Russian operator boosting coverage with femtocell solution in St Petersburg

New services based on femtocell technology are launching across the North-Western region of Russia. OJSC VimpelCom is using Alcatel-Lucent’s technical solution to extend its 3G network coverage and capacity into buildings, office blocks and at high-traffic locations where signals provided by the nearest base station tend to be insufficient.

Femtocells - or small cells - act as dedicated base stations that enhance mobile broadband coverage in specific hard-to-reach places.  At present, VimpelCom provides this service under its Beeline brand to enterprise subscribers in St. Petersburg, and by the end of September 2011, it will become available to Business-to-Business (B2B) customers of other branches of the company in the North-Western region.

Maxim Vorobiev, CTO, North-West, OJSC VimpelCom, commented: “Femtocell technology helps to provide a high-quality mobile 3G signal, ensuring enough capacity for data services and off-loading from the macro-network. Thus, the technology can be easily used for significant improvement of data rates for a certain group of subscribers.”

Alexander Tikhonov, Head of Alcatel-Lucent’s business in CIS said: “Because of the wide demand for data applications, mobile networks are under increased pressure. Operators need to maximise the efficiency of their 3G networks to meet this demand and provide customer satisfaction while making the most of their investment.”

Alcatel-Lucent used its business modelling expertise to decide the best deployment scenarios to help VimpelCom maximise the customer experience. Vigorous testing and integration of Alcatel-Lucent’s Femtocell technology with VimpelCom’s network in St. Petersburg has enabled the smooth introduction of this new service.

The next step in this cooperation between VimpelCom and Alcatel-Lucent in Russia's North-West will be the extension of the service to individual users on the same hardware platform.

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