Ubiquisys announces Intel powered small cells

Ubiquisys, the femtocell vendor, has announced a partnership with chip manufacturer Intel to develop a new range of intelligent small cell base stations. The devices will feature Ubiquisys application software and will be powered by Intel architecture.

The small cells will be available in a variety of configurations and will be powered either by Intel Atom, Core, or Xeon processors depending on operator requirements. They will run WCDMA, LTE and wifi in the same box and according to Ubiquisys will bring new levels of compute power to the femtocell sector.

“What we’re talking about today is a completely new type of small cell”, Keith Day, VP Marketing of Ubiquisys told “The Intel powered cells have powerful computing capacity and abundant storage so they have the ability to do things that small cells simply haven’t been able to before.”

The cells are designed to cache local data enabling faster performance for end users. It will also help to significantly reduce the strain on operator networks, thus lowering their backhaul costs.

As an example Day described a scenario where a football stadium offered video highlights to all match attendees with the content stored locally on the small cells, rather than being pulled from the internet.

“If you imagine a deployment scenario of these hotspots under a single macro cell, what you have is a cloud of computing resources, which are bringing data and applications much closer to the point of use for mobile data users,” said Day.

“On this computing platform you could for example cache local data, such as a football stadium with an internet video feed, and rather than being taken from the web it would be cached locally. If you’re doing Twitter upload the cell can take care of all of that as well.

“Any localised data that otherwise would come from the internet onto the handset is transformed when you put a small cell in,” Day added. “It caches things locally so that’s it’s much closer to the user, and the distance from the small cell to the user’s handsets is also very, very small and the actual data rates are much, much higher – so the actual performance, per user, is much higher.”

Will Franks, CTO of Ubiquisys added, “What we’ve done here is to put significant compute power at the [network] edge – it’s not been done before.”

Ubiquisys said the Intel powered small cells would appear on the market in 2012.

According to a recent Informa Telecoms & Media survey, 61 per cent of responders said that they believed that small cells would be more important than macro cells for effective deployment of LTE networks.

The fourth annual LTE North America Conference takes place in Texas, US, November 8-9

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