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A smart vision for small cells
At Small Cell World Summit last week, it was interesting to see Ubiquisys discuss their ‘Smart Cell’ solution.
This can take the pressure off small cell backhaul in certain cases by caching popular content in the small cell itself.
When another user accesses the same content, it is served from the small cell and does not have to traverse the backhaul and the rest of the operator network.
At CBNL we are basically backhaul geeks so anything like this is really interesting to us.
By eliminating repeated backhaul data, the Smart Cell concept reduces the mean load on the backhaul – but for optimal user quality of experience the backhaul still has to be able to deliver peak bandwidth to the Smart Cell on demand.
This is needed for content not yet cached, social content, or content in the ‘long tail’ of the distribution, for example.
In other words, the peak-to-mean ratio of the traffic is increased.
That increases the benefits of multipoint microwave over point-to-point as we’ve discussed previously (data centric backhaul presentation, slides 21 – 26).
It’s really interesting to see how innovation in one part of the network (the RAN, in the case of the Smart Cell) can complement innovative backhaul techniques, like multipoint microwave.
Both these techniques are concerned with the stochastic behaviour of users and networks, and the efficiencies that can be derived by exploiting this behaviour.
You can read more about efficiency in backhaul in my paper The Effect of System Architecture on Net Spectral Efficiency for Fixed Services.