AT&T Will Focus on Small Cell Deployment Throughout 2014


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For the last year, AT&T has been working on their small cell and DAS technology that will allow the company to provide capacity in densely populated areas where a macro cell site just wouldn’t work. According to GIGAOM, “After a year of testing small cells in every way imaginable, AT&T is ready to begin its large-scale rollout of the technology. The tiny base stations will boost bandwidth in the high-demand places with surgical precision. The man in charge of the rollout, AT&T Associate VP of Small Cells Gordon Mansfield, has been testing out small cells from numerous vendors in every configuration imaginable. He’s mounted them to walls, on ceilings and hung them off utility poles. He’s connected to them microwave transmitters, cable coax and even U-verse fiber-to-the-node modems. He’s put one vendor’s cells uncomfortably close to a competitor’s cells just to make sure they play nice. He’s placed the tiny transmitters at the edges of its networks where signals are the weakest, but he’s also dropped them right smack in the middle of a macrocell to see how they behave.” It’s been difficult for AT&T in determining the best places to install their small cells to provide the best coverage, which is why it’s taken them over a year to perfect the technology. AT&T Lab scientists developed software called HetNet Analysis and Resource Planning that will detect potential interference and help AT&T determine the best site to deploy their small cells.

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