Alcatel-Lucent are often associated with urban small cells, where they have become synonymous with the term Metrocell. But they are one of the few end-to-end suppliers that address the whole small cell spectrum including residential and enterprise sectors. We looked into some of their recent changes and future direction.
Like many people in the northern hemisphere, part of my summer break was spent at a small regional airport. I watched the arrival and departure of a low cost airline flight and tracked impact on the cellular network during the turnaround. It's a case which is crying out for a simple and cost effective technical solution, and one which a small cell would be ideally qualified to resolve. We discuss some of the practical aspects which might be holding back wider deployment.
As the Small Cell industry prepares for the industry's annual get together in London at Small Cell World Summit, it seems that the scope and complexity of what the term "Small Cell" means is being wrenched and stretched almost beyond recognition.
We consider if this is this a good or a bad thing, and what the industry could do about it?
In-building cellular service quality appears to have been noticeably degrading over the last year. This is apparent from an increase in dropped calls, generally poor voice connections (especially uplink), intermittent indoor data connectivity, with text messages - even incoming calls - not getting through.
Few new macrocell towers are being built these days. In some countries it's quite the opposite, with site sharing agreements driving consolidation and decommissioning of duplicate adjacent sites. Some are being added to satisfy pockets of poor coverage, especially in rural areas. There are a few regions of the world where further macrocell rollout continues makes good business sense. A further complication is regulatory restrictions on total cellsite RF emission levels, which in at least one country renders the majority of cellsites unsuitable for 4G rollout.
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- 2013 Small Cell End of Year Report Card
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- ThinkSmallCell End of Year Report Card 2012
- Small Cells Global Congress Report
- HetNet Europe Conference Report - A mix of large and small cells
- Chinese small cell market status August 2012
- Comparison of recent Small Cell and femtocell industry forecasts
- Small Cell World Summit Report June 2012
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- Small Cells in Latin America
- Verizon Wireless to deploy small cells, already short of LTE spectrum
- Small Cell roundup from Mobile World Congress 2012