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Small Cell over HFC – Unblurring the Lines

Over the last two years, we’ve seen a blurring of the lines between mobile  network  operators (MNOs) and multiple system

operators (MSOs) and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Agreements are being executed throughout the  mobile industry. It’s very much similar to cats and dogs playing together. .. tempers get raised from time to time, but they both live in the same house.

The MNOs and MSOs each have their own unique  traits they  bring  to  this  uneasy partnership: MNOs have  a wide  footprint, coast to coast with cell towers, fiber and a nationwide backbone. The  downside  is that  they do not always have the ability to provide a granular soultion. MSOs have very targeted areas of service,  including  major  cities,  suburbs  and towns within regions. Their approach utilizes a combination of fiber and  coax  plants, covering most  streets…   very granular.  Combined,  they both have the broad approach with the ability to reach deep into a coverage area.

So, what is the benefit of teaming with the MSO? They have a very distinct  advantage when it comes to small cell deployments … they can offer the MN Os power and backhaul by utilizing the HFC plant as well as have fiber throughout their network footprint.

  • Power: The AC power running through the HFC plant  was  designed  to  provide powering to outside plant RF gear and regenerated  as  needed  to  push  farther  out into the This AC power, which  is typically quasi-square wave AC has a voltage range of 40-90 VAC.
  • Backhaul: The HFC plant has been designed to carry data throughout, via DOCSIS® DOCSIS® is being deployed as backhaul option for small cells currently with success. With the emergence  of DOCSIS® 3.1, security and bandwidth speeds are very suitable for backhauling. MSOs also have the ability to utilize their fiber infrastructure.

Small Cell Radios –    Initially, small cells were not HFC friendly and strand mountable. DOCSIS® was not an option and strand requirements had not been factored into their design. Today, small cell technology has progressed to address some of the unique factors involved with deploying on an HFC network. But, there are still some issues that arise… DOCSIS® technology changes regularly and different MSOs have different modem requirements. Also, the  HFC   plant fluctuates and return band requirements being different between MSOs… making the internal HFC/RF board hard to standardize.

Purpose Built Lindsay Gateway and Components

Designed and Deployed. Lindsay Broadband’s Gateway platform  is  designed  for  cable operators to serve small cells either under an MVNO or as a business service offering to an MNO. Lindsay has been deploying small cell gateways direct to MSOs for roughly five years supporting most of the MN Os in the US. The platform allows  any small cell, to  be deployed into the HFC plant and the gateway acts as the demarcation point for power/backhaul.

Lindsay also works with small cell vendors to integrate key components of a gateway into their small cells for use in HFC deployments, including:

  • Power supplies
  • Surge protection
  • DOCSIS® 0 and 3.1 modems
  • HFC/RF board level component
  • Strand mounted enclosures
  • Antenna options

Lindsay Powering –    Lindsay’s strand mounted power supplies, support the conversion from the HFC to provide a variety of powering outputs, including up to 600 WAC, up-to 400 W DC, POE and POE++.

Lindsay has also recently released a line of pure sinusoidal AC solid state power supplies called “T-series.”These PSs will range from 250 W to 2200 W of pure sign wave powering. They will be debuting this product line at Cable-Tee Expo in October 2018.

Lindsay saw the need five years ago for this product line and has been adapting along with the market to design components and  a platform needed to support it. Working with many of the top small cell vendors, MSO and MN Os has allowed Lindsay to continue to evolve and carve a niche of their own.

For more information, please contact Jonathan Haight, VP of US Sales/Business Development, Lindsay Broadband Inc. [email protected]

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