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LTE and Wi-Fi Can Deliver Efficient All-Wireless Enterprise Networks

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

The cost savings and reduced complexity from enterprises moving to an all-wireless communications network is a seductive one. However, worries still exist among many enterprise IT managers that Wi-Fi is not up to snuff. Indeed, there are still concerns about scalability, quality, and security issues.

A recent TechZine article by Subramania Vasudevan, Director, Advanced Performance in WCTO, Alcatel-Lucent, All-wireless enterprise with LTE and Wi-Fi, notes that enterprise IT managers have a particular lack of confidence in the quality of the wireless link provided by an all Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Small Cells Help Latin American Operators Keep Up with Demand

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

If you spend any time in a developing country, you quickly discover that the majority of Internet connectivity comes via cellular connections. For many in developing countries, a smartphone effectively is their first regular connection to the Internet.

Roughly 87 percent of all broadband connections in emerging markets will be by way of cellular by 2017, according to Alcatel-Lucent forecasts. This is especially true in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the GSMA estimates that Latin America will have the second highest installed base of smartphones in the world behind only Asia Pacific by 2020.

Field Trial Shows the Potential of Enterprise Small Cells

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor 

For large enterprises, small cells make a lot of sense.

Upwards of 80 percent of all mobile usage now occurs indoors, according to Alcatel-Lucent, and enterprise small cells deliver a flexible and economical way for reliable mobile connectivity in-building.

Recently a field trial held at a large financial institution in Mumbai showed the potential of enterprise small cells. Small cells bathed a 45,000-square-foot, all-glass office space with cellular connectivity that replaced an existing DAS and delivered a call drop rate of only 0.87 percent, an increase in average throughput of 42 percent, and a boost in peak throughput of 82 percent, according to a recent TechZine posting, Field insights: Deploy

Small Cells Put Extra Pressure on the Evolved Packet Core

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Small cells are a boon for mobile network operators, as they easily and cheaply expand wireless network connectivity. However, they also can strain an operator’s evolved packet core (EPC).

“The EPC may be called upon to deliver a significant increase in scale, capacity, and performance beyond that which was required initially to support the macro-cellular network,” noted David Nowoswiat, Sr. Product and Solutions Marketing Manager, Alcatel-Lucent in a recent TechZine posting, Is your EPC ready for the small cells onslaught? He suggests that operators look at three areas when examining if their EPC is up for the challenge.

Small Cells Fill the Gap in Mobile Network Infrastructure

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

There will be 70 billion connected devices globally by 2020, according to a recent Alcatel-Lucent posting. That’s a lot of demand on operator networks.

“We know that there’s a new market and new problem here to solve,” said Mike Schabel, senior vice-president of small cells for the wireless division at Alcatel-Lucent. “To handle the expected volume, we would need to significantly increase the number of cell towers used in the network. So we made [base stations] smaller.”

Small cells represent the future of the network for operators. They are cheap, easy to deploy, and can be adapted to deliver the right amount of coverage for an area of heavy use.

For In-Building Cellular Small Cells Have You Covered

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Large office buildings sometimes encounter a troubling problem in the form of poor cellular reception for employees. With atriums, business space in basements, internal walls and glass windows, more than one “modern architectural masterpiece” has discovered that workers lose cell coverage when they enter the building.

Of course, there are steps that can fix such problems even after a building is constructed. One of the best options is small cells technology for good in-building cellular coverage.

Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

LTE Small Cells Help Public Transport Users Stay Informed in Real-time

By: Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation Segment Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

It’s raining. It’s Monday morning. And the bus hasn’t turned up.

It’s a story experienced all the time in cities across the world, and is a major challenge for transit operators in the battle for passengers. When you are wet through and the bus still hasn’t come around the corner, taking the car always feels like the better option.

However, telecommunications technology is helping to readdress this balance. Research has shown that use of mobile apps which show up-to-date and accurate journey information is improving journey experience. Passengers can plan their journey better meaning the wait for the bus is no longer such a drag.

Small Cell Deployments Can Gain from Thoughtful Collaboration

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Mobile operators know that small cells deliver efficient, cost-effective wireless coverage since they can be placed anywhere to add or augment service. But while the technological benefits are not in dispute, actual small cell deployment can be a challenge. The very advantage of small cells is also a disadvantage.

That’s because unlike macro cells, small cells require many deployments and agreements with many sites. Instead of one deployment, there are several. This adds complexity, especially with small cells outdoors.

The numbers bear this out. A recent study by Informa Telecoms & Media found that roughly 60 percent of the operators it surveyed said that deployment problems were the biggest challenge with small cell technology.

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