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NSN Expands Small Cell Solutions

Nokia (News - Alert) Siemens Networks at Mobile World Congress had a flurry of news, including additions to its Flexi portfolio, as well as a beam forming demonstration.

The company tells TMCnet that NSN is trying to cover the complete range of macrocells. Phil Twist, head of marketing and communications for network systems at NSN, notes that a broad product line on this front makes sense given that by 2020 there will be 10 times more base stations than now, and by that time there will be double the macro base stations, but that 80 percent of the base stations will be small cells.

Flexi Zone is the name of NSN’s small cell solution that is in trials in Chicago using NSN spectrum. The product, which will be generally available at the end of the year, targets high density applications, including business campuses, shopping centers, and sports arenas.

Twist says the Flexi Zone architecture can aggregate and do traffic management for up to 100 small cells and present that information to the network as if it’s just one cell. The solution includes Wi-Fi backhaul, network discovery, and is non-line-of-sight.

“Flexi Zone leverages the capabilities of small cells to create a seamless hot zone for a superior mobile broadband experience. Flexi Zone is the first small cells implementation using Liquid Radio baseband pooling, with a novel architecture that simplifies the deployment and operation of a small cell network. It’s the perfect answer to the conundrum facing operators who must constantly scale up network capacity to meet booming demand, while at the same time limiting their costs,” says Thorsten Robrecht, head of Network Systems product management, Nokia Siemens Networks (News - Alert).

Also new from NSN is the Flexi Compact, which is targeted at GSM rural deployments. The company says it’s “the industry’s smallest macro base station for three-sector sites combining baseband, radio and integrated transport in a single enclosure.”

Nokia Siemens Networks and Telecom Italia (News - Alert) also leverage Mobile World Congress to showcase beam forming. That allows the service provider to direct capacity at specific users or areas.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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