Small Cells

  • 98% of operators say small cells essential: Informa analyst report


    Vodafone Greece launches free public access location-based small cell service

    Operators are preparing to deploy million of small cells per year over the next five years as new business models begin to appear, according to analysts. 

    The Small Cell Forum’s Market Status Report, produced this quarter by Informa TM analyst Dimitris Mavrakis, has reported that there are now six million small cells in service across 46 operator femtocell deployments globally, with “several” operators now reporting deployments with hundreds of thousands of femtocells.

  • Cities will need 40 small cells per square kilometre by 2015: Actix


    The number of cells required to meet the capacity demands of just one square kilometre of a busy city centre will increase to more than 40 by 2015, according to Actix, which predicts a radical and rapid change in mobile infrastructures to meet soaring data demand.


  • Huawei launches WiFi management software for operators

    Huawei has launched wSight, a "carrier-grade" system for the operation and management of WLANs.

    An increasing number of operators are deploying WLAN in hotspots that experience highly concentrated user activity, presenting challenges for network deployment, configuration, and O&M. Huawei’s wSight addresses these challenges.
  • Small cell buzz obscuring DAS reality


    The majority of operators are still using DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) in their mobile networks for coverage in large venues, and will continue to do so despite all the talk about using small cells to boost capacity, according to Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

  • Telco Systems targets small cell backhaul with demaraction product


    Telco Systems is targeting the small cell mobile backhaul market with what it is claiming is the smallest, densest and smartest Ethernet demarcation device on the market.

  • Alcatel-Lucent boosts small cell backhaul portfolio

    Alcatel-Lucent has pressed the "refresh" button on its set of solutions around mobile backhaul. Most of its moves are aimed at bringing greater options to small cell backhaul options, as evidenced in last month's partnership announcement with small cell millimetre wave provider Sub10 Systems.

  • O2's London small cells grab 20% of all data traffic


    Telefonica O2 UK has seen around 5-10% of its 3G data traffic being carried over WiFi across the areas where it has installed free public access WiFi in central London. The access points are also carrying about the same amount of traffic from non-O2 customers, meaning that of all O2's data traffic in the areas covered 20% is now going over WiFi.

  • SpiderCloud deepens enterprise small cell integration with Mindspeed

    SpiderCloud Wireless has announced that its small cell software smarts will be integrated into a customised baseband processor by Mindspeed Technologies, developing a processor solution that puts the company's proprietary self-organising network and scalable system features onto Mindspeed's System on Chip (SoC).

    The aim of the collaboration is to produce an in-building coverage and capacity product, optimised for use in enterprises and businesses, that is scaleable and efficient in terms of its use of network resources.

  • ip.access says LTE small cell now with five customers

    ip.access has shipped an LTE-only version of its E-100 dual mode access point to five customers for laboratory and field trials. The company described this as an important staging point in the process of moving towards full commercial deployments and said that the shipments represent the company’s first LTE product shipments.

    Announcing the shipments, ip.access CEO Simon Brown said, “Customer interest has been strong in the E-100 and we have invested in accelerating the programme in order to meet that demand.

    "Indeed, our commitment to increased R&D into understanding and delivering on all the end-to-end requirements of the developing small cell network layer – from access points to network gateways and management systems – is now paying dividends; gaining recognition and support from network operators, system integrators, our partners and the industry in general.”

    The E-100 is a small cell Access Point targeted for use in enterprises and public indoor environments. The device will provide simultaneous 4G and 3G mobile phone signals with data speeds of up to 150 Mbps and 42 Mbps respectively and will also be able to support WiFi as an optional module.

    ip.access founder and CTO Nick Johnson said: “Small cells will have a vital role to play in delivering LTE's promise of high-speed data for the mass-market and the E-100 will allow operators to quickly deploy that capacity exactly where it is needed.”

    The E-100 will be integrated into ip.access' nanoConverge end-to-end small cell solution architecture, allowing operators to deploy the E-100 alongside the company's existing 3G small cells using the same gateways and network management system.

  • Ubiquisys raises $19 million to attack public access small cell opportunity

    Ubiquisys has raised $19 million in a funding round it termed "over-subscribed". The company said it would use the money to develop products that address the needs of operators deploying public access small cells.

  • The intelligent small cell

    Is there a need for the intelligent small cell? Intel and Ubiquisys both think so, arguing that distributed network intelligence can boost the user experience and lower the total cost of ownership of mobile networks.

  • How to provide timing in small cell networks

    Symmetricom's Manish Gupta on why a software-based approach is critical to providing synch and timing in small cells networks that will feature a variety of backhaul types. Note, Gupta's full job title is VP, Marketing and Business Development, Symmetricom.

  • NEC's new small cell products

    NEC brings new products to Small Cells World Summit 2012, including the result of a partnership with Spidercloud Wireless for in-building coverage that, Martin Guthrie says, is easier and quicker to instal and manage than rival DAS solutions.


  • Cisco's femtocell IP-PBX integration

    Cisco demonstrates bringing enterpise IP-PBX services to any handset using a femtocell. The aim is to enable operators to enhance their managed services play, and allo businesses to support IP-PBX services in a BYOD environment, without the need for phone clients.

    (Note, the demo partner is Quortus, not Quorus as wrongly stated in the video).



  • The changing test requirements of LTE small cells

    Ixia's test platform and UE simulator for LTE small cells.

  • The company behind SK Telecom's LTE small cell rollout

    "In Korea the LTE market is crazy..."

    Contela is supporting SK Telecom's LTE rollout with public access small cells, having already deployed more than 10,000 public access data femtocells, making it one of the most advanced rollouts globally. The company has designed software that allows its products to be co-ordinated with Samsung's macro layer equipment and to co-ordinate resource management within the small cell layer.

    "Now we're just doing this with Samsung only, but the plan is to expand to other vendors (NSN and Ericsson)," CMO Jang Ahn Kwon tells us. For more on how the industry can meet interference and co-ordination issues in the small cell layer, see our interview with ip.access' Nick Johnson.

  • Fujitsu's combined LTE-WiFi small cell

    Fujitsu shows off its combined LTE-WiFi small cell - ready to ship in September 2012.

    Mobile Europe readers may remember this demo from a year ago from PicoChip (now Mindspeed Technologies) and Interdigital, showing the combination and management of WiFi and LTE radio.

    Now Fujitsu has a product ready to roll in September 2012 that can intelligently select whether to use LTE or WiFi radio per service or application, or even combine the capacity of both for certain applications. They company's also considering a public access product combining 3G, LTE and WiFi.

  • When to deploy metro cells?

    When do operators think they will move to deploy metro cells, and how are they planning their metro cell rollouts?

    Keith Dyer hosts a debate with representatives from Everything Everywhere, Telefonica UK, Telecom Italia, Disruptive Analysis and Alcatel-Lucent that asks the question: "When to deploy metro cells?"

    In Part Two we hear how the panel thinks WiFi plays in all this (they don't agree) and about the options for backhaul. Finally, each speaker gives their individual answer to the question, "When to deploy metro cells?"


  • Carrier WiFi sales to reach $2.1 billion by 2016: Infonetics

    Sales growing but WiFi-cellular integration to bring challengers into market

    Infonetics Research has forecast carrier WiFi sales will "explode" to $2.1 billion by 2016, driven by the increased operator need to complement mobile data services and overcome spectrum challenges.

    The research company said that global revenue in 2011 for what it terms "carrier WiFi equipment" grew 35% from 2010, and forecast that sales would continue to grow in "high double digits" to at least 2016.

  • Transport hubs creating network stress (try being a passenger)

    Train station generating 20,000 data sessions an hour  - Actix

    Operators and their customers know that train stations and transport hubs form the worst network capacity hotspots, but data collected by network optimisation company Actix may surprise even some mobile network operations teams as to the scale of the issue.

    Analysing data from one un-named major city network (Mobile Europe's guess is that it is on a US network), Actix found that demand at peak time was leading to 75-90% of users being unable to connect to even a basic browsing session, and to a "stressed" network dumping thousands of users off the network.