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Alcatel-Lucent has launched a Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program, to facilitate site acquisition and backhaul for metro cell deployments. LightRadio Metro Cell small cells, similar in size to WiFi hotspots, can easily mount on light poles.

Inaugural members of the Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program will include cable operators (MSOs) in the United States, a leading outdoor advertising agency, systems integrators, managed services providers, and site acquisition firms including Crown Castle, EdgeConneX, Knight Enterprises and Zayo, each bringing unique real estate assets, deployment capabilities and technical expertise.

Alcatel-Lucent wants to mount small cells on light posts, bus stops, cable TV infrastructure, utility assets, buildings, and street furniture. Alcatel-Lucent and Qualcomm are collaborating to integrate cellular and WiFi into AlcaLu’s lightRadio using Qualcomm’s FSM9900 family of Small Cell chipsets.

With its initial program members, Alcatel-Lucent says operators will gain access to more than 600,000 qualified sites including:

  • Over 150,000 serviceable on-net buildings
  • 325,000 street assets including outdoor advertising assets
  • 30,000 roof tops
  • 10,000 fiber to the building assets
  • Dense aerial physical plant and fiber assets for backhaul
  • Public utility right of way access addressing vast urban US market coverage
  • Over 200,000 route miles of fiber in primary urban and suburban markets across the US

“We have solicited the help from companies who have assets to contribute to the solution,” said Michael J. Schabel, Vice President, Small Cells, Alcatel-Lucent. “While no company alone can address the 4P’s necessary for small cell deployment –people, power, poles and ports — the group working together creates tens of thousands of qualified and available small cell sites.”

AT&T, which is in the process of deploying 40,000 small cells as part of its Project Velocity IP initiative, has said that it wants all small cell deployments in 2014 to include Wi-Fi.

As many as 11.5 million small-cell base stations could be deployed by 2018, up from just 168,000 today, according to a status report from the Small Cell Forum.

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