Chunghwa Telecom Co, the nation’s largest mobile service provider, yesterday said it plans to deploy more small-cell base stations to help expand the coverage of its 4G network, which is scheduled to go into operation next year.
The low-powered radio access nodes or small cells that have a coverage range from 10m to between 1km and 2km, are to be installed in outdoor locations, such as on street lights, in the initial stage of Chunghwa Telecom’s 4G long-term evolution (LTE) network deployment, company president Shih Mu-piao (石木標) said.
“Coverage is absolutely the most important thing at the beginning, and we have seen a trend of adopting smaller base stations,” Shih told reporters on the sidelines of a 4G international forum in Taipei.
“We can put regular base stations in certain locations and make them work in accordance with small cells,” he said.
“They can help decrease bad-reception areas in our 4G network, while increasing the capacity of our 4G system,” he added.
A regular 4G base station should theoretically work in accordance with about 10 small cells to achieve the best performance, Shih said.
Shih’s remarks follows a report by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News yesterday that Chunghwa Telecom aims to build 5,000 to 6,000 4G base stations over the next two years, including 500 base stations in the second half of next year.
Chunghwa Telecom, which aims to start providing an LTE service in the second half of next year, was the biggest winner in the auction of 4G service licenses on Oct. 30.
It was awarded a frequency bandwidth of 2 x 35 megahertz — broader than any of the five other bidders — when it secured three frequency blocks for a total price of NT$39.08 billion (US$1.33 billion).
ABI Research has forecast that the global shipments of outdoor small cells would reach 500,000 units this year and would expand by a compound annual growth rate of 52.7 percent to 3.5 million by 2018.