AT&T is helping lead the mobile industry by deploying small cells across its network. Small cells are innovative and flexible network solutions which help provide the best possible mobile coverage and connectivity where AT&T customers need it most. Small cells are the latest solution in the next-generation toolkit AT&T is using to build the world’s best wireless network.
AT&T has successfully deployed small cells in three unique environments: a neighborhood in St. Louis, Mo.; a high-rise in New York City; and an enterprise building in a Milwaukee, Wis. suburb. In all three deployments, AT&T was able to provide nearly 100 percent usable coverage to customers that previously had a less-than-desirable network experience. An additional benefit of small cells is that they allow for the more efficient use of spectrum by providing a cost effective way to densify the network.
Small cells help meet AT&T customers’ explosive demand for mobile data. Over the last six years, mobile data traffic on AT&T’s network has increased more than 30,000% (2007 – 2012). AT&T has been internally testing and planning a nationwide small cell deployment for years. However, the recent announcement of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP (or VIP), a three year $14 billion investment plan to significantly expand and enhance the company’s wireless and wireline IP broadband networks, calls for significant use of small cells. As part of Project VIP, AT&T plans to deploy more than 40,000 small cells by the end of 2015.
Now that AT&T has successfully completed its small cell trials and pilot deployments in three different environments, nationwide deployment of small cells is underway:
- Future growth. Over the next three years, AT&T will deploy more than 40,000 small cells across its network. Deployments will be tailored to address wireless network challenges in the area, with a focus on providing enhanced coverage to our customers where it is needed most.
- Next evolution. Looking beyond currently available small cell technology, AT&T is working to improve the next generation of small cell technology, such as multi-standard metrocells which will be 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi enabled.
- Innovation approach. In addition, AT&T is in the early stages of developing and testing new innovative approaches to implementing and unlocking small cells’ full potential by working in tandem with internal AT&T innovators at the AT&T Foundry® and AT&T Labs.
Gordon Mansfield was appointed as the AVP of Small Cell Solutions at AT&T in November 2012. In this role, Gordon leads AT&T’s efforts to develop and deploy small cell solutions on AT&T’s network. Gordon also leads the development of SON algorithms to ensure that the AT&T small cell solutions are “Smart” solutions that automatically adapt to the surrounding conditions between the macro and small cell layers.
In addition, Gordon is the Chairman of the Small Cell Forum, where he oversees the continued evolution of the Forum, driving broad engagement within the mobile operator community to reach consensus on operator’s technical needs which can then be crisply communicated to the broad small cell ecosystem which makes up the Small Cell Forum membership.