Qualcomm aims to solve the coming mobile data crunch with small cell base stations

Written by Digital News on . Posted in News from the Web

Qualcomm aims to solve the mobile data problem with small cell base stations

Qualcomm's been doing very well lately, and most of those chips it builds are for mobile devices that demand a lot of data to serve their owners' needs -- and as more and more folks jump on the smartphone bandwagon, the demand for data will continue to grow exponentially. Today at Qualcomm's What's Next in Mobile event in Santa Clara, California, the company told us more about its plan to help build a network that'll be able to serve up the data all its SoC's need. The goal is to give us 1000 times the capacity of what we currently have. One of the keys, as Qualcomm sees it, is small cell base stations in homes, offices and retail spaces working in tandem with the large cell towers that currently adorn so many roofs and mountain tops -- the same thing ex-FCC head honcho Julian Genachowski talked about last year.

You see, macrocells (read: towers) can blanket wide areas in signal, but they struggle to penetrate the innards of buildings, which is where small cells come in handy. For those who aren't familiar, small cell base stations like femtocells and picocells have been around for years, helping to boost cell signal in small areas by hooking into a local wired network. Until now, these small cells have served as a small-scale supplement to macro networks, but Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob sees them comprising a much bigger chunk of the network of the future. According to him, there are a few issues with using them in an expanded role, however.

Filed under: Mobile

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