Invisible Sites

Hiding small cells in not-so-plain site

Reusing existing infrastructure for small cells nets 50% savings

Ericsson small cells can be installed in existing infrastructure, deploying easily in lampposts, 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.

Requirement for invisible 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.

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.

Happy connected citizens and IoT enablement

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.

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