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Sprint Has Samsung 4G LTE Small Cells: Analyst

Dan Jones
10/25/2013

Samsung is delivering 4G LTE small cells for Sprint to deploy, a TBR analyst tells Light Reading.

Michael Soper, networking and mobility analyst at Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR) , noted in a report Friday that Samsung "continued rolling out small cells for Sprint."

Sprint has been big into 3G residential femtocells -- it is said to have more than 1.3 million of the tiny home basestations deployed to date -- but hasn't said much about LTE small cells beyond naming Samsung and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) as suppliers in 2012.

Soper, however, tells Light Reading that Samsung has started supplying the 4G goods for Sprint's LTE network rollout.

"Samsung is providing LTE small cells for outdoor and indoor use," he tells us. The South Korean networking vendor is already one of Sprint's "Network Vision" suppliers for the 3G and 4G macro network upgrades.

Sprint hasn't yet responded to questions about any Samsung small cell deployments.

Why this matters
This is some of the first indication that Sprint is ready to follow AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless into the 4G LTE small cell area.

It's also further confirmation of Samsung's increasing strength in the infrastructure field. The vendor recently hired former NSN CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie to help it grow the networks business globally.

As soon as we know more about how Sprint is using -- and planning to use -- the tiny 4G radios, we'll update you.

Related posts:

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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DanJones
DanJones
10/30/2013 | 11:16:51 AM
Re: Sprint S-Cells
Sprint's network boss basically confirmed that Sprint is eyeing small cell usage in 2014 on Q3 call Wednesday.
Vitesse Semiconductor
Vitesse Semiconductor
10/29/2013 | 11:26:14 AM
Re: Rising network star
If Dan is correct in assuming Sprint will be deploying outdoor small cells as part of its wider LTE deployment, Samsung's equipment will need to withstand the natural hazards of urban deployment. Most notably, security threats. The installation of small cells on lights posts and other urban structures make them more accessible to hackers. Additionally, the unintentional security threat of a passing GPS jammer can affect network timing and thus Sprint users' LTE experience. Expect Samsung to deliver equipment with the necessarily advanced technologies needed to negate such risks.
DanJones
DanJones
10/28/2013 | 3:35:08 PM
Re: Rising network star
Another aspect to consider in all this is if carriers are actually serious about VoLTE then they will need to consider small cells as part of the density issue, 4G voice won't really work otherwise.
Cellco
Cellco
10/28/2013 | 3:26:49 PM
Re: Rising network star
Thanks Dan,  I support the subscriber/venue-host purchasing the Small Cell solution as it supports distribution where their is valuable need.  While I watched pervasive deployment of small cells in 1997 and 1998 by MicroCell/Fido, it only made me jeoulous of their extremely good coverage.  I remained a AT&T wireless/Rogers customer though, so it was not enough for me to experience good coverage, as a driver to switch providers.
DanJones
DanJones
10/28/2013 | 3:10:50 PM
Re: Rising network star
What I've heard so far suggests that Sprint wants to incorporate small cells as part of its wider LTE deployment. So that, to me, would indicate outdoor city deployment first.

Sorry, I don't know how far down the road they are with that, not something they seem to want to talk about right now.
Cellco
Cellco
10/28/2013 | 2:10:17 PM
Re: Rising network star
Dan, do you have any read-out if the deployments are based on purchases by a venue operator (MDU, Business Park, Stadium Operator)?  Will this remain a solution for purchase? 

The AT&T BTI deployments were limited in NY to get a feel for the operation but a deployment based on coverage need has not been the model in the USA (and after Microcell/Fido in Canada). Few regions of the world place the coverage in weak coverage areas with high use by the public results in weak performance. 

Instead, the model seem to remain, "we have a solution de joure but here is what our engineering and solution will cost you to cover your weak area".

 
DanJones
DanJones
10/26/2013 | 2:59:45 PM
Re: Rising network star
Possibly. Samsung has had fairly positive relations with Sprint for a while though. They delivered on Network Vision and it looks like they're delivering on 4G smalll cells too.
DOShea
DOShea
10/26/2013 | 12:51:57 PM
Rising network star
Sounds like Beresford-Wylie is already having a positive effect, and Samsung could be the rising star of the network infrastructure sector.
DanJones
DanJones
10/25/2013 | 6:02:22 PM
Re: Sprint S-Cells
Good point, trying to find out if these are TDD or FDD radios.
milan03
milan03
10/25/2013 | 4:04:04 PM
Re: Sprint S-Cells
Yeah NYC is Sprint's Alcatel-Lucent NV market. Not sure if ClearWire brings Samsung to NYC though
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