The small cells will be used to improve 4G coverage in difficult urban and rural areas
Ericsson has joined forces with Australian telecoms firm Telstra to provide indoor and outdoor small cell systems to boost 4G coverage for customers in rural and urban areas of Australia.
The use of small cells is a cost-effective way for telecoms companies to move from 3G to LTE network coverage, and will help ready Telstra for adopting 5G when it comes to fruition, according to Ericsson.
“The outdoor small cell deployment and indoor small cell solutions are the latest step in our ongoing strategic partnership with Ericsson. Telstra has already deployed small cells in 50 rural towns across Australia. The result has been greater coverage and improved broadband experience for residents and business in these towns,” said Mike Wright, group managing director of Networks in Telstra Operations.
“With this new agreement, Telstra can increase the small cell rollout across Australia. In urban areas we are looking forward to delivering better indoor coverage not only for individual customers in office buildings, but also to our enterprise customers in shopping centres and large indoor venues.”
Rather than force massive network overhauls, the use of small cells can improve 4G coverage and capacity in areas where space is at a premium, for example hotspots such as city squares, commercial streets, railway stations, hotels, shopping centres, airports and offices.
Ericsson said that through coordination with the rest of the network, spectrum can be reused in a way that ensures it is maximised and delivers a good quality of service for telecoms customers.
“By integrating small cells as part of the macro mobile network, operators can cost-effectively provide improved coverage. Coordinated, embedded small cells improve performance through frequency reuse, increasing both network data capacity and throughput without the need to split the available spectrum,” said Thomas Norén, head of product area network products at Ericsson.
“Small cells also provide full-service transparency in the network, ensuring that Voice over LTE, Voice over WiFi and video calls work seamlessly in the network for a consistent user experience.”
Despite improvements in the 4G networks of EE and Vodafone, the UK still has poor 4G coverage, meaning Ericsson could see an opportunity to push its small cells into UK telecoms companies.