Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ericsson's Minimalist Radio Dot System Aims to Open Small Cell Market

+Ericsson is looking to open up the small cell market with the introduction of  its Radio Dot System, a disk-shaped remote antenna element about the size of a hockey puck.

The Ericsson Radio Dot is connected via standard Category 5/6/7 Ethernet cabling to a indoor base station.  The Dot delivers 3G and 4G LTE for indoor users using 2X 100 milliwatt output power.  Up to 96 of the dots could be connected to a single base station.  The compact dots can be mounted to ceilings or walls and use Power-over-Ethernet.  As such, it serves as an alternative to distributed antenna systems (DAS) or single-element, broadband-connected femtocells.

Ericsson said its unique Radio Dot System leverages the same technology in its macro base stations, including cell coordination and self-organizing networking capabilities. The company believes that the unit's small size and simplicity of installation will make it far easier and cheaper for carriers to deploy. The design incorporates 14 patents.

Ericsson Radio Dot System supports integration with Ericsson's carrier Wi-Fi portfolio enabling features such as real-time traffic steering to ensure the best user experience across both Wi-Fi and 3GPP networks. Additional Wi-Fi capability, as well as multi-carrier / multi-frequency support are also planned.  FDD-LTE is initially supported with TD-LTE versions on the way.

Johan Wibergh, head of Ericsson Business Unit Networks, says: "With the Radio Dot System we lower the threshold to building indoor coverage. The dot is the most cost-effective, no-compromise solution to the indoor coverage challenges expressed by our customers. It is ultra-small but can scale to virtually unlimited capacity; it is easy to install, future proof and it is 100 percent integrated with existing mobile networks."

Speaking at the Ericsson Analyst Forum in Santa Clara, California, Kris Rinne, Senior Vice President, Network and Product Planning, AT&T Services, said: "Small cells are a key component of AT&T's Project VIP network enhancement program as we seek to constantly improve our customers' mobile Internet experience. Delivering a great wireless experience indoors can present both technical and logistical challenges. A solution like the Ericsson Radio Dot System gives AT&T another tool to choose from in its next-generation toolkit."

The product is expected to be commercially available in late 2014.