Alcatel-Lucent unveils Compact LTE Metro Cell family

Compact Metro Cell Outdoor aims to optimise coverage and capacity and meet customer data demands, in a design that’s half the size and 43% more power efficient compared with existing metro cells

Alcatel-Lucent unveils Compact LTE Metro Cell family

Alcatel-Lucent has announced it is to give operators greater flexibility to build so-called ‘heterogeneous’ networks – highly efficient, multi-platform mobile ultra-broadband access systems – by adding the new Compact Metro Cell Outdoor family to its portfolio of small cells devices.

The Compact Metro Cell Outdoor – currently being trialled with a number of operators around the globe - is 50% smaller than existing metro cells. This provides more options for the discrete creation of HetNets to improve coverage and capacity, including integrating the device into street furniture, such as the digital advertising signage in bus shelters being developed byJC Decaux as part of a technology partnership with Alcatel-Lucent.

The Compact Metro Cell Outdoor (CMCO) family integrates the latest embedded baseband innovations, an LTE radio, higher power output and modular design options, including external antennas. It supports a greater number of active users and offers even more deployment flexibility.

Their compact size also allows them to be wall-mounted and hidden from view, with just the antenna visible, and optimally placed to offer customers the highest service quality.

Operators can connect CMCO devices via backhaul into their wider network. In addition, the ability to bypass the embedded baseband unit (BBU) means they will also be able to connect via a Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) to a centralized BBU, managing multiple radios. This will allow them to smoothly evolve networks and leverage the efficiencies offered by a virtualized RAN architecture.

Mike Schabel, Vice President of Small Cells in Alcatel-Lucent, said: “By extending our small cell product family to include the Compact Metro Cell Outdoor, we are offering a solution that meets the needs of any operator in any location. 

“The goal of this product was to enable operators to seamlessly and simply integrate the product inside of existing street furniture and simplify municipality zoning approvals.

“Our existing Metro Cells continues to help them with pole-mounting and wall-mounting applications, while we are expanding their deployment options with the Compact Metro Cell Outdoor.”

The 9764 Compact Metro Cell Outdoor Family – technical details

Small form factor (approximately 6K cubic centimeters for a 2x2W).

Support for LTE mobile ultra-broadband connectivity, with Wi-Fi as an option.

Increased capacity, supporting up to 200 users.

Later versions using system-on-a-chip (SoC) technology will support 60 MHz within one box, as well as the ability to daisy chain to aggregate multiple small cell sectors.

Radio-on-chip (RoC) technology, which enables 43% greater power efficiency compared to small cells solutions without this technology. This is an important consideration for network operators.

In the recent IntelliSpektrum project, under which Bell Labs, the industrial research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, collaborated with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute and Intel Mobile Communications GmbH, it found that mobile networks which use a mix of macro and small cell radio base stations can see energy savings of up to 50%.

Coverage and capacity support for different scenarios, made possible by various output power:

  • 2x1W for dense urban locations (to complement the existing Metro Cell family)
  • 2x2W for optimal coverage and capacity
  • 2x 5W for the highest coverage.

Use of a variety of external antennas (directional or omni directional). This allows for a number of mounting options, including the ability to discreetly integrate within street furniture or behind walls. 

The ability to allow operators to smoothly evolve towards a vRAN architecture, leveraging a centralised BBU.


The Compact Metro Cell Outdoor family is commercially available now within the 1800 MHz frequency, B7 operating band and 2600 MHz frequency, B3 operating band, with a full complement of frequencies for FDD and TDD available throughout 2015.


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