Light Reading

MWC 2014: Single-Mode 4G Small Cells Ahoy?

Dan Jones
2/20/2014
50%
50%

One of the trends to watch for at Mobile World Congress is the emergence of more single-mode and dual-mode small cells for public access and the enterprise.

Dual-mode enterprise small cells are useful for businesses that already have corporate WiFi but need to improve cellular coverage in their offices. We might even see more than just talk about deployments in 2014. (See SpiderCloud Eyes LTE Enterprise Small Cells in 2014, Joint Qualcomm & AlcaLu Small Cells Due Mid-Year, and Ericsson Expects Smooth Sailing for Radio Dot .)

Small cell chip vendors are telling me, however, that carriers might -- in the near-ish future -- buck the conventional wisdom that public access small cells will be all-singing, all-dancing multi-mode affairs that support 3G, 4G, and WiFi. Instead we could start to see more single-mode LTE units on the scene. (See AT&T: Multimode Small Cells by Early 2015.)

The reason for this is two-fold: Operators, particularly in the US, are going back to fill in coverage holes in their LTE deployments and need better 4G coverage and capacity for future service offerings such as voice-over-LTE and broadcast LTE.

In January, Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network technology at AT&T Labs, told me that the operator is testing LTE-only small cells for outdoor use.

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. , meanwhile, is targeting its next line of small cell chips at LTE devices. Another vendor, Cavium Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: CAVM), is also expecting to see more operators move to single-mode LTE.

"The number of operators in that category will actually grow," says Raj Singh, GM of the wireless broadband group at Cavium. Partly this will depend on what spectrum carriers have access to.

"[Single-mode] is much easier to deploy," adds Singh.

Cavium is also looking at operators that move straight from 2G to 4G in parts of India, Africa, and other markets. Singh says that a future product will feature LTE and GSM to support voice and data.

Still, as ever, don't expect any of the transitions on the public access small cell market to happen quickly. Freescale isn't expecting its silicon to be in commercial products until 2015, while Cavium is shooting for the fall of 2014. (See How Heavy Reading Called Small Cells Right.)

"I think this is another year of trials and limited deployments," Cavium's Singh says, while stressing that the company has started to see revenue from small cells (though Cavium won't say how much).

The enterprise side of the house looks poised to move quicker than that, though. Business small cells are easier to deploy because they don't require local government approvals and can often be powered via a customer's existing Ethernet network.

If you're at all confused about the differences between home, enterprise, and public access small cells, check out this article: Know Your Small Cell: Home, Enterprise, or Public Access?

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/20/2014 | 12:16:12 PM
Re: Verizon & AlcaLu
Good point. ALU didn't offer up the scope or location of the deployment or how many need new backhaul, but perhaps those are things we can figure out next week at the show.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/20/2014 | 11:50:09 AM
Re: Verizon & AlcaLu
Yeah, a tiny bit validated already, although we don't know what is live with AlcaLu's LTE small cells at VZN yet. Nonetheless, Verizon is one of the operators that really, really needs the best LTE coverage it can get if it plans to do things like VoLTE and Broadcast LTE though.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/20/2014 | 11:41:46 AM
Verizon & AlcaLu
Definitely agree with trend, Dan. In fact, Verizon announced today it's deploying Alcatel-Lucent's LTE small cells. AlcaLu has multimode ones coming mid year that I imagine Verizon will use too, but it's not looking to wait for them.
More Blogs from Jonestown
A change of administration in Washington could signal fresh opportunities in the US for Huawei and ZTE.
Meet the New G: Same as The Old G?
T-Mobile's latest Un-carrier move is more strategic than altruistic.
Marcello Claure earned nearly $22M for fiscal 2014.
Verizon is getting creative with 5G, Light Reading hears, and examining new ways to deliver broadband to the home.
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
3.5GHz Startup Gets $22M for Small Cells
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/2/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.