John C. Tanner
08 Sep 2010
Hallwachs of DesignArt also distinguishes between femtocells – often touted as an offload solution to help cellcos manage spectrum capacity – and carrier-class case stations in relation to extra cells. “The sites we’re talking about will have to be software upgradeable, support remote management, and other things not associated with femtocells.”
That said, Hallwachs added, site acquisition can be more flexible if vendors develop base station designs that can make use of walls, traffic lights and lampposts. “Vendors need a flexible portfolio to address all operator realities and deliver different form factors within the same development framework.”
Philippe Poggianti, VP of LTE at Alcatel-Lucent, said Bell Labs is working on just that. “By 2012, maybe, you will see antenna panels the size of an A3 sheet of paper that can be mounted on lampposts.”
Meanwhile, Enyen Cheong – APAC marketing manager for test and measurement at JDSU – argued that the economics of LTE still make more sense when looking at the total cost of ownership. “It’s not just the RAN sites, but also the flat IP architecture, Ethernet backhaul and related opex savings.”
Christian Daignault, chief technology officer of CSL, said that for operators the business case for LTE is its opex efficiency gains.
“If you don’t deploy LTE, eventually your network will cost a lot more to run as your traffic grows,” he said.