Qualcomm Small Cell Chip To Boost Indoor 4G Coverage For SMBs

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Wireless routers could soon offer cost-effective Wi-Fi and 4G for SMBs and consumers with Qualcomm FSM90xx

Qualcomm has created a new low-cost chip that will allow consumers and SMBs to improve the LTE coverage inside their homes or business through the use of small cell technology.

The FSM90xx System-on-a-Chip (SoC) uses the LTE technology included by the commercially-available FSM99xx chip released last year and promises to be cost-effective enough for wireless router manufacturers to include in their products.

The San-Diego based firm says the development will help operators deal with the growing demand for mobile data, especially since the majority of use occurs at home, at work or in the immediate vicinity.

Qualcomm small cells

The FSM90xx is designed to work with software developed for the FSM99xx, while it also promises to integrate with existing networking products. Qualcomm adds that the chip is the only home and SMB product to make use of 28nm technology, which should result in more efficient power consumption.

4G, Mobile, Smartphone © Digital Storm Shutterstock 2012“Small cells are critical to enhancing network capacity and improving mobile broadband connections,” says Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president, Qualcomm Atheros. “With this latest addition to our small cell family of products, Qualcomm is continuing to be a leader in the industry by delivering a segment-wide solution to enable the deployment of small cells anywhere and everywhere.”

Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced new wave of Wi-Fi chips which implement the “beam-forming” part of the IEEE 802.11ac standard – a technology called multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO), which will increase the number of users that can access a home, office or public Wi-Fi hotspot as well as the total throughput of the system.

Small cells have long been touted as a way for mobile operators to cope with the anticipated growth in mobile traffic, especially in urban areas where capacity is at a premium.

Last month, Huawei and Vodafone conducted a successful deployment of the Chinese equipment manufacturer’s ‘LampSite’ LTE 2.6 small cell technology, which now allows users at the firm’s UK headquarters in Reading to access Vodafone’s 4G network using 2.6GHz spectrum.

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