SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Maria C. Horton

News Feed Item

Small Cell Forum Report Finds Public Access Small Cells Could Quickly Carry More Traffic than Macrocells in Urban Hotspots

The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, today published a whitepaper outlining the opportunities and challenges facing public access 3G small cell deployments. The research highlights the major impact the technology could have in urban hotspots with conservative models indicating they could offload the majority of mobile user traffic from the local macro network. However, the report also points out important deployment considerations including challenges such as backhaul and interference and how these can be mitigated.

The paper found that public access small cells could play a key role in providing additional mobile coverage, capacity and new services in both urban and rural areas. The Forum’s research found that even with conservative public deployments, small cells could offload the majority of subscribers in many areas thereby drastically reducing network load and improving the user experience. It found that with a ratio of one public access small cell per macrocell, 21% of users would be offloaded; this rises to 56% with four small cells and 75% with 10 small cells.

A major operator deployment consideration is whether to roll out open access small cells that would allow all subscribers equal access or hybrid that prioritises some users. By choosing hybrid access operators will be able to provide a “gold-class” service to certain subscribers or to organisations, such as police or first responders, who may help to cover the cost of deployment by providing small cell sites and potentially backhaul as well. Another important operator decision will be whether to self-deploy or allow organisations (e.g. systems integrators, tenant owners, train stations or shopping malls or local IT staff) to deploy these open access small cells themselves without mobile operator personnel. This report concludes that SON (Self Organising Network) technology will be required in both cases as networks will need to be permanently aware of their surroundings – it also notes many of these capabilities are included in the 3GPP release 10 standard.

A significant value of this paper is that it highlights the full variety of interference challenges that operators need to be aware of and more importantly the report describes the recommended methods for overcoming these potential issues. These potential challenges include downlink and uplink interference as well as potential impacts from mobile connections in fast-moving vehicles quickly passing through small cells. It concludes that although these challenges are very real, they can be mitigated using measures such as inter-frequency and intra-frequency handover, active hand-in as well as by re-calibrating transmit power and scheduling, all fully described in the report.

The paper also outlines the full range of backhaul options for public access small cells and how they vary in terms of availability, suitability, cost and latency. It notes that in rural areas there are the fewest backhaul options but that DSL and satellite have already been successfully employed. A more extensive paper on small cell backhaul will be published by the Small Cell Forum in the coming months.

“The next major stage in small cell deployments is going to be in public spaces. The entire operator community now appreciates that small cells are the key to long term mobile network capacity increases, as well as providing a means of economically delivering coverage in rural blackspots. Their impact will be especially dramatic in dense urban hotspots where small cells could quickly be carrying more users and data capacity than the local macro network,” said Simon Saunders, Chairman of the Small Cell Forum. “However, this transformation in mobile networks is not without its challenges. This new paper outlines the key considerations for public access small cell deployments, as well as how these challenges can be overcome.”

The paper also notes a range of new applications that are possible with public access small cells by employing their fine-grained location awareness, strong coverage and low cost, high-speed data connection – including coffee shop ordering and reward programs, shopping mall VIP applications and powerful and simple museum or local points of interest guides. However, it also points out the challenges that could impact uptake. First, in order to encourage broad uptake of public small cell apps, the small cells will need to support subscribers from other mobile networks. Second, in order to retain high levels of user loyalty and satisfaction it will need to support opt-in functionality. Finally, operators need to consider alternative billing arrangements such as support for “gold subscribers,” or to allow shops hosting applications to take on the data costs rather than the consumer.

The public access small cell market is set to undergo dramatic growth with Informa predicting installed units to rise from 595K in 2012 to 2.9 million in 2016 – a 480% (or 5x) increase. According to ABI Research, the public access market is likely to represent 64% of small cell market revenues despite comprising only 6% of shipments by 2016.

About The Small Cell Forum

The Small Cell Forum (, formerly known as the Femto Forum, supports the wide-scale adoption of small cells. Small cells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum, are operator-managed and feature edge-based intelligence. They provide improved cellular coverage, capacity and applications for homes and enterprises as well as metropolitan and rural public spaces. They include technologies variously described as femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. The Forum has 137 members including 63 operators representing more than 1.99 billion mobile subscribers - 33% of the global total – as well as telecoms hardware and software vendors, content providers and innovative start-ups.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City.
Blockchain has shifted from hype to reality across many industries including Financial Services, Supply Chain, Retail, Healthcare and Government. While traditional tech and crypto organizations are generally male dominated, women have embraced blockchain technology from its inception. This is no more evident than at companies where women occupy many of the blockchain roles and leadership positions. Join this panel to hear three women in blockchain share their experience and their POV on the futu...
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Docker and Kubernetes are key elements of modern cloud native deployment automations. After building your microservices, common practice is to create docker images and create YAML files to automate the deployment with Docker and Kubernetes. Writing these YAMLs, Dockerfile descriptors are really painful and error prone.Ballerina is a new cloud-native programing language which understands the architecture around it - the compiler is environment aware of microservices directly deployable into infra...
Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
In an age of borderless networks, security for the cloud and security for the corporate network can no longer be separated. Security teams are now presented with the challenge of monitoring and controlling access to these cloud environments, at the same time that developers quickly spin up new cloud instances and executives push forwards new initiatives. The vulnerabilities created by migration to the cloud, such as misconfigurations and compromised credentials, require that security teams t...
Serverless Architecture is the new paradigm shift in cloud application development. It has potential to take the fundamental benefit of cloud platform leverage to another level. "Focus on your application code, not the infrastructure" All the leading cloud platform provide services to implement Serverless architecture : AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, IBM Openwhisk, Oracle Fn Project.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
AI and machine learning disruption for Enterprises started happening in the areas such as IT operations management (ITOPs) and Cloud management and SaaS apps. In 2019 CIOs will see disruptive solutions for Cloud & Devops, AI/ML driven IT Ops and Cloud Ops. Customers want AI-driven multi-cloud operations for monitoring, detection, prevention of disruptions. Disruptions cause revenue loss, unhappy users, impacts brand reputation etc.
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
Serverless Computing or Functions as a Service (FaaS) is gaining momentum. Amazon is fueling the innovation by expanding Lambda to edge devices and content distribution network. IBM, Microsoft, and Google have their own FaaS offerings in the public cloud. There are over half-a-dozen open source serverless projects that are getting the attention of developers.
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. DevOpsSUMMIT at CloudEXPO expands the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike.