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Verizon has had a big change of heart when it comes to small cells, which it once said wouldn’t have a big…
Small cells, big bandwidth
Verizon is tapping startup SpiderCloud’s small cell technology to move its LTE network indoors, announcing plans to begin wiring up office buildings with these tiny base stations.
Just like that
Following a successful pilot in a village in the north of England, EE intends to connect around 1,500 rural communities in the next few years.
Buying a company that specializes in 5G technologies doesn’t mean Google wants to build a 5G mobile network. Alpental is working on 60 GHz wireless networks, which could be used to augment Google’s many broadband projects.
After a two year wait, the FCC is again taking up a proposal that would create a shared spectrum band between government uses, carriers and the public.
A report from The Information has revived the rumor that Google wants to become a mobile carrier. If it’s true, here’s they type of network we think Google would build.
AT&T is phasing out its “it’s not complicated” ad campaign in favor of new commercials that show just how complicated its network can be.
The Magic Kingdom will use the mobile industry’s latest network sorcery. AT&T is installing tiny base stations throughout Disney World and Disney Land to boost mobile voice and data capacity throughout the theme parks.
After a year of testing small cells in every way imaginable, AT&T is ready to begin its large-scale rollout of the technology. The tiny base stations will boost bandwidth in the high-demand places with surgical precision.
SpiderCloud has already established an early lead in indoor mobile networking. Now it’s hoping to extend that lead in the age of 4G networking with a small cell that can support multiple wireless technologies.
Ericsson has fully integrated BelAir Networks’ high-powered Wi-Fi technology into its mobile networking gear. The first big evidence of that will appear in Q4 when its first commercial small cells go live.
Europe’s mobile enfant terrible Free Mobile today introduced phase 2 of its plan to flood France with cheap data and voice services. It’s installing femtocells in homes around the country, accessible to any Free customer.
Another month, another big acquisition to bolster Cisco’s portfolio for mobile carriers. This time it’s Ubiquisys, the highly-rated purveyor of small cells, SON technology and other operator-focused treats.
Ericsson networks boss Johan Wibergh says the age of dense small networks is about to begin. After years of sorting out the kinks, Ericsson is ready to start shipping its first commercial small cells this summer.
Vodafone is already trialing 1000 small cells in the UK, and starting next year it plans to expand its use of tiny base station technology into its other global networks. Vodafone is still cautious though about small cells’ immediate impact.
Ruckus is following a different path than its arch-rival BelAir Networks. Instead of preening itself for acquisition, it’s filed for an initial public offering. Hoping to raise $100 million, Ruckus will keep plugging away at building expansive outdoor Wi-Fi networks.
While there is a groundswell of enthusiasm for Wi-Fi as a mobile data alternative to cellular, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg says there is a limit to what Wi-Fi can accomplish. Wi-Fi will have a role, but it will be one connection option among many.
AT&T has started sending out small cell feelers to its vendors,which could be the first sign of big changes to come on AT&T’s networks. LightReading reports that an AT&T RFI indicates that Ma Bell is looking to procure as many as 100,000 pint-sized base stations.
Sprint plans to make an aggressive use of small cells in its future LTE network, launching tens of thousands of tiny high-capacity base stations in high-traffic indoor and outdoor areas in 2013 and 2014.The end goal of Sprint’s small cell efforts is a heterogeneous network.
Arieso is working with a major U.S. carrier to plan for the advent of small cells. The company won’t name the operator, saying only it was a Tier I player, but that carrier is using its tools to help build the heterogenous networks of the future.
The mobile industry is counting on future wireless networks being heterogeneous: complex multi-layered systems of overlapping big and small cells, pumping out cheap bandwidth. But to arrive at hetnet we first need to figure out how to link all of those small cells together.
Verizon has seen the future of cellular networking — and it doesn’t look much different from today. In an FCC filing, Verizon dismissed a bevy of new wireless technologies and claimed the only way it can grow capacity is to layer more airwaves onto its current networks.
Smartphones are driving a renaissance in global Wi-Fi hotspots, according to a new report. But the primary beneficiaries of these millions of new access points, the mobile operators, aren’t all convinced of the hotspot’s merits as a means of adding cheap capacity to their networks.
Mobile operators face an unprecedented growth in data traffic stemming from multiple dimensions — subscribers, devices and applications among them. But simply adding more macro base stations or upgrading to new technologies such as LTE will not suffice to meet the data growth challenge. An alternative solution is to take advantage of heterogeneous networks, which are the result of increasing capacity in congested areas while leveraging the existing macro infrastructure across the network. These networks provide operators with a more flexible set of tools that will allow them to implement deep changes in how they think about and deploy their networks. This report explores the opportunities and challenges, and includes a look at what’s to come in the future as wireless data traffic continues to grow. Companies mentioned in this report include AT&T, T-Mobile and Motorola. For a full list of companies, and to read the full report, sign up for a free trial.
I’ve used wireless 3G services since 2004, and I’ve seen the experience degrade over time as demand for these networks has outstripped supply. More people have discovered the joys of using the Internet everywhere, which has led to growth in adoption and more devices with embedded 3G radios. In turn, carriers are unable to balance the growing demand with their limited supply.
And it’s not just data traffic that’s causing problems — it’s all too common for voice calls to be dropped due by overwhelmed networks or limited geographic coverage. But without billions of dollars in additional infrastructure investment, carrier networks are limited to their fixed coverage areas.
In an effort to limit network expansion (and its associated costs), carriers are starting to push femtocells as a solution for poor coverage in the home. These router-sized devices are essentially miniature cellular base stations that use a pre-existing broadband connection for backhaul. The potential market ranges from home users to small businesses where people use a cellphone in lieu of a fixed landline. From the user perspective, femtocells mean more reliable phone service. From the carrier’s point of view, femtocells offer bits of targeted network expansion where it’s needed most, and at a relatively small cost.
But can fixed-base femtocells really rescue us from the plights of cellular constraints?