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OneCell™ System

The Best LTE Experience – with the Economics of Wi-Fi

Airvana’s award-winning OneCell delivers consistent, superior LTE performance throughout enterprises and public spaces, with the economics and simplicity of managed Wi-Fi. Using a revolutionary Cloud RAN (C-RAN) architecture, the OneCell Baseband Controller and multiple Radio Points form a single “super” cell that eliminates small cell handovers and border interference across large areas, creating a high performing LTE experience for end-users. OneCell works over standard Ethernet switches and cabling. It does not require proprietary network elements or expensive fiber for local connectivity and does not need any complex radio frequency planning. OneCell is the world’s first small cell system that enables a cost effective, aesthetically-pleasing multi-operator solution to best address enterprise and neutral host needs. Furthermore, the architecture is inherently optimized for VoLTE and upcoming LTE-Advanced capabilities.

Best quality LTE user experience

Eliminates handovers and interference issues and ensures uniform, high-quality service and faster data rates throughout buildings and indoor spaces.


Common infrastructure and Radio Point hardware supports all the operators in a given region.

Added Capacity through Smart Reuse™

Multiple users in a single physical cell can share the same frequencies, effectively multiplying total system capacity.

Simple and Economical

OneCell is deployed over standard Ethernet switches and cabling, It is self-organizing due to its simple, single cell architecture, eliminating the need for complex radio frequency planning.

Cloud RAN architecture

Baseband Controller and “thin” Radio Points form a single coordinated “super cell” for improved performance, capacity and economics.

LTE Advanced

Supports LTE Advanced features like carrier aggregation, CoMP and multi-user MIMO through software upgrades.

A New Approach to Enterprise LTE

The demand for LTE service is skyrocketing, and today’s wireless solutions don’t perform well indoors,   where 80 percent of all mobile data usage takes place. Outdoor macro cell towers cannot deliver quality LTE data indoors, and upgrading legacy distributed antenna systems (DAS) for LTE is prohibitively expensive. Standalone small cells support only a single mobile operator, and deploying them in groups creates significant inter-cell interference in over 50% of the building, resulting in low throughput, connection drops and ping-ponging.

OneCell solves the indoor wireless problem by turning the “every-cell-for-itself” paradigm on its head. The OneCell system consists of a Baseband Controller and multiple Radio Points that together form a single “super” cell that delivers high capacity LTE across indoor spaces ranging from 50,000 to 1,000,000 square feet. The Controller coordinates the transmitter and receiver functions across all Radio Points at the baseband modem layer.

OneCell creates a single “super-cell”, eliminating inter-cell borders, handovers and interference issues.

By eliminating cell border interference and handovers, OneCell delivers consistent, quality service with high throughput and low latency for data and voice over LTE (VoLTE) services. Multiple radio points can work in concert to serve a single user, providing substantially higher throughput and longer battery life for users. Further throughput gains are achieved via distributed multi-Radio Point MIMO, which enables 4xN, 6xN, or even 8xN MIMO.

Radio Points can be added at strategic locations to overcome interference from co-channel macro cell sites near-by.  Dynamic capacity allocation enables the system to handle large shifts in users as they move and congregate in different areas of a building. Overall system capacity scales by intelligently re-using frequency resources, creating mini virtual cells for active users throughout the network.

Simple, Low-cost Deployment

OneCell also provides a simple, low cost IT model of deployment.  By using standard Ethernet for front-haul, there is no need for costly proprietary network elements or optical links as commonly found in distributed antenna systems and other macro-architecture-based in-building solutions. Power over Ethernet eliminates the need for local power, and IEEE 1588v2-based timing distribution keeps all the radio points phase and frequency-synchronized without requiring GPS receivers. OneCell leverages Airvana's Device Management System (DMS) for automated plug and play configuration, so no manual, error-prone configurations are necessary. Because cell borders are eliminated and there is only one physical cell, radio frequency planning is vastly simplified.  SON optimizations are conducted automatically to adjust to changes in the macro network or to changes in the building, thus obviating the need for ongoing configuration updates. Lastly, OneCell appears like one single cell to macro eNodeBs and to the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and uses only a single IPSec tunnel, single S1 interface, and greatly reduces signaling load. Watch this video describing how OneCell was quickly and easily deployed to serve a packed university coliseum.

OneCell is deployed over standard Ethernet switches and cabling.

Multi-Operator Solution

Large enterprises and public spaces are typically multi-operator environments, and OneCell is designed to cost effectively and aesthetically support multiple wireless providers with a single infrastructure.  Radio Point hardware supports all the bands within a given region or country (North America, Europe, Japan, Asia, etc) and is common across the multiple operators.  The controller determines which operator is served by a given Radio Point, and multiple operator Controllers and Radio Points share a common Ethernet switching and cabling infrastructure. These operator-independent Radio Points enable “neutral host” or enterprise-purchased business models similar to the DAS market, and allow operators to migrate to different frequencies over time as their spectrum requirements evolve.

Dual OneCell Baseband Controller Units in a 1U Shelf

Dual OneCell Baseband Controller Units in a 1U Shelf

Superior Investment Protection

Because the “thin” Radio Points are primarily just radios, only the Baseband Controller needs to be software upgraded to support future LTE-Advanced functionality.  The Baseband Controller has a powerful CPU that can support the most advanced features and functions coming in LTE, giving OneCell feature parity with the macro network for years to come.  Furthermore, the OneCell architecture is designed to allow operators take advantage of upcoming LTE capabilities, such as carrier aggregation, Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP) and distributed Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO), without replacing any installed equipment.  Your investment is protected.  

OneCell Awards from MWC, CTIA, Gartner Group and German Design Council

Contact Airvana to learn more about OneCell.