Huawei is stepping away from the femtocell business, as it is not convinced that there is a viable business case for the technology, according to Lars Bondelind, Vice President, Wireless Networks Marketing, Huawei.
“Femtocell is a market we didn’t see take off. It’s very difficult to build a business case with femtocells. We followed the market but we are not making any great efforts in the future to develop it. It’s been three to four years and operators are really using it as a coverage solution for people with a bad signal,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean Bondelind sees no future for small cells in the network. Far from it.
“The Huawei Atom cell is a 2W unit with active antenna, that can be deployed in modular format to increase power, and can be co-ordinated with the macro network to get the most out of available spectrum,” he said.
The Atom cell is available only in single mode, either UMTS or LTE, Bondelind said. “This is because we know that operators require the UMTS solution today. Then when they move to LTE later, they can deploy the LTE Atom cell.” The lack of Multi-RAN support in the Atom, of course, will mean two small cell rollouts, for operators who desire both UMTS and LTE small cell deployments.
A co-ordinated deployment of small cells could increase capacity derived from split spectrum by up to 90%, he said. Huawei calls its SON capability SingleSON, echoing its SingleRAN capability.
The Atom, along with the ARU (Adaptive Radio Unit), Huawei’s active antenna macro product, form part of Huawei’s GigaSite suite of solutions.
Today Huawei also launched SoftMobile and Cloud EPC
Huawei said SoftMobile can optimise network architecture, achieve dynamic resource sharing, and improve the user experience. Macro-macro and macro-micro coordination can decrease interference between sites, it said, while Macro-macro coordination can improve site throughput. Network capacity can be improved with macro-micro coordination, it added.
Also introduced was the concept of Cloud EPC, Huawei’s concept for the future evolution of packet core networks operating on three layers: infrastructure, virtualisation, and applications. The infrastructure level involves the modularisation, unification, and standardisation of underlying facilities to improve capabilities and performance; the virtualisation level supports multiple logical network elements to dynamically share the infrastructure layer’s network resources; the virtualisation layer utilises an open API (Application Programming Interface) for the application layer to facilitate mobile broadband service innovation, accelerates development cycles of third-party applications, and helps improve QoE.