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An Introduction to Macrocells
& Small Cells
@3g4gUK
Mobile Towers in Theory
©3G4G
Mobile Towers in Theory
©3G4G
Mobile Towers in Practice
©3G4G
Mobile Towers in Real Life
©3G4G
Source: Ofcom
Mobile Towers in Real Life
Mobile Towers in Real Life
BBU + RU
Source: National Instruments
Mobile Towers in Real Life
BBU + RU
Source: National Instruments
Macrocells
©3G4G
Macrocell:
• Typical Power: 20 – 40 watts
• Typical Height: 15 – 25 metres
• Coverage Area: 25 – 40 km
• Typical number of simultaneous users
served: >200 per sector/per frequency
• Location: Tower (urban/rural), Top of
buildings (urban)
• Backhaul: Fiber, Microwave, DSL
• Cost: $$$$$$$$$
Macrocell Connections & Terminology
©3G4G
BBU + Router
RRU / RRH
Fronthaul (CPRI)
Service Provider
Datacenter
Backhaul
Centralized RAN (C-RAN) / BBU Hostelling
©3G4G
RRU / RRH
Fronthaul (CPRI)
Service Provider
Datacenter
Backhaul
BBU Hostel
Cloud RAN (C-RAN)
©3G4G
RRU / RRH
Fronthaul (CPRI)
Service Provider
Datacenter
Backhaul
Cloud Datacenter
Distributed Antenna System (DAS)
©3G4G
Source: Exuberant Solutions
Source: AT&T
Mini-Macro
©3G4G
A mini-macro is the same as macrocell with the following differences:
• Single sector
• Single frequency
• Single RAT (e.g., 2G/3G/4G) or Multi-RAT (e.g., 3G & 4G)
• Antenna height typically: 8 – 10 meters
• Backhaul: Microwave, Mesh, Fiber, DSL – typically lower bandwidth
than macrocell
Note: All the above is general guidance. Deployments can vary
significantly for each operator
Mini-Macro
©3G4G
#Vodafone new
Mini Macro mast
with all the. Gear in
the Base. As to be
shortly deployed in
#Porthcurno
#Cornwall ( but
taller of course!
8m) - @Phonemast
on Twitter
Mini-Macro
©3G4G
Why do we need ‘Small Cells’
©3G4G
Why do we need ‘Small Cells’
©3G4G
Why do we need ‘Small Cells’
©3G4G
Source: Zahid Ghadialy Source: The Telegraph
Why do we need ‘Small Cells’
©3G4G
Source: TravelSkills
Definition of Small Cells
©3G4G
Small cells or small cellular base stations encompass a number
of different technologies but one could describe them as
anything that's not a typical macro site. They are deployed to
solve network capacity issues in a relatively small area, like a
hot spot or an important zone that is a subset of the umbrella
macro site coverage.
“From our world, everything is a small cell if its not nailed to a
tower. So it could be Wi-Fi, Indoor / Outdoor, DAS, Femtocells,
Metrocells, Remote Radioheads, Microcells and Signal
Boosters as well…” - Iain Gillott, Founder and President, IGR
Research
Definition of Small Cells
©3G4G
‘Small cells’ is an umbrella term for operator-controlled, low-
powered radio access nodes, including those that operate in
licensed spectrum and unlicensed carrier-grade Wi-Fi. Small
cells typically have a range from 10 meters to several hundred
meters.
Types of small cells include femtocells, picocells and microcells
– broadly increasing in size from femtocells (the smallest) to
microcells (the largest). Any or all of these small cells can be
based on ‘femtocell technology’ – i.e. the collection of
standards, software, open interfaces, chips and know-how that
have powered the growth of femtocells.
My definition of ‘Small Cells’
©3G4G
• Small form factor
• Complete base station (contains BBU + RU + optionally Router)
Ericsson’s Radio Dot Small Cell
©3G4G
Source: Ericsson
Huawei’s Lampsite
©3G4G
Source: 3G4G Small Cells Blog
My definition of ‘Small Cells’
©3G4G
• Small form factor
• Complete base station (contains BBU + RU + optionally Router)
• Low power consumption → Not necessarily low power output
• ‘Licensed’ or ‘Unlicensed’ spectrum
• Does not include non-cellular technologies like Wi-Fi, etc., unless
used in conjunction with cellular technologies
• ‘Indoor’ and/or ‘Outdoor’ deployment
• Deployed for ‘Coverage’, ‘Capacity’, ‘Densification’, ‘High
Throughput’, ‘Improved Signal Quality’, ‘Improved User
Experience’, ‘Value-added Services’, ‘Smart Application’, ‘Proximity
marketing’, etc.
Characteristics of ‘Small Cells’
©3G4G
• Easy and straightforward to deploy
• Femtocells should be deployed by the end-users themselves
• Other types of small cells should be easily deployed by low-
skilled installers
• SON capability (centralized, distributed or hybrid)
• Self-configuration
• Self-optimization and interference management for ad-hoc
deployments
• Synchronized to the macro network
• Mainly for urban & dense deployments
• Flexibility on backhaul capability
Types of Small Cells
©3G4G
• Femtocells – Residential &
Enterprise
• Picocells – Sometimes referred to
as ‘Indoor Metrocells’
• Microcells – Sometimes referred
to as ‘Metrocells’ or ‘Outdoor
Metrocells’
• Meadowcells – Rural Small Cells
Source: Qualcomm
Wi-Fi
©3G4G
Wi-Fi Access Point:
• Typical Power: 200 milliwatts
• Typical Height: N/a
• Coverage Area: Typically 100 metres
• Typical number of simultaneous users
served: 250
• Location: Indoors or Outdoors
• Backhaul: Wired – (A)DSL / Fiber
• Cost: $
Femtocell (Residential & Enterprise)
©3G4G
Femtocell (Residential & Enterprise):
• Typical Power: 100 milliwatts
• Typical Height: N/a – Indoor locations
• Coverage Area: Typically 50 metres
• Typical number of simultaneous users
served: 8 for residential, 16 for enterprise
• Location: Indoors
• Backhaul: Wired – (A)DSL / Fiber
• Cost: $$
Picocell / Indoor Metrocell
©3G4G
Picocell / Indoor Metrocell:
• Typical Power: 250 milliwatts
• Typical Height: N/a – Indoor locations
• Coverage Area: Typically 250 metres
• Typical number of simultaneous users
served: 32 – 64
• Location: Indoors
• Backhaul: Wired – (A)DSL / Fiber
• Cost: $$$
Microcells / Outdoor Metrocells
©3G4G
Microcells / Outdoor Metrocells:
• Typical Power: 2 – 5 watts
• Typical Height: 8 – 10 metres
• Coverage Area: 500m – 3km
• Typical number of simultaneous users
served: 32 - 200
• Location: Small towers, Buildings,
Lampposts
• Backhaul: Fiber, Microwave, Mesh, DSL
• Cost: $$$$
Source: Commscope
Meadowcells (Rural Small Cells)
©3G4G
Meadowcells (Rural Small Cells):
• Typical Power: 5 – 40 watts
• Typical Height: 5 – 15 metres
• Coverage Area: 1 – 10 km
• Typical number of simultaneous users
served: 32 – 64
• Location: Tower, Buildings (top or side),
Rooftop
• Backhaul: Satellite, Mesh, Microwave,
(A)DSL, LTE Backhaul
• Cost: $$$$
©3G4G
Rural
The Size of a Cell
©3G4G
Depends on:
• Antenna mast height and tilt
• Frequency
• Higher frequency means
smaller cell sizes
• Power
• Higher power results in
larger cell size
Importance of Frequency selection
©3G4G
2.1GHz 900MHz
Higher frequency
means faster
decay
Lower frequency means
more number of users in a
given cell
Higher frequency gets
reflected from walls and
have poor penetration
Lower frequency gets
attenuated from walls but
still penetrates
More Examples of Small Cells
©3G4G
Telefónica LTE Nano
More Examples of Small Cells
©3G4G
Sprint’s Magic Box
on Drone
More Examples of Small Cells
©3G4G
AT&T’s Flying COW
More Examples of Small Cells
©3G4G
KDDI Small Cell Lamppost
More Examples of Small Cells
©3G4G
Ericsson & Philips Small Cells in
Lampposts
Source: Left & Right
More Examples of Small Cells
©3G4G
BT/EE’s Helikite for providing coverage during emergency and disaster
recovery scenarios.
Repeaters vs Relays vs Small Cells
©3G4G
Repeaters Relays Small Cells with LTE Backhaul
Receive, Amplify and Re-transmit.
Also known as ‘Signal Booster’ or
‘Layer 1 Relay’. From a UE point of
view, the repeater signal and macro
signal would appear to be the same
Receive, Demodulate & Decode,
Encode & Modulate, Amplify &
Transmit. Also known as ‘Layer 2
relay’. From a UE point of view, the
relay signal and macro signal would
appear to be the same (in case of in-
band frequency)
Complete basestation with its own ‘cell
identity’.
Frequency Same frequency, even though in
theory it could be different frequency
Transmission can be in-band (same
freq) or out-of-band (different
frequency)
Transmission can be same or different
frequency but interference mitigation
may be required in case of in-band
frequency.
Advantages • Simple
• Inexpensive
• Very little extra latency
introduced
• No changes in base station
needed
• Noise is eliminated • Comparatively simpler operation
• Noise is eliminated
• No changes in base station needed
Disadvantages • Noise is amplified along with the
desired signal
• Radio functions may be needed
between relay and base station
• Complex and slightly expensive
• Extra latency introduced
• More expensive than repeaters and
relays
• Higher latency than others
ICYMI
©3G4G
Thank You
To learn more, visit:
3G4G Website – http://www.3g4g.co.uk/
3G4G Blog – http://blog.3g4g.co.uk/
3G4G Small Cells Blog – http://smallcells.3g4g.co.uk/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/3g4gUK
Follow us on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/3g4g
©3G4G

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An Introduction to Macrocells & Small Cells

  • 1. An Introduction to Macrocells & Small Cells @3g4gUK
  • 2. Mobile Towers in Theory ©3G4G
  • 3. Mobile Towers in Theory ©3G4G
  • 4. Mobile Towers in Practice ©3G4G
  • 5. Mobile Towers in Real Life ©3G4G Source: Ofcom
  • 6. Mobile Towers in Real Life
  • 7. Mobile Towers in Real Life BBU + RU Source: National Instruments
  • 8. Mobile Towers in Real Life BBU + RU Source: National Instruments
  • 9. Macrocells ©3G4G Macrocell: • Typical Power: 20 – 40 watts • Typical Height: 15 – 25 metres • Coverage Area: 25 – 40 km • Typical number of simultaneous users served: >200 per sector/per frequency • Location: Tower (urban/rural), Top of buildings (urban) • Backhaul: Fiber, Microwave, DSL • Cost: $$$$$$$$$
  • 10. Macrocell Connections & Terminology ©3G4G BBU + Router RRU / RRH Fronthaul (CPRI) Service Provider Datacenter Backhaul
  • 11. Centralized RAN (C-RAN) / BBU Hostelling ©3G4G RRU / RRH Fronthaul (CPRI) Service Provider Datacenter Backhaul BBU Hostel
  • 12. Cloud RAN (C-RAN) ©3G4G RRU / RRH Fronthaul (CPRI) Service Provider Datacenter Backhaul Cloud Datacenter
  • 13. Distributed Antenna System (DAS) ©3G4G Source: Exuberant Solutions Source: AT&T
  • 14. Mini-Macro ©3G4G A mini-macro is the same as macrocell with the following differences: • Single sector • Single frequency • Single RAT (e.g., 2G/3G/4G) or Multi-RAT (e.g., 3G & 4G) • Antenna height typically: 8 – 10 meters • Backhaul: Microwave, Mesh, Fiber, DSL – typically lower bandwidth than macrocell Note: All the above is general guidance. Deployments can vary significantly for each operator
  • 15. Mini-Macro ©3G4G #Vodafone new Mini Macro mast with all the. Gear in the Base. As to be shortly deployed in #Porthcurno #Cornwall ( but taller of course! 8m) - @Phonemast on Twitter
  • 17. Why do we need ‘Small Cells’ ©3G4G
  • 18. Why do we need ‘Small Cells’ ©3G4G
  • 19. Why do we need ‘Small Cells’ ©3G4G Source: Zahid Ghadialy Source: The Telegraph
  • 20. Why do we need ‘Small Cells’ ©3G4G Source: TravelSkills
  • 21. Definition of Small Cells ©3G4G Small cells or small cellular base stations encompass a number of different technologies but one could describe them as anything that's not a typical macro site. They are deployed to solve network capacity issues in a relatively small area, like a hot spot or an important zone that is a subset of the umbrella macro site coverage. “From our world, everything is a small cell if its not nailed to a tower. So it could be Wi-Fi, Indoor / Outdoor, DAS, Femtocells, Metrocells, Remote Radioheads, Microcells and Signal Boosters as well…” - Iain Gillott, Founder and President, IGR Research
  • 22. Definition of Small Cells ©3G4G ‘Small cells’ is an umbrella term for operator-controlled, low- powered radio access nodes, including those that operate in licensed spectrum and unlicensed carrier-grade Wi-Fi. Small cells typically have a range from 10 meters to several hundred meters. Types of small cells include femtocells, picocells and microcells – broadly increasing in size from femtocells (the smallest) to microcells (the largest). Any or all of these small cells can be based on ‘femtocell technology’ – i.e. the collection of standards, software, open interfaces, chips and know-how that have powered the growth of femtocells.
  • 23. My definition of ‘Small Cells’ ©3G4G • Small form factor • Complete base station (contains BBU + RU + optionally Router)
  • 24. Ericsson’s Radio Dot Small Cell ©3G4G Source: Ericsson
  • 26. My definition of ‘Small Cells’ ©3G4G • Small form factor • Complete base station (contains BBU + RU + optionally Router) • Low power consumption → Not necessarily low power output • ‘Licensed’ or ‘Unlicensed’ spectrum • Does not include non-cellular technologies like Wi-Fi, etc., unless used in conjunction with cellular technologies • ‘Indoor’ and/or ‘Outdoor’ deployment • Deployed for ‘Coverage’, ‘Capacity’, ‘Densification’, ‘High Throughput’, ‘Improved Signal Quality’, ‘Improved User Experience’, ‘Value-added Services’, ‘Smart Application’, ‘Proximity marketing’, etc.
  • 27. Characteristics of ‘Small Cells’ ©3G4G • Easy and straightforward to deploy • Femtocells should be deployed by the end-users themselves • Other types of small cells should be easily deployed by low- skilled installers • SON capability (centralized, distributed or hybrid) • Self-configuration • Self-optimization and interference management for ad-hoc deployments • Synchronized to the macro network • Mainly for urban & dense deployments • Flexibility on backhaul capability
  • 28. Types of Small Cells ©3G4G • Femtocells – Residential & Enterprise • Picocells – Sometimes referred to as ‘Indoor Metrocells’ • Microcells – Sometimes referred to as ‘Metrocells’ or ‘Outdoor Metrocells’ • Meadowcells – Rural Small Cells Source: Qualcomm
  • 29. Wi-Fi ©3G4G Wi-Fi Access Point: • Typical Power: 200 milliwatts • Typical Height: N/a • Coverage Area: Typically 100 metres • Typical number of simultaneous users served: 250 • Location: Indoors or Outdoors • Backhaul: Wired – (A)DSL / Fiber • Cost: $
  • 30. Femtocell (Residential & Enterprise) ©3G4G Femtocell (Residential & Enterprise): • Typical Power: 100 milliwatts • Typical Height: N/a – Indoor locations • Coverage Area: Typically 50 metres • Typical number of simultaneous users served: 8 for residential, 16 for enterprise • Location: Indoors • Backhaul: Wired – (A)DSL / Fiber • Cost: $$
  • 31. Picocell / Indoor Metrocell ©3G4G Picocell / Indoor Metrocell: • Typical Power: 250 milliwatts • Typical Height: N/a – Indoor locations • Coverage Area: Typically 250 metres • Typical number of simultaneous users served: 32 – 64 • Location: Indoors • Backhaul: Wired – (A)DSL / Fiber • Cost: $$$
  • 32. Microcells / Outdoor Metrocells ©3G4G Microcells / Outdoor Metrocells: • Typical Power: 2 – 5 watts • Typical Height: 8 – 10 metres • Coverage Area: 500m – 3km • Typical number of simultaneous users served: 32 - 200 • Location: Small towers, Buildings, Lampposts • Backhaul: Fiber, Microwave, Mesh, DSL • Cost: $$$$ Source: Commscope
  • 33. Meadowcells (Rural Small Cells) ©3G4G Meadowcells (Rural Small Cells): • Typical Power: 5 – 40 watts • Typical Height: 5 – 15 metres • Coverage Area: 1 – 10 km • Typical number of simultaneous users served: 32 – 64 • Location: Tower, Buildings (top or side), Rooftop • Backhaul: Satellite, Mesh, Microwave, (A)DSL, LTE Backhaul • Cost: $$$$
  • 35. The Size of a Cell ©3G4G Depends on: • Antenna mast height and tilt • Frequency • Higher frequency means smaller cell sizes • Power • Higher power results in larger cell size
  • 36. Importance of Frequency selection ©3G4G 2.1GHz 900MHz Higher frequency means faster decay Lower frequency means more number of users in a given cell Higher frequency gets reflected from walls and have poor penetration Lower frequency gets attenuated from walls but still penetrates
  • 37. More Examples of Small Cells ©3G4G Telefónica LTE Nano
  • 38. More Examples of Small Cells ©3G4G Sprint’s Magic Box on Drone
  • 39. More Examples of Small Cells ©3G4G AT&T’s Flying COW
  • 40. More Examples of Small Cells ©3G4G KDDI Small Cell Lamppost
  • 41. More Examples of Small Cells ©3G4G Ericsson & Philips Small Cells in Lampposts Source: Left & Right
  • 42. More Examples of Small Cells ©3G4G BT/EE’s Helikite for providing coverage during emergency and disaster recovery scenarios.
  • 43. Repeaters vs Relays vs Small Cells ©3G4G Repeaters Relays Small Cells with LTE Backhaul Receive, Amplify and Re-transmit. Also known as ‘Signal Booster’ or ‘Layer 1 Relay’. From a UE point of view, the repeater signal and macro signal would appear to be the same Receive, Demodulate & Decode, Encode & Modulate, Amplify & Transmit. Also known as ‘Layer 2 relay’. From a UE point of view, the relay signal and macro signal would appear to be the same (in case of in- band frequency) Complete basestation with its own ‘cell identity’. Frequency Same frequency, even though in theory it could be different frequency Transmission can be in-band (same freq) or out-of-band (different frequency) Transmission can be same or different frequency but interference mitigation may be required in case of in-band frequency. Advantages • Simple • Inexpensive • Very little extra latency introduced • No changes in base station needed • Noise is eliminated • Comparatively simpler operation • Noise is eliminated • No changes in base station needed Disadvantages • Noise is amplified along with the desired signal • Radio functions may be needed between relay and base station • Complex and slightly expensive • Extra latency introduced • More expensive than repeaters and relays • Higher latency than others
  • 45. Thank You To learn more, visit: 3G4G Website – http://www.3g4g.co.uk/ 3G4G Blog – http://blog.3g4g.co.uk/ 3G4G Small Cells Blog – http://smallcells.3g4g.co.uk/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/3g4gUK Follow us on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/3g4g ©3G4G