The growth of small cells in the telecom industry has spread like wild fire as many carriers have expressed plans to expand into this category. You can now consider AT&T one of those carriers as they have determined a strategy to cultivate small cell usage by 2015.
Small Cells are extremely useful for location concentration in boosting network capacity such as homes, offices, urban space, rural space, and Wi-Fi integration. Mobile operators use small cells to extend their indoor/outdoor service coverage, increase data speeds, voice coverage, and increase network capacity. They have also become an integral part of future 4G LTE networks.
The idea of using small cells is not a new idea for AT&T as they have been testing multimode small cells that support 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi since early 2013. They currently have been limited to only UMTS or HSPA+ small cells but are planning to grow. The company’s plan is to test LTE-only small cells and then follow up with deploying single-mode LTE small cells. These small cells will be capable of supporting up to 64 simultaneous phone calls within its range.
AT&T has high expectations for the amount of small cells they will deploy by the end of 2015. There is hope that half a million public access small cells will become active and 40,000 more small cells will be installed. An update in backhauling will also play a factor in the small cell process.