Data at the Edge (DATE)

Status date

Altobridge’s 3G lite-site (DATE) solution offers bandwidth hungry 3G services to remote communities. The current 2.5G altoPod provides 2TRX capacity which is capable of voice and GPRS/EDGE. The 3G lite-site is a natural evolution of the solution into 3G technology.

Along with provision of the 3G services to remote communities the solution also concentrates on providing best in class backhaul optimisation and on-site power consumption.

For the 2.5G solution, there is a concentration on optimisation of voice. The improvements in HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA and HSPA+ has allowed for large data volumes be supported on the radio interface.

For data hungry services the bandwidth figures increase by an order of magnitude compared to the voice payload of 2.5G services. Rather than working in the region of tens of Kbps, for 3G services you are in the region of hundreds of Kbps and even Mbps.

For 3G service the optimisation focus needs to change from voice to data. To this end the high level objectives of the 3G lite-site (DATE) solution are as follows

  • Provide 3G Voice and data services,
  • Reduce the backhaul bandwidth capacity by optimising the data between the 3G lite-site and the Core Network,
  • For the remote solution a range of 2km is required,
  • Low power solution.

3rd Party Relationship for Femto Based Radio solution requires close planning and inter-action between Altobridge and 3PP.

Data optimization technologies are cutting edge and will require extensive testing and optimization in order to achieve the required backhaul savings.

Billing/LI requirements from Telecoms Operators are quite stringent and result in extensive development and testing requirements on the overall solution.

Customer Access for IOT/Trial is required. This requires close and ongoing discussions with existing customers to facilitate access to Trial sites.


Following our experience from many years of successful roll-out of our 2.5G GSM solution, several prototype demonstrations and operator meetings to discuss the evolution of this 2G solution towards 3G and beyond, this project is focused on delivery the following key benefits to our customers.

  1. Support 3G WCDMA air interface with services including Release 99 features and HSPA; in emerging markets 30% to 50% of user devices support WCDMA, this is therefore the preferred delivery technology of cellular operators for data services.  
  2. Support a cell radius of at least 2km; most traffic (voice and data) is handled within 2km of the base station, beyond the 2km range the system can support GPRS/EDGE data rates thanks to the co-located 2.5G system.
  3. Support at least 16 simultaneous user sessions; our current 2.5G solution is typically configured to support 22 simultaneous calls, given a 3G device penetration rate of 50% we need to support at least 11 simultaneous 3G voice or data sessions. This is rounded up to 16 which is typical of small 3G base stations.
  4. Reduce satellite backhaul bandwidth by at least 50% for data traffic; this is needed to ensure an economically viable solution in developing markets.
  5. Minimize power consumption; to enable 100% solar power solutions as is already done in the 2.5G solution.

High Level Overview of 3G DATE Solution

click for larger image

HSPA Voice and Data services

  1. 12.2 kbps AMR for voice
  2. 64kbps Video
  3. PS Data services (R99) up to 384 kbps
  4. HSDPA 14.4 Mbps downlink (limited by DSL speed)
  5. HSUPA 5.76 Mbps uplink (limited by DSL speed)

2KM range for HSPA Voice and Data services
16 Simultaneous Users
UMTS FDD Band I support
3GPP Iuh Release-9 complaint
3GPP UMTS FDD Release-6 complaint
Operations and Maintenance (OMC) framework
Voice handled by co-located 2G system
50% backhaul optimisation
Outdoor remote enclosure
3G UMTS Band 1 support
Wifi Access Point

  • 12.2 kbps AMR for voice
  • 64 kbps video
  • PS data services (R99) upto 384 kbps
  • HSDPA 14.4 Mbps downlink (limited by DSL speed)
  • HSUPA 5.76 Mbps uplink (limited by DSL speed)
  • Range – 2km
  • 16 simultaneous users (initially 8)
  • UMTS FDD band I support
  • 3GPP Iuh Release-9 compliant
  • 3GPP UMTS FDD Release-6 compliant
  • Support TR-069.TR-196 and TR-098 management interfaces.

3rd Party Remote Enclosure
PS Handout 3G-2G
3G Voice Optimization
PM Server integration
50% Backhaul Optimization


This project is quite complex and will span 3 distinct phases:

Phase I
This Phase will include basic 3G services and Central/Remote Data Manager integration in order to provide trial solution for evaluation and measurement of the bandwidth usage, backhaul savings and end user experience. Phase 1 development includes basic platform work, cellular protocol support, data optimization features and Operations & Maintenance (O&M). Associated with these development tasks are related specification, documentation and testing activities.

Phase II
This Phase will improve on the Phase I features and also implement Platform features to provide scale and dimensioning for the 3G lite-site™ and providing the external enclosure hardware that will be used in production. Phase II development includes SPP update, Cloud Architecture development, Voice Optimization, 3G-2G Data Hand-over.

Phase III
The final phase will include improvements based on the previous trials in order to maximize the performance and backhaul savings. Phase III development will include 2G-3G CS Handover, Improved PM/FM handling, New Data Optimization Features.

During the course of the project execution and based on customer feedback, there were some controlled changes to the content of the DATE project. These changes have now been formally agreed within Altobridge and with ESA and the project has been successfully rebaselined as a result.

Current status

Completed. The project deliverables have been completed. An extensive IOT has taken place with a Tier 1 Mobile Network Operator. Following on from this success a trial across a number of live sites has also been successfully concluded.