Telenet small cell plan covers 2 million residential and enterprise customers

While the telecom industry at large is keenly focused on boosting LTE capacity on the road to commercialization of 5G, there are still many markets that rely on 3G networks to provide reliable coverage and capacity. In Belgium, operator Telenet is planning a mass small cell roll out that will initially provide 3G densification.

Telenet is working with small cell vendor ip.access, which, in August last year, passed 2 million shipments of licensure related to its 3G small cell technology, many to support an AT&T/Cisco MicroCell offering to bolster indoor coverage.  “Wherever voice is important,” CTO Nick Johnson said at the time, “it seems VoLTE is turning into such a difficult thing. People are still looking for some kind of 3G. We are still seeing people looking for 3G alongside LTE. He noted recent engagements and potential engagements with European and Asian customers. “There’s still some life in there, so we’re happy to continue to supply it.”

Telenet is tapping ip.access’ nanoVirt RAN platform, which is a virtually-hosted service, to manage “tens of thousands of residential small cells,” according to the company.

Malcolm Gordon, CEO, ip.access said: “Operators worldwide are under pressure to deliver fantastic in-building mobile performance, at home and elsewhere. This partnership is an excellent endorsement of our ability to support the large scale small cell deployments necessary to meet the ever-increasing demand for indoor coverage and capacity. ip.access’ virtualized scalable small cell platform means that Telenet can continue to meet the demands of its customers of all sizes as it evolves its network to 4G and beyond.”

RAN virtualization is a major trend in operator densification efforts. Large scale small cell deployments come with many challenges, including obtaining access to sites for equipment. If some of that equipment that generally resides at a site can run off of centralized servers in a data center-type environment, physical footprint goes down and centralized management enables inter-site efficiencies.

ip.access’ nanoVirt moves gateway and management functions to a data centers where it can be run on a variety of server hardware, which the company says reduces total cost of ownership. The solution can also be hosted on a cloud.

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