Small cells are big business for telecom service providers looking to better serve their data-hungry customers.
Yet as data use skyrockets, so does demand on the networks. Information and communication technology companies are challenged to find ways to deliver faster and more efficient cellular connectivity with their existing 3G networks.
The answer may lie in small cells, a relatively new market for Broadcom that helps operators get the most out of their networks and delivers seamless connectivity to heavy data users.
Think of small cells as mini base stations. They are similar to Wi-Fi access points, but run over a licensed spectrum that can be deployed quickly and inexpensively inside an office building, someone’s home or at a crowded public space. They boost network signals, thereby improving 3G network coverage and capacity. Users don’t notice them and only see the benefits: faster data rates and higher voice quality.
Cellular service providers are increasingly looking to small cells and Wi-Fi to help their customers get better coverage indoors and in crowded outdoor hot spots. Sales of small cells are expected to hit $2 billion by 2016, according to an Infonetics study this year. That’s why Huawei, a one of China’s top telecommunications companies, tapped Broadcom’s Small Cell Baseband Processor family for its small cell access point deployments. The announcement comes out of the Small Cell Global Congress this week in Berlin.
Broadcom small cell technology is being incorporated into Huawei’s ePicoxx product line. The technologies pave the way for improved 3G cellular network performance, helping indoor and outdoor hotspots deliver speedy connections that use less power and, in turn, cost less money.