Thursday 12 September 2013

Small Cells to improve service in Disney parks

Slightly old news but I did hear Jim Parker, Senior Manager, Antenna Solutions group at AT&T talking about metrocells and their deployments in the Disney parks.

The original press release from July mentioned the following:

AT&T will add more than 25 distributed antenna systems in an effort to add capacity. It will also add more than 350 small cells, which extend the availability of the network. AT&T is adding 10 new cell sites across the Walt Disney World resort to boost coverage and capacity. And it will add nearly 50 repeaters to help improve coverage of the network.
Chris Hill, AT&T's senior vice president for advanced solutions, said that AT&T's efforts to improve coverage in an around Disney resorts is part of a bigger effort the company is making to add capacity and improve coverage in highly trafficked areas. He said that even though AT&T had decent network coverage already within the Disney parks, customers often experienced issues in some buildings or in remote reaches of the resorts.
"The macro cell sites can only cover so much," he said. "So you need to go to small cells to really get everywhere you need to be and to provide the capacity you need in areas with a high density of people."
Hill said the idea of creating smaller cell sites that reuse existing licensed spectrum is a big trend among all wireless carriers right now. And he said, AT&T is deploying this small cell technology in several cities as well as other areas where large numbers of people gather, such as stadiums and arenas.
"We are deploying this technology widely across metro areas to increase density of our coverage," he said. "And it's not just us. There's a big wave of small cell deployments where tens of thousands of these access points are being deployed all over the place."
Cooperation with Disney is a key element in this deployment since the small cell technology requires that AT&T place access points on the Disney property. The footprint of the access points is very small. They typically look like large access points used for Wi-Fi. Hill said they can be easily disguised to fit in with the surroundings.

One of the other interesting thing (if I understood correctly) that Jim mentioned is that they are deploying Neutral host DAS solution that is open to all operators, whoever is interested in. They are also going to provide three separate charging points that will allow anyone to charge their phones (free of charge, I guess). It is nevertheless an interesting project that should prove HetNet concept. 

1 comment:

  1. Zahid,

    Imagine the possibilities for Disney of the real-time passive micro data...