Vodafone Netherlands has become the world’s first operator to deploy an entirely scalable small cell system for its enterprise customers.
The technology is being supplied by SpiderCloud Wireless (San Jose, CA, USA) and is designed to boost in-building capacity and coverage for the operator’s range of enterprise customers.
The system can be installed much faster than older small-cell technologies and incorporates a node allowing the operator to control more than 100 multi-access small cells.
“We are pleased to be the first operator in the Netherlands to offer business customers this new and innovative system,” said Marcel van den Biggelaar, Vodafone Netherlands’ (Maastricht, Netherlands) head of technology strategy. “Previously we were restricted by the cost and time it took to install legacy in-building wireless systems of the lack of scalability of first generation small cells.”
SpiderCloud says the small-cell system connects securely to Vodafone’s core network, allowing the operator to provide managed mobility services to enterprise customers as well as improved coverage and capacity.
The system also supports soft handover between radio nodes so that voice calls do not drop as users walk into a building.
Operators are increasingly looking to small cells to boost coverage in buildings and other areas that are poorly served by macro-cell networks.
Indeed, according to a study commissioned by SpiderCloud earlier this year, over-reliance on macro-cell networks is chiefly responsible for poor levels of indoor coverage.
Conducted by Signals Research Group, as much as 88% of licensed spectrum is under-utilized in buildings because operators are failing to invest in appropriate, small-cell systems.
“Vodafone is taking a leadership role in solving in-building connectivity problems for business customers in the Netherlands,” said Ron Pelley, SpiderCloud’s vice president.