AT&T has tested small cells in cities in Missouri and Wisconsin in order to reduce dropped calls and cut out dead zones.
The small cells increased traffic by 17 percent in Crystal Lane Park, Mo., and also gave the area in Waukesha, Wis., area almost 100 percent coverage, virtually eliminating dropped calls, according to a Wired article.
“With two trials in Missouri and Wisconsin, AT&T is highlighting progress being made in the company’s small cell program, an important component of its Velocity IP Project (VIP). The trials are important to AT&T because the service provider’s future success hinges on its ability to sustain rapidly growing mobile broadband traffic loads," noted Ken Rehbehn, a principal analyst for Yankee Group, in reference to the article.
However, Rehbehn said pictures from the trial suggest that the company isn't addressing minimizing the impact of how they look on city streets, and for small cells to proliferate and be successful, AT&T and other operators need to work with suppliers to approve the aesthetics to gain public acceptance.