Nokia Bell Labs recently demonstrated the world's first drone-based delivery of an F-Cell to a Nokia office rooftop in Sunnyvale, Calif. The F-Cell wirelessly self-powered, self-configured and auto-connected to the network and instantly began to stream high-definition video.
The importance is that the deployment could allow very-rapid activation of small cells to support 4G or 5G., ideally without the time and expense required to lay cables, connect power sources and attach radio arrays to poles.
None of that dispenses with the need to negotiate roof rights with property owners, of course. Still, the innovation shows the sort of work now being widely conducted to dramatically lower the cost of Internet access infrastructure.
The F-cell system features a 64-antenna massive MIMO system supporting eight beams to eight energy autonomous (solar powered) F-Cells.
The advantage is easy small cell deployment and backhaul services. The system supports non-line-of-sight wireless networking in frequency division duplex (FDD) or time division duplex (TDD) mode.
Each F-cell supports up to eight individual 20 MHz channels, allowing for a system throughput rate of about 1 Gbps over existing LTE networks.
The system is designed to scale up to tens of gigabits per second speeds as well.