It is easy to understand AT&T Inc.'s desire to add to the durability and density of its 4G network when you consider the sheer number of smartphones and other devices that will be on the air in the coming years.
This Tuesday, AT&T said it sold more than 10 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, thanks to high demand for the iPhone and Android over the holiday period. This beats its previous record of 9.4 million smartphones in the same quarter in 2011.
AT&T executives, meanwhile, have been in Las Vegas talking about the need to densify the 4G LTE network in big cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco over the coming years.
The operator has already laid out how it will do this as part of its plan to cover 300 million potential customers in the U.S. with LTE by the end of 2014. Additions to the network will include:
10,000 new macrocell base stations
40,000 LTE and HSPA+ small cells
1,000 4G distributed antenna systems in stadiums and other high-traffic areas
AT&T already has the fastest 4G cities in the country, but my read is that this network effort is not merely about the need for speed.
The way its subscriber base is moving to smartphones and shared plans that encourage users to add devices like tablets to their data plans suggests ever greater waves of IP traffic carried over the network in the future. Certainly, AT&T can try and control that with data caps, but the carrier also wants people to use more data because that's the future of its revenue stream.
So adding 4G density in cities, where people are most likely to burn their way through massive amounts of data, makes good sense. Particularly for a carrier like AT&T that didn't adequately foresee what would happen when the iPhone arrived on its 3G network.
Will the drive for density be enough? It's hard to say, since we don't know how another device or multimedia app might once again change the rules for mobile network density.
Bulking up 4G in cities just seems like a good idea for AT&T whatever happens, though, given the services it is hoping to layer onto the 4G network.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile
re: AT&T: Getting Dense in the 4G City AT&T has a major strategy to deploy outdoor DAS systems. The short uplink requirements of high-speed data are driving cell density as much as sheer total data volume requirements.
re: AT&T: Getting Dense in the 4G City Will those 40,000 small cells be indoor or outdoor? I'd like to know to what extent AT&T aims to integrate the small cells with its macrocell network and whether interference between the different cells is a concern.-α
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.