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AT&T's network densification with small cells

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Gordon Mansfield, VP RAN & Device Design, AT&T

As the industry looks towards 5G and millimetre wave (mmW) spectrum, it is engaged in densifying the network more, with greater focus on small cells. As operators densify their networks, they add more equipment on the ground, so they get better use and higher peak speeds out of their limited spectrum resources. They can also combine unlicensed technology such as LAA with their licensed assets, thereby giving customers a better quality of experience.


LTE-A capabilities being deployed today, and LTE-Advanced Pro is already being introduced into product roadmaps. mmW is not as far away as we once thought; the standards are being accelerated we might start to see 5G New Radio capabilities by the end of 2018. And whilst mmW has different propagation characteristics that todays sub-6GHz spectrum, the addition of technologies such as Massive MIMO and smart beam steering can be used to get greater range out of mmW. This is helped by small cell densification layers being built today that can easily accommodate mmW technology in the future.

Filmed at: SCWS World, London, 2017

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