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Launching the next generation of Self Organising Networks for Telecoms

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CellSON (Launching the next generation of Self Organising Networks for Telecoms)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-11-30

The CellSON project is aimed to demonstrate a novice approach for radio enhancement – a self organized grid of radio enhancing gap fillers that allow an increase in network capacity by a low CAPEX investment. CellSON also empowers the network with healing capabilities and better redundancy.
The CellSON solution is technology agnostic and may be deployed as an radio enhancement layer on an existing 3G or 4G cellular network.
A grid of gap-filler units (small scale radio transmitters capable of performing as repeaters or relays) is distributed in a target coverage area. This area suffers from coverage holes and or, due to the drift affect, it may also suffer from an uneven load of connected users causing call-drops in overloaded cells. The gap fillers are evenly distributed throughout the coverage area in between existing cell towers. The gap fillers are low cost units that involve light-site deployment efforts. Each gap filler only requires an electricity source – there is no need for costly microwave or fiber link to the central office. Gap fillers are specifically designed to be deployed on small scale roof tops.
Work package 1:
We completed a detailed architecture definition (software and hardware) of all components of the CellSON network
We completed a product definition of the Gap Filler. The implementation is an attractive looking product that is portable, very easy to install and operate, includes battery backup and may be deployed by one person only.
We submitted the deliverables associated with work package 1 as specified in the below section.
Work Package 2:
We fully designed two versions of Gap filler hardware. A compact model and a higher power (man carried) model. We also implemented third model – a vehicular high power model but this was done later and is not reported as part of the procurement of CellSON project.
The product design effort envolved included periodic design review brain-storming sessions participated by sales, marketing and engineering staff. We hired a consultant with expertise in user experience and mechanical design (this sub contractor expense is not submitted to CellSON grant)
The production of gap fillers involved a series order of mechanical parts (according to the production file) that were custom made by a local workshop. Other parts and systems (controller board, battery system, eNB radio unit, UE module and power supply parts) were purchased from leading vendors.
We adopted a unique package solution for the gap filler system (from CPCases Inc). This company provides light weight rugged cases that may be customized to any size. The unit is weather proof and shock proof and perfectly meets our needs.
We completed the assembly of eight gap fillers. Four units with compact form factor and four additional units with the man carried version (CPCases). All units are functional and ready for field testing.
We purchased antennas that are suitable for a step-motor controlled housing arm. These antennas are a perfect fit for both access (eNB radio) and UE (donor) sides.
For the azimuth controlled antenna we implemented a step motor with digital control. This fixture can house various antenna models.
Work Package 3:
We completed an SRD (software requirement definition) detailing the SON engine functionality and algorithm. This design definition was submitted as part of our architecture work package. We subcontracted the SON engine software design to Ateknea (the main subcontractor). A service agreement was established between the parties. Ateknea visited our facilities for design open discussions and SRD review.
We implemented a MIB (Management Information Base) for managing and controlling the gap filler by the CellSON engine.
We implemented an SNMP agent running in the gap filler controller unit. This SW listens and replies to queries from the SON engine.
We submitted the deliverables associated with work package 3 as specified in the below section.
Work Package 6:
Work package 6 involves communication activities. The activities we conducted during this report include:
Web page design
Travel and participation in exhibitions
Preparing brochures and presentations
Work Package 7:
Work package 7 involves commercialization activities. We continuously study the market in the following aspects:
1. Familiarity with competing solutions
2. Studying cellular technology trends and innovations that are related to the CellSON concept
3. Seeking partnerships. We have signed a contract agreement with a leading cellular operator in Israel interested in using our gap fillers in emergency scenarios (as a portable redundant cell). There is an ongoing effort with teams on both parties on this prospect.
4. We have established commercial connections with a list of vendors for exploring purchase sources for key radio elements that are very hard to purchase and approve
5. Each year the company is certified by ISO9001 by the ISA (Israeli Standardization Association). The preparation for this process involves vast activities including:
a. Employees training
b. ESD protected environment
c. Customer satisfaction survey
d. Equipment calibration
e. Design cycles according to ISO guidelines
f. Adopting management tools, agile (product tree), project (Gantts), Priority (procurement)
Our engagement with a leading cellular carrier in Israel was beyond our expectations. There is mutual motivation to explore adopting the gap filler unit in various scenarios.