Sprint is selected two of its small cell manufacturers, Samsung and Alcatel-Lucent, which happen to be the same suppliers building its big macro networks. If vendor number three Ericsson also scores a win, Sprint’s heterogenous network will be very vendor homogenous.
The U.K.’s O2 has launched a 100-hotspot Wi-Fi network just in time for the Olympics, offering up its capacity to all takers gratis. But there’s something else under the hood of these Ruckus access points: a slot waiting for a future O2 small cell.
You don’t make the decision to wind down a 130-year-old business without a little bit of angst, said Hans Vestberg, CEO of Ericsson, reflecting on his company’s decision to end a joint partnership with Sony last year in a GigaOM interview Tuesday.
Sprint plans to make an aggressive use of small cells in its future LTE network, launching tens of thousands of tiny high-capacity base stations in high-traffic indoor and outdoor areas in 2013 and 2014.The end goal of Sprint’s small cell efforts is a heterogeneous network.
The mobile industry is counting on future wireless networks being heterogeneous: complex multi-layered systems of overlapping big and small cells, pumping out cheap bandwidth. But to arrive at hetnet we first need to figure out how to link all of those small cells together.
ABI Research estimates there will be more LTE microcells in place than actual LTE base stations by 2014. There’s good reason to believe the forecast: For a heterogeneous network with wide coverage, the number of microcells will have to far outweigh the number of base stations.
Verizon has seen the future of cellular networking — and it doesn’t look much different from today. In an FCC filing, Verizon dismissed a bevy of new wireless technologies and claimed the only way it can grow capacity is to layer more airwaves onto its current networks.
At MWC, Nokia Siemens Networks plans its most ambitious mobile network design yet: a system of 100 small cells that behaves like a single cell site. This has huge implications for the heterogeneous networks of the future, which aim to create a sea of cheap bandwidth.
At this year’s Mobile World Congress, you would expect LTE to hog the spotlight, but LTE might find itself overshadowed by a less sexy technology: Wi-Fi. As telecom vendors prep their new porfolios for MWC in two weeks, there is a preponderance of Wi-Fi products.