Small cells

Sprint Taps Samsung for More LTE Small Cells

Samsung Corp. is joining Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) in providing Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) with small cells to complement its multi-mode network, the companies announced Thursday evening.

Sprint's employing a Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) in which it targets busy indoor areas and public venues with small cells to complement its Long Term Evolution (LTE) rollout. The carrier said earlier this week that it will also deploy fellow partner Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio to fill coverage gaps, especially indoors. (See Sprint's First to Deploy Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio .)

Sprint's VP of Network Development and Engineering Iyad Tarazi explained the carrier's small cell strategy to LR Mobile at the spring CTIA show. Check out the following video around the 2:40 mark to hear Tarazi outline how Sprint will move from indoor to outdoor coverage as it works out interference issues.

Why this matters
Sprint is an important win for Samsung, which hasn't been a big name in small cells. Sprint is looking to multiple sources, technologies and networks to build out Network Vision and will be tasked with ensuring they all work seamlessly. The carrier has yet to announce a small-cell deal with its third Network Vision partner, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), but that may not be far behind.

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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

JasonMarcheck 12/5/2012 | 5:24:08 PM
re: Sprint Taps Samsung for More LTE Small Cells

Good question on Ericsson. They never miss a chance to talk up capabilites re: radio resource scheduling and interference mitigation between macro and micro for hetnet deployments. Given their services role, ER probably involved in the ALU and Samsung deployments in some way. And, my guess is that when Sprint's focus moves to outdoor coverage Ericsson's role will get bigger.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:24:06 PM
re: Sprint Taps Samsung for More LTE Small Cells

Good point, and Ericsson has BelAir's expertise now to help it out. I asked Sprint how this would work - if AlcaLu is in some markets and Samsung in others, or if it's indoor versus outdoors, or just a mix in all markets - but they just said they're still working through deployment schedules, locations and timelines.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:24:01 PM
re: Sprint Taps Samsung for More LTE Small Cells

Ericsson would seem to make sense in terms of being a Sprint supplier and they did say they were working on 3 indoor small cells initially. I haven't heard anything yet though...

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