Telefónica UK (O2) Makes First Big Move to Small Cells with Ruckus Wireless

Ruckus Wireless today announced that it has been selected by Telefónica UK, which operates the popular O2 brand, to supply high-capacity small cell products for high-speed wireless services being deployed throughout London.

Already deployed throughout the busiest, iconic areas in central London, such as Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square, Leicester Square, Regent Street and Oxford Street, Ruckus SmartCell™ 8800s have initially been deployed to provide free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi to anyone.

Within a single, low-profile design, the SmartCell 8800 is the first carrier-grade, modular multi-radio system to integrate patented adaptive antenna array technology supporting multiple licensed and unlicensed radio technologies including: high-speed dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, small cell 3G/4G radios and 5GHz wireless backhaul. This gives Telefónica UK the flexibility to easily and economically offer high-speed Wi-Fi and cellular services in specific locations when needed.

“For O2, it’s all about us providing customers with fast and reliable connectivity where they need it,” said Derek McManus, chief operating officer for Telefónica UK. “Our vision is for Wi-Fi to be simply another access layer to our mobile core. Customers don’t really care about the underlying technology; they care about getting connected, fast and reliably. The introduction of small cells helps us to support these requirements and completely complements our mobile strategy by letting us push capacity closer to users in locations where it makes the most sense.”

“In telecoms there is now a mad race to the lamppost, and the first one there wins,” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. “A big barrier in small cell deployment is simply securing the physical locations with the requisite power and backhaul to support small cells. Once physical assets secured, it becomes important for operators to exploit them with as much technology as they can. This means multi-function, carrier-grade products that are simple deploy, unobtrusive and massively scalable. SmartCell is one of those products and O2 is one of those operators taking a lead in this race.”

After extensive evaluations of wireless suppliers, Telefónica UK selected Ruckus and its SmartCell system. “It all really boiled down to who had the best Wi-Fi for carriers and the most forward-thinking strategy to integrate Wi-Fi within existing and future cellular infrastructure,” said McManus.

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