From a recent Fierce Broadband Wireless article:
The carrier is also working on what it calls Multi-Standard Metrocells (MSMs), or small cells that combine LTE, HSPA+ and Wi-Fi into a single unit, but these are apparently proving tricky as the carrier appears to be in no rush to hustle the MSM devices out of the lab and into real-world deployments.
"It would be foolish to think less than a year" for the MSM deployments, Mansfield told Light Reading Mobile, but he added the rollout effort probably will not take two years either.
Speaking at the Citi Global Internet, Media & Communications Conference held during January in Las Vegas, John Donovan, senior executive vice president of AT&T technology and network operations, emphasized the importance of multi-standard small cells in the operator's network plans. "Our objective for 2014 is that we won't do any small cell or in-building systems that don't include Wi-Fi," he said.
AT&T announced last November that it intends to deploy more than 40,000 small cells over the next two years as part of its expansive Project Velocity IP (or VIP). The project also will entail the rollout of 10,000 new macrocells and 1,000 distributed antenna systems (DAS) throughout its service footprint.
During AT&T's Innovation Showcase in New York last week, Mansfield indicated that the end-of-2015 target for 40,000 small cells still seems quite feasible. "At this point I see no reason to believe that we won't hit that number...and we could revise it next year," he said.
Another article by the same author in the same publication:
The small cell market is bifurcating between public access and metrocell equipment vs. consumer-grade femtocells, resulting in two distinct roadmaps for sales of baseband processors for small cells, according to ABI Research.
Baseband system-on-a-chip (SOC) platforms for public access or metrocell equipment, which is targeted at higher price and feature points, will sell in smaller volumes than less costly baseband SoCs for femtocells installed in homes and businesses, said ABI.
"The difference in price points is explained by the fact that enterprise and consumer femtocells are, as the name implies, consumer grade, and with performance levels much less than their metrocell cousins, less costly components can be used. Conversely, public access metrocells are ruggedized, often for outdoor use, and come with advanced features which allow them to handle many simultaneous subscribers often in simultaneous multimode 3G/LTE, and increasingly Wi-Fi, at much higher RF power levels than a femtocell," said ABI.
Complete article here.
In another news, CJ Meurell, vice president and general manager in JDSU’s Communications thinks that Small cells (inc. Metrocells) would play a key part in the helping with the quick rampup of the demand in mobile data serrvices in African and Asian countries. Complete article here.