Vodafone will deploy 4G metro cells with integrated wifi as part of £1 billion UK network improvement project for 2014.

Alcatel-Lucent announced yesterday that it had been selected to supply the carrier with LTE metro cells with integrated wifi. Small, or metro, cells are low-powered radio access nodes that improve indoor and outdoor coverage to increase capacity and offload traffic. They will enable Vodafone to bring 4G ultra-fast broadband services closer to end users, and improve network quality.

The tender forms part of Vodafone’s plans to invest £1 billion into networks and services for its 19 million UK customers this year, and a wider £6 billion across all of Europe as part of its "Project Spring".

Vodafone is increasingly committing to developing heterogeneous networks (Hetnets) in a bid to provide multiple frequency bands, radio access technologies and base stations of varying coverage to to provide the best possible customer experience.

A surge in customer satisfaction is a necessary commitment after Vodafone saw European sales shrink with increasing competition. The rollout may boost sales after the carrier’s revenue remained flat in the fiscal year to 31 March.

Luis Martinez Amago, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s EMEA region, said: “Vodafone Group is taking a leadership role with the deployment of small cells throughout their global properties and by serving as an industry reference with the deployment of a multi-vendor heterogeneous architecture.

“In being named a supplier of reference, Vodafone has given Alcatel-Lucent a strong endorsement that our small cells will help them to deliver high quality service to their customers.”