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Study Claims London UK Needs 70000 New Cells for Superfast Mobile Broadband

Posted: 28th Sep, 2011 By: MarkJ
lte mobile broadband uk logoPicochip, which provides technology products that enable new types of cellular (mobile) communications services, has estimated that Mobile Network Operators (MNO) in London (UK) will need to install an additional 70,000 small cells and 2,000 nodes covering the Underground network in order to deliver "genuinely world-class" superfast LTE (4G) based Mobile Broadband services across the capital by 2015.

Picochip's CTO, Doug Pulley, explained:

"For London to offer its residents high speed LTE mobile Internet in 2015, it needs 70,000 small cells and this will also deliver minimal traffic congestion.

With the Olympics just around the corner and the Mayor of London admitting that the networks will struggle to cope, the need for small cells to deliver added coverage and capacity is greater than ever.

While Wi-Fi will offer some respite to the network, ultimately London’s population density means that small cells, deployed in the most congested areas, are the only way for the mobile networks to cope with the traffic."

Picochip, which this week presented its findings to the Bath Basestation Conference, obviously has a vested interest in such conclusions. However smaller cell sites, which for example could be positioned inside large shopping centres or smaller coffee shops, can often be cheaper than having to handle the costs and complications of big (macro) base stations. Then again.. 70,000!

The study also estimated that there would need to be more than 10 million small cells worldwide by end of 2015, in addition to residential femtocells. Picochip's report does perhaps underplay the role of Wi-Fi, which over the next few years is likely to get a major boost from fresh projects by Sky Broadband (BSkyB) and Virgin Media .
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