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Telefonica Shows Off Upgraded LTE Network in Barcelona

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Telefonica is showing off its Alcatel Lucent supplied LTE network this week at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress trade show.

Telefonica's network is a first step toward a real "HetNet" network, which improves mobile coverage by bringing small-cell base stations closer to the customer.

In this deployment conventional radio base stations co-exist with 4G metro cells (small base stations incorporating antennas and radio) working on the same frequency and with no interference.

The most significant feature of Telefonica's LTE network is its increased capacity -- with each cell comfortably supporting 30 people browsing simultaneously with average speed of 30Mbps. Tests conducted on this network show that a 400% increase in capacity can be made available to users compared to a conventional network design, and that significantly higher capacity gains could be delivered with denser metro-network design.

"Today the future of mobile networks begins," said Enrique Blanco, Telefonica's Chief Technology Officer. "The deployment of LTE that Telefonica has brought to the MWC, together with Alcatel-Lucent, gives us a glimpse of a tomorrow where everyone and everything is seamlessly connected, and in superfast time. But the challenge ahead is to ensure that all the technologies currently being deployed -- 2G, 3G, LTE, Wi-Fi and Fiber -- can co-exist to deliver next generation communications."

Another key benefit of the advanced feature network is that it utilizes the same frequency for several network layers, allowing for far more efficient use of spectrum. This solution is said to also reduce network deployment costs by as much as 40%, as the installation of small-cells significantly reduces the amount of construction, installation and configuration work needed. Additionally, small-cells use less powerful amplification equipment, resulting in energy savings of up to 35%.

Telefonica has not only covered the Fira grounds but also other Barcelona hotspots including the Camp Nou football stadium, the Diagonal 00 tower, and the Ayre and Arts hotels.

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Tags: telefonica  alcatel-lucent  barcelona  lte  hetnet  mobile world congress  Spain