In Partnership with Rohde & Schwarz, ASTRI Demonstrates Centralised Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Virtual Cell Solutions for Ultra-Dense Networks (UDNs) at Mobile World Congress 2017 In Barcelona

[28 February 2017, Hong Kong] Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) showcased its C-RAN virtual cell solutions at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The solutions enhance the system capacity in UDNs with LTE signal analysers from Rohde & Schwarz (R&S).

The demonstration revealed ASTRI’s latest TD-LTE C-RAN-based virtual cell solutions consisting of an LTE x86-based virtual cell Baseband Unit (BBU) and two Transmit-Receive Points (TRPs). TD-LTE standard compliant signals from each coordinated TRPs are monitored by R&S RTO digital oscilloscopes with R&S FS-K104 EUTRA/LTE Downlink Software and R&S FS-K105 EUTRA/LTE Uplink Software. The result shows that the coordinated data traffic from both TRPs are jointly scheduled and transmitted using the same time frequency resources. This enhances system capacity through spatial re-use. As Joint Transmission (JT) is supported, the cell edge signal quality is enhanced and inter-cell interference — which is prevalent in conventional mobile networks — is eliminated. Since all the cells within a virtual cell cluster share the same cell ID, no handover is required across virtual cells. The virtual cell technologies are further extendable to support beam-based virtual networks in 5G UDNs.

ASTRI’s C-RAN virtual cell baseband unit is based on the Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) approach. Running on commercial x86 servers, the solution is scalable to support up to 96 LTE cells. The demonstration utilises Sunnada’s small cells as the Radio Remote Units (RRUs). This provides cost efficiency and flexible deployment. The system can also support other RRU types according to system requirements.

ASTRI has been active in LTE R&D since 2008 and already plays a leading role in market-ready LTE and LTE-Advanced small cell and terminal technologies. As a pioneer in 5G technologies, the institute is devoted to developing next generation communication systems. Apart from C-RAN systems, ASTRI is actively involved in developing and commercialising different 4.5/5G technologies including Massive MIMO, Machine Type Communications (MTC), Device-to-device (D2D) and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X).

ASTRI’s demonstration at MWC utilised Sunnada’s small cells as the RRUs. The demonstration took place at the Sunnada booth (Hall 5, Stand 5G70). MWC 2017 is being held at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain, from 27 February to 2 March.


Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research. ASTRI’s core R&D competences in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Opto-electronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. For further information about ASTRI, please visit

About Rohde & Schwarz

The Rohde & Schwarz electronics group offers innovative solutions in all fields of wireless communications as well as in IT security. Founded more than 80 years ago, the independent company has an extensive sales and service network with subsidiaries and representatives in more than 70 countries. On June 30, 2016, Rohde & Schwarz had approximately 10,000 employees. The group achieved a net revenue of approximately EUR 1.92 billion in the 2015/2016 fiscal year (July to June). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and also has strong regional hubs in Asia and the USA.

R&S ® is a registered trademark of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG.


ASTRI Media enquiries:

Ms Cherry Au            Tel: (852) 3406 2993              Email: [email protected]