“Smart networking experiences are dramatically increasing the flow of mobile data between people and devices. Globally, mobile data traffic doubles every year. As the usage of mobile devices continues to rise, mobile data traffic is expected to increase 1,000 times in the next 10 years. In 2013, wireless data traffic increased by 93.6% compared to the previous year. Experts predict that the global mobile data traffic will continue to grow every month and will exceed 10 A (260) bytes by 2016, of which Asia will account for 40% of the total.
Smart networking experiences are dramatically increasing the flow of mobile data between people and devices. Globally, mobile data traffic doubles every year. As the usage of mobile devices continues to rise, mobile data traffic is expected to increase 1,000 times in the next 10 years. In 2013, wireless data traffic increased by 93.6% compared to the previous year. Experts predict that the global mobile data traffic will continue to grow every month and will exceed 10 A (260) bytes by 2016, of which Asia will account for 40% of the total.
The total population of China exceeds 1.35 billion, and many mobile users live in densely populated urban high-rise buildings. Current and predictable future user needs are posing challenges to the current infrastructure. In a country with a large population, how can we ensure mobile connectivity and coverage?
A challenge of this magnitude requires not only new resources, but also a completely different approach to acquiring, deploying, and managing these resources. It is also important to find a solution that can realize this new data capacity at a very low cost.
The challenge of mobile data not only requires the use of small base stations anywhere to increase network density, but also requires more spectrum and new technologies in order to use the existing spectrum more efficiently.
Small base stations available everywhere
In order to effectively meet the challenge of 1,000 times the traffic, it is necessary to intensively deploy low-power small base stations anywhere, including indoor and outdoor, large and small environments. Small base stations reuse the wireless spectrum to provide more capacity where they are closer to users (and where they are most needed), enhance mobile coverage, and provide the best experience.
At present, most of the mobile traffic is indoors, such as homes, offices, competition venues, shopping centers, etc. For this reason, more small base stations need to be deployed indoors in a new way. Initial research shows that a household penetration rate of only 9% may increase the capacity by 500 times, and a household penetration rate of 20% may increase the capacity by 1,000 times. At the same time, if the macro network deployment model is simply adopted, it needs to be increased by 10 times. Spectrum. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm of the United States, Qualcomm Technologies of the United States used a dense residential area in its research with multiple multi-storey buildings. The small base station network uses a dedicated spectrum (different from the spectrum used by the macro network). But the company is also focusing on research to enable the deployment model of temporary small base stations to be effectively used for shared spectrum, that is, macro base stations and small base stations use the same frequency spectrum.
Small base stations are usually deployed in a traditional planning manner from the perspective of radio planning. Traditionally, operators have hired technical experts to carefully evaluate the layout of buildings or areas, perform radio measurements, carefully choose where to deploy small cells, tune transmit power, prepare small cells, and perform drive tests. If a large number of small base stations are to be deployed, this may take a long time and the cost is high. For this reason, development is needed to enable operators or partners to deploy more small base stations temporarily or “unplanned” in places such as light poles and walls (in fact, basically anywhere that can provide backhaul and power). In addition, end users or operators’ partners should also be able to install small base stations in homes, offices, businesses, and shopping malls. Operators do not have to maintain optimized radio planning locations. Small base stations can adjust to changes in radio conditions. This reduces deployment-related costs and promotes the rapid growth of highly dense networks of small base stations. In the end, the goal of continuously promoting the deployment and maintenance of small base stations can be achieved.
Expansion of capacity in small businesses and neighbourhood environments
With the rapid increase in data demand, operators are striving to increase capacity and coverage, and enhance the services provided to homes and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMB) wireless users. This is where most of the data is consumed. Small and medium-sized enterprises, large enterprises, and households can easily obtain power and backhaul, which reduces the costs associated with the installation of small base stations. Small and medium-sized cell solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises, residential buildings and neighboring areas are designed to reduce the cost of service provision and improve the end user experience through faster mobile broadband services and better quality voice connections. They can also implement new advanced services, including sharing content between multiple office equipment, integration with user-level switches (PBX), and other services based on precise indoor positioning.
Users can also use indoor deployment to provide coverage outside of homes, small and medium-sized enterprises, and large enterprises. This is a brand-new deployment method from inside to outside, that is, “open neighborhood small base stations”, in which users deploy indoor small base stations to take advantage of available broadband connections. Some coverage is provided to users outside the home or building. In this way, the network construction is essentially arbitrary, because from the operator’s point of view, it is not planned. In addition to end users, operators may also deploy small base stations in an unplanned manner, and they will also benefit from this faster and simpler deployment model.
Qualcomm’s latest small base station system-on-chip (SoC) FSM90xx series is designed to provide neighbors and small business customers with precisely the required performance to fully utilize the diverse and converged Wi-Fi and cellular access points and wireless routers. And to achieve industry-leading total cost of ownership.
The FSM90xx series leverages Qualcomm’s leading position in cellular, Wi-Fi and home networks to create an integrated 4G small base station system-on-chip (SoC) that supports advanced 802.11ac/n Wi-Fi technology. The FSM90xx system-on-chip is designed to meet the cost goals and performance requirements of the residential, neighboring, and small and medium-sized enterprises markets. It can be easily integrated with existing products (such as set-top boxes, home gateways, broadband routers, etc.), so that software applications can use both cellular and Wi-Fi provides a better overall terminal user experience.
Expand coverage and network capacity in enterprise, urban, and pico cell environments
Operators and enterprises are deploying higher-capacity base stations for enterprises, cities, and picocells to increase network capacity in buildings, campuses, and outdoors.
In enterprises, small base stations are designed to provide simple low-cost solutions for enhancing indoor coverage and network capacity. As more and more employees bring their own devices to work (BYOD), this becomes extremely important. Since each new device will increase data traffic, IT managers must ensure that enterprise users can obtain high-quality mobile services and the highest data rate in the office, while also reducing the cost of equipment purchases as much as possible. Energy consumption is one of the important considerations for enterprise small base stations. In enterprises, these small base station products generally use Power over Ethernet (PoE) to reduce the need for additional power lines and reduce related costs. In order to comply with PoE restrictions, small base stations must minimize power consumption and stay within the power range of PoE.
In urban hotspots, due to low cost and simple deployment, operators can use small base stations to improve local coverage and network capacity, and to offload macro network traffic. Small base stations also provide an economically feasible way to provide coverage and network capacity in remote rural areas with the least network infrastructure.
Qualcomm Technologies’ highly integrated FSM99xx chipset provides the industry’s most complete set of features, adding 3G and 4G capacity where it is most needed (including busy urban hotspots, shopping malls, stadiums, etc.), and in one In a scalable, energy-efficient package, concurrent 3G and 4G operations, as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi options, are provided. The FSM99xx series provides a high level of integration, thereby reducing board space, realizing compact and low-cost products, and reducing power consumption. As mentioned earlier, low power consumption is the key to enterprise PoE small base stations, and it is essential to promote the reduction of the operating costs of small base stations. The highly expandable design of the FSM99xx series makes it suitable for small base stations with relatively small capacity, as well as large-capacity urban and pico-cell environments, including hotspots on street light poles, and any scene in between.
Speed up ultra-dense small cell deployment
Ultra-dense networks are the next big thing. In essence, the deployment of ultra-dense small base stations shortens the distance between the network and users, and can provide network capacity where users need it. Qualcomm Technologies refers to these networks as ultra-dense heterogeneous networks (HetNet), and they will require lower-cost plug-and-play small base stations, which are self-contained and independently adapt to newly added small base stations or other network changes. . In essence, 3G/4G small base stations hope to be deployed more like Wi-Fi access points. Using authorized 3G/4G spectrum will be able to guarantee service quality and performance, while using Wi-Fi as much as possible based on quality and service.
UltraSON is a set of self-organizing network (SON) functions designed by Qualcomm Technologies, which can deploy unplanned small base stations on a large scale while providing carrier-class performance and operator control (Figure 2). UltraSON solves multiple ultra-dense challenges, such as “unplanned” small base stations, robust mobility and reliable user experience. It implements the functions defined by 3GPP, such as ANR (Automatic Neighbor Relationship), MLB (Mobility Load Balancing), and MRO (Mobility Robust Optimization). The 3GPP standard does not specify the actual algorithm, and the standard allows innovation in implementation.
Figure 2: UltraSON technology makes simple, ultra-dense small cell deployment possible.
In addition, UltraSON provides functions such as load management and load balancing that reduce frequent handovers and identify backhauls. It is designed to be used in many deployment scenarios, including residential, residential, small base stations, enterprises, cities, and pico cells. It can use dedicated spectrum or share spectrum with macro networks. In order to ensure robust mobility and reliable user experience, and reduce interference, it is necessary to coordinate the relationship between small base stations and between the small base stations and the macro network.
In March 2014, Qualcomm Technologies completed the second phase of the trial. In one of the most demanding operating environments imaginable (the National Automobile Racing Association Sprint Cup Garage on the Phoenix Raceway in the United States), it verified that the small base station is composed of small cells. The UltraSON network demonstrates what is considered to be the densest LTE outdoor network in the world so far. Since the competition is only held every two years, and the competition materials will be in place before the competition, it is impossible to plan and optimize in advance.
In the trial, Qualcomm Technologies, in cooperation with Sprint and NASCAR, used AirSpan’s Air Synergy2000 LTE-Advanced pico base station, which is equipped with Qualcomm’s small base station chipset and UltraSON. Aiming at the goal of deploying 1,000 base stations per square kilometer, 31 small base stations were deployed in the entire garage area of the Phoenix International Runway using dedicated TDD (Time Division Duplex) spectrum. Taking into account the actual size of the garage, the company achieved a density equivalent to more than 1,100 base stations per square kilometer. Compared with traditional coverage solutions (such as deploying on-board base stations (COW) in places like NASCAR), the deployment of small base stations provides a capacity increase of more than 40 times. This deployment is equivalent to about 1,000 small base stations per square kilometer. If such an “unplanned” deployment can operate normally in the extremely challenging NASCAR garage, then it should be able to operate anywhere.
Qualcomm Technologies is currently working with small cell forums and other industry participants to define SON interoperability standards and tests to ensure that operators can deploy SON solutions from multiple vendors and ensure that they can work together.
Discover and use the new spectrum
Spectrum is the lifeline of mobile interconnection. In short, the more spectrum, the greater the capacity, the higher the data rate, and the greater the number of users supported. Good frequency spectrum is a scarce resource. In order to obtain more frequency spectrum, it is necessary to find a frequency band with higher frequency spectrum.
Mobile networks use different types of spectrum to provide wireless broadband Internet access in different environments. Because the unlicensed spectrum does not “belong” to any network operator, it must be shared with multiple technologies and applications, especially in high-traffic areas. On the other hand, the licensed spectrum, that is, the cleared spectrum, can provide stricter control and channel coordination, thereby providing predictable performance. But the frequency spectrum is still limited. In order to meet the 1,000 times traffic challenge, it is necessary to make the most of all types of spectrum and find new and innovative ways to obtain more spectrum. But how can we make the best use of unlicensed spectrum for mobile broadband access and 1,000 times the traffic?
The frequency spectrum at 2GHz and below lays the foundation for the perfect wide-area coverage of the macro network and densely populated small base stations. Unlicensed spectrum around 2.4GHz is relatively crowded.
In order to meet the 1,000 times the traffic challenge, the industry is exploring higher frequency bands-3GHz and above frequency bands-these frequency bands are expected to provide up to 10 times the available spectrum. Because of the small coverage of these higher frequency bands, they are particularly suitable for deploying small base stations. In addition, due to the increasing density of small cell deployments, the performance difference between lower frequency bands and higher frequency bands is shrinking, making higher frequency bands more attractive.
A good example of a higher frequency band is the frequency spectrum around 3.5 GHz (3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz depending on the market), which may be the first “higher” frequency band to discuss the deployment of small base stations. These spectrums were not the mainstream frequency bands of mobile networks before, mainly because of their small coverage. In other words, they are very suitable for small base stations, because small base stations are designed to have a smaller coverage area. In fact, a smaller coverage area helps reduce interference. For this reason, some people have referred to it as the “small cell frequency band.” Of course, you need to continue to look at higher frequency bands in order to access more spectrum in the future.
Because the spectrum is still limited, it is necessary to make the best use of all types of spectrum, including the use of unlicensed spectrum, opportunistic expansion of mobile broadband in commonly used small base stations; and seeking new innovative ways to access more spectrum.
The bandwidth-rich 5GHz unlicensed frequency band is an inevitable choice for expanding mobile broadband. Given that the unlicensed frequency bands around 5GHz are very wide, these frequency bands can be effectively shared among multiple operators, multiple users, and multiple technologies. One example is that a variety of technologies are looking for opportunities to use unlicensed spectrum, including Wi-Fi and a new technology being developed by Qualcomm Technologies to extend the advantages of LTE-Advanced to unlicensed spectrum. The advantage of this technology is that it provides an integrated LTE network for both licensed spectrum and unlicensed spectrum.
Many countries in the world have provided up to 500MHz of spectrum around 5GHz, and there will be more in the future. For example, the United States is considering providing nearly 200MHz of new spectrum, and the European Union is also considering adding a large amount of unlicensed spectrum around 5GHz.
In China, small base stations based on LTE-Advanced are still in the early stages of deployment, because Chinese operators are still building LTE macro coverage. In fact, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently issued FDD LTE licenses to two of China’s three major operators as part of China’s next wave of 4G development. In other words, due to spectrum shortage and cost factors, some cellular systems are adopting time division duplex (TDD) technology, such as China’s TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE systems. TDD is a method of simulating full-duplex communication through a half-duplex communication link. The transmitter and receiver both use the same frequency, but switch between sending and receiving services in time. Another technology, Frequency Division Duplex (FDD), is a method of establishing a full-duplex communication link that uses two different radio frequencies for transmitter and receiver operation. The advantage of TDD is that only one channel composed of frequency spectrum is needed, and no guard band or channel isolation is needed to waste spectrum. In other words, the successful implementation of TDD requires a very precise timing and synchronization system on the transmitter and receiver to ensure that the time slots will not overlap, otherwise it will cause mutual interference. Qualcomm Technologies is one of the leaders in LTE-TDD solutions not only in mobile phone solutions, but also in small base station solutions. Qualcomm Technologies’ small cell solutions include DAN34xx, FSM99xx and FSM90xx, which support LTE-TDD technology. In addition, there are many OEM small cell products on the market based on Qualcomm Technologies’ solutions. By supporting LTE-Advanced solutions including carrier aggregation, Qualcomm Technologies’ small base station solutions are continuing to promote the development of LTE-TDD.
Carrier aggregation: Utilize all spectrum resources to increase bandwidth
Qualcomm Technologies is constantly innovating to optimize network bandwidth and spectrum efficiency. With its pioneering technologies (DCHSPA+ and LTE-Advanced), a wider bandwidth can be achieved through carrier aggregation or multi-carrier and multi-band aggregation.
Generally speaking, the spectrum provided in most parts of the world is isolated. Carrier aggregation combines them like glue to provide a wider bandwidth, while at the same time it can use all the spectrum provided to increase the user data rate for all users in the cell. Carrier aggregation can combine lower and higher frequency bands-combining the better coverage of the former with the higher availability of the latter. Supplemental Downlink (SDL) can combine paired and unpaired spectrum to increase downlink capacity. Similarly, through carrier aggregation, HetNet can make better use of the frequency spectrum. For example, small base stations use a higher frequency band (3.5GHz), and macro networks use a lower frequency band (700MHz).
Essentially, carrier aggregation converges multiple carriers on the device, which improves the user rate within the cell coverage, regardless of whether the user is close to the cell or at the edge. Carrier aggregation is evolving in various directions, including more carriers (up to 5 carriers and up to 100MHz in the standard), across FDD and TDD, and across multiple cells. The higher data rate achieved by carrier aggregation can be compromised to obtain twice or more than twice the network capacity for burst applications, while maintaining the same user experience under typical network load conditions.
Achieve higher efficiency in the entire system
Finally, the entire system needs to achieve higher efficiency. Although the addition of small base stations and frequency spectrum is of great help to meet the challenge of data demand, if the overall efficiency obtained from all networks, equipment, applications and services can be improved, the effect will be even better. LTE Advanced technology and other technologies need to evolve continuously to maximize the use of limited spectrum resources.
One of Qualcomm’s innovations in LTE-Advanced is to bring LTE-Advanced into the unlicensed spectrum (Figure 3), which not only improves performance, but also enhances the end user experience. LTE-based construction can achieve integrated seamless mobility and provide a better user experience. In the unlicensed spectrum, LTE Advanced makes use of the LTE ecosystem and common LTE infrastructure. It uses licensed spectrum as a solid control foundation, looking for opportunities to aggregate unlicensed spectrum to increase capacity, thereby ensuring a better and more reliable user experience. An LTE core network with a solid licensed spectrum base can ensure seamless mobility.
Figure 3: Make 1,000 times the flow possible-for opportunistic use, extend the advantages of LTE-Advanced to unlicensed spectrum.
The use of LTE in unlicensed spectrum has improved coverage, and it can also increase capacity and reduce deployment costs by reducing coverage. Compared with Wi-Fi deployed by operators, Wi-Fi requires up to 5 times or more of the number of access nodes to provide the capacity that LTE provides in the unlicensed spectrum. In other words, LTE in the unlicensed spectrum provides up to 5 times the capacity compared to Wi-Fi with the same access node penetration rate (user penetration rate). The publicly licensed LTE core network provides many common functions for unlicensed spectrum, such as authentication, security, and management.
LTE can coexist with Wi-Fi in the unlicensed spectrum and has less impact than other Wi-Fi usage. Due to the protection function proposed by Qualcomm Technologies, using LTE as a Wi-Fi neighbor in an unlicensed spectrum has less impact on Wi-Fi than using another Wi-Fi as a neighbor. This means that when operators switch Wi-Fi to unlicensed LTE-Advanced, Wi-Fi users (whether private users or operator users) can also benefit from it.
Improve mobile data access capabilities in China and around the world
In short, the mobile wireless industry must be able to ensure that the economy faces the challenges of rapid growth in mobile data traffic while continuing to provide users with the best mobile broadband experience.
The combination of more advanced low-cost small base station networks with new spectrum and more efficient use of existing spectrum means that excellent technical solutions can be obtained to achieve ultra-high density in the real world environment, and this corresponds to 1,000 The challenge of doubling the flow rate is a must.