Swisscom trials small cells in cable manholes

December 15th, 2015 by · Leave a Comment

This article was authored by Dylan Bushell-Embling, and was originally posted on

Ericsson and LTE antenna provider Kathrein have developed a technology for Swisscom involving installing small cell antennas in manhole covers linked to existing landline infrastructure.

The system was developed based on a concept from Swisscom. It is being tested in Bern, Zurich, Basel and Lausanne, and the operator plans to deploy it in selected cities early next year.

Under the system design, the antenna is embedded into the ground in the immediate vicinity of existing cable manholes for landline infrastructure.

It is intended for use in urban environments with high building density, and is suitable for use even in roads with heavy goods vehicle traffic.

By integrating the small cells with existing infrastructure, operators will potentially be able to overcome the hurdles involved with finding suitable sites for deploying small cells, as well as the high costs of site acquisition and regulations covering zoning ordinances.

Kathrein plans to make the technology available to network operators in other countries by mid-2016.

“We see a high potential for this innovation,” said Kathrein Group chief sales officer Joe Doering said in a statement.

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