Ericsson unveils the ‘Dot,’ says it redefines small cell market

  • Minimalist small cell radio fully integrates with macro mobile networks
  • Leverages existing indoor wiring and outdoor cellular infrastructure

Ericsson unveils the ‘Dot,’ says it redefines small cell marketERICSSON has launched a cellular radio that is small enough to fit a person’s hand, but provides enough indoor network coverage for a crowd.
 
The disk-shaped solution, called Ericsson Radio Dot System, addresses a broad range of scenarios for providing high-quality access to mobile broadband and voice services indoors, the company said in a statement.
 
An in-building environment presents a special set of challenges for mobile operators, concerning complexity, scalability and service continuity, Ericsson said.
 
Current indoor solutions are built mainly for voice coverage and do not meet the growing capacity demands of apps. Covering major parts of buildings has been challenging, for reasons such as high costs and limited scalability.
 
The Ericsson Radio Dot System is compact and offers flexible mounting. The device weighs 300 grams, is the result of two years of research and development, and incorporates 14 patents.
 
It introduces a revolutionary antenna element, or ‘dot,’ which delivers mobile broadband access to users. Because of its convenient size, scalability, and compelling evolution path, this product caters to different kinds of users in medium to large indoor locations, and aims to address operators’ needs of offering a complete indoor solution, the company added.
 
Dots are connected and powered via standard internet LAN (local area network) cables (Category 5/6/7) to indoor radio units that link to a base station.
 
The company said the Radio Dot System leverages the same industry-leading features found in Ericsson’s macro base station. Deployments and upgrades are simple, addressing growing capacity and coverage requirements – thus, users’ experience is consistent wherever they go and the indoor network evolves in lockstep with the outdoor network.
 
Ericsson unveils the ‘Dot,’ says it redefines small cell marketThe Ericsson Radio Dot System also supports integration with the company’s carrier WiFi portfolio, enabling features such as real-time traffic steering to ensure the best user experience across both WiFi and 3GPP networks.
 
“With the Radio Dot System we lower the threshold to building indoor coverage,” said Johan Wibergh (pic), head of Ericsson Business Unit Networks.
 
“The dot is the most cost-effective, no-compromise solution to the indoor coverage challenges expressed by our customers. It is ultra-small but can scale to virtually unlimited capacity; it is easy to install, future proof and it is 100% integrated with existing mobile networks,” he added.
 
Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst at the Yankee Group, said: “Sleek form factors that focus radio capability to solve the indoor deployment challenge in a fresh and compelling way will be welcomed into a wide variety of business and office venues.
 
“Ericsson Radio Dot System leverages existing indoor wire facilities to reduce installation hurdles and cost, and because it builds on Ericsson standard radio architecture, it provides an extensive feature set without compromising future evolution,” he added.
 
The product is expected to be commercially available in late 2014.

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