AirHop, Adapting to “Dense” Wireless of the Future, Develops Self-Organizing Networking Software

11/24/09Follow @bvbigelow

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managing radio interference from nearby cell sites that is expected to change, a problem that he calls “dynamic interference.” Unlike conventional networks in which cellular base stations more-or-less operate in a steady state, Hui says 4G networks will be continually evolving as more cellular base stations get installed. Because femtocells (the smallest cellular base stations, typically designed for use in a home or small business) will be portable and relatively easy to install, a user’s wireless connectivity could be affected by radio interference from nearby cells in this dense network configuration. It also will change as neighbors and nearby businesses intall their own femtocells. Hui says AirHop’s approach, called evolving SON, addresses dynamic interference by enabling cellular hardware to actively coordinate and manage network traffic among small cells in a neighborhood or business district.

AirHop says that in addition to conventional self-organizing networking capabilities, its evolving-SON technology provides additional capabilities that enable inter-node communication and coordination through a unified, application-level software platform.

“The algorithm is still a traditional communications algorithm used to manage radio resources,” Hui says. “We’ve just applied it to multiple cells… It’s really an optimization problem.”

He adds that AirHop’s technology does not represent an incremental improvement over existing technologies used to build out wireless networks. “We think this idea is very disruptive itself,” says Hui, who also notes the company so far has filed 15 patent applications for its technology. “It’s something that didn’t exist before,” he says. “We looked at the problem very early, and correctly.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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