China Unicom has enlisted Finnish equipment vendor Nokia to deploy its Flexi Zone small cells and AirScale low power radio head across 31 provinces, as part of efforts to extend coverage and capacity to meet the cellco’s rapidly growing data demands. According to a statement from the two companies, the small cell deployment will allow Unicom to densify its network in areas where it is unable to add a macro base station due to space or cost constraints, whilst also enabling the cellco to expand coverage inside offices and homes as well as a high-traffic locations such as train stations and shopping centres. Nokia claims that its small cell portfolio can also be upgraded via software to support Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT), potentially laying the groundwork for future IoT and 5G services.
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