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Verizon Deploys AlcaLu's LTE Small Cells

Sarah Thomas

Verizon Wireless is now deploying long-time partner Alcatel-Lucent's LTE small cells as another pillar in its 4G heterogeneous network (Hetnet). (See AlcaLu Confirms Verizon 4G Small Cell Deal.)

The companies say the deployment is aimed at high-density indoor and outdoor locations to bolster coverage in popular venues and metropolitan areas. Verizon Wireless says it will be using Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s lightRadio 9764 Metro Cell Outdoor and 9768 Metro Radio Outdoor small cells, as well as its 5620 Service Aware Manager to manage the deployment. (See Know Your Small Cell: Home, Enterprise, or Public Access? and MWC 2014: Single-Mode 4G Small Cells Ahoy?)

This is an important win for Alcatel-Lucent in the US. It adds to its 65 commercial contracts and 20 ongoing trials in more than 45 countries.

Steve Marino, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent's Verizon customer team, noted in a release that the deployment is a vote of confidence in operators' ability to "overcome deployment challenges such as site selection, backhaul, and installation," all of which have been cited as holding back the small cell market. (See Small Cells in the City and Small Cells Mean Big Backhaul Challenges.)

Verizon has also voiced its support for Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s Radio Dot, which is expected to begin trials in the second quarter. (See Verizon Welcomes Ericsson's Radio Dot, Ericsson's Radio Dot Receives Mixed Reception, and Ericsson Expects Smooth Sailing for Radio Dot .)

Alcatel-Lucent is also expected to have its first multi-mode, 3G/4G, small cells in partnership with Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) commercially available in the middle of the year. (See Joint Qualcomm & AlcaLu Small Cells Due Mid-Year and AlcaLu's Small Cell Menu: Stake and Chips.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/21/2014 | 3:41:43 PM
"Hetnet" sounds like ... well, forget what it sounds like. 
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/21/2014 | 9:42:20 AM
Re: Single-mode it is
Hoping they do, but they really haven't shared any so far in terms of where the deployments are going and the backhaul changes. It could be quite limited in scope, but maybe we'll hear more next week.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/21/2014 | 9:40:18 AM
Re: Single-mode it is
That's a good point, Gabriel. And, Verizon seems less interested in WiFi than its competitors too. It's all about moving towards LTE-only.
Gabriel Brown
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/21/2014 | 3:53:35 AM
Re: Single-mode it is
Multimode is less interesting for Verizon because it is trying to move off CDMA. For carriers with LTE and HSPA, multimode makes more sense. Although arguably, even in these cases, the push is really towards LTE.  Multimode might be a red-herring.
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/20/2014 | 12:53:14 PM
Re: Single-mode it is
This is very encouraging news.  As opposed to those companies that announced indoor small cells, which are in a more controlled environment, Verizon/ALU will answer the question of how well they will work outside.  I'm sure VZ figured out the interference issues -- along with those you mentioned -- and with VoLTE on the horizon, can be used to offer the QoS currently received for voice services.  Wonder if they will share some stats at some point. 
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/20/2014 | 12:08:47 PM
Single-mode it is
Dan's theory is already proving true: http://www.lightreading.com/mobile/small-cells/mwc-2014-single-mode-4g-small-cells-ahoy/a/d-id/707821?

Interesting to see Verizon making more news on public access small cells before enterprise. As Dan pointed out in his blog, it needs to perfect outdoor coverage so that makes sense. Looks like it couldn't wait on multimode either.
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