This blog is by Carlos Gil Dominguez at Nokia Networks.
Every year in mid-August, Malaga is home to one of the world’s longest-running festivals. The annual Malaga Feria has run for more than 500 years and nowadays lasts ten nights, attracting thousands of people. As you can see from the picture, Malaga Feria is a feast of color and movement. With so many people wanting to use their smartphones to capture the spectacle and share their experiences, the local mobile networks face severe capacity challenges.
This year, something different was done to help meet that demand. Telefonica Spain and Nokia Networks joined forces to trial a small cell LTE network during the festival. Comprising Nokia small cell base stations running at 2.6 GHz, the trial used our Flexi Zone architecture to add substantial capacity over a 300,000 square meter area covering the busiest festival streets in the city center.
Look closely at the picture and you can even see one of the small cells mounted on the wall (we circled it with red to help) – it’s small, unobtrusive, easy to install, yet has the power to transform the mobile broadband experience of so many festival-goers.
The numbers tell the story: With the small cells installed and running, more than half of the users were hitting over 50 Mbps download speeds at even the busiest times. In fact, the peak user rate experienced was a staggering 150 Mbps on the downlink and 50 Mbps on the uplink. What’s more, the network achieved 100% uptime throughout the entire event.
Nokia Flexi Zone increases capacity by providing small cell networks at street level and indoors. As demand grows, the base stations can be linked to a Flexi Zone Controller to scale up network capacity almost without limit. Nokia’s Services for HetNets helps operators plan the best capacity expansion strategies as well as efficiently deploy and optimize the new small cell networks.
So Flexi Zone is not just a quick fix to a big event but a long-term, scalable solution. In fact, even though the festivities are over, the trial small cell network is still running today in order to test new services and continue delivering lightning-fast mobile broadband to the city center. Its capabilities and performance are being observed, providing valuable data that will help Telefonica Spain plan the way forward as it builds denser networks to meet ever-growing traffic demand.
We have more to share on small cells here – and be sure to check out our recent blogs:
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