OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and PARIS, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and U.S. service provider Sprint (NYSE: S) are today announcing an agreement to deploy Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio™ Metro Cells to augment coverage in high-traffic areas. Metro cells are mini base stations that can easily be deployed indoors or outdoors on lamp posts or street signs, inside shopping malls or stadiums to provide enhanced capacity. They can also fill gaps in coverage – created by buildings – in densely populated urban locations. Sprint's initial deployment will focus on indoor applications, including entertainment venues, transportation hubs and business campuses. By deploying metro cells, Sprint expects to deliver a better broadband experience to more of its subscribers in these high-traffic areas and will help reduce costs in the process.
The growing adoption of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices has resulted in an increased demand for Internet access, video and other mobile data services. At sporting events, popular shopping venues and other social and business occasions, large numbers of people are accessing social networking sites, sharing videos, playing Internet games and making voice and video calls, putting stress on mobile service providers' cellular networks. This can lead to dropped calls, slower data connections and reduce the subscriber's mobile broadband experience.
To address this fast-growing demand for data, Sprint is building an all-new network, an initiative known as Network Vision. This new network will include the deployment of a new, improved 3G network and 4G LTE. Small cell technology complements the Network Vision plan by providing a lower cost infrastructure to expand coverage and capacity in targeted high usage areas. "Sprint is a leader in innovation, and as such, we want our customers to enjoy the latest high-bandwidth services and applications," said Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president-Network. "With Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio Metro Cells we will be able to increase our coverage and capacity where it's needed."
Robert Vrij, president of Alcatel-Lucent's Americas Region and head of Global Strategic Alliances, said enhancing mobile broadband coverage in busy public areas is a top priority for many service providers. "As a leader in small cell technology, Alcatel-Lucent is in an ideal position to address this challenge," he said. "By selecting our lightRadio Metro Cells, Sprint can offer its customers the quality of mobile broadband experience they expect, keeping them connected wherever they are."Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio technology supports the full range of wireless technologies, including 2G, 3G and 4G LTE, and Wi-Fi. This provides mobile operators with the capability to grow their network capacity to meet exploding demand for data services with higher speeds and in a smaller physical space. lightRadio also addresses many other operator challenges, including reducing power consumption for a greener footprint and providing a deployment solution that helps operators bridge the digital divide for people without Internet access.