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May 24 2016

A big buzz around small cells

Twitter: @stephanedaeuble

There’s a real buzz about small cells right now, not least thanks to the 10th annual Small Cells World Series, SWCS World, held earlier this month in London. It may not be baseball, but it is the flagship global event for the Small Cells/Wi-Fi/DAS market, where operators, vendors, end-user verticals and media openly debate about which access technology is right for their networks and consumers.  And this time, Nokia hit a number of home runs!

Firstly, our merger with Alcatel-Lucent has broadened our capabilities in the small cells arena, giving us a more complete small cells portfolio that extends from public, outdoor cells right down to the home user. This paid off at the SWCS World, with significant operator interest generated in new small cell projects.

From China to Chile…

Secondly, case examples speak volumes. As an example of what be achieved with small cells, we showcased our recent project with China Mobile to build an ultra-dense network for a world class car racing circuit this April. The project included 95 LTE small cells with an inter site distance of only 10-15m. On race day, over 11,000 customers were served simultaneously by small cells, which carried 77% of the peak hour traffic. 

Watch this video to see how China Mobile used small cells to build capacity for a mass event.

Press also took note, with both RCR Wireless News and the Mobile Network reported on our extended offering (Nokia Flexi Zone Multiband and SoHo solutions) as well as on our project to build a small cell network for the largest indoor shopping mall in Chile, serving 4,000 customers simultaneously on each floor.

…to industry validation

small cells award
Stephane Daeuble accepting a pair of coveted Small Cell Industry Awards at SCWS 2016.

And thirdly, awards matter. As the world’s first small cells to deliver more than 1Gbps peak throughput, Flexi Zone Multiband clearly impressed,winning the Small Cell Industry Award in the Small Cell Access Point Design and Technology category.

Likewise, the 4G LTE CellSpot project carried out in cooperation with T-Mobile and Qualcomm, was awarded for “Excellence in commercial deployment (Residential)” category, as it allows T-Mobile users to receive improved 3G, LTE, and VoLTE coverage where they use their mobile devices most – in their own homes.

So, yes, it was a very good week for small cells, but more importantly, the recognition underlines the role that small cells will play in helping operators to fulfill their increasing connectivity commitments as we all march towards the Internet of Things and the Programmable World.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #smallcells #SCWSWorld #WiFi

About Stephane Daeuble

Stephane is responsible for Small Cells and Flexi Zone global product marketing at Nokia. A self professed IT geek and gadget guy, he knows firsthand the value of high speed connectivity that Small Cells provide, and has been an active industry advocate on the role they will play in future HetNets and Ultra-Broadband. Connect with Stephane on LinkedIn