With the increased uptake of smartphones and tablets, data traffic continues to grow, putting a burden on the mobile operators’ networks. High footfall areas or poor coverage “not spots” are areas where coverage provided by the mobile operators is not sufficient to meet the needs of the end users. One solution to address this problem is to deploy small-cell base stations within existing macro-cellular networks.
Small cells are low-powered radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrums and have a range of between 10 meters to a few hundred meters depending on indoors or outdoors deployment. They are “small” compared to a mobile macrocell, which may have a much larger range.
Types of small cells include femtocells, picocells and microcells. Small-cell networks can also be realised by means of distributed radio technology consisting of centralized baseband units and remote radio heads.
For the London 2012 Olympic Games, iWireless Solutions were engaged by a UK mobile operator to support a femtocell solution for the Athletes Village. A total of nearly 1800 femtocells were utilised successfully across the 11 Athletes Village apartment blocks. iWireless Solutions take a consultative approach to delivering the most suitable and efficient solution across all technologies and are currently engaged in other small cells projects.