The addition of small cells (small cells in English), will be of great importance for the management of broadband networks in the future, from the perspective of 5G. In Japan, NTT Docomo has described a multilayer architecture using the concept of ghost cell, which consists of allowing the overlay of a small cell by a macro cell.
NTT Docomo’s mobile network engineering director, Fujio Watanabe, emphasizes the importance of combining the massive development of MIMO (transmit and receive antenna multiplication) technologies, ghost cells and use of high frequencies to meet ever-increasing requirements in terms of capacity.
The idea is to separate the control plane and the data plane to benefit from the advantages of the macro cell and the small cell. Indeed, the control plane part would remain attached to the macro cell, in order to benefit from the better connectivity of the macro and its interest in mobility (using lower frequency bands); the data plane portion would pass through the small cell, which provides better throughput with better energy efficiency (using higher frequency bands).
The phone would therefore simultaneously be in communication with the macro cell and the small cell, on different frequencies.
SK Telecom in partnership with OEM Ericsson has announced the development of a new technology for small cells that eliminates the need for the handover.
The development of small cell technologies is important for SK Telecom, which has more than 11 million LTE subscribers since June 2013.
SK Telecom worked with Ericsson to develop cell transfer technology in March 2013. The technology is designed to improve the transmission rate from 1.5 to 2 times, and the total cell system capacity from 5 to 10%. SK Telecom plans to apply this technology to its mobile network in the first half of 2014.
In addition, SK Telecom and Ericsson have demonstrated a technology called Reduced-Power Subframe (RPS), which is an enhanced version of SK Telecom’s enhanced inter-cell interference coordination technology. eICIC), one of the main technologies of LTE-Advanced.