AlcaLu, China Mobile unveil TD-LTE metro cell

John C. Tanner
28 Feb 2013

Alcatel-Lucent has unveiled a new TD-LTE metro base station for its lightRadio product line that will be deployed by China Mobile, which co-developed it.

The compact lightRadio Metro Radio – revealed at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – houses two lightRadio cubes, fully integrated with a directional antenna, with an output of 5W.

Alcatel-Lucent says the design allows it to “provide the coverage normally associated with a much bulkier, heavier remote radio unit linked to an external antenna via an RF coaxial cable.”

China Mobile will deploy the 2.6 GHz Metro Radio in its TD-LTE network in Shanghai, Nanjing and Qingdao – specifically, in busy indoor and outdoor locations like shopping centers where macro coverage can suffer either from building density or too many people trying to access the network.

The Metro Radio is the first product to result from a co-creation agreement signed by Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile just over a year ago to conduct joint development and test activities on lightRadio TD-LTE projects.

“We had our engineering teams and their engineering teams design a TDD 2.6 GHz version based on their needs in China, and this year we’re showing the result of that,” said Rajeev Singh-Molares, president of the Asia-Pacific region for Alcatel-Lucent.

“We’re now going to put it in the three cities we were awarded to see how it works, to refine it, and when the second wave of construction comes for the 100 cities, we’re hoping to get a disproportionate amount of that deployment,” Singh-Molares told on the sidelines of MWC.

Alcatel-Lucent has similar co-creation agreements with Verizon, Telefonica, and several other undisclosed operators. But Singh-Morales says China Mobile is an important co-creation partner to have partly because it's the world’s largest operator, but also because “the knowledge they have about running the networks and the kinds of issues they have in the big urban centers of China is unique. And from their perspective, it’s an opportunity to influence from the ground up.”


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