Understanding Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets)

Telecom data is provided over In a HetNet environment, it is important the Macro Cell provides a larger umbrella coverage area while Small Cells are placed in strategically closer locations to the UE to provide the required coverage or capacity. By moving these short range Radio Access Points or Base Stations closer to the user equipment, end users benefit from more reliable data connections and higher data throughput. The term Small Cell itself covers a broad set of technologies present in the market. These are the Pico Cells, Femto Cells, Micro Cells, Carrier Wi-Fi, etc.

There is another unique advantage associated with Small Cells. Since they are deployed with lower power radio waves, they have a short coverage area. This in essence limits the amount of interference that can be caused in the Macro Cells. Several Small Cell areas can be created without much concern for having any interference issues. This, of course, depends on the frequency plan implemented in the specific HetNet location.

A generalized HetNet architecture consists of a combination of disparate network and radio access technology nodes. Figure below shows a simplified rendering of a typical HetNet ecosystem consisting of a combination of radio access technologies and cell types connecting to the EPC.

  • Device Driven: In this mode of implementation, the device intelligence and priority drives selection and reselection of networks. This potentially leads to loss of operator ability to ensure a consistent network controlled experience to the subscribers. This behavior is usually transparent to the end user.
  • End User Driven: In this mode, the end user makes the choice of attaching or moving to a specific network from the available list of networks in the vicinity. Usually this kind of scenario happens when the different networks in the HetNet are disparate. One of the draw backs is that the user may suffer interruption in real time services if the IP address changes between the core networks serving the different Radio Access networks of a HetNet.
  • Core Network Driven: In this mode, the core network manages the entire HetNet coordination exercise. It monitors and triggers the device to move between the contributing networks of the HetNet. The different radio access networks are managed and served by a common core that anchors the IP address. This allows continuity in real time services and seamless offload between different radio access technologies within the HetNet.

Important topic areas for Commercializing the HetNets include:

  • Path to 5G
  • Data Monetization
  • IoT and Smart Cities
  • HetNet Deployment
  • Enterprise Communications
  • Host Neutral and Shared Access

Contact us for more information about HetNets.


About Mind Commerce

Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
This entry was posted in 4G, Data Management, HetNet, LTE, Self Organizing Networks (SON), Uncategorized, Wireless Carriers. Bookmark the permalink.

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