AT&T, Sprint to Test 'Small Cell' Technology
To Improve and Expand Network Reach Indoors and Out
AT&T says they're getting close to testing "small cell" technology aimed at expanding the company's network coverage. According to AT&T's John Donavan
, AT&T will begin testing the technology later this year and early next. The small cell or picocell technology will be installed on lamposts to help expand outdoor coverage -- or indoors to help indoor coverage. Sprint also says
they plan to launch LTE picocells later on this year to help improve coverage of their as-yet-unlaunched LTE network. Sprint's initial focus will be on improving indoor coverage inside of large venues, with outdoor small cell technology coming down the road.
| |tiger72SexaT duorPPremium
Saint Louis, MO
Re: good idea Picocells primarily are used for capacity issues, not necessarily coverage (although they can be used for coverage as well). The idea is that you would have a large cell covering the entire area, and then you use picocells in areas with high traffic.
Say a cell covers a couple square miles with LTE. Most of the area is residential, but there's a mall on the fringe of the cell that gets a ton of traffic. Normally, the entire cell would be affected if there are a lot of people in that small area. Moreover, due to the mall being on the fringe of the cell, overall capacity of the cell is already degraded. The picocell could be set up to cover just the area near the mall, and devices could switch between either the picocell or the macrocell (and on capable devices, use both cells) to get the best level of service.
Picocells are simpler and more effective than cell-splitting, and uses less overall spectrum (or at least uses spectrum more efficiently) than simply adding more carriers to the macrocell.
Quite exciting stuff, which should make cell networks much more resilient.
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara
Boynton Beach, FL
| |said by mattvzwman :Doubtful, at least in the next several decades. This kind of technology has very limited and specific uses. It doesn't address large scale geographic coverage. For that towers, and rooftops, are king.
I think this will be a great idea for all networks that ave limited or no coverage in a certain area..cell towers will be a thing of the past one day
Small cell technology and deep fiber "Small cell" technology will work a lot better in an area with deep fiber. Sorry AT&T but a VRAD 6000 feet away does not qualify as deep fiber.
Re: Small cell technology and deep fiber It does when they can take that fiber and put it right at the lamp post right in the neighborhood.
| |insomniacOh YeahPremium
AT&T is already testing these where I live I believe they have been testing two types of units in my city: one that's solely pole-mounted, and one that requires a U-Verse-type box in the right-of-way. The article below is from October 2011. Attached is a PDF of the public presentation they gave at a City Council meeting that month.
At last week's City Council meeting, representatives from AT&T, per the Financial Times one of the 20 largest corporations in the world, secured approval for a trial that will place cell phone antennas in Naperville neighborhoods atop street light poles. One consequence of this decision is that large equipment boxes will be placed along subdivision streets, either on or adjacent to the poles, to house the electronics needed to make the new sites operable.
If everything seems to be going well, you've obviously overlooked something.
Re: AT&T is already testing these where I live I say why fix whats not broken? ill put money on it that after its all done it will be worse then it is now! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Re: AT&T is already testing these where I live The whole point is to accommodate the coming bandwidth consumption. It will be broke then if they do nothing. That's why they are getting ahead of the curve now.
Getting ahead is impossible with Data growth in the thousands of percent its almost impossible to get ahead of the consumer curve but if this works as it should it will help and Naperville is a great community to prove it in it is the kid cell phone data world plus