Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
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.-á
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones