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Nokia upgrades base stations for WiMax

Posted: 04 Sep 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LTE-Advanced  Nokia  WiMax 

Nokia Networks launched modernised base stations that facilitate smooth migration of WiMax networks to TD-LTE-Advanced. With a 3.5GHz carrier aggregation, the system aims to improve service in dense user environments.

"There are still operators with WiMax [Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access] operation... stuck in a spectral efficiency dimension, which will not evolve. TD-LTE will accommodate more traffic and more users in the same amount of spectrum," Arne Schaelicke, Nokia's LTE marketing manager, told EE Times. "This would allow for four times more traffic flow, with carrier aggregation and higher MIMO schemes."

Nokia's Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station has integrated WiFi for reducing network interference and power consumption. The 3.5GHz LTE band—allocated in approximately 70 countries—lets operators free up to 200MHz of spectrum for additional capacity, according to the company release.

Improved spectral efficiency will allow for improvements in download and upload speeds. Using 20MHz, TD-LTE can carry 110Mbit/s peak on an uplink. Downlink on a network with carrier aggregation is 330Mbit/s peak.

Schaelicke said Nokia hopes to go beyond 330Mbit/s data rates, which the company demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2014. At MWC, Nokia achieved peak data rates of up to 450Mbit/s with up to 60MHz of spectrum on its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for TDD and a test user device.

Nokia's carrier aggregation software selects the best carriers in the network appropriate for each user. A Nokia blog outlined a situation where a Category 6 device capable of supporting aggregation of two carriers at up to 40MHz was used in a network featuring three carriers aggregating up to 60MHz. Nokia's network software allocated the two best carriers to "add network capacity by freeing-up the 20MHz bandwidth not allocated to this device to those users who can benefit from that frequency."

The software also support load balancing, which will increase in importance as LTE networks take on growing amounts of video traffic and additional users.

The TD-LTE radio and associated software was announced alongside the Flexi Metro Remote Radio Head (RRH) with 60MHz carrier aggregation for dense networks. Officials at Nokia said the RRH's small volume at less than 5l and less than 5kg weight will allow operators to take advantage of a wide range of sites typically unsuitable for conventional units. Additionally, the RRH's sensitivity can be tuned and output varied from 2x5W down to 2x50mW to meet the needs of different networks.

"Operators are making their networks more dense by splitting macro cells or adding more network layers for the vital extra capacity needed especially in metropolitan areas," Thorsten Robrecht, vice president of Mobile Broadband portfolio management at Nokia Networks, said in the press release. "As the distance between cells decreases and network layers increase, mobile devices cause greater interference," an issue Nokia's product mitigates, he claims.

The low-power radio enables Nokia and operators to connect a variety of dense areas that are laden with fibre optics as well as small-cell networks without fibre, Stephane Daeuble, Nokia's marketing manager for Small Cells/HetNet, told EE Times.

"We're preparing for the commercial introduction of Cat 9 smartphones or user devices, which can support carrier aggregation up to 60GHz," Schaelicke said. "We expect smartphones to be able to support this next year, but we need to prepare the network."

Nokia LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation helps operators achieve the highest possible data rates in all LTE and TD-LTE networks by permiting deployment flexibility in terms of spectrum and network topology. Source: Nokia

- Jessica Lipsky
  EE Times





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