SpiderCloud Introduces a LTE-U Small Cell System for Enterprises and Public Venues

SpiderCloud Wireless, a leading provider of scalable LTE small cell systems has introduced the SpiderCloud Enterprise RAN (E-RAN) system supporting LTE-U for enterprises and public venues. The system combines the Qualcomm FSM Small Cell Platform with SpiderCloud’s scalable small cell systems. It is among the first enterprise scale small cell systems to receive FCC authorization to deliver LTE-U capacity in unlicensed spectrum, while also supporting software upgradability to LTE-LAA.

The system is optimized for large, densely populated indoor environments such as offices, university campuses, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers and sport venues. Based on SpiderCloud’s E-RAN architecture, it includes a Services Node controlling up to 100 self-organizing LTE small cells, capable of delivering coverage and capacity in indoor locations as large as 1.5 million square feet.

The Enterprise RAN with LTE-U introduces a new Radio Node, the SCRN-320, and operating system enhancements to the Services Node. As part of commercialization, the SCRN-320 successfully passed the testing regime defined by Wi-Fi Alliance in the LTE-U Coexistence Test Plan. This testing, in addition to FCC approval, assures enterprise and venue owners that LTE-U and Wi-Fi co-existence has been independently verified.

The SCRN-320 features:

  • LTE Band 2 (PCS) or Band 4 (AWS) licensed radio
  • UNII-1 and 3 Bands unlicensed radio for LTE-U Supplemental Downlink
  • Onboard Wi-Fi baseband chipset to maximize SON benefits and co-existence with other Wi-Fi or LTE-U/LAA devices
  • 64 active LTE users
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE+) attachment to Ethernet front-haul network
  • Software upgradable to LTE-LAA

A Wi-Fi baseband chipset integrated in SCRN-320 enables it to not only sense energy in the 5 GHz (called “energy detection”) band but also to detect Wi-Fi preamble messages (called “preamble detection”), and to inform Wi-Fi access points about SCRN-320’s intent to use the channel. This technique offers superior co-existence with Wi-Fi systems.

The SpiderCloud Services Node assigns unlicensed channels to SCRN-320 using proprietary SON algorithms that minimize interference between LTE small cells and Wi-Fi access points. The Services Node uses SCRN-320 radio nodes to dynamically sense the Wi-Fi environment throughout the building, and uses this information to centrally assign unlicensed channels to LTE small cells. Centralized channel assignment is estimated to boost total system capacity by 20% compared to autonomous small cells making local decisions.

SpiderCloud intends to introduce versions of the SCRN-320 that support licensed bands for European and Asian markets in the second half of 2017 along with LTE-LAA support.

The SpiderCloud SCRN-320 system utilizes the Qualcomm Technologies FSM99xx chipset, enabling support for LTE in unlicensed spectrum as well as best-in-class power consumption and integration for enterprise-grade small cells. FSM also exceeds 3GPP Release 13 requirements for coexistence with Wi-Fi, featuring energy and preamble detection, in addition to Listen before Talk (LBT).