Alcatel-Lucent pushes small cells for the office and home

Alcatel-Lucent pushes small cells for the office and home

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By eeNews Europe

In collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, the company is developing a small cell that will allow operators to extend superior 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity and coverage into the office for in-building customers. The rapid development of the device has led the company to extend its plans to include LTE and multi-standard residential cells.

Providing seamless connectivity and high performance to wireless subscribers inside of buildings is a growing challenge, exacerbated by the continued adoption of smart mobile devices which are expected to provide seamless experiences for corporate and personal applications. The latest 9962 Multi-Standard Enterprise Cell, developed in a collaboration between Alcatel-Lucent and Qualcomm Technologies, allows operators to meet their existing business customer needs to deliver in-building wireless services to support continued growth in data traffic and VoLTE service.

This is the first small cell of its type to support both 3G and 4G LTE connectivity through a single chipset with key features like carrier aggregation. The Qualcomm chipset on which the 9962 is based — the FSM9955 — also provides the ability to migrate the radio access technologies from 3G to 4G. Alcatel-Lucent chose the FSM9955 chipset because it is designed to enable low-power, plug-and-play, small form factor small cells that are software configurable to support a mix of 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi technologies. The small cell is in customer labs today and will be generally available in early 2015.

In addition to the in-building challenge, wireless operators continue to face the challenge of providing cellular coverage and capacity in the home. 3G femto solutions have long been used to improve in-home coverage. As VoLTE becomes more prevalent in wireless networks, with uninterrupted coverage expected in the home, it requires an LTE femto solution for the home be made available to provide a ubiquitous user experience. Alcatel-Lucent expects multi-standard and LTE-only solutions for the home to be generally available in 2015, and is utilizing accelerated development methods by leveraging its efforts currently underway for the 9962 Multi-Standard Enterprise cell.

The small cell provides support for 64 4G LTE (initially 32 4G LTE users) and 32 3G users simultaneously and up to 128 users in LTE mode only. For large scale deployments, the small cells can be grouped to offer seamless handover.

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