Sprint Tees Up LTE Small Cells
"We'll begin to launch LTE picos in the last part of this year," Iyad Tarazi, Sprint's VP of network development and engineering, revealed at a Network Vision breakfast on Wednesday morning.
The Sprint network guru later told Light Reading Mobile that the small cells will be designed for specific applications and intended to improve indoor coverage.
He couldn't yet reveal who will supply the tiny base stations, exactly when they will arrive, or any kind of pricing.
The initial LTE picocells will be followed by outdoor units "late next year or early the year after," Tarazi said. The outdoor units will require additional interference-rejection capabilities before being released into the wild.
Small cells are a crucial part of LTE evolution as they enable better coverage and faster data downloads at the edge of the network and places where traditional cell-sites can't be deployed.
Sprint will launch its first six LTE cities by mid-year. The operator's ongoing Network Vision upgrades build in support for small cells at the core. (See Sprint LTE Devices Arrive Before Network and Sprint Sets Due Date for iDEN's LTE Rebirth .)
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile