AT&T's small cell tests show dramatic coverage improvements

BARCELONA, Spain--AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) revealed a few more details on its small cell tests. In a presentation here, Gordon Mansfield, AVP of AT&T Small Cell Solutions and chairman of the Small Cell Forum, said the company has successfully tested and deployed small cells in three different environments and all customers experienced dramatic coverage improvements.

The tests occurred in three different environments: a neighborhood in St. Louis, Mo.; a high-rise in New York City; and an enterprise in Milwaukee, Wis. In all three deployments, AT&T was able to deliver nearly 100 percent usable coverage to customers that before had a less-than-desirable network experience.

These deployments are part of AT&T's massive small cell effort. The company will deploy more than 40,000 small cells over the next two years as part of its expansive Project Velocity IP (or VIP).  The company is also planning to deploy 10,000 new macrocells and 1,000 distributed antenna systems (DAS) throughout its service footprint as part of the effort.

AT&T is not alone in looking at small cells as a coverage solution. In a recent survey of mobile operators conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media, 98 percent of operators contacted believe small cells will be key elements of their network architecture going forward.

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