Belgian startup develps industry’s first optimized TD-LTE small cell

Belgian startup develps industry’s first optimized TD-LTE small cell

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The M101 supports channel bandwidths up to 20 MHz for all the main TDD bands; including the European 2.6 GHz TDD allocation, the 2.3 GHz band used in China, India and Australia, the 2. 6GHz TDD allocation in USA and Japan and the “Global” bands at 3.5 GHz.

All the spectrum allocations around the world have assigned capacity to TD-LTE, including 50 MHz in the European auctions. In many cases this is re-farming the spectrum that was to be used by WiMAX. As spectrum is expensive and crowded, this “vacant prime real estate” is a major asset for carriers. However, until now TD-LTE has only been supported by traditional macro-cell products: the contemporary architecture of small cells, delivering better network efficiency and making best use of spectrum, has only been possible for FDD. The availability of a small cell optimized eNodeB for TD-LTE and TD-LTE-A from Accelleran will change that.

The M101 is a small form factor TD-LTE eNodeB, providing 1W RF power per physical antenna port and supporting one or two sectors. It is primarily intended for urban HetNet deployment scenarios, where typically a planned deployment of small cells will complement macro coverage and add significantly to network capacity and building penetration in high demand areas. It has two transceivers, each with 1W (30dBm) with 2×2 MIMO and 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz Channels. It supports Bands 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 and 43 making it suitable for all the main TDD allocations worldwide. It also includes optional integrated WiFi (11ac), Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity, SFP (Pluggable) Options and IEEE1588v2 Precision Timing Client.

Caroline Gabriel, Chief Research Officer at Maravedis Rethink commented, “There are two important trends happening in wireless infrastructure now: the adoption of small cells as a critical part of the RAN, and the realization that TDD is no orphan but a significant part of carrier deployments. Given this, it is surprising that until now few people have addressed both.

“Accelleran developing a TD-LTE small cell is an important sign that the TD eco-system is catching up with its FDD sibling. This will be of interest to all carriers who are looking to make the best use of their LTE spectrum. This includes operators with TDD only, such as China Mobile; those with both TDD and FDD, such as Vodafone and BT; those with legacy WiMAX spectrum such as Clearwire and others – or even those who bought TDD UMTS spectrum ten years ago and are now able to make use of it”.

Jeff Land, Business Development Director of Accelleran added, “More than 50 carriers have TDD spectrum only, many others including major operators Softbank, Sprint (via Clearwire), China Mobile and Vodafone have both TDD and FDD spectrum. Many of these are deploying small cells today on their FDD networks, but have been frustrated by the lack of availability of TD-LTE small cells. Accelleran was founded to address that lack. With the M101 we have the industry’s first product truly optimized for this opportunity”.

54 mobile carriers worldwide have so far committed to TDD LTE technology, and over 30 OEMs have commercially launched TD-LTE compatible devices. Driven by this thriving ecosystem, ARCchart forecasts that TD-LTE subscriptions will surpass 500 million by 2017, representing annual TD-LTE operator service revenues of $91 billion worldwide.

Driven by large scale TDD spectrum availability and the technology’s lower deployment costs, the industry witnessed several prominent TD-LTE network deployments in late 2011 and early 2012, including Softbank in Japan, Etisalat Mobily and STC in Saudi Arabia, and Bharti Airtel in India. More recently, in October 2012, the TD-LTE ecosystem received a major boost when China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that the entire 190 MHz of spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band will be allocated for TD-LTE deployments in China, which harmonizes its TDD spectrum with Japan and the USA, two major LTE markets. In the Chinese market, China Mobile has already begun extensive commercial trials of TD-LTE and aims to roll out 200,000 TD-LTE base stations by the end of 2013 and 350,000 by the end of 2014.

More recently, in the UK LTE auctions, both BT and Vodafone paid significant premiums for access to TD-LTE spectrum.

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