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LTE Advanced: Heterogeneous Networks

Qualcomm Research has been working on enhancing LTE network capacity and the broadband user experience in a ubiquitous and cost-effective manner.

Since radio link performance is approaching theoretical limits, the next performance and capacity leap will come from an evolution of network topology by using a mix of macro cells and small cells in a co-channel deployment. Qualcomm has been spearheading the introduction of heterogeneous network (HetNet) techniques in LTE Advanced, including enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC) in the network and advanced terminal receivers with interference cancellation (IC). To further facilitate HetNet densification, opportunistic small cell and Relays using Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) wireless backhaul are also introduced to ease HetNets deployment and operation constraints. Using these techniques, LTE Advanced HetNets offer a scalable path to achieve tremendous growth in spectrum efficiency per unit area.

Qualcomm and our partners also proposed a new license model, Authorized Shared Access (ASA), to allow operators to access underutilized spectrum on a shared basis, without interfering with incumbent spectrum holders. ASA can potentially unlock hundreds of MHz of high-quality spectrum suitable for LTE small cell deployment.