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Small cell backhaul gets a boost

In infrastructure news this week, Alcatel-Lucent boosts small cell backhaul and NATE issues a warning to tower climbers.

Infrastructure News

Alcatel-Lucent adds wireless backhaul solutions for LTE small cells
Alcatel-Lucent is a leading small cell vendor, but the company knows that the outdoor market won’t take off until operators find solutions to deployment challenges, including backhaul and site acquisition. Last year Alcatel-Lucent announced its Small Cells Site Certification Program to address these issues, and now it is following up with specific backhaul solutions for places that cannot economically be reached by fiber.

Alcatel-Lucent’s new outdoor microwave packet radio networking unit includes:

• The 9500 MPR Microwave Services Switch-Outdoor (MSS-O) – outdoor microwave networking device, for boosting link capacity and reliability for small cell backhaul networks.
• The 9500 MPR Microwave Packet Transceiver-Sub6 (MPT-Sub6) – sub-6Ghz wireless backhaul solution for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) small cell deployments in built-up, urban locations.
• The 9500 MPR Microwave Packet Transceiver-Gigabit Services (MPT-GS) – line-of-sight wireless backhaul solutions at 60GHz and 80GHz frequencies.

The company is also collaborating with other wireless backhaul product providers in an effort to offer support for a range of small cell backhaul frequency options.

Ericsson exits one business, buys another
Ericsson made headlines this week with a new T-Mobile LTE contract, and the company also had two other announcements.

Ericsson is exiting the LTE modem business that it inherited when the ST-Ericsson joint venture was shuttered. The infrastructure giant says device makers are increasingly interested in modems that are integrated with processors, and Ericsson does not make mobile processors. It follows Broadcom and Texas Instruments in exiting the LTE modem business, leaving Qualcomm with even less competition here. Analyst Simon Leopold of Raymond James Equity Research sees Ericsson’s move as a “positive step towards improving profitably.”

Meanwhile Ericsson is buying a software startup that specializes in PaaS (platform-as-a-service.). Ericsson is purchasing a majority stake in Silicon Valley’s Apcera, started by the former CTO of VMWare.

Like Nokia, Ericsson appears to be increasing its focus on networks and software, and moving away from devices and chips.

Safety warning for climbers
The National Association of Tower Erectors has issued an urgent alert from Capital Safety. This Notice concerns the DBI-SALA Lad-Saf Flexible Cable Ladder Safety System, also known as a ‘Safety Climb System.’ Capital Safety has received a limited number of reports of 7×19 strand carrier cable slippage from the carrier clamp in the top bracket of these ladder safety systems. Although this top bracket design has been used in the market for more than 40 years without incident, the reported slippage raises the potential for injury to users of affected systems.

Based on Capital Safety’s analysis, the affected systems are: Based on our analysis of component manufacture dates, the affected systems are:

• systems using 3/8 inch 7×19 strand galvanized cable, with
• top bracket assemblies (including carrier clamps) purchased from Capital Safety between September 1, 2013 and May 13, 2014.


Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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