Mobility Development Group Newsletter

October 2015

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More Than a Network…It’s an Experience Webinar

Todd Cotts, Director of Product Management at Mosaik Solutions, discusses the importance of understanding the difference between the mobile network consumers (MNCs) expectation and their experience on mobile networks, how to measure, map and analyze the MNC’s experience and compare it to marketed mobile network coverage and much more.

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Featured Article

Small Cells: Accelerating the Move to Smart Cities
By Tony Lutz, Director of Business Development, Qualcomm, Inc.


  1. Executive Summary
  2. Connectivity in Cities
  3. Small Cells
  4. Qualcomm® Small Cells Leadership
  5. Conclusion

1 Executive Summary

By 2050, 66% of the world’s population is projected to reside in cities, up from 50% today [1]. At the same time, global mobile data traffic has been steadily growing. It is on pace to increase by 1000x over the next decade with the rise in mobile device use.

Urbanization, combined with this phenomenal growth in mobile data usage, will put a strain on existing communications infrastructure. The mobile industry and the latest wireless technologies can provide the answers to effectively counter this formidable challenge. Intelligent connectivity is an essential component of the city’s infrastructure. Connectivity involves upfront planning, and it must be rapidly deployable and scalable on new, retrofit, and legacy assets.

In this paper, we discuss how Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) and its subsidiaries are addressing the mobile data challenge through technologies, including small cells and the use of LTE in unlicensed spectrum. By bringing base stations much closer to users, small cells enhance the mobile experience. Widespread deployment of small cells helps mobile networks cope with the skyrocketing demand for mobile data capacity and provides consumers with reliable, robust high-speed connectivity. The use of small cells and Wi-Fi to offload mobile data traffic is on the rise. According to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), 46% of data traffic was offloaded from mobile networks in 2014 and Cisco is betting that number will grow to 54% by 2019.[2]

In addition, 56 percent of operators rated “site acquisition” as a key barrier to outdoor small cell deployment.[3]  Cities can help solve this hurdle by providing physical access to the various types of places needed for deployment, including light posts, bus stops, existing cable and utility assets, buildings, and other street furniture. In our work with municipalities and cities we are helping them to explore how traditional city infrastructure such as light posts or trash receptacles can serve as extensions of the cities’ services, providing connectivity, edge computing, and more.

Qualcomm Incorporated, a wireless industry pioneer, is at the forefront of wireless technology innovation to enable the best possible and unified connectivity using all available technologies, including LTE Advanced, Wi-Fi, small cells, and now LTE Advanced in the unlicensed spectrum. Qualcomm not only excels in envisioning the impossible, but in inventing, developing, commercializing, and bringing its vision to fruition.

2  Connectivity in Cities

As the population in today’s cities and urban areas – defined by sustainability, economic growth, and high quality of life – continues to rise, it becomes increasingly important that those areas are adequately equipped with technologies that are future-proofed or can anticipate, and quickly scale to meet the needs of their growing number of citizens. This is particularly critical as people, places, and things are increasingly connected worldwide.


Figure 2.1 Multiple Deployments of Small Cells

Smart, connected experiences have dramatically increased the amount of data moving among people and devices globally. In fact, global mobile data traffic grew 69 percent in 2014 and Cisco predicts mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57 percent from 2014 to 2019, reaching 24.3 exabytes per month by 2019.[4]


Figure 2.2 Macro Cells vs. Small Cells vs Wi-Fi coverage

Moreover, with the rise in mobile device use, data traffic is on pace to increase by more than a thousand times over the next decade. Qualcomm calls this the “1000x challenge” and we are developing solutions to address it. Analysts estimate the Internet of Everything (all objects that are connected and individually addressable containing sensing, monitoring, actuating, and/or processing capabilities) will reach approximately 25 billion units by 2020.[5]  With every new person, device, and thing on the network, continuous coverage and connectivity are paramount.

Challenges of this magnitude require both new resources and a radically different approach to acquiring, deploying, and managing network resources. The mobile industry and the latest wireless technologies can provide the answers to effectively counter this formidable challenge. And there is a clear road map for more solutions in the future.

A key underlying challenge for cities and urban areas is to provide for a modern, scalable communications infrastructure. They need to become “smart cities” with infrastructure to support seamlessly connecting their people, places, and things.

As mobile data demand continues to increase exponentially due to existing and emerging devices and emergent applications, small cells will play a pivotal role. Effective connectivity will require multiple small cells, e.g., micros, picos, and femtos; a mix of technologies, e.g., 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi; and deployments by operators as well as users. These access points can focus a huge amount of data capacity where it is needed the most and bring the network closer to users. Small cells also can offer new sources of revenue for smart cities.

By 2050, 66% of the world’s population will reside in cities, up from 50% today. This urbanization is a worldwide trend: the United Nations forecasts that by 2050, urban dwellers will account for 86 percent of the population in developed countries and 64 percent of the population in emerging regions.[6]

This dramatic demographic shift puts stress on every aspect of a city’s infrastructure. The wireless capacity improvements generated by deploying small cells can help improve the livability, workability, and sustainability of a city.

3 Small Cells

Small cells are one solution that can play an important role in addressing the capacity needs caused by increased data demand. Small cells is an umbrella term for operator-controlled, low-powered radio access nodes, including those that operate in licensed spectrum and unlicensed carrier-grade Wi-Fi. Small cells typically have a range from 10 meters to several hundred meters.[7]

Carriers traditionally have deployed macro cell networks. Over the past 10 years, this was one of the best ways to roll out coverage to the greatest number of people. However, the larger the area covered by an antenna, the more diluted the signal becomes. This is why the industry is moving from macro cells that cover square kilometers to hybrid networks incorporating small cells that cover square meters. Small cells complement traditional macro networks and allow denser use of spectrum, making the network heterogeneous and providing capacity where needed. With more dense coverage, each user enjoys a better mobile experience. And with data usage doubling every year – 1000x the requirements from mobile devices over the next 10 years – this becomes critical, especially in dense urban environments.

To reach the 1000x capacity goal, we will need many more small cells. We will need them everywhere (indoors and outdoors), at all possible venues (neighborhoods and enterprises), and they must be capable of managing multiple technologies, e.g., 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi. Figure 2.1 illustrates how small cells can be used in various deployment scenarios.

As small cells become available, they can extend the cell radius from the 150 feet that Wi-Fi (802.11ac wave 2) provides, to more than 300 feet.[8]  This means more people inside buildings and on the streets around the city experience improved connectivity. Since small cells are part of the operator’s larger macro network, mobile services work seamlessly, improving the user experience. Figure 2.2 shows a conceptual illustration of the coverage areas of macro cells, small cells, and Wi-Fi.

LTE and Wi-Fi technologies are converging in small cells. Combining Wi-Fi into traditionally LTE-based small cells are emerging as defining elements of a robust wireless network architecture and raise the bar for a truly connected city. Small cells are commercially deployed in shopping centers, country clubs, major theme parks, campuses, tunnels, and enterprise environments. A long-term citywide infrastructure project centered on managed connectivity that excludes small cells could risk eventual obsolescence due to the expected demand for data.


Figure 3.1 UltraSON integration with small cell macro network

Cities will need a comprehensive approach with heterogeneous networks supporting different connectivity modes. Dense deployment of cells, no matter what technology, brings the challenge of interference, which progressively degrades the capacity. But 3G/4G small cells have advanced interference management techniques that control interference and help to ensure that the capacity scales with the increase in density.

Small cells can be deployed virtually anywhere that power and backhaul are available. Alcatel-Lucent, one of the leading vendors of small cell equipment, has a partnership that will put more small cells on urban street furniture such as bus stops, benches, and billboards.

Alcatel-Lucent has partnered with its neighbor in Paris, JCDecaux, which calls itself the “number one outdoor advertising company worldwide.” Together, the two companies will develop connected street furniture to boost cellular capacity in dense urban areas. JCDecaux has been part of Alcatel-Lucent’s Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program, through which Alcatel-Lucent helps mobile operators identify locations and backhaul solutions for small cells.

“We’re pulling together all the new non-tower ecosystem partners — advertising companies, they own infrastructure, street furniture, backhaul, and installers … what we’re doing is training all of them to be deployers of carrier-grade equipment,” said Mike Schabel, Alcatel-Lucent’s VP of small cells, speaking to RCR Wireless News when Alcatel-Lucent launched the small cell site certification program. “We have access to all of their inventory and their assets, so we’re able to cross the street furniture assets with the backhaul assets.”[9]

In addition, cities can offer small cells as a service to major carriers, generating a new source of revenue for municipalities.

4 Qualcomm® Small Cells Leadership

QTI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, is actively driving standards for small cells in both 3GPP and the Small Cell Forum. QTI implements these standards in its FSM™ chipsets and UltraSON™ software. QTI is also extending LTE to unlicensed spectrum by aggregating it with LTE in licensed spectrum and ensuring that LTE in unlicensed spectrum (LTE-U) can coexist fairly with Wi-Fi.

FSM9xxx small cell chipsets
QTI offers a variety of small cell solutions on the FSM™ platform (FSM9xxx includes 92xx, 98xx, 99xx and 90xx) and software options to address multiple product types and applications. These reference designs include QTI’s industry-leading RF, security, power management, and Gigabit Ethernet technologies.

The entire small cell portfolio from QTI brings our vision of more efficient and cost-effective small cells to address the 1000x challenge one step closer.

FSM90xx small cell chipsets
QTI unveiled its FSM90xx family of chipsets in June 2014, with commercial products expected in 2015. This family expands our small cell portfolio to deliver better value and performance for small and medium businesses, neighborhoods, and residential markets.

The new FSM90xx family is designed to deliver the performance that residential and small business customers need to take full advantage of converged Wi-Fi and cellular access points and wireless routers, with industry-leading total cost of ownership.

The FSM90xx family can be used for standalone access points or for modules and cards that plug into existing residential products

FSM99xx small cell chipsets
The FSM99xx family of chipsets, unveiled in 2013, became commercially available in 2014. These small cell solutions offer one of the industry’s most feature-rich chipsets, combining 3G and 4G with concurrent 3G and 4G operation, with an option for 802.11ac Wi-Fi, in a scalable, power-efficient package.

FSM99xx is also highly scalable, which means it is suitable for small cells of relatively lower capacity (e.g., 32 users) for enterprises as well as high-capacity (e.g., 128 users) metro/pico cells for scenarios like hotspots on lamp posts and anything in between.

Most importantly, FSM99xx and our other small cell solutions benefit from QTI’s deep understanding and unparalleled expertise in developing and standardizing 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, and the other associated technologies integrated into it.

All of QTI’s FSM solutions feature advanced HetNet and SON techniques, such as interference and mobility management features in the UltraSON suite, that simplify deployments by optimizing the way small cells interact with one another and with the macro network.

Small cells based on QTI FSM chipsets can be deployed in public parks, buildings, and venues, because QTI FSM chipsets are commercial devices that have completed formal FCC product certifications with publicly available test reports showing compliance with regulatory requirements such as spurious emissions and maximum transmit power.

For more information on QTI’s small cell products visit

UltraSON technology
There are two ways to deploy small cells: planned and unplanned. In planned deployments, you factor in RF conditions and use detailed network planning tools. In unplanned deployments, a user plugs the small cell in wherever power and an internet connection is available. To deploy small cells in an unplanned manner and in the same frequency channel as the macro carrier, several challenges must be addressed:

  1. Minimizing downlink interference to macro users
  2. Reducing or eliminating uplink noise that might affect neighboring small cells and macro cells
  3. Providing seamless mobility for users in idle and connected modes; this is a special concern for small cells deployed with closed access

For this reason, small cells need to self-configure so they seamlessly integrate and operate satisfactorily with the existing small cell macro network and provide excellent performance, regardless of their location within a residence or an enterprise within the macro network.

To enable fast, easy deployment even in dense environments, Qualcomm Research, a division of QTI, has developed UltraSON technology, a comprehensive suite of self-organizing network features. The UltraSON suite, which is extensively analyzed and field tested, is currently available in FSM chipsets.

For more information on UltraSON, visit

Wireless backhaul chipset
One of the major challenges to deploying small cell base stations is backhaul. Without cost effective backhaul, it is too expensive to deploy small cells to address the growing demand for mobile data traffic. Existing backhaul solutions include point-to-point microwave, millimeter wave, point-to-multipoint microwave, and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) wireless technologies. QTI’s wireless backhaul chipset, DAN3200, allows OEMs to offer integrated line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight wireless backhaul to reduce the cost of outdoor small cell deployments. The DAN3200 provides a single-chip, full-duplex gigabit+ backhaul pipeline in any spectrum.

LTE Advanced in unlicensed spectrum
As part of our effort to address the 1000x challenge, QTI is looking for ways to better utilize available spectrum.

Extending the benefits of LTE to unlicensed spectrum brings LTE’s basic tenets of high-efficiency and robust mobility, while also making it a seamless extension of the larger LTE Advanced network. This results in higher performance for operators and better broadband experience for users, and a common unified network for all spectrum types.

Since a unified network with common core and integrated small cells offers the same LTE Advanced service on both licensed and unlicensed spectrum, users get the most seamless mobility between the two. Additionally, carrier aggregation between the licensed and unlicensed bands creates a fatter data pipe while the anchor in the licensed spectrum provides reliability. In essence, users get an enhanced mobile broadband experience.

LTE-U provides better capacity and range than carrier Wi-Fi. This results in requiring fewer access points to provide the same coverage as carrier Wi-Fi or to get more capacity with the same number of access points. A unified network with improved performance means cost savings in terms of network deployment, operation and management.

LTE-U is a good neighbor with Wi-Fi, and has many provisions going far beyond the minimum requirements to ensure fair coexistence. These include adhering to spectrum regulations with specific requirements such as Listen Before Talk (LBT), standards and specifications as part of 3GPP, as well as possible conformance tests before commercial release of devices.

QTI has demonstrated the performance of LTE-U as well its fair co-existence with Wi-Fi at major trade shows, utilizing our over-the-air test network in San Diego.

For more information on LTE-U, visit

5 Conclusion

For 30 years, Qualcomm’s ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment, and each other. Today we are doing even more to bring efficiency, safety, and sustainability to the future of urban living at every level. Our technologies and products provide the foundational connectivity capabilities for multiple smart city applications in the energy, transportation, buildings, and vertical infrastructure.

QTI is working with ecosystem partners to:

  • Serve as a technical advisor to help determine the right connectivity solutions
  • Serve in a technology planning role, helping municipalities and townships maximize their physical assets while providing enhanced services to their citizens and communities
  • Provide intelligent connectivity solutions via cellular, 3G, small cells, and related technology
  • Provide machine-to-machine capability for city infrastructure
  • Connect producers with service providers within cities

QTI also is enabling a wide range of solutions in the smart space, for example:

a-towerSmart Energy – Smart grids and load management utilize advanced grid devices and sensors that make it easy to monitor and manage energy consumption in real time.

Smart Transportation – Through smart mobility, traffic and charging we’re using sb-bushort-range communications to relay information about traffic congestion and road hazards, while also reducing overall CO2 emissions through better traffic management and more accessible electric vehicle charging.

Smart Infrastructure – With smart water, recycling and lighting, we are able not only to increase public safety through LED lighting retrofits that inform cities of outages, we are also able to drive up efficiencies by reducing hazards, complications, and costs associated with water and recycling management.

Smart Buildings – Through smart buildings, we’re integrating ubiquitous connectivity across disparate devices, systems, and services to give people and businesses more comprehensive control and access of their buildings.

An expansive QTI portfolio of wide-area and local-area connectivity technologies provides end-to-end solutions with minimal upfront capital expenditures, nominal operational expenses, and lower total cost of ownership for many users. Leveraging these solutions also positions cities with an eye to the future, providing more sustainable solutions that do not require new network build-out.

For more information on how QTI is enabling Smart Cities, see

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.

UltraSON and FSM are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. All Qualcomm Incorporated trademarks are used with permission. Other product and brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Qualcomm Small Cells, UltraSON, FSM, and DAN are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Qualcomm Smart Cities products and services are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Not to be used, copied, reproduced, or modified in whole or in part, nor its contents revealed in any manner to others without the express written permission of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

This technical data may be subject to U.S. and international export, re-export or transfer (“export”) laws. Diversion contrary to U.S. and international law is strictly prohibited.

© 2015 Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
5775 Morehouse Drive
San Diego, CA  92121-1714


[1]  United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects, 2014 Revision

[2]  Cisco Visual Networking Index, February 2015

[3]  Infonetics’ October 2013 Small Cell Coverage Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey

[4]  Cisco Visual Networking Index, February 2015

[5]  Machina Research, February 2014

[6]  United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects, 2014 Revision

[7]  Small Cell Forum

[8]  Coverage may vary based on transmit power, band etc., e.g., small cell coverage could range from 367 feet (2.6 GHz spectrum) to 1100 feet (700MHz)

[9]  RCR Wireless News, Sept. 30, 2014