Singapore mobile operator StarHub says that its customers will soon benefit from a ‘faster and smoother surfing experience in crowded areas’, via the planned deployment of its 4G heterogeneous network infrastructure (HetNet) – which will include mini base stations (i.e. small cells) that boost 4G coverage – in areas such as malls and hospitals. HetNet allows users to access the web and move seamlessly on their mobile devices, switching to different types of network depending on location, for example from a Wi-Fi hook up at home to a mobile 4G network on the move or on to public Wi-Fi and small cells, if needed. In the latest expansion of HetNet, StarHub intends to deploy coverage to the areas of Marina Bay Sands, Marina Bay City Gallery and The Promontory@Marina Bay by the end of the year. The deployment requires the integration of Nokia Networks’ time division duplex and frequency division duplex LTE (TD-LTE, FDD-LTE) and outdoor small cells solutions, it said. The cellco confirms that: ‘Unlike a traditional homogeneous mobile network that consists of high-powered macro base stations designed to cover several kilometres in radius each, a HetNet is a mix of macro base stations and small cells or even enterprise-grade Wi-Fi access points to provide a mosaic of mobile coverage and seamless handover capability between the different wireless access technologies within an operator’s network. Hence, HetNets are mainly deployed to optimise the quality of mobile experience at crowded sites, hard-to-reach areas or special events.’ Launched at Marina Bay Sands (The Shoppes) earlier this year, HetNet has now been expanded with over 100 macro base stations and small cells within and around The Esplanade, The Float@Marina Bay, The Fullerton Heritage, The Padang, and War Memorial Park.
As part of the above, StarHub is using Nokia Networks’ TDD-FDD voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) platform, offering zero call-drops and high-definition (HD) voice continuity for subscribers.