February 12, 2010
Think small for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) base station at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona next week:
In fact, a couple of different vendors are separately promising the "smallest"-ever LTE base stations at the show. Kyocera Corp. (NYSE: KYO) and NEC Electronics Corp. are both showing micro base stations, designed to work with other base stations as elements that can boost speed and capacity in an overstretched network. [Ed. note: Obviously, a user would need an LTE radio in his or her device to take advantage of this.]
Light Reading Mobile has previously reported on the need to think small when deploying LTE. The theory is that it will be easier to maintain high data rates with a dense network deployment where more users are closer to many more smaller radios. These micro base stations are one of the first signs of this theory being put into practice.
Pundits will be closely watching for the arrival of early LTE devices in Barcelona next week. So far, NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) has said it will demonstrate a prototype LTE handset; Nokia Networks and Telefónica de España are promising "pre-commercial" terminals; and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) should have some gadgets. NEC, meanwhile, will have an LTE "thin-client" [ed. note: how very 1998!] at the show; and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) are expecting to demo modems. (See Gadget Watch: MWC Preview .)
Domestic Spanish carrier Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) will, in fact, be running a live demonstration LTE network in Barcelona next week. Telefónica is promising live driving demos 'round the streets of Barcelona and video downloads in the halls -- always a brave move with any kind of wireless network during the super-crowded European tradeshow, but particularly so with such a new technology. The carrier is using equipment from NSN and ZTE for the demo.
Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), meanwhile, is looking out even further into the future with a live "LTE-Advanced" demonstration. LTE-Advanced, you may recall, is actually the real 4G version of LTE. Qualcomm is promising: "A live demonstration of LTE mobility enhancements with seamless forward handoff using Qualcomm's LTE Advanced test bed." OK then.
Want more? We've got your back-reading:
LRTV Gets Ready for MWC
RFMD Goes to MWC
Qualcomm Looks to Future at MWC
ZTE Does IMS 6.0
Dilithium Brings 'Galaxy' to MWC
AT&T Picks AlcaLu, Ericsson for LTE
Agilent Boosts LTE Test
Altair, Aeroflex Ink LTE Deal
Roke Schedules LTE Base Stations
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung
For all the best news, views, pictures, and video reports before, during, and after MWC 2010, check out our Mobile World Congress Show Site.
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