Telecom Lead India: Small cells are a cost competitive
way to upgrade 3G macro cells. Pico or Metro Cells have 25 percent lower Total
Cost of Operations (TCO).
Sue Rudd, director – Service Provider Analysis, Strategy
Analytics said in this new analysis small cells cost significantly less than 3G
macro cells for the same coverage area but slightly more than new 4G/LTE macro
cells. This is largely due to the consumer electronics-like vulnerability of
very large numbers of small cell sites that require installation and ongoing
Phil Kendall, director Wireless Operator Strategies said
cost is not the only reason to choose small cells since they offer faster
installation for rapid upgrades in throughput.
Estimates vary but small cells will probably increase
throughput by over 200 percent as a HetNet underlay in legacy 3G hot zones or
at the edge of macro cells where data throughput is poor. Throughput
improvements could reduce Cost per Mbps by 30 percent, Strategy Analytics said
in its Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS) service report called Small Cell
Economics – Key to 3G Profitability.
The report covered Ericsson, Qualcomm, Alcatel Lucent and
Nokia Siemens Networks estimates of throughput improvements and cost savings.
Small cells will enhance both operator performance and profitability
if deployed appropriately and the report identifies seven use cases for small
cell deployment. The market opportunity for these will be estimated in a
forthcoming outlook and forecast.