Bandwidth Battle – Part II Small Cells


Labeled the “2012 Tablet Christmas,” it’s an electronic retailers’ heaven that may keep wireless operators sleepless at night. According to the The Guardian, the British Cyber Monday saw tablet sales at a rate of one every second with some stores reporting sales up by 1,000 percent from last year and no slowing down in the weeks towards Christmas. US sales were expected to be similar.

Traditionally, the ever increasing bandwidth demand has been met by the deployment of more towers. While this approach has been effective for some time, it is now reaching its limitations and experiencing diminishing returns. Highest bandwidth demands are usually found in densely populated, urban areas where tower and equipment space come at a premium. In addition, the higher the concentration of cell towers in an area, the harder it becomes to manage interference. High deployment and operating costs paired with dwindling throughput per sector makes the continuous macro-cell build-out a strategy worth reconsidering.

Low power, shorter range equipment such as WIFI and small cells promise relief. Installed close to the subscriber, the limited range reduces interference while increasing capacity density. Much cheaper to deploy and maintain, small cells will likely become the most popular long term approach in the attempt to win the bandwidth battle. Nevertheless, these low powered radio access nodes don’t come without their own challenges. To accommodate their short range, optimal placement is critical to network efficiency. Typical locations include lampposts, building walls and utility poles, all of which generally pose strict limitations on equipment size as well as power availability and accessibility. To support the small cell strategy, flexible, compact and low power form factors will become critical requirements for equipment providers.

Transtector recently introduced its new small footprint power distribution panel with integrated surge protection specifically designed to accommodate the new requirements of small cell operators. The MiniCab QOB is a 120V, 20A, 10kA miniature cabinet, whose small footprint significantly reduces wind load and weight burden on pole structures, while increasing ease of installation. Integrated surge protection further simplifies field set up and service by eliminating additional wiring for external transient protection. To optimally protect sensitive electrical loads, non-degrading silicon avalanche suppression technology with very low let-through levels has been used. The MiniCab QOB features industry standard QO input/output breakers to allow for easy replacement. The unit is UL 67 Listed with a NEMA 3R rated enclosure, making it is suitable for service disconnects and branch panels indoors as well as outdoors.

Contact our engineers or sales team at 208.772.8515 to see if the Transtector MiniCab QOB is the right solution for your application.

Susann Ferrari
Technical Writer, Protection Technology Group