Home Page ContentPress Releases Flexi Zone quenches thirst for mobile broadband, slashes cost per bit #MWC12

Flexi Zone quenches thirst for mobile broadband, slashes cost per bit #MWC12

by david.nunes
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain – February 21, 2012
Flexi Zone quenches thirst for mobile broadband, slashes cost per bit #MWC12
  • Latest addition to Nokia Siemens Networks Liquid Radio serves high density areas
  • Further small cell and indoor coverage solutions also launched in Barcelona
Nokia Siemens Networks has invented a way to deliver mobile broadband across areas with a very high user density more efficiently than ever before. Multiple, locally managed access points are used to create a network of interconnected ‘small cells’* creating a ‘Flexi Zone’ of mobile broadband coverage with a single connection back to an operator’s network. Flexi Zones allow virtually unlimited scaling of capacity as each zone can have up to 100 access points and yet behave, from the network point of view, as a single base station. The company is launching its Flexi Zone approach at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona.
Building on Nokia Siemens Networks’ Liquid Radio architecture, Flexi Zone is aimed at areas of high density usage, such as business campuses, shopping malls, or sports stadia. Flexi Zone can also reduce the cost per bit for operators by more than 50% compared to adding capacity through additional, larger, macro sites.
Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Zone comprises multiple, inter-connected low-power small cells that use a common pool of resources managed flexibly by a zone controller**. These clusters of HSPA, LTE and WiFi access points complement the macro-cellular network to deliver the best coverage and capacity where and when required. Flexi Zone allows local offloading of Internet traffic, saving up to 80% of transport and mobile packet core costs.
With its compact and highly integrated access points, Flexi Zone redefines how small cells are deployed. Based on the new architecture, each cluster of cells requires only one traditional connection to the network. Within the cluster, operators can benefit from more flexible ‘street level’ wireless connections (for instance WiFi, LTE). This can significantly reduce an operator’s network planning and installation work, because only an electrical power supply is needed to deploy Flexi Zone access points on lamp posts and other street furniture. Placing the access points as close as possible to subscribers achieves the best mobile broadband customer experience.
“Flexi Zone leverages the capabilities of small cells to create a seamless hot zone for a superior mobile broadband experience. Flexi Zone is the first small cells implementation using Liquid Radio baseband pooling, with a novel architecture that simplifies the deployment and operation of a small cell network. It’s the perfect answer to the conundrum facing operators who must constantly scale up network capacity to meet booming demand, while at the same time limiting their costs,” said Thorsten Robrecht, head of Network Systems product management, Nokia Siemens Networks.
Using the company’s Self Organizing Networks (SON)*** offering, operators can automate the network management of small cell clusters and evolve to a unified heterogeneous network using a variety of radio technologies, cell sizes and frequency bands.
In addition to launching Flexi Zone, Nokia Siemens Networks is enhancing its small cells portfolio by launching:
  • 3G Femto Access Points for residential and enterprise use;
  • FlexiPacket Lite Microwave****, a cost-effective, compact and easy-to-install backhaul solution for zero footprint small cell base stations and rural Ethernet backhaul;
  • In-Building Solutions – an approach that comprises all the technology and services required to implement bespoke indoor voice and data services. Delivering quality, flexibility and simplicity, In-Building Solutions enable reliable mobile broadband connectivity by significantly improving network capacity and coverage inside buildings. The comprehensive offering includes: strategic planning, design and dimensioning, as well as site acquisition, supply, project management and complete full turnkey implementation, along with testing and optimization of the network.
Operators, press and analysts are welcome to view Nokia Siemens Networks’ complete portfolio***** for small cells at the Mobile World Congress in the company’s networks area booth 4.
To share your thoughts on the topic, join the discussion on Twitter using #MWC12, #MBBFuture and #mobilebroadband.
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About Nokia Siemens Networks
Nokia Siemens Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly.
With headquarters in Espoo, Finland, we operate in over 150 countries and had revenues of over 14 billion euros in 2011. http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com
Media Enquiries
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*Flexi Zone redefines the deployment of small cells. Traditional small cells solve coverage and capacity issues in mobile broadband networks. Instead of adding more macro cells, smalls cells (micro or pico cells) can be deployed as an additional layer under the macro layer. Conventionally, small cell base stations deployed for additional coverage or capacity use the same architecture as macro base stations. This requires each small cell base station to be connected to the network using wired backhaul or microwave links that are often unsuited to street-level deployments.
In contrast, Flexi Zone enables the use of compact and highly integrated access points by pooling some base station baseband processing resources into the Flexi Zone controller and by distributing the remaining baseband processing across the access points. Using a novel zone architecture, the controller and access points are interconnected with near and non line of sight wireless technologies that are perfectly suited to street-level deployments. This allows access points to be deployed freely in hot zones as close to subscribers as possible. The new zone architecture behaves as a single base station, requiring only one traditional backhaul connection to the network.
**The Flexi Zone controller is based on Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station baseband module which is also used for macro cell base station deployments.
***Self-Organizing Networks (SON) is a key enabler of Liquid Radio with SON for heterogeneous radio networks providing automated network management of multi-radio access technology, traffic steering and mobility management to address the challenges of seamless connectivity with efficient and reliable traffic distribution between cells, different radio access technologies and layers.
****Nokia Siemens Networks FlexiPacket Lite Microwave is a point-to-point microwave solution in the sub-6 GHz frequency band, optimized for conventional small cell base station backhaul, rural macro cells, connecting a Flexi Zone network to a radio controller or Evolved Packet Core (EPC), and for rural Ethernet backhaul where full or partial line of sight is available. The solution comprises a complete microwave system in a compact outdoor box with standard (Ethernet) interfaces and integrated antenna. FlexiPacket Lite Microwave seamlessly works together with the other FlexiPacket family transport products and Nokia Siemens Networks base stations.
*****Nokia Siemens Networks provides a complete portfolio of small cell products for micro and pico cells: Conventional small base stations like Flexi Lite Base Station and products that implement Femto, Smart Wireless LAN, Distributed Antennas, repeaters, small cell backhauling and SON. Complemented by professional services to plan, install, integrate, maintain, optimize and operate small cells, the company helps operators to provide their customers with the best mobile broadband experience.

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