Wireless networking is getting very interesting! Ericsson is ready to provide wi-fi networks and small cell side by side.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
A year after its acquisition of BelAir Networks, Swedish mobile equipment giant Ericsson(s eric) has fully integrated its high-powered outdoor Wi-Fi technology into its wireless networks. Ericsson’s first commercial small cells will come with BelAir’s technology embedded, letting mobile operators build high-capacity cellular and Wi-Fi networks side by side, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg told GigaOM in an interview.
You can think of small cells as Wi-Fi access points that use dedicated mobile spectrum: Just like Wi-Fi access points, they’re short-range wireless nodes designed to pack a lot of bandwidth into a limited area. But unlike Wi-Fi, small cells link to devices directly through their cellular radios.
By putting combo small-cell/Wi-Fi nodes up in heavily trafficked areas both indoors and out, would give mobile networks a capacity double bonus. The cellular aspect would allow networks to handle many more device connections and provide faster speeds over those connections, while Wi-Fi could be used to offload bulk traffic — such as streaming video and file downloads — that would normally congest cellular systems.