Ericssion today unveiled a cellular radio that is small enough to fit a person's hand but provides enough indoor network coverage for a crowd.
The disk-shaped solution is called Ericsson Radio Dot System. The company says it addresses a broad range of scenarios for providing in-building broadband services.
According to a press release, the device weighs just 300 grams and has been in evelopment for over 2 years. is the result of two years of research and development, and incorporates 14 patents. The solution includes an antenna element, or "dot," which delivers mobile broadband access to users.
Dots are connected and powered via standard internet LAN cables (Category 5/6/7) to indoor radio units that link to a base station.
Johan Wibergh, head of Ericsson's business unit networks, said in a statement that the Radio Dot System will lower the threshold to building indoor coverage.
"The dot is the most cost-effective, no-compromise solution to the indoor coverage challenges expressed by our customers," Wibergh said. "It is ultra-small but can scale to virtually unlimited capacity; it is easy to install, future proof and it is 100 percent integrated with existing mobile networks."
AT&T, which has already committed to the deployment of up to 40,000 small cells by the end of 2014, has already expressed interest in the product.
Kris Rinne, AT&T's senior vice president of network and product planning, said small cells are a key component of AT&T's Project VIP network enhancement program.
"Delivering a great wireless experience indoors can present both technical and logistical challenges. A solution like the Ericsson Radio Dot System gives AT&T another tool to choose from in its next-generation toolkit," Rinne said.
The Ericsson Radio Dot System is expected to be commercially available in late 2014.