mix and I expect SON in general (for macro as well as micro/small cell) to be another hot topic at MWC.

 

I only just recovered from last year's tightly-packed trains to the new show site - can it be that time again already?? 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/13/2014 | 11:21:37 AM
Re: SPIT tools also critical
I'm also hearing a lot more talk about SON, self-organizing network, technology being applied to manage small cells and interference issues with the macro network. I expect many more operators outside of AT&T will be discussing it at MWC this year.

In other news, CES is over; let the MWC planning and email onslaught begin!! :)
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
1/13/2014 | 8:25:45 AM
SPIT tools also critical
Power and backhaul are major challenges but developments in supporting service provider IT (SPIT) areas such as network planning, optimization, assurance and analytics will be just as important, though, of course, if small cells are power and connected with cables then moving them to a different location becomes more feasible (if still risky from all sorts of perspectives...) 
More Blogs from Shades of Ray
The global launch of Huawei's P8 smartphone was stage-managed within an inch of its life – but it didn't need to be.
There's a lot to take in regarding the planned combination of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent – here's a quick guide to our coverage.
The potential merger of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent will throw a spotlight on some key decisions that need to be made, particularly related to the wireless portfolio, IP relationships and management of the combined company.
Deadline extension means there are still a few more days to submit those winning entries, but don't delay -- April 10 is the final deadline and then the judging begins.
British carrier really wants to sweat that copper plant and sees a real opportunity to use that asset for high-speed backhaul.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Google Ready to Release Thousands of Loons
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment