Wireless network densification is one of the aims of AT&T's Project VIP, said John Donovan, Sr. Exec. VP ‐ AT&T Technology & Network Operations in a webcast on November 7th.
To achieve this, AT&T will deploy more than 10,000 new macro cell sites, 1,000 more distributed antenna systems (DAS) and 40,000 small cell devices. AT&T will lead the way in small cells with an aggressive deployment that includes LTE as well as other radio technologies.
Some key points of the plan:
- The first deployments of small cells will be this quarter with units offering 3G UMTS and HSPA+ connectivity. The company expects to start general deployment in Q1 2013. The small cell devices will eventually feature UMTS/HSPA +/LTE/Wi-Fi technology in 2014. As the program builds, the company expects lower per unit costs.
- Small cell deployments will achieve 3 goals: (1) improve spectrum efficiency, (2) build more cost-effective radio access networks, (3) improve in-building coverage for businesses and consumers.
- By 2015, AT&T expects that more than 50% of its network densification program will use small cells.
- AT&T has invested over $800 million in wireless networking hardening, such as battery back-ups, generators and other equipment to speed emergency network recovery
- Voice over LTE plans are advancing.
- Over 90% of AT&T's mobile data will ride Ethernet backhaul by year end.
- AT&T's IP backbone now carries 33 petabytes of data on an average business day.
The full, two-hour AT&T webcast on Project VIP is archived on the company's Investor Relations website.