Telecom service provider Vodafone announced its deal with outdoor advertising company JCDecaux to deploy small cells on street furniture and billboards to enhance network performance.
Telecom industry analyst firm ABI Research last month said 2015 will witness meaningful small cell deployments. It is expecting the small cell backhaul equipment market to exceed $5 billion in 2019, which aligns with telecom operators’ deliberate approach to small cell deployments.
Huawei, a telecom network vendor, also tied up with JCDecaux to drive crowd-sourcing small cell deployment
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Huawei in November said that its small cell base stations could be found at JCDecaux’s outdoor advertising locations, helping operators to improve coverage and control the costs involved in small cell deployment, and bringing better mobile services and an enhanced experience to users globally.
Vodafone said the small cell technology will be deployed as part of Vodafone’s £19 billion Project Spring investment program to extend network, improve voice quality and increase data connectivity speeds.
Small cells on street furniture and billboards will offer faster 3G and 4G connectivity; improve outdoor and indoor coverage areas; and reduce the time and cost associated with upgrading mobile networks.
Vodafone will deploy and manage the technology while JCDecaux will be responsible for designing and manufacturing the housing for the equipment. The small cell deal follows the success of a pilot programme conducted by Vodafone Netherlands where over 160 small cells have been installed on JCDecaux bus shelters in Amsterdam.
“This agreement will help us accelerate the deployment of small cell technology by giving us access to locations that in the past have not been available for network installations,” said Kevin Salvadori, director of Technology Strategy and Operations, Vodafone Group.
Ericsson in September said it is launching the RBS 6402, the first indoor picocell to deliver 300 Mbps LTE speeds with carrier aggregation. The RBS 6402 delivers twice the capacity and speed. Optimized for indoor environments up to 54,000 square feet, the RBS 6402 packages four 250 milliwatt radios in a sleek 2.8 liter form factor that installs and auto-integrates in minutes.