Interoperability of Small Cells and the Existing Cellular Networks – What’s the Hold-up?

Last month, I represented JDSU joining a vibrant public meeting of over 100 people to discuss the ‘Interoperability of Small Cells and the existing Cellular networks’ held at PwC offices in central London.

The event was organised by Cambridge Wireless’ Small Cell special interest group. Speakers were from Keysight Technologies, ip.access, Alcatel-Lucent, NEC UK, Arieso/JDSU UK and EE. The overall meeting theme was “Small cells are proliferating in their many forms. To become a true part of the HetNet they need to be automatically and smoothly incorporated into the existing macrocell network, raising questions of standards, interoperability and performance.”

The key point in the meeting for me was made by Nick Johnson of the small cell vendor ip.access who said that “management interoperability is a key to small cell success”. We could not agree more.

I followed Nick’s presentation with my own, contrasting the per subscriber/connected user information that is available in carrier grade WiFi networks and femto technology based small cells (including metro and pico cells). I pointed out that carrier grade WiFi systems provide per subscriber information allowing users to be tracked and monitored access point by access point. In contrast, many femto based small cells provide absolutely no information about the connected subscriber.

This surprised many people as they had assumed that femto cells provided richer information than WiFi.

We also discussed related topics including the need to provide additional network environment data, record cells locations accurately, and even a fun discussion on how to record cell height.

For more information on this event see here on Cambridge Wireless website

Originally posted on Arieso’s Blog

Interoperability of Small Cells and the Existing Cellular Networks – What’s the Hold-up?

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