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100 operators adopt small cell technology

Chinese mobile operator deploys Ericsson’s Radio Dot System to strengthen indoor network coverage

100 operators adopt small cell technology
Ericsson now has 100 operators, worldwide, using its small cell technology for indoor coverage

Ericsson's Radio Dot system has now reached a total of 100 operators, as mobile communications operator in western China, Sichuan Mobile, is the latest to adopt the technology.

Results from Ericsson's ConsumerLab survey found only 3 in 10 smartphone users find indoor voice quality, coverage and reliability to be suitable. This challenge will worsen due to the rapid growth in smartphone traffic, with 90% of mobile data traffic expected to come from smartphones by the end of 2021.

The Radio Dot system is designed to enable mobile operators to deliver consistent, high performance voice and data coverage and capacity in the broadest range of buildings, such as shopping malls, hospitals, college campuses and office buildings.

Arun Bansal, senior vice president at Ericsson, said: "Radio Dots are improving indoor app coverage for smartphone users around the world, and with simple software upgrades, they will continue to, as mobile connectivity demand increases for both people and things."

Already, 39% of operators are in the Asia Pacific region, 44% in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and 17% in North and South America. These deployments have seen mobile data throughput has improved by up to five times, dropped calls have reduced to zero and installation times are as low as four times per Dot.

It features the Radio Dot, a ceiling-mounted antenna and is remote-software upgradable. Recent commercial software upgrades support up to 600mbps peak rates using LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation, whilst reducing power consumption.

Chen Ke, general manager of Ziyang branch of Sichuan Mobile, added: "We like the Radio Dot System because it is fast and easy to deploy, and enables us to address both current and future indoor capacity requirements by just updating the software. And it looks very nice, so our enterprise and public venue customers are proud to have it in their buildings." 

Small cell architectures will increase as networks move towards 5G, and as the demand for mobile broadband, video and the Internet of Things increases, radio access technology will evolve.

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