The intelligent small cell

Small Cells World Summit 2012

Is there a need for the intelligent small cell? Intel and Ubiquisys both think so, arguing that distributed network intelligence can boost the user experience and lower the total cost of ownership of mobile networks.

First, we hear from Ubiquisys' Keith Day, and see a brief demo of edge-based video caching.

Then, Intel has its say - and demos no the fly video transrating.

To back up its thinking about moving network intelligence to the edge, Intel commissioned a case study, titled "Rethinking the Small Cell Business Model" (NB: link starts PDF download). Working with Edge Datacomms, the same partner providing Ubiquisys' caching technology in the video above, Intel deployed small cells on a four carriage train, using 3G links from two different carriers as the backhaul link. The cells used predictive and proactive caching to decide which content should be stored locally on the train - items such as BBC news, train times and maps were cached. The most accesses sites were Google, Facebook and the BBC. Over a 25 day period, Intel said that an average of 200 users accessed the service each day (the train was in Kenilworth) and each user transmitted and/or received 22 Megabytes of data per day. Just over 17% of content was proactively cached and 16% predictively cached.

That resulted in a reduction in backhaul traffic of 45%, with the operator achieving a 22% reduction in backhaul opex, according to Intel's report. The company then asked Wireless2020 to model those results for a similar deployment in urban London, and added in the impact of integrating WiFi as well as caching and video compression functionality.

Wireless2020 found that the total cost of ownership (cumulative capex and opex) would drop 7.1% as a result of deploying smart cells with integrated WiFi, within urban London.