LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL MOBILE BROADBAND FORUM 2015, HONG KONG: Canada’s Telus is a strong proponent of hetnets and has turned its focus to expanding capacity with micro cells, aiming to simplify deployments by taking a plug-and-play approach.

“We are done building our macro cells,” said Eros Spadotto (pictured), EVP of technology strategy and operations at Canada’s third largest operator. “We are a big believer in micro cells and picocells are coming.”

By the end of next year the operator plans to have roughly as many micro cells as macro cells and is preparing to launch picocells in Q1, he said this morning in his keynote.

Its macro cells will form an umbrella that covers its entire network and capacity will be brought to the network using micro cells.

Spadotto said it is a very heterogeneous network and one it believes offers multiple capacity paths.

The next phase, he said, is to move to a plug-and-play approach, because the level of complexity being introduced into the network can’t work unless things are easy to deploy. “One thing we’re doing is that next year the micro cells we are deploying will be installed by our fibre installers. There is not an RF engineer involved in our micro cell deployments.”

The operator started installing micro cells in 2009 and offloaded about 25 per cent of the mobile traffic in downtown Vancouver during the winter Olympics in 2012. “We have been able to construct micro cells that carry a significant amount of traffic that was not previously carried on macros.”

He said one thing that has been elusive across the industry is the convergence of wireless and wireline networks. “5G will be the convergence platform for Telus,” he added.