“Small Cells as a Service” Trials – Report Published

We have just published the report from our independent evaluation of the trials conducted by Virgin Media Business in support of their plans for what we have coined a “Small Cell as a Service” proposition, i.e. a hosted, managed service to help mobile operators to roll out small cells in cities more effectively.

As we reported recently, the trials were conducted in two UK cities to help inform operators as to the practical radio performance available from small cells. The small cells in the trial were LTE devices and we have examined the performance of these for both outdoor and indoor users. We have also analysed the data to infer  how small cells could supplement the service from macrocells and how they might perform in a  3G/HSPA context. A comparison was made of the indoor coverage available from a Wi-Fi access point and an LTE small cell mounted in the same location.

Findings include:

  • Outdoor range of as much as 290m for a  20 Mbps cell edge target
  • 60 Mbps measured indoors up to 250m from the access point
  • A consistently high indoor user experience in the trial area with all except 4 indoor measurements reaching above 20Mbps 
  • A potential doubling in outdoor median throughput was observed compared to simulated macrocells (for cell edge placement of small cell)
  • Small cell mean single user outdoor throughputs in the region of 58Mbps for a 20Mbps single user cell edge target 
  • Small cells deployed in busy areas could meet today’s mobile data demand requirements in the UK’s 80% most densely populated areas with a 15x capacity headroom for future growth or to serve the ‘hyper dense’ demand of the City of London’s busiest locations.
  • Small cells achieve consistently higher indoor performance over a wider area than outdoor Wi-Fi from a given location

As well as giving details of the trial data analysis, the report analyses the motivations of operators to deploy small cells and examines how a SCaaS approach could help to address some of the major challenges to widespread small cell deployment, including backhaul and practical site issues. The approach can also help to create a bridge the interests of operators and those of city councils, who both ultimately want to enhance the mobile broadband experience for the inhabitants and visitors of the city.

For further details see:

Contact us to discuss the report further. 

The Future of Spectrum Usage – Cambridge, 7th November 2012

The Future of Spectrum UsageEvent: Joint ICTKTN and Cambridge Wireless Event , ‘The Future of Spectrum Usage’  
Date: 30 – 31 October 2012
Venue: Homerton College, Cambridge
What: Presenting on “The Future of Spectrum Usage” and facilitating a workshop

Outcome: Several Real Wireless staff attended this event and we were responsible for facilitating and recording the results of a workshop group.

For details of the outcomes see:

We are hiring: Wireless Technology Consultant specialising in Simulation and Modelling


Real Wireless Limited is seeking a qualified and experienced technology consultant to join a small and successful expert consulting team to lead and contribute to projects regarding a wide range of wireless technologies for enterprise, vendor, operator and regulator clients.  In particular, we are looking for an additional team member whose main focus would be on delivering, operating and interpreting simulation models to quantify the performance of wireless networks.  However, the successful candidate would also have strong general consultancy skills and technical expertise in wireless technology to contribute to other projects as needed.    

About Real Wireless

Real Wireless is a UK-based wireless consultancy, founded by principals with extensive wireless experience and reputation in the UK and internationally. A small but highly capable and experienced consulting team has been created, complemented by a growing group of part-time expert associates, many of whom are acknowledged international experts in their fields. Since its formation at the beginning of 2007, Real Wireless has gained a reputation for thought leadership, at the forefront of developments in femtocells, enterprise wireless systems and spectrum issues, and in providing technical, commercial and strategic expertise with credibility and independence. Diverse assignments for clients such as Wembley Stadium, Ofcom, iBwave, BAA, Ubiquisys and Small Cell Forum have confirmed this reputation.

We have deep and detailed knowledge of a wide range of wireless technologies. We conduct in-depth technical analysis and link the outcomes to commercial and strategic business and regulatory contexts.

Real Wireless is, by design, small and focused entirely on the wireless sector. The distinctive elements of our service include:

  • Complete focus on wireless, covering service, technology, business and regulatory aspects.
  • Expert staff with a high level of education and experience.
  • Independenceof thought and ownership, underpinned by a high level of integrity.
  • Consulting based on real-world experience, derived from our background in research, product development, systems design and operation as well as technical and strategic consulting.
  • Experience of designing, installing and operating wireless systems for enterprises as well as operators, yielding a unique perspective on the needs of both.

The Role

Real Wireless has built up an impressive in house capability in the simulation and modeling of wireless networks.  Recent example of this has included amongst others:

  • Developing detailed coverage models for Ofcom to understand the cost to operators of applying a coverage obligation at 800MHz via LTE
  • Designing and developing in-building propagation algorithms to be incorporated in commercial indoor planning tools such as those delivered by iBWave
  • Analysing measurements collected during trials of LTE outdoor small cells by Virgin Media and interpreting these into quantifiable benefits for operators
  • Modeling the capacity of cellular networks over an 18 year timeline for Ofcom which included understanding the trade-offs between spectrum efficiency improvements, topology changes and the availability of additional spectrum in meeting growing demand.  

Our success in modeling the performance of wireless networks, understanding the trade-offs within these and translating this into the benefits that our clients really care about has led to an ever increasing demand for our skills in this area.  We are now looking to expand our team to keep pace with this.

The main focus of the role is to contribute to the design, development, operation and interpretation of system-level  simulation models to quantify the performance of wireless networks.  What is meant by “quantifying the performance of wireless networks” will vary from project to project depending on the client’s interest and so we are looking for a team member who can quickly understand a client’s need and is flexible and innovative enough to rapidly develop simulation models that clearly present the answer required in tight timescales.  Essential skills for this role include having in-depth experience in using MATLAB (ideally to model wireless networks) and a firm understanding of wireless technologies (including but not limited to LTE). Experience of other simulation tools and packages would also be of benefit.

Due to the nature of consultancy work the role is a highly flexible, dynamic and varied one. Beyond the simulation and modeling tasks which are the main focus of this role, you may be responsible for assisting with proposals to clients based on identified needs, delivering on other non-modeling based consulting projects and identifying opportunities for follow-on engagements.

You will work on a wide range of consulting projects as these arise. You will lead some projects and work as a team member on others according to the project.

Real Wireless operates a ‘virtual office’ approach to maintain flexibility. Some projects will be remotely conducted and home-based, while others will involve periods working within client offices. Most work will be based in the UK, but there are likely to be opportunities for international travel. A high degree of flexibility is required to work successfully on projects to the delight of our customers as the need arises.

The role is a full-time permanent one, subject to an initial probationary period.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Good quality degree in relevant engineering or science subjects to Masters or PhD level
  • In-depth knowledge of the theory and practice of a range of wireless technologies, preferably including a strong mixture of mobile (GSM, UMTS / HSPA, LTE, WiMAX), wireless LAN/PAN (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), PMR (trunked radio and TETRA) technologies.
  • In depth experience in using MATLAB to model the performance of wireless networks and the ability to revert to using other modeling approaches such as Excel or C in this context as needed. It would also be an advantage to have experience in other simulation environments, including commercial radio planning tools, MapInfo etc.
  • Ideally 2-5 years experience in a wireless vendor, operator or consulting environment
  • Strong presentation skills and experience in explaining challenging technical and commercial concepts for both expert and non-specialist audiences
  • Strong written skills in providing clear and logical expositions of technical and commercial information
  • Problem-solving aptitude, adopting an evidence-based approach supplemented with clear analysis and reasoning to reach and advocate conclusions and recommendations of value to our customers
  • Ability to work independently or as part of a team and to be able to deliver under tight timescales without close supervision
  • Preferably based in the South-East of England with easy access to London, but other locations may be possible


The successful candidate will be offered a competitive basic salary, supplemented with an uncapped bonus scheme, paid quarterly based on individual and team achievements against targets.

Informal enquiries concerning the role are welcome via info@realwireless.biz, as are applications in the form of a CV and covering letter highlighting relevant background, experience, and interest in the role as described.