Sprint first to roll out Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio kit

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Initial deployment to see U.S. operator provide additional LTE capacity to indoor locations.

Sprint will become the first operator to deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio mini base station technology, it emerged on Monday.
The U.S. mobile operator said its initial deployment will focus on delivering additional LTE capacity to indoor locations such as business campuses, transport hubs and entertainment venues. By doing this, Sprint aims to provide a high-quality mobile broadband experience to customers in high-traffic areas.
“We want our customers to enjoy the latest high-bandwidth services and applications,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president, Network, at Sprint, in a statement.
“With Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio metro cells, we will be able to increase our coverage and capacity where it’s needed,” he said.
First unveiled in February 2011, lightRadio uses multi air interface antenna technology small enough to be mounted on a pole or side of a building. It integrates base station components onto system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture and virtualises mobile controllers and gateways to enable a “cloud-like” wireless architecture.
In February 2012, the vendor incorporated carrier-grade WiFi into its lightRadio portfolio.
“lightRadio also addresses many other operator challenges, including reducing power consumption for a greener footprint and providing a deployment solution that helps operators bridge the digital divide,” said an Alcatel-Lucent statement.
Robert Vrijj, Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas president, noted that optimising network performance in busy public spaces is priority number one for many operators.
“As a leader in small cell technology, Alcatel-Lucent is in an ideal position to address this challenge,” he said.
However, as reported in the July/August edition of Total Telecom+, operators have myriad issues to contend with when considering a small cell deployment if they are to provide the required capacity without breaking the bank.