Using LTE Relay as a Backhaul for Small Cells

iRelay: Innovative new portfolio of backhaul solutions, based on LTE Relay

iRelay is part of Airspan’s innovative new portfolio of backhaul solutions aiming to provide solutions that meet customer’s varied needs.

iRelay is based on LTE Relay, which is an out of band relay solution, using different LTE frequencies for the backhaul and access links. The backhaul link leverages existing LTE macro networks to provide a backhaul solution for small cell deployments.

Traditional backhaul technologies require upfront investment in fibre links with a connected Wireless Base which connects wirelessly to a terminal to provide remote coverage. With iRelay, the Base is replaced by an already installed Macro eNodeB that then connects to an iRelay as a Terminal to provide backhaul to any end node. Hence, iRelay allows customer low investment to backhaul to nodes such as small cell, wifi AP and so on.

Advanced Performance

iRelay is based on the latest UE chipsets providing enhanced performance in both the uplink and downlink, with up to 8 Receivers, 4 Transmitters, Uplink MIMO and Uplink Carrier aggregation.

This ensures that iRelay can provide significantly improved performance and spectral efficiency compared to the current UE on the network, thereby further improving the overall ‘Relay Gain’ of the network. Whilst improved iRelay performance can enhance the backhaul capacity of the system, it can also effectively increase the operational range, enabling installation of small cells in today’s coverage holes.

Steerable Antennas

iRelay contains steerable antennas, which automatically align with the best Donor eNB, selected using a comprehensive policy based selection algorithm based on a combination of RSSI, MIMO, SNR and other parameters, to maximise backhaul performance. This allows for a simple deployment model with unskilled labor, and eliminates the need for upfront RF design or planning. This technology also enables automatic re- selection of the Donor eNB as the network changes or evolves. Overall, this provides a significant saving on the OPEX required to rollout and maintain the network.

iRelay Specifications

Key Features

Plug and Play

iRelay is a complete “Plug and Play” solution, only requiring power to enable backhaul to be established.

Cell Re-Selection

Provides an ongoing operational advantage to conventional backhaul, by automatically scheduling the re-selection of Donor cells

 All-in-one Solution

iRelay is available as an integrated solution with Airspan’s eNB, to provide all classes of eNB with self backhauling capability.

End to End QOS

iRelay provides an ongoing operational advantage to conventional backhaul, by providing QoS based capability to its associated Airspan LTE eNodeB providing superior performance.

Improves Network Performance

iRelay consists of a high gain, directional antenna, which establishes a high performance connection with the Donor eNB.

Multi Band Donor eNodeB Selection

iRelay solution can scan across all available bands to select the best Donor eNB.