AT&T has been hinting for a while that it's getting closer to implementing small cell sites in its network, and at CTIA Wireless 2012 gave a stronger clue as to when and how the mini network hubs will operate. Executive technology VP John Donovan clarified to Reuters that a pilot is expected to start late this year and should run into 2013. If all runs smoothly, the below-tower-sized sites will be clipping on to lamp posts and other parts of the urban landscape to strengthen coverage in places where wide-area WiFi alone won't do. While Donovan didn't venture deep into the infrastructure at the trade show, Cisco had previously said that AT&T would be using sites incorporating 2G, 3G, 4G and WiFi when the provider did start experimenting with small cells. If so, there's a chance subscribers could get AT&T WiFi without having to turn to an airport, landmark or coffee shop.