NEC develops simulator to test LTE

Technology helps in network deployment

Japan's NEC said it has successfully completed and tested a network simulator for network optimisation of LTE (long term evolution), the next generation mobile broadband standard.

NEC claimed that its three-dimensional self-organising network (SON) is a world's first and can help mobile operators deploy the LTE network efficiently. It can also help in stabilising network operations as the network can obtain data for analysis even without sending people out to the field.

To prove this, NEC said it conducted a trial SON simulation with 25 base stations within a six sq km area of Yokohama, Japan. The test confirmed that "the base stations' handover configurations were automatically optimised and dropped calls were prevented. It was also confirmed that base station energy consumption was saved, without degrading communication quality, through implementation of an autonomous sleep control that responded to the hour of the day."

The handover process involved the switching radio cells that users are connected to while they are changing locations.

Tests

With the help of SON, mobile operators can measure the quality of network data based on data obtained from operational base stations and user terminals. This can be done even without field surveys. The SON set-up can also test for radio quality without requiring dedicated measurement instruments.

"NEC has developed the 'three-dimensional Simulator for LTE SON' in order to verify the effectiveness of SON in urban settings by evaluating LTE system performance amid three-dimensional radio propagation," the company said.

The network simulator tested radiowave activities to try to determine if terrain and buildings affect performance. It was also able to simulate user scenarios in an urban setting with urban features, such as road width, intersection geometry, building size and number taken into account. NEC said the results from its simulations using the SON are more accurate than other user mobility models.

NEC said it intends to incorporate verified SON into NEC base stations and network management systems.

NEC demonstrated the simulator at the recently concluded 'Mobile World Congress 2010' exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.

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