Compact LTE networks open new opportunities outside of traditional telco business
I had the occasion to attend Critical Communications World in Hong Kong 2 weeks ago, and as always, it was a very diverse event with visitors from various mission and business critical communications fields gathering together to share latest industry news.
Last year at CCW Amsterdam, we launched the concept of an ultra-compact LTE network, which received a great deal of attention during as well as after the event. Since then, our team has conducted multiple demos and customer presentations around the world, also in collaboration with Nokia Saving Lives, collecting very valuable market and end user feedback. This has been driving the design and feature content of our commercial small cell based deployable system – Nokia Ultra Compact Network. We launched it at CCW Hong Kong and were able to capture the full attention of the industry once again. We also showcased our macro base station based Compact Network, which expands our deployable portfolio to serve use cases beyond the capacity limits of Ultra Compact Network.
Key use cases and drivers for compact LTE networks
- As the critical communications industry is moving towards full LTE networks, gaining experience with this technology is essential. Compact LTE networks offer a very cost efficient way to get familiar with LTE and innovative broadband applications.
- The amount of natural disasters globally with impacts to the existing communications infrastructure is steadily increasing, creating a need for reliable, rapidly deployable communication systems for rescue workers.
- Data demand in private communication networks is growing rapidly, especially with the introduction of video communications and industry-specific broadband applications. Small scale LTE networks can quickly respond to the need for dedicated capacity and coverage with the benefit of predictable bandwidth, not impacted by peak-time traffic fluctuations in the commercial networks.
- New real-time applications require very low latency, which can be addressed with deployments of dedicated, local core networks instead of centralized processing in data centers. Nokia Ultra Compact Network has an embedded micro core and can serve multiple eNodeBs, which makes it ideal for small scale private LTE deployments for enterprises, industrial customers, and public safety.
- Portable solutions are also suitable for extending the reach of broadband connectivity in locations, where the macro network does not provide coverage – like remote scarcely inhabited areas, forests, mountains or underground locations. Similarly, they can quickly add temporary coverage and capacity in peak load situations such as mass events.
Apart from our leading LTE technology, we focused on simple operation for first responders and other non-technical users. Ultra Compact Network is operational in just minutes with a single power-on button, and we introduced a touchscreen user interface with wizard-like functions to ensure that there is no need to understand deeply how the different components of this complex system operate. This simplified operation saves valuable time in demanding and critical conditions.
Looking back at the many interesting discussions and presentations at CCW, I see that there are big opportunities in the mission and business critical space for companies who share the common interest of accelerating the adoption of mobile broadband and offer new capabilities and enhanced situational awareness for the end users.
As an industry, we are ready to look ahead and build a safe connected future.
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