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Infrastructure update: Carrier-grade small cells expected to grow; AT&T beefs up Big Easy network with DAS

From 2009 to 2012, the small-cell market has been dominated by consumer femtocells, and the growth rate has been anemic, with weak support from mobile operators and little public awareness. From 2014 to 2017, Mobile Experts predicts a dramatic rise in small cell shipments with carrier deployment of small cells to address capacity growth requirements. (PRNewsFoto/Mobile Experts LLC)

Carrier-grade small cells are expected to address wireless operators’ problem of limited capacity, according to three reports by Mobile Experts.

Mobile Experts noted that between 2009-2012, the small-cell market was dominated by consumer femtocells and that market has become anemic, “with weak support from mobile operators and little public awareness.” However, the company predicts dramatic growth in carrier-grade small cell deployments to address capacity issues between 2014 to 2017, and an increased demand for enterprise small cells.

“We believe that enterprise small cell solutions will solve problems for businesses and help to unify WiFi and licensed wireless, creating demand for enterprise small cells,” said Joe Madden, principal analyst for Mobile Experts.

Read more about the reports here.

In-flight Wi-Fi
Row 44, a satellite-based provider of in-flight WiFi and entertainment services, announced that its in-flight entertainment and connectivity service has been installed in its 400th Southwest Airlines aircraft.

In addition to in-flight broadband access for wireless devices, Row 44 also provides live television streaming on aircraft with installed WiFi, including nine channels of live news and sports.

AT&T preps for Superbowl
AT&T Inc. has beefed up its network coverage ahead of the Superbowl XLVII and Carnival season in New Orleans, the company announced.

AT&T said it just completed the installation of new Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) in the city’s Central Business District, Convention Center and the French Quarter. DAS systems were installed at seven major hotels along Canal Street and Poydras Street, and additional capacity added throughout the French Quarter. The carrier said that in order to boost capacity for both the Superbowl game and parades, 11 temporary cell sites are being installed in particular busy areas, including the Quarter, Central Business District, Garden District and Uptown.

The DAS systems are expected to help improve call reliability and enable more consistent network access for AT&T customers during times of peak network traffic. The Superbowl will be played on February 3 and Mardi Gras is February 12.


Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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