Belgian network equipment manufacturer Accelleran on Monday announced its latest small cells and other solutions meant to allow for the deployment of the fifth generation of mobile networks. The company arrived at the latest iteration of Mobile World Congress to showcase its virtual radio access network and slicing solutions on both the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz band using its E1000-series small cell stations. The newly unveiled small cells are already being mass-produced and will be available to wireless carriers in the near future, with Accelleran claiming they offer full-fledged integration and aggressive cost optimization for a wide variety of use cases. The hardware is powered by the Antwerpen-based company's proprietary software which has been specifically designed to allow for virtual RAN architectures with slicing support.
The E3000 small cell lineup is another Accelleran-made product family being announced in Barcelona, Spain, with the series enabling high-capacity functions and carrier aggregation, as well as three-sector multicell solutions. The company is also unveiling its new RAN Controller at the mobile industry's largest annual trade show, being quick to point out that its Control Plane is not just entirely autonomous but also highly portable, having been specifically designed to enable contemporary virtualized network functions optimized for a broad range of use cases. One of the 5G demonstrations on the 3.5GHz band is being conducted in partnership with Spanish wireless giant Eurona Wireless Telecom which is providing the Belgian hardware maker with the spectrum needed for its trial. The company is holding four demonstrations in total, all of which are meant to illustrate the versatility of its offerings and their overall suitability for supporting 5G rollouts.
The E1000 series of small cells is being advertised as offering "macro-quality performance" despite having a physical footprint of a shoebox. Small cells are widely expected to serve as the backbone of most future 5G buildouts by virtue of the fact that many such solutions will rely on millimeter-wave spectrum which offers improved speeds and latencies but isn't suitable for traveling long-term distances due to its tendency to be absorbed by rain and foliage, as well as its inability to reliably penetrate walls. Large-scale 5G buildouts are expected to start in the United States and the Far East by early 2019, whereas European carriers should follow suit by 2020.