French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent been selected by UK-based Vodafone Group as a ‘Supplier of Reference’ for LTE metro cells with integrated Wi-Fi capability. In revealing the development, Alca-Lu noted that the contract award forms part of Vodafone Group’s investment program, Project Spring. As a Supplier of Reference, Alcatel-Lucent will be able to bid on business in all Vodafone Group countries with its Metro Cell Outdoor small cell products.
Small cells, the vendor said, were a ‘critical component’ in the rollout of 4G LTE-based broadband services, augmenting the existing network as well as adding capacity in areas of high usage by offloading traffic from the macro network to provide the best possible customer experience. The agreement between the pair meanwhile reportedly consolidates the long-term small cells partnership between Vodafone Group and Alcatel-Lucent, which was initiated some years back with the deployment of the vendor’s residential and enterprise small cells in multiple properties for Vodafone, and followed more recently by Alca-Lu´s latest generation of small cells trial in the Netherlands.
Commenting on the deal, Luis Martinez Amago, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s EMEA region, said: ‘Vodafone Group is taking a leadership role with the deployment of small cells throughout their global properties and by serving as an industry reference with the deployment of a multi-vendor heterogeneous architecture. In being named a Supplier of Reference, Vodafone has given Alcatel-Lucent a strong endorsement that our small cells will help them to deliver high quality service to their customers.’