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