Dean Fresonke, ClearSky, explains a comprehensive approach to Small Cell as a Service

Dean Fresonke Clearsky In a deal just announced, ClearSky Technologies (who operate a Small Cell gateway as a managed service) has teamed up with Knight Enterprises (a cable TV and broadband contractor whose field staff physically install equipment in the street and in customer premises. The partnership, serving the South-eastern United States, offers a service similar but slightly more encompassing of that seen touted in the UK by Virgin Media.

We spoke with Dean Fresonke, ClearSky's Co-Founder and SVP Business Development, to understand more about the mechanics of large scale Small Cell deployment and why they've chosen to go down this route.

Interview with Mike Schabel, VP Small Cells, Alcatel-Lucent

Mike Schabel VP Small Cells Alcatel-Lucent We met with Mike at Mobile World Congress, where he updated us on the recent progress that Alcatel-Lucent has been making in the Small Cell space. He reported progress on their Qualcomm-based joint product development, clarified a recent announcement to work with a DAS vendor and shared his views of the longer term Small Cell market direction.

Todd Mersch, Radisys, reports a mix of bleeding edge and practical Small Cell engineering

Todd MerschTodd Mersch, General Manager of Software and Solutions at Radisys, is well placed to provide a high level view of the state of Small Cell product development. He travels the globe talking with many different designers and operators about all types of Small Cell products. We caught up with him recently and asked him whether he sees most activity in 3G or LTE, how significant TD-LTE will become and what part the larger RAN vendors are playing in the Small Cell market today.

Gordon Mansfield, Chair of Small Cell Forum, explains Release Two: Enterprise

Gordon MansfieldToday, the Small Cell Forum announced their Release Two, publishing a series of more than 20 freely accessible new documents addressing all aspects of Enterprise Small Cells. This extensive volume of work is based on the requirements of the Forum's operator members to help address the challenges to enterprise small cell deployments.

We asked Gordon Mansfield, Chair of the Small Cell Forum, for some background about the release; who has been involved, who it's intended for and what the Forum plans to do next.

Simon Brown, CEO ip.access, explains why Qualcomm was selected for their next generation small cells

Simon Brown CEO ip.accessSmall cell pioneers ip.access announced selection of Qualcomm's FSM chipset for their latest generation of 3G small cell products. We asked their CEO, Simon Brown, to explain the reasoning behind that choice and how it fits into their wider evolution plans for the business.

He explains how they adapted their software to become portable across multiple silicon platforms, reveals some unique benefits that Qualcomm bring, and sets the stage for their future small cell roadmap. He believes the small cell industry needs to talk more publicly about its success, pointing out that few of their 40 recent sales can be publicly quoted today.

ThinkSmallCell Interview with Rob Soni, CTO for Small Cells Alcatel-Lucent

Qualcomm Alcatel Lucent logosRob Sobi, CTO of Small Cells for Alcatel-Lucent, explains the scope and purpose of their new joint initiative with Qualcomm including what both parties bring to the project. He also provided an update on their 3G metrocell program, with insights into some of the real-world deployment status and issues.

I confess that when I originally saw the Qualcom/Alcatel-Lucent announcement, I thought this meant that a completely new product range would be developed which superceded and replaced the existing Alcatel-Lucent small cell solution. That's not the case, with this new 9963 product targeting the indoor enterprise segment which Cisco, Spidercloud, ip.access and others have been focussing on. This will complement their existing 9363 indoor products.

Interview with Andy Odgers, CEO of Quortus, talking about Enterprise Small Cells

Andy Odgers QuortusAndy Odgers founded Quortus in 2009 and has since organically grown the company to over 20 staff. Their software product provides core network functionality at the edge of the network, such as controlling voice traffic offloaded to an office network. His insights into how Enterprise and rural small cells might evolve have allowed him to architect and develop a software solution which bridges the gap between the network and Enterprise/local fixed networks. The need for this critical software component is now becoming more visible as the market begins to adopt these small cell applications.

ThinkSmallCell Interview with Andy Sutton, Principal Network Architect at EE UK on their future small cell plans

Andy Sutton EEAndy is one of the key staff driving the engineering strategy at EE, the UK's largest mobile network. Here he explains why EE's network topology enables them to defer the inevitable expansion into small cell deployment, compares alternative future LTE network architectures and forecasts the likely timing and reasons for future small cell adoption.

ThinkSmallCell Interview with Manish Gupta, VP Marketing and Business Development, Symmetricom

Manish GuptaSymmetricom provide the end-to-end timing solutions and grandmaster clocks used by the majority of telecommunications networks worldwide. They work closely with the majority of small cell designers, vendors and operators. I asked Manish Gupta, VP Marketing and Business Development, to share his insights into how the small cell marketplace is evolving, and explain what issues are holding back large scale deployment of small cells.

He reveals what current small cell hardware costs, believes the number of small cell products coming to market will increase dramatically over the next 12 months, but forecasts a rationalisation of the number of ODM small cell vendors.

ThinkSmallCell interview with Charles Kuai, former CEO and President of Ubee-Airwalk

Charles KuaiIt's not often we get to interview people who have bought an entire femtocell company. This article is based on the personal views of Charles Kuai, formerly CSO & President of Mobile Broadband for Ubee-Interactive, which acquired a leading 3G CDMA femtocell company Airwalk last year. He outlines some of the key challenges that mobile operators face today, identifies regional and cultural differences and discusses some of the implications for the future.

These are his personal opinions and don't necessarily reflect the official views of any company.

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    Residential

    Residential

    A significant number of users continue to report poor mobile coverage in their homes. There will always be areas which are uneconomic for mobile operator to reach. They range from rural areas

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    Enterprise

    Enterprise

    The term Enterprise addresses any non-residential in-building including hotels, convention centres, transport hubs, offices, hospitals and retail outlets. It's not just intended for businesses to

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    Urban

    Urban

    Urban small cells (sometimes also named metrocells) are compact and discrete mobile phone basestations, unobstrusively located in urban areas. They can be mounted on lampposts, positioned on the

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    Rural

    Rural

    A rural small cell is a low power mobile phone base station designed to bring mobile phone service to small pockets of population in remote rural areas. These could be hamlets, small villages or

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