1000x Data Challenge

More small cells is the foundation of 1000x

Hyper-dense deployment of small cells is crucial in addressing the 1000x challenge. The key is to manage interference, and offer robust mobility and deliver a consistent user experience. 

Small cells play a pivotal role in bringing huge amount of data capacity, where it is needed the most, by bringing the network closer to the users. But to reach 1000x, we need much more of them, everywhere—indoors outdoors, at homes, offices, enterprises, shopping malls and lamp posts. And we need all the familiar flavors—3G, 4G, Wi-Fi—and all the different forms, such as user installed small cells, operator installed picos, metros. For such dense small cell networks, the key is to make sure interference is managed, mobility is robust and that we deliver a reliable and consistent user experience.

Evolution to ‘unplanned’ ad-hoc deployed small cells

To rapidly achieve hyper-densification, it is important to adopt a more ‘unplanned ‘ad-hoc deployment approach, where-in, there is no need for detailed RF network planning and optimization. The small cells have to be plug-and-play and self-configurable. These small cells could be operator or user installed, but managed by operators, and coordinate with macros as well as other small cells. Neighborhood Small Cells (NSC) is a special case of such approach with user installed indoor small cells that leverage existing consumer-grade backhaul, and that also serve outdoor traffic it the vicinity.


Thanks to the popularity of smartphones and tablets, most of the data usage is indoors, necessitating extensive indoor small cell deployments. The “inside-out” model leverages the existence of these indoor small cells to provide capacity not only indoors but also outdoors, while also providing good outdoor coverage. This model is another example of the ‘unplanned’ ad-hoc approach. Our simulations show capacity increases of up to 1000x with 20% penetration, while using 10 times more spectrum. There are also future enhancements being developed to enable the same 1000x increase with even less spectrum or lower household penetration.

UltraSON™ technology - a 1000x enabler

To cost-effectively deploy small cell on a large scale, we need to bring the benefits of more unplanned/ad-hoc deployments to all scenarios; residential, NSC, enterprise, pico/metro. Dense deployments also pose multiple configuration, mobility and coordination challenges. Qualcomm’s UltraSON is a suit of self-organizing and management algorithms designed to address these challenges and to realize the vision of plug-and-play, self-configuring and self-optimizing hyper-dense networks. UltraSON enables all deployment scenarios; from residential and NSC, enterprise to metro/pico.

Bringing 1000x closer to reality

Our over-the-air hyper-dense network demonstrates how UltraSONTM addresses multiple hyper-densification challenges—such as self-configuration, robust mobility and reliable user experience—for all small cells deployment scenarios (neighborhood, enterprise, and metro/pico). 

Small Cell solutions for 1000x

Qualcomm, being a wireless pioneer, excels in developing the leading edge technologies and products and we are keenly focused on making the 1000x vision a reality. Small cells is one of our main research areas; our live over-the-air small cells networks are used to develop, prototype and test our small cell technologies. We also have a strong portfolio of chipset solutions supporting a broad range from residential small cells, to enterprise and Metro/Picocells for both indoor and outdoor usage scenarios. These solutions cover both 3G/4G and Wi-Fi technologies.