Small cells

Top 6 Small Cells Movers & Shakers

Gordon Mansfield, AVP of technology at AT&T

Mansfield is really a shoe-in for the Movers & Shakers list as he's been at the forefront of small cells since the very first femtocells went into homes. He not only leads AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s small cell efforts, but also is the chairman of the Small Cell Forum Ltd. , uniting the entire global community and pushing for interoperability between vendors and with the macro network. He has been involved with the group since 2008. (See: AT&T Exec Leads Small Cell Group.)

"Gordon is doing very important work with the Small Cell Forum," Current Analysis analyst Ed Gubbins says. "For example, its publications on deployment models are a really essential resource for an industry that is trying to climb the learning curve of small cell network-building."

In his carrier role, he's also been steering AT&T's Project Velocity IP and working on aggressive plans to use the mini-base stations to complement its LTE network. The carrier now has 3G HSPA+ microcells in 18 states across the US, and Mansfield is currently working on getting Multi-Standard Metrocells (MSMs) that combine LTE with 3G and WiFi ready for deployment next year. (See: AT&T Has LTE Small Cells 'in the Lab', AT&T: 3G Small Cells in 18 US States, and AT&T Puts Up $14B to Boost Broadband.)

The operator's Lab has also built a new planning tool dubbed HARP to analyze radio waves to help it determine the best positions for the devices to optimize coverage. (See: AT&T Sings Song of Small Cells With HARP.)

Mansfield claims AT&T will deploy 40,000 small cells between now and the end of 2015. Light Reading will be keeping tabs on the operator's deployment and the man behind it between now and then. (See: Small Cells: Who's Buying?)

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