In this part of our special report on reinventing the internet, a look at how the wireless networks of the future should evolve to handle a world in which mobile computers are the standard computers.
After a year of testing small cells in every way imaginable, AT&T is ready to begin its large-scale rollout of the technology. The tiny base stations will boost bandwidth in the high-demand places with surgical precision.
We already dump a lot of mobile data traffic onto our home and office Wi-Fi networks, but in the next few years we’ll be tapping Wi-Fi in a lot more places thanks to new carrier networks.
The Spanish Wi-Fi sharing community has scored what it suggests will be the first of multiple carrier deals in the U.S., giving its members access to AT&T’s 30,000 hotspots around the country.
The companies are to work together on developing small cells — devices that may help mobile carriers cope with rising data usage. As part of the deal, Qualcomm is taking a stake of under 5 percent in Alcatel-Lucent.
Ericsson has fully integrated BelAir Networks’ high-powered Wi-Fi technology into its mobile networking gear. The first big evidence of that will appear in Q4 when its first commercial small cells go live.
The heterogenous network will eventually allow our devices to connect to Wi-Fi and cellular networks simultaneously, but first those networks need to coordinate with one another.
The Swedish networking firm and China Mobile have launched a commercial trial of Ericsson’s City Site package. It provides a good hint of the sort of street furniture ‘network densification’ may require.
AT&T will invest $14 billion in its networks as it tries to maximize the use of LTE in combination with small cells. By the end of 2014, the carrier expects to blanket 300 million people with this approach, which includes more than 1,000 distributed antenna systems.
The demand for mobile data is increasing at an amazing rate. A challenge of this magnitude needs more resources and, more importantly, radically new ways of acquiring, deploying, managing and optimizing these resources. Qualcomm’s Prakash Sangam looks at what’s needed to keep up.