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United Kingdom : BTs Wireless re-entry begins with Small Cells.

After a 12-year-plus absence BT is working its way back into wireless. Its push to re-enter the market will come through low-cost LTE small cells.

BT Group plc, which presents fiber, TV, and managed services, is expecting to build a low-cost, highly effective self-organizing network of small cells in homes and offices, as per to Clive Selley, CEO of the operator's service and operations and group CIO. He said that the operator will capture the data traffic from its small cell deployment over its fiber broadband network, create a new LTE core using the newly licensed spectrum it bought last year, and broker an MVNO relationship for roaming outside these locations

He said, "This is our inside-out strategy . "We believe it's novel, and we believe it will be very disruptive."

The UK is exclusive in that it has 5 national mobile operators to cover merely 60 million people, which is why Selley said that he knew BT had to take a different approach. Since 70% of data usage is in the home or office, where cellular connectivity is often poor, small cells made the most sense.

The company in addition stands to achieve from the fact that its competitors' LTE networks are undergoing considerably rising data usage. As the incumbent wireline telco, BT operates the UK's biggest core network. It has a high-bandwidth fiber broadband pipe to two-thirds of homes there -- that figure is on its way to 90% -- and it operates 5 million WiFi hotspots. This is capacity it can use for its own services and wholesale to its competitors for backhaul.

The BT man in addition sees potential for the company in enterprise voice. It has been working with Genband Inc. for the previous few years to design and build what it calls a session distributed interworking network (SDIN), the core platform for BT's present and future IP-based voice and multimedia products such as HD voice and video calling. Selley said that in time, this will replace its PSTN core. BT intends to bring the network outside the UK with hubs around the world.

He said, "We expect traffic volumes to double and the size of SDIN network to double again . "It's genuinely scalable. It scales readily as we grow our customers and services."

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 11, 2014
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