Thursday, November 8, 2012

AT&T Blazes Path to Wireless Densification with Small Cells

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.

Download Webinar

Discover how mobile operators can offload exploding data traffic by combining both Wi-Fi and small cells to create the optimal capacity underlay. Discuss benefits and challenges of deploying both solutions, including security concerns and transparent connectivity.
Panelists: Renuka Bhalerao, Principal Systems Architect; Jeff Sharpe, Sr. Product Line Manager; Michael Thomas, Principal Systems Architect.