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Alcatel-Lucent going big on small cells

Its LTE convergence system is to be put to work by China Telecom in its nationwide high-speed mobile broadband roll-out with its lightRadio LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) playing a key role.

The company will provide close to 10,000 base stations as one of the top three suppliers for China Telecom as it deploys both LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD systems across 12 provinces.

Meanwhile, Alcatel-Lucent has also inked an important deal with China’s largest mobile opeator, China Mobile. who is to deploy its small cells solution in what is currently the world’s largest TD-LTE network.

The small cell technology being deployed is actually the fruit of a joint venture between Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile (launched at Mobile World Congress early this year).

Called lightRadio™ 9768 Metro Radio Outdoor (MRO), the technology will be deployed in dense outdoor areas such as shopping malls, sports stadiums and high-traffic roads.

Alcalu was an early enthusiast for small cell technology developed to act as an integral part of the public carrier network (as opposed to being managed inside homes and businesses - the femtocell concept).

In early 2011 TelecomTV held a three-part discussion on the subject of small cells and most particularly how long they’d take to get up a head of steam (see - Small cell mobile a big deal: but in five to ten years say panelists) and see the video bellow.

It’s still early days but it currently feels as though the optimistic nought to five year (up to 2016) time frame discussed by our panel is actually closest to the mark. Given the movement so far the longer 10 year view looks a tad bleak. But maybe I’m wrong. Discuss below.

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