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ZTE taps Freescale for small cell deployment

ZTE has tapped Freescale (FSL) to power LTE small cell base stations to be deployed throughout China and Japan. Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge BSC9132 base station on a chip will provide embedded intelligence for a new line of TD-LTE femtocell products.

TD-LTE is the 4G wireless standard used by China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier. China Mobile is expected to spend roughly $7 billion on its TD-LTE deployment. $3 billion worth of contracts have been awarded so far, with about 25% of that business going to ZTE.

“ZTE is playing a pivotal role in the build-out of LTE networks across global 4G markets,” said Zhang Shizhuang, TDD product director for ZTE. “The performance, energy efficiency and scalability of Freescale’s proven QorIQ Qonverge platform allow us to deliver compelling and highly differentiated products designed to establish an early leadership position in LTE solutions.”

Service providers are increasingly interested in femtocells as a way to offload traffic and increase coverage. Femtocells are usually deployed indoors, and in enterprise settings they can often leverage existing Ethernet installations for both power and backhaul.

The femtocell “base station on a chip” market is highly competitive now, with companies like Freescale and Texas Instruments that supply macro base stations competing with chipmakers like Qualcomm and Broadcom with expertise in low power chipsets for mobile devices. Power budgets are a limiting factor in femtocell deployments, because the RF amplifiers often use much of the available power.

Freescale’s BSC9132 combines two e500 cores and two StarCore SC3850 cores with MAPLE-B2P baseband acceleration processing elements in order to handle all required processing layers without the need for an external device except for an RF transceiver in a femtocell deployment. As is a multimode solution, it can process LTE-FDD/TDD and HSPA+ users simultaneously.

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Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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