Telecom Lead America: Public access small cells could
play a key role in providing additional mobile coverage, capacity and new
services in both urban and rural areas, according to a report by Small Cell
The report added 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
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 percent or 5x increase.
According to ABI Research, the public access market
is likely to represent 64 percent of small cell market revenues despite
comprising only 6 percent of shipments by 2016.
The report found that with a ratio of one public access
small cell per macrocell, 21 percent of users would be offloaded; this rises to
56 percent with four small cells and 75 percent with 10 small cells.
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,” Saunders added.
The report published by the Small Cell Forum also
highlights the full variety of interference challenges that operators need to
be aware of. The report describes the recommended methods for overcoming
potential challenges such as downlink and uplink interference as well as
potential impacts from mobile connections in fast-moving vehicles quickly
passing through small cells.
The report 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
WiFi hotspots transition to small cells in mobile broadband
According to Strategy Analytics, WiFi hotspots will
become small cells in mobile broadband networks by 2015.