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China Mobile Gets Serious about Small Cells

July 1, 2013, 6:55 p.m.
Jake Saunders, Vice President, Asia-Pacific & Advisory Services

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At Mobile Asia Expo, in Shanghai, China Mobile provided additional insight into its Small Cells strategy. While China Mobile has a diverse strata of mobile subscribers, the operator very much sees Small Cells – both cellular and WiFi – playing a pivotal role in building out its capacity. At present, the operator has 6 million public WiFi hotspots. In addition the operator has been taking a lead on developing a hybrid cellular-WiFi capable Small Cell solution that very specifically meets its needs.

China Mobile believes its Nanocell solution will deliver a number of enhancements over existing Small Cell solutions:

• Flatter architecture to improve data transfer efficiency;

• The Nanocell can do local routing for both LTE and WiFi traffic, which can benefit enterprise and university campus-type users where a large proportion of the traffic may be local;

• At the heart of the Nanocell the WiFi and cellular traffic management layers utilize the same converged Core Network architecture for a seamless, integrated experience.

China Mobile is therefore placing Small Cell deployments, both WiFi and cellular, at the heart of its network development strategy for 3G and 4G traffic. Small Cells are not just a Developed Market necessity.