The mobile networks have to transport higher traffic loads from more users, more devices and more applications. The increase in traffic load is changing how mobile operators plan, deploy and operate mobile networks.
To date, Mobile operators expand mobile networks through the deployment of macro cells.
However, this is no longer sufficient to get additional coverage. So, the new wave of expansion is deploying small cells to improve indoor capacity and coverage.
A Femtocell is a small and lightweight base station designed for indoor use such as residence and enterprise.
The Femtocell broadcasts a cellular signal that is received by a user's cellphone or wireless modem then backhauled through the user's wired broadband connection. Overall, the Femtocell not only reduces operations cost for mobile operators, it also delivers a high user experience to users.
The BroadOne Femtocell eco-system is shown below which includes the BroadOne Femtocell, Femtocell Gateway (Femtocell GW) and the Home eNodeB Management System (HeMS). The BroadOne Femtocell offers unique interference control capabilities, high-efficiency frequency usage, and excellent voice quality.
Fujitsu has two types of Femtocell, which are for residence and enterprise use.
Mobile operators can install these Femtocells depending on the existing their own network. The Femtocell GW installs between the Femtocell and the operator's core network. Then, the Femtocell GW can manage and operate data and control signals to reduce the high load on the core network.
The HeMS operates and monitors the network elements such as Femtocell and Femtocell GW.
The BroadOne Femtocell uses a mechanism, which can directly measure the interference situation via the User Equipment (UE) feedback, and make decisions on radio frequency (RF) resource allocation for optimization.
The interference control algorithms require no assistance from macrocells or neighboring Femtocells. The Femtocell itself makes multiple measurements, including information from the UE, enabling the Femtocell to learn the current interference situation on the downlink and uplink, in addition to the current locations of UE.
From these, the RF resources are allocated in an optimum way to maximize the capacity and minimize the interference. There are four main interference control mechanisms:
The BroadOne Femtocell has a plug & play self-configuration functionality that enables simple automatic installation when the unit is connected to a broadband network. This auto-configuration capability enables mobile operators to put the Femtocell into service on the network and configure the necessary parameters automatically without any action from the mobile operator.
Installation can be accomplished in three easy steps:
Auto configuration consists of Femtocell authentication, IPSec security tunnel and software/configuration download.
The BroadOne Femtocell supports multi frequency bands, and selects, automatically, the operating frequency depending on actual network.
Typically, the mobile operators use the same frequency for both macro cell and Femtocell.
When a Femtocell is installed near the macro cell, the BroadOne Femtocell can change the frequency band automatically due to severe interference. On the other hand, the Femtocell can operate within the same frequency as macro cell on the edge of the cell area. This occurs because the signal of macro cell in the edge area is degraded based on the distance from cell tower.
When the Femtocell is installed onto the same floor with the other devices, this Femtocell can select different a frequency of a neighbor Femtocell to minimize the interference.
The BroadOne Femtocell GW installs into between Femtocell and mobile operator's core network to aggregate and terminate with User/Control-Plane data.
Typically, a Femtocell detects the Femtocell GW as a core network, on the other hand, an operator's core network detects the Femtocell GW as a macro cell for the network element.
So, if the number of Femtocells increases drastically, the mobile operators can optimize the capital expenditure for the core network and minimize the high load on the core network as well. In addition, the redundancy feature of Femtocell GW allows the mobile operator to continuously operate a stable wireless service in case of an emergency such as a device break down.
The BroadOne HeMS system consists of Server and Client.
The Server has database information, and the Client manages the Femtocell and Femtocell GW via a GUI interface. The HeMS can monitor a maximum of 200,000 Femtocell simultaneously. In addition, mobile operators can manage the status of Femtocell and Femtocell GW by operating reboot, lock and unlock functions.
If alarms occur, it is easy to capture the latest status thanks to the visible GUI application. In terms of software updates, mobile operators can upgrade all network elements at one time to reduce maintenance operating time.
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