Vodafone’s corporate customers will be the first to benefit from its trial of “Small Cells”, which deliver significantly enhanced mobile coverage and capacity via a plug-in 10kg cell site in a box.
Small Cells take less than a day to set-up and install, plug into mains power, and can be installed on the side of a wall, in a cupboard, on a utility post, or outdoors – with low visual impact.
The boxed cell sites deliver high speed mobile data – 42Mbps download speeds – and can carry180 simultaneous phone calls.
Vodafone’s Head of Networks, Tony Baird, says Small Cells are the stepping stone to fifth generation (5G) deployment, and hold the key to future mobile coverage in built-up urban areas.
“With urban networks now quite well established, and space becoming a premium on streets, Small Cells can provide a smart solution for businesses in areas with poor coverage.
“The technology is low-cost and low-fuss, while providing impressive capacity and coverage for its size – which cannot be affected by external demands on capacity or issues.
“We see the technology being particularly useful for serving businesses, supermarkets, localised hot spots, and places with high foot traffic like malls and food courts.”
An additional benefit of Small Cells is the ability for customers to add other useful business services from Vodafone – like SIP trunking – using the fibre backhaul with the box.
Nokia Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Stephen McFeeley, says that Small Cell technology is leading the 5G charge around the world.
“Our Small Cells product is an example of innovation in the industry. It offers smart and compact solutions that Vodafone is now using to provide coverage and capacity to key customers across New Zealand.”
Vodafone’s trial of Small Cells is another enhancement to its comprehensive portfolio of coverage solutions.
Vodafone is using high speed 3G Dual Carrier 42Mbps Small Cells for the customer trials.
Small Cells will eventually support both WiFi and 4G. Vodafone will begin testing 4G Small Cells next month.