It appears that Verizon Wireless is beginning to reverse its stance on the use of small cells. Back in March of 2012, the Big Red stated small cells would likely not have a big impact on the carrier's network.
But in this year alone, Verizon Wireless has been actually utilizing small cells to improve its current network. For instance, barely a week ago, we posted about the wireless carrier's plan to install 400 small cells in the city of San Francisco in order to boost LTE capacity in that area.
And now, Verizon Wireless is starting to explore the possibility of using indoor small cell systems, specifically the new Radio Dot system developed by Ericsson. Ericsson's Dot system was first unveiled by back in September of 2013. Dots look just like your regular smoke detectors, and it can be install on walls and even on ceilings, where it can serve as a easy-to-set-up extension of the location's existing cell networks. It is particularly useful in indoor settings in which voice and data signals become limited.
As of today, the Big Red has only installed the Dot system in its own regional headquarters located in Southfield, Michigan. But this marks the first time that Ericsson's small cell system has been successfully set up within the United States. When put in place, the Dot system lets building owners and even wireless carriers to install an indoor mobile network just as easily as setting up a Wi-Fi network.
It is not clear yet how extensively will Verizon Wireless utilize the Dot system in the future. And compared to other wireless carriers, the Big Red does not seem to have overly ambitious plans in mind. AT&T for instance is already starting its roll-out of 40,000 little base stations in its network over a two-year span of time, and it will not only be deployed in malls and parks, but also in Disney theme parks, too. Verizon's deployment is relatively conservative by comparison.
But there is denying that Verizon clearly has found a use for the system. This type of technology lets the wireless carrier strategically improve capacity into its networks without the need for setting up new cell towers or buying additional spectrum. As long as small cells are installed properly, they can definitely provide increased LTE capacity and enhanced speeds, especially in areas where networks are expected to be congested due to dense traffic. Aside from San Francisco, Verizon Wireless is also setting up small cells in other major metropolitan areas in the US, like New York City, Phoenix, and Chicago.
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