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HetNet News: Ericsson on small cells, Wi-Fi underground

In HetNet news this week, Ericsson shares its outlook for small cells, Devicescape partners with Open Mobile, and underground data use surges in London.

HetNet News 11/4/14

Ericsson stays the course on small cells
Small cells have not gained traction with mobile operators as quickly as many vendors hoped they would, but Ericsson is staying the course. Johan Wibergh, head of the company’s network group, does not expect small cells to impact the bottom line significantly in the near future, but he does expect more growth in 2015.

“I think indoor is going to be much more important revenuewise than outdoor,” said Wibergh. “Both are picking up, but indoor is much more important.” Earlier this year, Ericsson introduced a tablet-sized small cell solution, the RBS6402, which is meant to integrate seamlessly with the macro network.

Wibergh noted that small cells are more mature than capacity solutions that are primarily software based. “Small cells are more mature than virtualization,” he said, adding that he hopes to see virtualization start impacting Ericsson’s results in a meaningful way by 2016.

Open Mobile taps Devicescape for Wi-Fi offload
Puerto Rico’s Open Mobile will use Devicescape’s service platform to enable users to move between cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Devicescape’s policy controls find and authenticate users to public, private and carrier Wi-Fi hot spots.

“Using the Devicescape solution we are able to ensure our subscribers have automatic access to the best data connection at any given time, wherever they go and without having to endure complicated manual access procedures,” said Juan Saca, president and CEO of Open Mobile.

Aruba uses Bluetooth to help operators monetize Wi-Fi
Aruba uses Bluetooth to help target users’ locations inside venues in order to let nearby retailers push offers via its Wi-Fi network. But the company’s new Aruba Mobile Engagement has applications that go far beyond coupons and loyalty programs. Aruba said hospitals can use the platform to give patients up-to-date information in the language of their choice though HIPAA-compliant, secure-push notifications.

The American Museum of Natural History also is evaluating Aruba Mobile Engagement for use in an app that would give visitors turn-by-turn directions inside the museum, as well as information about exhibits.

Wi-Fi underground
Virgin Media installed Wi-Fi hotspots in London’s Tube ahead of the 2012 Olympics, but the deployment did not stop when the games ended. 150 Wi-Fi hot spots are now part of the London underground transit system, and 2.5 million devices are registered to Virgin Media on the London underground service.

London commuters use more than 3 terabytes of data underground each day, according to Virgin Media. In addition to Virgin Media broadband subscribers, mobile subscribers from other networks also can access the service. Customers of Vodafone, O2, Three and EE all have access to the Virgin Media Wi-Fi hot spots.


Martha DeGrasse
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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