Chapter 9

Home eNB (HeNB)

The HeNB is a low-power base station to provide mobile devices with connections to a mobile operator's network via, for example, residential broadband IP connections. Due to the low-power transmission capability, the coverage of HeNB cells is typically quite small in comparison to that of macro cells. For this reason, it is often said that HeNBs are base stations for femto cell services. Figure 9.1 illustrates a conceptual view of HeNB deployment.

Figure 9.1 Conceptual view of HeNB

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In 3GPP specifications, low-power base stations serving femto cells are called the Home Node B (HNB) for UTRAN and the Home eNode B (HeNB) for E-UTRAN, respectively.

“Low power” can also be interpreted as “smaller and low-priced equipment”, which is favorable to scalability and/or ubiquitous deployment of femto cells. From many operators' experience, femto cells have been proven to be a cost-efficient means of capacity enhancement and coverage extension. Deep penetration of broadband IP connections also encourages wider femto cell deployment.

While demand for femto cell deployment has been growing strongly, a standard solution involving femto cells that is favorable to a multi-vendor environment does not exist. Different vendors with different implementations formed fragmented markets, and the lack of interoperability between different vendors prohibited the economies of scale ...

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