Qualcomm collaborates with Sprint for small cell

Qualcomm Technologies in cooperation with Sprint and NASCAR, demonstrated the second phase of an over-the-air trial of an LTE TDD hyper-dense small cell network at the Phoenix International Raceway.

Phoenix International Raceway was identified as an ideal venue to conduct Qualcomm Technologies’ hyper-dense small cell network trial due to the large fan attendance during NASCAR races, the challenging radio frequency conditions and the high mobile data demand during NASCAR events.

As part of the trial, Qualcomm Technologies has installed 31 small cell base stations in the garage area of the Phoenix International Raceway in order to test density limits, measure network performance capabilities and quantify the potential impact on users’ mobile experiences.

This hyper-dense network demonstration, built with Airspan’s AirSynergy 2000 LTE-Advanced Pico Base Stations, is powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ small cell chipsets and UltraSON (Self Organizing Network) technology. The hyper-dense network has an equivalent density of 1000 cells per square km operating on Sprint’s band 41 LTE-TDD spectrum.

In preparation for the anticipated 1000x increase in data traffic this decade, Qualcomm is leading the charge to maximize the efficiency of limited licensed spectrum. In the Phase 1 trial completed in November of 2013, Qualcomm Technologies showcased UltraSON’s ability to improve wireless data performance and quality of service in hyper-dense small cell networks while significantly reducing signaling load to the network.

In the phase 2 trials, Qualcomm Technologies demonstrated significant capacity gains with hyper-dense small cell networks compared to existing large area cellular technology, while providing robust user experiences across the whole trial area with UltraSON.

“Qualcomm Technologies thanks Sprint, NASCAR and Phoenix International Raceway for the opportunity to test our small cell products in the living lab of a live NASCAR event that brings together so many fans into a complex and challenging wireless environment,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president, Qualcomm Atheros.

“This trial of a hyper-dense small cell network allowed us to showcase how our silicon and software solutions, including UltraSON™ software, improve the aggregate throughput of a cellular network, and reduce frequent handovers and signaling load to the core network,” added Rabinovitsj.

“Small cells will play a critical role in Sprint’s network strategy,” said Iyad Tarazi, vice president, network, Sprint.

“NASCAR is one of Sprint’s most important sponsorships, so we are thrilled to help bring this technology trial to Phoenix International Raceway in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies,” added Tarazi.

“NASCAR is one of the most challenging environments for wireless data delivery due to a highly dynamic wireless environment and very high demand for data capacity,” said Steve Worling, senior director, IT, NASCAR.

“We are constantly evaluating next-generation technology that can enable better on-track experiences for our fans and teams. Small cells are compelling given their low installation costs, modest physical footprint and potential to relieve the pressure put on the macro networks during the race from data hungry fans,” added Worling.

“Our relationship with Qualcomm Technologies has allowed Airspan to provision and showcase best in class pico cells,” said Eric Stonestrom, CEO, Airspan Networks.

“This test represents a world’s first in the nascent urban small cell segment and will showcase our small cell solution in even the most extreme deployments. UltraSON, a fundamental building block for next generation networks, is key to our improved performance,” added Stonestrom.

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