For Ericsson markets t-mobile uses what is known as AIR antenna units which have the radio unit integrated with the antenna. This type of setup significantly reduces signal loss from the radio to the antenna since they're both practically next to each other and not sepearated by coax jumper cables like that of a remote radio unit.
Basic Ericsson AIR21 setup
(Note typically there are 2 Ericsson AIR per sector)
Ericsson AIR21 + Band 12 700 mhz Equipment
Note the addition of a new low band 700 mhz capable antenna + Ericsson RRUS11 B12 (remote radio units) in addition to new TMA (tower mounted amplifiers) connected to the AIR antenna. The new Ericsson RRUS11 B12 + Antenna addition is for tmobiles band 12 700mhz (L700) deployment.
Credit for the photographs belong to whoever took it. You know who you are!
This is the Samsung Outdoor Pico eNB small cell for LTE 1900 that will be deployed by Sprint. Outdoor small cells are utilized to providie additional capacity and coverage mainly in areas where there is a high population density such as major malls, major streets with lot of busineses, train stations, airports, and the like.
Small cells are mostly PnP where you just plug everything in and fire it up and it will auto configure itself by downloading parameters and additional information from the network. Utilizing the latest advances in small cell technology, these pico cells would also over time optimize itself based on feedback from UE and neighboring small cells and macro cells.
Wow they are really tracking these things.
The speeds are good but there are random times that that my speeds will just drop below 1mbps. When this happens, it will stay like that for a hour or more. This happens maybe 3 or 4 times a day.
I played with one in the store a week or so ago. It felt very nice in hand, and it seemed very fast. I haven't been following the news on the phone to look for issues and real user feedback. I'll try to find the Reddit thread when I have a few minutes.