Light Reading
AT&T's HSPA+ metrocells are getting ready for nationwide prime time, with the operator testing combo LTE/3G & Wi-Fi units in the lab

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

Dan Jones
4/4/2013
50%
50%

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
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
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...
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
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.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
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...
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
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.-
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed