Alcatel-Lucent and Sprint today announced an agreement to deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio Metro Cells to augment coverage in high-traffic areas. Metro cells are mini base stations that can easily be deployed indoors or outdoors on lamp posts or street signs, inside shopping malls or stadiums or fill gaps in coverage – created by buildings.
Sprint’s initial lightRadio deployment will focus on indoor applications, including entertainment venues, transportation hubs and business campuses. By deploying metro cells, Sprint expects to deliver a better broadband experience to more of its subscribers in these high-traffic areas and will help reduce costs in the process.
Alcatel-Lucent will provide Sprint with the lightRadio-based Metro Cell portfolio of products which are capable of supporting outdoor, urban hotspot, rural and indoor applications. To date, Alcatel-Lucent has 39 commercial small cell deployment agreements and more than 20 ongoing trials.
Small Cells are low-powered radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum that have a range of 10 meter to 200 meters, compared to a mobile Macrocell which might have a range of a few kilometres.
LightRadio antennas are shrunk to a single multi-frequency, multi-standard wideband active array that can be mounted on poles, sides of buildings or anywhere else there is access to power and a broadband connection. UK mobile operator 02 installed hundreds of lightRadios on lampposts around the Olympic Park.
Nokia Siemens Networks has also introduced a network architecture concept–called Liquid Net–designed to turn a traditional mobile network into a software-driven network capable of self-adapting to network loads.
Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2012 and provides service to leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless.
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