Light Reading

AT&T Has LTE Small Cells 'in the Lab'

Dan Jones
4/4/2013
50%
50%
Repost This

AT&T Inc. now has small cells in the lab that combine 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi and is gearing up for a nationwide launch of the technology that will be part of its HSPA+ network.

"Small cells" has been the blanket term for a new breed of tiny base station that can be used to increase data speeds, voice coverage and network density as data traffic grows. As you'll see, for AT&T these little radios will come in several flavors.

The operator's senior VP of small cells, Gordon Mansfield, was on hand at AT&T's Innovation Showcase in downtown New York on Thursday morning to give Light Reading Mobile some more insight into the operator's ambitions. (See AT&T's Armada: 4G, Small Cells & More.)

"They're currently in my lab," Mansfield says of the combo LTE/3G/Wi-Fi small cells. AT&T defines these units as a Multi-Standard Metrocell (MSM). The operator intends for these multimode units to be deployed in public venues with indoor and outdoor versions that support up to 64 simultaneous calls.

LR Mobile asked Mansfield when the MSM units will start to move out of the lab and onto the network. "It would be foolish to think less than a year" but probably won't take two years, he said.

Metrocells that will increase voice coverage and data speeds on AT&T's HSPA+ network, which it markets as "4G", are coming much sooner. "We've got a significant portion of the country updated," Mansfield says.

AT&T defines a "Metrocell" as a "4G" unit that can be deployed in big offices or neighborhoods, with indoor and outdoor versions that can support up to 32 simultaneous calls. At the showcase event, AT&T was boasting that the metrocells have achieved nearly 100 percent outdoor coverage in Crystal Park Lake, Mo. The Crystal Park Lake area is a Missouri Class 4 city with a population of around 470 that covers an area of 64 acres. AT&T has also been testing small cells in an enterprise setting in the Milwaukee metro area and a high-rise business setting in NYC.

AT&T had an Alcatel-Lucent 9364 version 2 outdoor microcell on show at the event. Mansfield said that he is looking for both the MSM and metrocell deployments to be multivendor affairs.

Ahead of the nationwide switch-on for the HSPA+ metrocell deployment, AT&T has been working to update its data centers and roll out updates to its mobile switching centers (MSCs) in its core network. The MSCs manage call services for phones roaming in its area.

This is necessary for the phone to work as the user would expect when roaming across the small-cell network. "If they dial 911, it better route to 911 and not somewhere else," Mansfield notes.

"That's coming pretty soon," Mansfield says of these updates.

AT&T has famously -- or maybe infamously -- said that it will deploy 40,000 small cells through the end of 2015. So, we asked Mansfield how he sees that target moving along.

"At this point I see no reason to believe that we won't hit that number ... and we could revise it next year," he said.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Dan@LightReadingMobile
50%
50%
Dan@LightReadingMobile,
User Rank: Blogger
4/9/2013 | 5:01:46 PM
re: AT&T Has LTE Small Cells 'in the Lab'
Thanks to FierceBroadbandWireless for the link-back:

http://www.fiercebroadbandwire...
Dan@LightReadingMobile
50%
50%
Dan@LightReadingMobile,
User Rank: Blogger
4/8/2013 | 5:59:47 PM
re: AT&T Has LTE Small Cells 'in the Lab'
They're also discussing this on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups...
chuckj
50%
50%
chuckj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/4/2013 | 10:21:57 PM
re: AT&T Has LTE Small Cells 'in the Lab'
This is John Chambers' dream.
Dan@LightReadingMobile
50%
50%
Dan@LightReadingMobile,
User Rank: Blogger
4/4/2013 | 8:08:48 PM
re: AT&T Has LTE Small Cells 'in the Lab'
Dream on....
chuckj
50%
50%
chuckj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/4/2013 | 7:47:20 PM
re: AT&T Has LTE Small Cells 'in the Lab'
Lets hope they revise that to 40 million, because there are a whole lot of folks in their supply chain depending on this...
Dan@LightReadingMobile
50%
50%
Dan@LightReadingMobile,
User Rank: Blogger
4/4/2013 | 7:01:50 PM
re: AT&T Has LTE Small Cells 'in the Lab'
FYI, AT&T wants the MSM metrocells to support carrier aggregation between the 700MHZ and AWS bands.-á
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed