Magic Box small cell, wins “Mobile Breakthrough Award” for small cell technology

This week Sprint won the Mobile Breakthrough Award for the all-wireless Magic Box small cell, developed by vendor Airspan Netowrks. Sprint is using the device to bolster indoor coverage and capacity. In an August earnings call, CEO Marcelo Claure told RCR Wireless News the product was “truly magical,” but demand exceeds supply–a problem that persists.

The self-configuring, plug-and-play small cell uses an LTE UE relay, and is being deployed in consumer and enterprise use cases. Sprint says the Magic Box increases download and upload speeds by an average of 200%.

Awards Managing Director James Johnson says the Magic Box’s value proposition “is in its simplicity of use.” Sprint COO Günther Ottendorfer adds that Magic Box is a “key part of our densification and optimization toolbox for bringing LTE Plus service to homes and businesses across the country. The feedback has been tremendous, and we’re excited to see Sprint Magic Box making a difference for thousands of our customers.”

Back to Claure’s comment in August. At the time, he said, 25% of the requests are “coming from competing carriers [customers]complaining about indoor coverage. ‘Would you guarantee me great indoor coverage?’ Now it’s a matter of basically supplying, and also sending it to customers who have threatened to churn. You send them a Magic Box; they send you a letter about how excited they are. We could not be happier in terms of the performance.”

Asked if the supply vs. demand issue is still a factor, Adrienne Norton of Sprint Corporate Communications said via email in late September, “We are continuing to see demand outpace supply for Sprint Magic Box. [It] was originally developed as a new tool for our extended network toolbox. We then saw the potential to use it to bring service to a much broader base of business and consumer customers. Since the debut in May there has been much higher customer demand than we anticipated and we’re working with Airspan to meet that demand.”



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