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Category Archives: LTE

Partnership Opens NEC’s Universe to SpiderCloud Technology

NEC is partnering with SpiderCloud Wireless to provide the SmartCloud system to its existing and new customers as part of an end-to-end small-cell solution, the companies announced at the Small Cells World Summit 2012, held June 26-28, in London.

“With NEC we have an established player in the small cell/femto cell market that has already been deploying solutions from other vendors in this space and are engaged with 20 major operators worldwide,” Ronny Haraldsvik, SpiderCloud spokesman, told DAS Bulletin. “It gives us a tremendous amount of go-to-market strength with a proven partner in this space.”

SpiderCloud’s emphasis on medium to large size enterprise deployments, which demand hundreds of radio nodes serving thousands of users, complements NEC’s current smaller scale approach, deploying femtocells in the residential small office market.

The relationship will accelerate indoor deployments of SpiderCloud’s Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN) small cells at medium to large enterprise customers of mobile operators.

“With NEC’s small-cell footprint covering more than 20 carriers worldwide, we can accelerate the deployment of E-RANs to help our customers serve their client bases with a premium mobile services platform that is free from the capacity, time-to-market and cost limitations of DAS,” said Anil Kohli, General Manager at NEC Europe, in a prepared release.

The relationship between NEC and SpiderCloud appears to have a research and development component, as the two companies said they will continue to innovate with an integrated 3G and Wi-Fi SmartCloud system moving toward what sounds like a more heterogeneous ecosystem.

The companies said the new system will provide carriers with a consistent management interface, automated RF planning, inter-small-cell mobility, quality of service, wireless intrusion detection and prevention, 802.1x based authentication and 802.11u. Additionally, NEC has plans to support LTE in future releases of the E-RAN system.

Also at the Small Cells World Summit 2012, NEC launched a plug-and-play indoor small-cell, FP1624 for offices with 16,404 square feet and several stories. NEC’s latest outdoor small cell, the FMA1630, provides mobile operators with a cost-effective way of increasing the network coverage and capacity in outdoor environments.

“NEC’s vision of the LTE roll out in future mobile networks is based on the assumption that services and applications will demand higher throughput in both uplink and downlink,” NEC said on its website. “The conventional macro solutions that would have been supported by a few infill micro layers now require a higher number of supporting picocells to provide the rapid growth in the traffic demand. For this reason NEC’s product portfolio, while offering a macro eNodeB solution of lowest possible footprint, is also optimized for small-cell deployment by offering a highly compact Omni eNodeB solution all in one.”

AGL Interview: Sanjiv Gupta

AGL Interview: Sanjiv Gupta

AGL Interview: Jake MacLeod

Leap to Triple LTE Coverage by 2014, Joining the 4G Fray

Leap Wireless International, the parent of Cricket Communications, plans to triple its planned LTE coverage from 20-25 million to 60-65million POPs by 2014, according to Leap CEO Doug Hutcheson, speaking at the 40th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference last week in Boston.

In March, Cricket signed a five-year wholesale agreement to use Clearwire’s proposed LTE network. Previously, it had a wholesale agreement with the now-bankrupt Lightsquared. Late last year, the carrier began its multi-year transition to 4G LTE with a commercial market launch in its Tucson, Ariz.

The carrier has not divulged its LTE vendors, however. Leap spokesman Greg Lund told the AGL Bulletin the company has not been in any hurry to deploy LTE, choosing instead to wait until handset and infrastructure costs come down.

“We felt the significant device costs that were presented to us would come down in line with what our customers [could afford] in the back half of this year,” Lund said. “That is why we took a more measured approach to device and infrastructure sourcing.”

Clearwire has said it will announce its LTE vendors in the third quarter of this this year and plans to deploy 5,000 TD-LTE base stations by June 2013, increasing to 8,000 thereafter. Leap will probably announce its vendors for LTE in the second half of this year, Lund said.

“Carriers are busy adding coverage and capacity – good for towers,” Christopher Larsen, senior research analyst with Piper/Larsen, wrote in a note on last week’s CTIA show in New Orleans. “AT&T and Verizon have maintained their aggressive push to build-out LTE. Sprint is driving high levels of activity with its Network Vision deployment. Finally, T-Mobile is making progress with its LTE strategy, announcing its vendors this week. (see relate story) With the rapid growth of wireless data usage likely to continue and to push the carriers to keep up with capacity demands, we think the tower operators will continue to see strong growth in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.”

Mobile Experts projects more than 14 million radio transceivers will be installed during 2016, with more than half deployed for LTE services.

“Despite the rise of small cells, the macro infrastructure market will remain strong,” said Joe Madden, principal analyst at Mobile Experts. “In particular, rising data traffic demand will drive a need for ongoing investment in the macro layer, especially for 3G, TD-LTE, and LTE-FDD systems.”