Nokia Networks doubles small cell capacity, drives HetNet performance #NetworksPerform

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Flexi Zone range enhanced by double-capacity LTE/Wi-Fi picocell. 3-D geolocation brings new dimension to indoor planning services.

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A major expansion of the Nokia Networks small cell portfolio is spearheaded by new innovations – a double-capacity small cell base station Flexi Zone G2 Pico, and an indoor planning service enhanced by 3-D geolocation. The launches enable operators to cost-effectively build even higher performance HetNets in dense urban areas, sustaining high quality mobile broadband for more subscribers and higher data traffic.

By 2020, almost 78% of mobile traffic will be handled by small cells*. Nokia Networks continues to expand its Flexi Zone solution to help operators grow the capacity of their HetNets to support more users per cell and higher performance. The first Flexi Zone G2 Pico** base station to be available will be a 3.5 GHz TD-LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation Pico with 4x4 MIMO for advanced LTE markets. This all-in-one small cell also integrates Wi-Fi 802.11ac for additional capacity in a compact 8 liter, 8 kg unit for easy siting and installation.

The new Pico solution will be based on the Nokia Flexi Zone G2 Micro/Pico base station platform that features a 4-pipe radio and twice the processing capability of the Flexi Zone Micro/Pico base station. This provides scope for other future variants in support of very high performance HetNets.

“Experience shows consumers enthusiastically embrace mobile broadband when operators deliver excellent LTE network performance – success that can threaten operator brand reputation if capacity fails to keep up,” said Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst, 451 Research Mobility Team. “High performance small cell systems give operators a critical tool to absorb growing capacity demands without compromising customer experience. Nokia's continued investment in its small cell portfolio smartly expands the range of capabilities and form factors available to operators responding to the challenge of success.”

Similar to other Flexi Zone base stations, Flexi Zone G2 Pico BTS offers full software and feature parity of Nokia Networks macro base stations and packs the same Smart Scheduler and HetNet interference management features for best-in-class performance. For example, DL Interference Shaping, introduced earlier this year, is also available on all the Flexi Zone base stations, and boosts HetNet capacity by increasing cell edge performance by up to 30%.

Likewise, Flexi Zone G2 Pico BTS can also be used as a stand alone unit or paired with Nokia’s Flexi Zone Controller*** to create large small cell clusters that act as one eNodeB. This unique architecture allows operators to scale up to ultra-dense networks for even higher capacity and reduced total cost of ownership.

With the continuous growth in data usage, many operators are choosing this innovative high capacity small cell solution to boost performance in hot spots and hot zones. Zain KSA, a technology leader in the Saudi market, awarded Nokia a contract to deploy its Flexi Zone 4G small cells solution to boost performance in strategic locations. Vodafone Group has also selected Nokia Networks as a global supplier of its LTE and Wi-Fi outdoor small cells products, to provide additional capacity where it is needed most.

More effective network planning and optimization is enabled by a further portfolio innovation: 3-D geolocation-based HetNet planning for in-building solutions. Nokia Networks is applying newly acquired 3-D geolocation technology to pinpoint precise locations in high-rise buildings that have high demand or are suffering poor service, such as dropped calls or slow connectivity. Extending the Nokia Services for HetNets**** portfolio, the service overcomes the limitations of conventional two-dimensional planning that cannot distinguish between the different floors of buildings with different needs, such as a corporate offices and residential spaces. This will help operators deliver the best mobile broadband experience indoors.

“Nokia Networks has demonstrated its commitment to small cell development by being the first supplier with macro parity small cells, and we’re now the first to introduce small cells with LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation capabilties,” said Randy Cox, head of Small Cell Product Management at Nokia Networks. “Operators have an ever-increasing need to provide users with the best mobile broadband experience in key indoor locations. The addition of unique 3-D geolocation technology ensures the best planning and optimization techniques for outstanding performance throughout these buildings - from the top floor boardroom to the ground floor cafeteria.”

Nokia Networks also is enhancing its small cells portfolio with the following new features, making it the industry’s most complete solution and helping operators improve their HetNet performance:

  • 1.9 GHz/PCS frequency support for Nokia Flexi Lite base station.
  • New frequency variants for Flexi Zone base stations, including 1.9 GHz/PCS for Flexi Zone outdoor Micro/Pico base stations; 1.9 GHz/PCS, AWS and TD-LTE 2.3 GHz for Flexi Zone Indoor Pico base stations; and 1.8 GHz for Flexi Zone Pico-Enhanced base station with integral Wi-Fi.
  • Non Line of Sight (NLoS) microwave backhaul for Flexi Lite and Flexi Zone base stations based on Dragonwave Harmony Radio Lite enabling a fast small cell roll-out in the Sub 6 GHz band.
  • A new delivery model, part of Nokia Services for HetNets, that deploys multiple small cells using a clustered approach and standardized site work processes to reduce deployment from days to hours.

Click here to download a photo of Randy Cox, here for a 3-D geolocation image and here for an image of the Flexi Zone G2 Pico.

View http://www.nsn.com/performance to follow the latest launches, watch a short video and sign up for webinars. Starting September 12, we will share new customer cases to show real world network performance. The 15-minute cases are available to view on-demand or download as a podcast.

Customers, press and industry analysts are welcome to visit Nokia Networks' permanent meeting room 203 during Super Mobility Week by CTIA in Las Vegas, U.S.A., September 9-11.

To share your thoughts on how Nokia Networks doubles small cell capacity and increases HetNet performance, join the discussion with @nokianetworks on Twitter using #NetworksPerform, #smallcells and #HetNet. For expert insights, visit our blog.

About Nokia
Nokia invests in technologies important in a world where billions of devices are connected. We are focused on three businesses: network infrastructure software, hardware and services, which we offer through Nokia Networks; location intelligence, which we provide through HERE; and advanced technology development and licensing, which we pursue through Nokia Technologies. Each of these businesses is a leader in its respective field.

Nokia Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly. http://www.nsn.com // http://company.nokia.com

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Notes:

*Source: Signals Research Group

**Nokia Networks Flexi Zone G2 Micro/Pico Base Station solution features high processing performance, enabling several deployment options according to operator preference. These include 4x4 MIMO with two TD-LTE carriers of 20 MHz with Carrier Aggregation or one FDD-LTE 20 MHz carrier; 2x2 MIMO dual band with two FDD-LTE 20 MHz carriers; 2x2 MIMO Carrier Aggregation with either TD-LTE or FDD-LTE.

***Flexi Zone access points can operate as stand-alone micro/pico base stations for hot spots and then be evolved with the addition of the Flexi Zone Controller, enabling hotspots to grow into hot zones. The novel “zone” architecture enables capacity upgrades to an existing network without costly reconfiguration. Operators can build almost unlimited capacity and coverage to meet growing demand or to serve very large indoor locations.

****Nokia Networks Services for HetNets helps operators solve urban congestion by delivering the best performing heterogeneous networks. Nokia Networks provides the deepest analysis of hotspots to help operators understand the impact of traffic density – as well as the use and behavior of devices and applications. The integration of small cell radio and backhaul design, together with macro, in-building, and Wi-Fi solutions ensures a holistic approach.

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