Alcatel-Lucent reveals compact metro cells in HetNets push

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Alcatel-Lucent has boosted its small cell portfolio by adding new Compact Metro Cell Outdoor (CMCO) products, which is being trialled by a number of operators.

The product is half the size of existing metro cells, which Alcatel Lucent said would help operators create HetNets to boost coverage and capacity in built-up urban areas within the likes of advertising hoardings.

Operators are able to connect CMCO products to their wider network through backhaul. Alcatel-Lucent said they can connect through a common public radio interface to a centralised baseband unit, allowing them to manage multiple radios and build a virtualised RAN architecture.

The units can support up to 200 users and uses 43 percent less energy than traditional small cells, which Alcatel Lucent said was because of its radio-on-chip technology. Current products support 1800MHz and 2600Mhz, with plans to extend it to other FDD and TDD frequencies throughout 2015.

Mike Schabel, Vice President of Small Cells in Alcatel-Lucent said: “By extending our small cell product family to include the Compact Metro Cell Outdoor, we are offering a solution that meets the needs of any operator in any location.

"The goal of this product was to enable operators to seamlessly and simply integrate the product inside of existing street furniture and simplify municipality zoning approvals. Our existing Metro Cells continue to help them with pole-mounting and wall-mounting applications, while we are expanding their deployment options with the Compact Metro Cell Outdoor.”

Last autumn, Alcatel-Lucent signed a deal with advertising company JCDecaux to develop new types of small cells that could be hidden among its billboards.

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