Greater emphasis in recent years on simplified network management is in line with other efforts in the wireless industry to streamline operations and reduce costs. Network management encompasses common operator tasks such as planning, dimensioning, deploying, configuring and optimizing a cellular network. The authors describe the rationale behind this trend and introduce Ericsson’s Smart Simplicity concept, which focuses on means of increasing automation in today’s increasingly complex networks in order to reduce operating expenses (OPEX). As an example of new automatic features, they describe an RBS deployment scenario that introduces cost-saving functions.
The success of GSM to date has been nothing short of sensational. What is more, its future continues to hold great promise. However, two important challenges must yet be resolved to make GSM the mobile communications system for the "next billion users" and to guarantee the commercial success of its mobile data services: focus on low total cost of ownership (TCO), and deployment of enhanced GPRS (EGPRS) in every network. In addressing these challenges, GSM transport or backhaul constitutes one very interesting and dynamic area of development.
Market demands for a more efficient way of building out GSM have given rise to a new model of radio base station in Ericsson's renowned family of RBS 2000 products. RBS 2216 (for indoor deployment) and RBS 2116 (for outdoor deployment) feature a common building practice for combining GSM and WCDMA on the same footprint. The design thus meets operator demands for modernizing radio networks. Ericsson's objective when designing RBS 2x16 was to bring down the operator costs of establishing and operating radio networks. The authors describe the thinking behind, and outline some of the most important operator benefits of, this new product.
Ericsson's new, third release of WCDMA macro RBSs capitalizes on advances in technology to improve the architecture. The new design enables operators to double node capacity, increase coverage, simplify maintenance, and dramatically lower power consumption. The combined effect of these enhancements yields considerably lower CAPEX and OPEX in the radio access network.
Operators cannot ignore the importance and advantages of providing dedicated inbuilding coverage in third-generation networks. Users who try new third-generation services expect them to exceed existing services in every respect. This is especially true where in-building coverage is concerned. As a consequence, operators need dedicated in-building coverage systems in third-generation networks to complement the existing macro network.
Being the kernel in WCDMA, the baseband platform must be able to efficiently handle the entire life cycle of an RBS. Moreover, it must do so while networks are evolving and expanding. New radio network functions and features will also be added through base station hardware and software to perfect the WCDMA system.