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Reusing existing infrastructure for new small cell sites

Small cells can be installed in existing infrastructure, deploying easily in lamp posts, bus stops, information kiosks, and billboards. They can even be deployed in city manholes – the same ones used for fiber and power conduits. Small cell architectures will become increasingly relevant as operators evolve to the next generation of mobile networks, known as 5G.

Meeting the need for increased capacity

Current telecoms infrastructure needs to ramp up to address the forecasted tenfold growth in global mobile data traffic (by 2021). This is driving the requirement for increased mobile network densification and small cells. So, operators require more site options, which, in turn, create site acquisition challenges. Site approvals for locations in dense urban environments are getting increasingly difficult, and it is typically a 9-22 month process. Meanwhile, the requirements for camouflage and multi-application sites are continuously increasing.

Ericsson meets these challenges with site solutions that address a variety of expansion and installation options, and our compact radios enable fast and “invisible” deployments leveraging Zero Sites, Street Furniture Sites, and Vault Sites. These enable operators to reduce site rental costs by sharing site space in existing infrastructure. Cities are also becoming increasingly involved in decisions around network infrastructure, as they drive smart city initiatives supporting both mobile broadband for residents and new Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Lightpole Site Slim – An innovative solution from Ericsson and Philips

The Lightpole Site Slim integrates Philips’ energy efficient LED lighting with Ericsson’s leading small cell technology to enable high-speed broadband connectivity in cities around the world. 

Go underground with new Vault Radio 2268

Quickly add capacity in dense urban areas with minimal visual impact. Place radio in existing underground vaults with fiber and power infrastructure connected to antenna on ground level.

Housing in existing infrastructure

Ericsson Zero Sites, developed in conjunction with Philips, are advanced street lighting systems that incorporate Ericsson small cells. These multi-application pole solutions give municipalities and utilities the possibility to gain new revenues from site leasing. They incorporate LED street lighting, which can generate energy savings of 50-70 percent. The solution also enables network operators to meet citizens’ demands for connectivity everywhere to everything.

Ericsson small cells can also be fully contained in many different existing infrastructures, including bus stops, information kiosks, and billboards. Our latest innovation, together with telecom operator Swisscom, includes housing environmentally hardened radios in existing street manholes, which we call Vault Sites.

Street furniture sites

Connected street furniture, like connected bus stops and connected outdoor advertising, provides a great platform for offering seamless connectivity and digital services.  

Underground vault sites

With underground vault sites, radios and antennas are mounted below street level, making it possible to use existing assets where fiber and power already exist.

City of Los Angeles and Philips shine a light on 4G LTE app coverage with Ericsson

Los Angeles is the world’s first city to deploy Philips’ SmartPole street lighting with fully built in 4G LTE wireless technology from Ericsson. The collaboration between Philips and Ericsson delivers a double benefit to LA citizens: high quality, public lighting that is energy efficient, as well as improved network performance in dense urban areas.

Connecting citizens and enabling IoT

Invisible site solutions are ideal to provide mobile broadband coverage and IoT connectivity in public places using today’s GSM, WCDMA, LTE and Wi-Fi technologies. They address the complexity and site acquisition challenges that operators face today, enabling them to densify their networks without impacting the streetscape. And the wireless coverage supported by these invisible sites can be coordinated with the traditional macrocell networks (on towers and rooftops) enabling spectrum to be fully reused in the small cells.

Connected light poles

Multi-application models for improved connectivity and sustainable lighting within urban areas. These sites are cost-effective, and can be quickly and easily installed for mass deployment.

Ericsson Zero Site

Increased capacity in high traffic areas

Our multi-standard outdoor micro base station RBS 6501 addresses the need for additional mobile broadband capacity in high traffic areas. It is designed to deliver high capacity micro cellular coverage in single or multi sectors.

Ericsson RBS 6501

A complete small cells portfolio

The ever-increasing demand for digital experiences is driving the need for improved app coverage both indoors and outside. We're enabling this mobile transformation through innovative small cells.

Ericsson Small Cells

5G use case and network evolution

Networks are evolving to meet the needs of new use cases with different demands on mobility, data rates, latency, reliability and device density. In the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, we explore how networks are evolving to meet these requirements.

Get updated on the latest developments