Lightpoles Get Small Cells & Hotspot 2.0

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Speaking at the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s Carrier WiFi conference, collocated with MWC, Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network at AT&T said Hotspot 2.0, also known as Passpoint by the Wi-Fi Alliance, will bring new services across its existing WiFi infrastructure.

The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association, today launched the next step of its Release Program.

Release 3 includes 18 new and updated documents aimed at identifying demand and supporting operators in the deployment of urban small cells.

AT&T sees Hotspot 2.0 as an integral part of its small cell strategy, according to its head of network planning. To date more than 400 devices have obtained Passpoint certification, including a wide range of smartphones and tablets.

Ivan Muccini from Cloud4Wi delved in to how Wi-Fi is perceived as a key part of operators’ business strategy not only to provide the basic Internet access, but also to increase customer satisfaction in order to reduce churn.

He questioned which is the best Wi-Fi monetization strategy to implement.

Ericsson announced it is working with Philips to develop LED street lights outfitted with small cells. Called “Zero Site” by Ericsson, the connected lighting solution integrates a small cell and backhaul inside light poles.

Speaking at the Ericsson media event at the Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg said that Philips is working with cities to upgrade existing lamp poles to LED lighting. Ericsson would manage the network of small cell sites while cities would be able to rent the small cells to Ericsson or directly to telecom providers.

Patrik Jakobson, head of network sharing in the managed services business at Ericsson, said that the small cells on the light poles will likely include Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE technology. According to Jakobson, light poles in areas such as bus stops or near high traffic corners would likely be the first to be outfitted.

Ericsson’s indoor Radio Dot System has been endorsed by customers AT&T, Verizon, MTN, SingTel, Softbank, Swisscom, Telstra and Vodafone. Dots are connected and powered via standard internet LAN cables to indoor radio units that link to a base station and supports integration with Ericsson’s carrier Wi-Fi portfolio. The Radio Dot is in lockstep with the outdoor network and supports integration with the company’s Wi-Fi to enable real-time traffic steering.

Ericsson’s new 6120 basestation for macrocells is an all-in-one outdoor enclosure that provides twice the radio capacity in the same footprint. It can house up to 18 radios in a footprint of less than 0.5 square meters.

Qualcomm partnered with Alcatel-Lucent last July to develop lightRadio small cells with WiFi. Alcatel-Lucent is also expanding its collaboration with Intel for Cloud-based radio networks.

Qualcomm is also promoting LTE Advanced in unlicensed spectrum.

The V-Pole stands for “Vancouver pole”. It was being considered by Vancouver BC Mayor Gregor Robertson a couple years ago.

The core of the V-Pole is Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio, which compresses all the wires and circuit boards of a cellphone tower into a single Rubik’s cube-sized block. “You can stack them inside a pole like Lego,” said novelist Douglas Coupland, the technology’s creator.

The V-Pole project is entirely open source, according to the National Post, which means Mr. Coupland receives no royalties or consulting fees for the design. V-Poles, still in the conceptual stage, are all-white save for a band of multicoloured rings clustered near the top that indicate the carriers and radios available on the pole.

ABI Research predicts the market for small cell backhaul equipment will grow to more than $5 billion in 2018, up from $487 million. LTE small cell solutions will drive most of the microwave and fiber backhaul growth in metropolitan areas, with backhaul for LTE small cells reaching a value of $3.1 billion in 2018, ABI said.

For 2013, the enterprise WLAN market increased 15.0% year over year while the consumer WLAN market jumped 11.0%, according to preliminary results by International Data Corporation (IDC).

The growth in the consumer WLAN space appears to be accelerating due to strong growth in the emerging markets and a transition to the newer 802.11ac standard.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 at 9:51 am .

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