Thursday, February 21, 2013

NTT Docomo Develops LTE-A C-RAN Architecture

NTT DOCOMO will begin developing high-capacity base stations built with advanced Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architecture for its next-generation LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) mobile system.

The carrier is looking to accelerate the deployment of base stations, especially in high-traffic areas such as train stations and large commercial facilities, for significantly improved data capacity and throughput.

The new C-RAN architecture will enable small "add-on" cells for localized coverage to cooperate with macro cells that provide wider area coverage. This will be achieved with carrier aggregation technology, one of the main LTE-Advanced technologies standardized by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

High-capacity base stations utilizing advanced C-RAN architecture will serve as master base stations both for multiple macro cells covering broad areas and for add-on cells in smaller, high-traffic areas. The base stations will accommodate up to 48 macro and add-on cells at launch and even more later. Carrier aggregation will be supported for cells served by the same base station, enabling the flexible deployment of add-on cells. In addition, maximum downlink throughput will be extendible to 3Gbps, as specified by 3GPP standards.

Docomo estimates that the small add-on cells will significantly increase throughput and system capacity while maintaining mobility performance provided by the macro cell.