& cplSiteName &

Sprint Tests Small Cells at the Speedway

Sarah Thomas
3/5/2014
50%
50%

Sprint and Qualcomm have just wrapped up a two-day trial of what they're calling the densest deployment of small cells anywhere.

The trial, which took place March 1-2 at the Nascar Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz., is the second phase of an "over-the-air trial of an LTE TDD hyper-dense small cell network," Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) says. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and the chipmaker undertook phase one in November at the speedway.

Qualcomm Atheros SVP of Product Management Dan Rabinovitsj says this was also the first trial of the chipmaker's Ultra-SON [self-organizing network] technology. In the November trial, the pair put 31 LTE base stations within a few meters of each other in the pits area of the arena to see how they improved throughput on the network, dealt with handovers, and managed the signaling load to the core network. Rabinovitsj says the results were outstanding.

"Nascar is a great venue because it's worst-case everything," he says. "Deploying a network where there's hundreds of thousands of spectators with mass trucks pulling in, the RF is terrible and changing. It was stress testing our stuff harder than anyone could imagine."

The trial was pretty realistic of a real-world deployment, Rabinovitsj says, because of the huge fan attendance and these natural elements. At the Phoenix International Raceway over the weekend, the trial included 31 small cell base stations using Airspan Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AIRN)'s AirSyngergy 2000 LTE-Advanced Pico base stations. Qualcomm says the hyper-dense network has an equivalent density of 1000 cells per km2 operating on Sprint's band 41 LTE-TDD spectrum.

Sprint hasn't outlined its specific timeline for further small cell deployments, but has said it will deploy both indoor and outdoor base stations this year. It's working with vendors Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Samsung Corp. , and Nokia Networks on the deployments. (See Sprint Plans Indoor, Outdoor Small Cells in 2014, Sprint Has Samsung 4G LTE Small Cells: Analyst, and Sprint Eyes SDN to Re-Craft Its Core.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/7/2014 | 9:52:29 AM
Re: Deployment density
I had the same thought when he told me it was the densest small cell deployment yet -- at only 31 & 32 small cells, it's not that huge. I wonder how many these big venues will need when they take into account all the different carriers, as you say. Being carrier neutral like DAS does have a big advantage in that sense.
McCray
50%
50%
McCray,
User Rank: Light Weight
3/7/2014 | 5:13:07 AM
Re: Deployment density
Although this trial if you would indicates great results 31 small cells is hardly an indicator of the challenges that a high capacity venue such as a stadium with 50,000 - 80,000 subscribers all trying to access social networks and utilizing video streaming applications. Then you factor in in multiple wireless operators operating on multiple frequencies and technologies which still equates to a DAS system as being the optimum solution.

Small Cells are raising the bar however, and it is great to hear ths type of progress. Small Cell is pushing DAS to new innovative heights as evident by several usual suspects announcing new DAS innovations at MWC (TE-Connectivity, Axell Wireless, and Commscope)

 

Cheers
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/6/2014 | 12:15:12 PM
Re: Deployment density
I'm guessing that these deployments have to really pack in the small cells. A lot of these venues are full of people and metal. I don't think that's very conductive to over-the-air traffic.

But people want to be able to use their devices during these events, and providers must deliver. 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/6/2014 | 9:25:49 AM
Re: Deployment density
True, there are other things going on that are much more likely to kill you...

That said, small cells would be especially useful in more mission critical places/times, such as disaster recovery. They're relatively easy to deploy, rights aside, and can boost signals where they are needed the most.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/6/2014 | 9:19:27 AM
Re: Deployment density
It was a real race, part of the Nascar national series. Kyle Bush won.

We bought my dad "The Richard Petty" experience for his birthday one year. How much cooler would it have been if he could've reliably Tweeted about it while he was driving the race car?
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/6/2014 | 12:25:25 AM
Re: Deployment density
It's a great test because it matches a steep technical challenge with low stakes for failure. Nobody's going to die if cell service goes out at NASCAR. The rewards are high but the downsides are low.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2014 | 7:27:37 PM
Re: Deployment density
Did anyone say what the testing load was? Did the trial take place during an actual race? Was Richard Petty there tweeting unnice things about Danica Patrick?
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/5/2014 | 2:40:46 PM
Deployment density
This certainly wasn't the biggest small cell deployment at only 32 base stations, but it is the densest. There are very specific use cases for something like this, I imagine -- stadiums and venues like this being one. That's the good thing about small cells. They can be added as needed and where needed.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/20/2016
Sprint CEO: We'll Lease Spectrum as Soon as Possible
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.