Small cell deployments are a big part of 5G network new deployments. Although the deployment processes of small cells and macro cells have some stages in common, there are also some foreseeable differences.
Small cell deployment:
When regulatory and site permissions have been obtained, the next challenge is to install the cells in an efficient, quick, and affordable way. Physical cell installation in large scale Heterogeneous Networks (HetNet) deployments can be a challenge due to very large numbers of cells requiring integration, setup, and configuration in difficult places. These places are either dense urban areas (i.e., for 5G cell densification) with restricted time and presence in the cities’ right of ways, or indoor areas with restrictions of their own.
The Assemble, Wire, Test, and Integration (AWTI) process, as part of an end-to-end small cell deployment, can help operators overcome some of these challenges.
This diagram shows a simplified AWTI process for small cell deployment.
AWTI increases speed-to-market and increases overall deployment quality with:
The AWTI process provides equipment and material logistics via market or project warehousing:
Equipment Preparation: Cabinet, BBUs, Aggregators
The main equipment including, cabinets, Base Band Units (BBU) and aggregators, are prepared and the correct connections are tested here.
Other Hardware Preparation: Antennas, RRUs, Cablings
Other hardware like tower tops including antennas, Radio Remote Units (RRU), and required cablings (fiber, ethernet, power), with their pre-integrated configurations are tested and prepared here.
OEM Equipment Standard Classes, Script Load
The use of standard classes of equipment (if applicable) and their installation rules can ease the burden of installation, operations, and maintenance. The installation rules attached to the equipment class indicate the level of knowledge and skills the workers require to make the installations. Per-class deployment recommendations can also reduce the complexity of initial commissioning and following Operations and Maintenance, reduce the deployment and its associated maintenance costs. This function also provides:
Advanced Setup: Pre-integration / Provisioning / Verification
Cell installation in very large scales can be a challenge due to permits needed, equipment transport and installation, and large numbers of cells requiring set-up and configuration. Lean cell site approaches, in which there is considerable advanced base station set-up/provisioning, are carried out here to avoid site disruption and minimize time to perform installation.
CapEx Savings: There are several areas of savings which can cut deployment costs considerably.
OpEx Savings: Since the product is standardized, operating costs are reduced.
Quality Improvement: In addition to cost savings, pre-integrated platforms offer many other benefits:
As mobile operators’ network densification projects proceed, they will have to build hundreds of thousands of new cell sites. Rather than wasting time building customized iterations of cell sites, these operators should look to pre-integrated solutions to save time, reduce OpEx and CapEx, and ensure the highest quality.
To learn more and discover how KGPCo’s Assemble Wire Test and Integrate solution can work for your small cell builds contact the KGPCo Wireless Service team.