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Metro/Picocells

Metro or picocells are typically deployed in public areas such as stadiums, airports or on light posts on the streets. They transmit at relatively high power and are usually deployed by the operators.

Picocells are often deployed in low density initially to fill coverage holes. As network load increases, picocells are also being deployed in high density to add capacity to the network. This results in smaller distance and more coverage overlap among picocells and thus a greater need for SON. The need for SON is limited until their density increases which results in smaller distance and more overlap in coverage among picocells.

In most deployments, picocells will share the same channel with macrocells. To maximize traffic offload to the picocells, range expansion in HSPA+ or FeICIC in LTE Advanced should be supported in addition to UltraSON. FeICIC improves load balancing between macros and picocells by adaptively partitioning resources between macros and picocells to expand the range of the latter. This network feature should be accompanied by advanced receivers in the UE.