& 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
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
June 26, 2018, Nice, France
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telco Job Prospects Go From Bad to Worse
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2018
Mavenir's Billion-Dollar Blueprint
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 6/18/2018
Larry Ellison Laughed at the Cloud, Now the Cloud Is Laughing Back
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading, 6/20/2018
5G Transport – Where Do We Start?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 6/21/2018
Animals with Phones
Backing Up Your Work Is Crucial Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed