The Technology Partnership (TTP) has developed an innovative approach to small cells for use on lamp posts that dramatically simplifies the delivery of urban LTE.

With demand for cellular data continuing to rise and outdoor small cells seen as an essential element in the long-term delivery of high-capacity urban networks, TTP has come up with a new small cell designed specifically for deployment on lamp posts.

The use of lamp posts enables the acquisition of many thousands of suitable sites through negotiation with a single city authority. TTP’s new eNodeB is simply fitted into a lamp post’s standard photocell socket, providing the quickest possible installation without any modification to the lighting column or its power supply. And the compact design meets de minimis planning requirements, to simplify planning consents.

TTP’s prototype eNodeB is based on the Freescale BSC9131 QorIQ Qonverge processor and will be shown for the first time at Mobile World Congress next month on the Freescale stand. It incorporates LTE Access Point software from ip.access and has been demonstrated with the Quortus ECX Core evolved packet core. It is targeted at 50 metre cells, supporting up to 32 active users at downlink rates of up to 100 Mbps.

“There has been a lot of focus on the unit cost of small cells, but less attention has been paid to total cost of deployment,” said Steve Baker at TTP“The costs of site acquisition, planning consents and installation become significant factors when tens or even hundreds of thousands of small cells are considered. The TTP outdoor lamp post cell addresses these challenges head-on.”

The unit presents a Gigabit interface for S1/X2 and provides Power Over Ethernet out, enabling the use of a wide range of streethaul technologies. Such a cell has an obvious role in outdoor densification for busy metro areas but also provides a strong platform for operators adopting an ‘outdoor in’ small cell strategy.

Infrastructure OEMs seeking rapid entry into the emerging outdoor small cells market will have the opportunity to review the prototype eNodeB at the Mobile World Congress (Freescale’s booth 7A80), from March 2—5, 2015. TTP also anticipates interest from mobile network operators looking for a cost-effective way of deploying outdoor small cells and city authorities who wish to understand how their on-street assets could be used to deliver better wireless connectivity.

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