OnQ Blog

Qualcomm Technologies joins forces with T-Mobile and Nokia to bring small cells home with T-Mobile’s 4G LTE CellSpot

Feb 25, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

T-Mobile, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies collaborate to bring LTE performance closer to where you need it the most—at home.  

Mobile operators have made massive investments building up network infrastructure to serve their customers. However, poor coverage areas and insufficient capacity are still problems that can cause significant customer frustration to the point of looking for alternatives—something mobile operators want to avoid. T-Mobile is addressing this head on with a new small cell product.

This past November, T-Mobile announced the all-new T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot which uses a broadband high-speed internet connection to deliver full-bars 4G LTE coverage virtually anywhere in the USA1, at no extra charge. Today, I am happy to share that this innovative product was developed utilizing the Nokia Multi-Standard Home Cell—powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ FSM9955 small cell chipset. Check out this YouTube video from T-Mobile CEO John Legere for a great explanation of the 4G LTE CellSpot and the company’s strategy for using the device to provide an exceptional user experience for their subscribers: John Legere's vlog: T-Mobile Amps Un-carrier 7.0.

“The 4G LTE CellSpot is a revolutionary product that allows our customers to create T-Mobile 4G LTE coverage wherever and whenever they want it. It’s essentially a T-Mobile mini-tower for your home, delivering all the network speed and technology benefits you’d expect from our macro network,” said Mark McDiarmid, VP Radio Network Engineering, T-Mobile USA. “We are excited to be working with Nokia and Qualcomm to bring this unique and innovative product to market to benefit our customers. Our data shows customer satisfaction with the 4G LTE CellSpot is extremely high.”

Following are just a few of the benefits of the T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot:

  • High-capacity wireless access point that cost effectively extends 4G HSPA+ and 4G LTE coverage/capacity
  • Supports a coverage area of 3,000 square feet on average
  • Capable of eight simultaneous sessions on UMTS and another eight on LTE
  • True plug-and-play device with Qualcomm Technologies’ UltraSON
  • Enables high definition voice via VoLTE, advanced messaging, video calling and more

“Even with T-Mobile’s LTE coverage of 304 million population, they go the extra mile to offer free ‘personal coverage’ in home—all you need is power and Internet,” said Niel Covey, T-Mobile Customer Business Team Head for Nokia. “Once again, T-Mobile is eliminating pain points for customers and creating the best possible experience in the industry. Nokia is proud to work alongside such an innovative mobile operator in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies.”

For some who may need a bit of a primer on small cells, many people know they get cellular connectivity from cell towers you often see from the highway. While those towers have served mobile users well, in order to meet the skyrocketing demand for mobile data, there is a growing trend toward providing cellular connectivity closer to where people are using their devices—such as in homes, offices, shopping malls, etc.—by using “small cells.” 

Essentially a small cell is a tiny cell tower that can be placed almost anywhere to dramatically increase the coverage area and capacity of cellular networks. This is not a new concept. In fact, according to a recent report from the Small Cell Forum (Crossing the Chasm: Small Cells Industry 2015), Residential and SoHo (small office home office) femtocell [small cells] shipments are 70% higher for 2015, compared to the first three months of 2014. There is a clear upward trend as people demand consistent coverage and capacity that is sufficiently robust to handle their ever-growing bandwidth-hungry applications.

As the business adage goes, it’s far less costly to keep an existing customer than attract a new one. Small cell products are sure to build loyalty among subscribers, and even attract new ones, as word of improved coverage service spreads.

For those who missed Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016, T-Mobile’s 4G LTE CellSpot was featured as part of a product showcase at the Qualcomm booth in Barcelona, Spain. 

Qualcomm Technologies is a strong supporter of the small cell market. Our family of FSM chipsets enables small cell deployments both indoors and outdoors utilizing cutting edge technology advancements including UltraSON and LTE in unlicensed spectrum to improve mobile experiences.

Learn more about how Qualcomm is improving connectivity with Small Cells.

1. Including the vast majority of the Continental USA, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Requires a broadband high-speed internet connection.

FSM and UltraSON are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.