Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm developing indoor small cells

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Alcatel-Lucent is working with Qualcomm on a new indoor small cell to improve 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity in workplaces.

Developed in collaboration with Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies, the 9962 Multi-Standard Enterprise Cell will arrive in 2015 and is "the first of its kind" to feature both 3G and 4G LTE connectivity within a single chip, A-L claims.

The chipset is designed for low-power small cells and is able to switch radio communications from 3G and 4G, in addition to supporting both cellular and Wi-Fi technologies.

The 9962 can also support 64 4G LTE users and 32 3G users at simultaneously, or up to 128 users in LTE-only mode.

Neville Meijers, Vice President of Business Development at Qualcomm Technologies, said: ”By developing a power efficient chipset that supports 3G, 4G or a mix of technologies, we are offering our customers more flexibility in how they deploy.”

As well as announcing the upcoming small cell, Alcatel-Lucent acknowledged the need for a solution to enable "uninterrupted [WiFi] coverage" in the home, particularly with the growing prevalence of VoLTE.

The France-based vendor said it is using the development of the 9962 cell as launch pad for an LTE-only femto solution, stating it expected "multi-standard and LTE-only solutions for the home to be generally available in 2015".

Mike Schabel of Alcatel-Lucent commented: "Extending into the residential sector allows us to offer an even greater range of integrated cellular and Wi-Fi products to meet all providers’ needs.”

Alcatel-Lucent's announcement continues a busy week for small cells, following launches by Nokia and Ericsson.

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