The term Smart Networks refers to five unique features that can substantially increase the data capacity of an existing network with existing devices, without deploying more cell sites or using more spectrum. Many of these features do not require the deployment of EV-DO Rev. B, and they can be applied to networks that have multiple EV-DO Rev. A carriers, yet in some cases there is an additional performance gain in multicarrier configurations or if EV-DO Rev. B devices are also present in the network.
- Network Load Balancing utilizes unused network capacity of lightly-loaded neighboring cells to achieve more than double the data rate under certain loading conditions. This Smart Network technique opportunistically reassigns mobile devices from heavily-loaded sectors to lightly-loaded sectors, even if the quality of the radio channel is actually better in the heavily-loaded sector. The end result is increased network capacity, reduced backhaul bottlenecks and improved data rates for both the offloaded users and the users in the loaded cell.
- Adaptive Frequency Reuse, also known as Demand Matched Configuration, reduces the interference in a capacity-constrained cell by reducing the transmit power of a secondary carrier frequency in the adjacent lightly-loaded cells, while the primary carrier frequency continues to operate at full power to ensure ubiquitous coverage. This increases overall data network capacity and improves data rates.
- Distributed Network Scheduler is a multicarrier feature that prioritizes and allocates bandwidth to multiple users at the network level. The distribution of available bandwidth (e.g., allocated time) to each user is prioritized and allocated across multiple carriers, serving sectors and cells within the active set based on the relative RF environment (SNR), thus maximizing the overall efficiency of the network and taking the concept of a proportional fair scheduler to a whole new level, especially in hotspots. Proportional fair scheduling is no longer limited to a sector-carrier level. With this Smart Network technique, it is now extended to a network-level.
- Single Carrier Multilink is an interesting twist on Multicarrier EV-DO. With Single Carrier Multilink, an EV-DO Rev. B device (that can process two independent data streams simultaneously) can achieve the benefits of a multicarrier network, albeit in the hand-off regions of a single carrier environment. With Single Carrier Multilink, two carriers using the same frequency can serve a dual-antenna mobile device from different cells/sectors.
- Smart Carrier Management uses the signal strength and load on each carrier to assign the optimal combination of carriers for each device. This scenario could occur in a hotspot deployment where the carrier used by the hotspot operating in a lower band (e.g., 800 MHz) results in a stronger signal than that of a base station further away using a higher band carrier (e.g., 1900 MHz).