Site Seeing in Hong Kong!

SightSeeingIf a picture is worth a thousand words, this is the longest post I’ve ever written…

Let’s check out how Hong Kong operators address outdoor coverage and capacity with a few snapshots of base stations in Mong Kok and Wan Chai. What comes through is a clear approach favoring high power systems to blast energy in an area and use buildings to shield against interference. This raises a few questions: will low power small cells take hold in such environment? Is Cloud RAN a better alternative? And of course, are these small cells? Browse through and let me know.

Slide 1

Antennas in front of window…

Antennas in front of window…

In front of my window again!...

In front of my window again!…

Slide 4

Yes, here too in front of my window…

Yes, here too in front of my window…

Slide 6

Is this a “small cell”?....

Is this a “small cell”?….

Definitely a macrocell…

Definitely a macrocell…

Slide 9Slide 10Slide 11

Very sharp downtilt even for low elevation…

Very sharp downtilt even for low elevation…

Slide 13

Antennas pointing into each other!...

Antennas pointing into each other!…

Definitely a macrocell…

Definitely a macrocell…

Another “2 story” deployment with back-to-back antennas…

Another “2 story” deployment with back-to-back antennas…

Slide 17

‘Vintage’ deployment: back-to-back and in front of my window…

‘Vintage’ deployment: back-to-back and in front of my window…

An omni for a change…

An omni for a change…

Slide 20Slide 21

What can I say…

What can I say…

I would classify this as a macrocell…

I would classify this as a macrocell…

So, what you think: small cells or not?

They are mounted below a macrocell layer…

They are deep into the urban clutter…

They are just above tree lines where trees are present…

They are just over billboard height…

They cover a small area…

They have heavy mechanical antenna downtilt to keep signals confined within a short range…

They can serve in-building users because they operate at high transmit power…

They do everything an outdoor small cell is supposed to do…

But the equipment is not small…

So what do you say?

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About Frank Rayal
Telecom industry management consultant.

3 Responses to Site Seeing in Hong Kong!

  1. Chen Porat says:

    Our experience showed that interference was the ‘signal killer’ in Hong Kong until Lte came in and offered a relief.

  2. milanyc says:

    To me this looks like regular macro deployment, but strategically makes little sense. I’m assuming we’re looking at multiple operators’ installations, almost like they’re competing who’s gonna outlast the other. I’ve never seen such a thing here in NYC…

  3. The equipment is not small probably due to one of the following reasons:
    1: lack of product with small size
    2: product with small size does not support “enough” Tx power

    Of course it is not obvious why a very high Tx power is needed when inter-site distance is less than 100 meters. For an LTE deployment, a 5W/path should be enough even at higher frequency bands (e.g. B7), and even if an operator has a large bandwidth allocation (e.g. 20MHz). After all, this is an interference-limited system, and anyway the uplink would be the limiting link.

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