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Stephan Litjens, Chairman of MulteFire Alliance, outlines its objectives and roadmap

StephanLitjensMulteFire is a scheme to operate LTE in unlicensed spectrum. Potentially anyone could install and operate a system in a very similar way to Wi-Fi. We asked Stephan Litjens, Chairman of the newly formed MulteFire Alliance and Head of Innovation Steering, Nokia, to explain the purpose, method and timeline of the solution. He’s confident we’ll see commercial deployment in about a year from now.

 

Sizing the potential for Small Cells as a Service

Estimate market sizeAnalyst iGR published a sponsored survey report last year assessing the potential US market size of Small Cells as a Service for the Enterprise sector. While you may not agree with all of its conclusions, there were some results you might find surprising and several nuggets of interest.  We’ve summarised and commented with our view and the implications.

 

SCWS Small Cell World Summit 2016

scws worldThis year saw SCWS World (formerly Small Cell World Summit) attracted somewhat fewer numbers in this, its 10th year despite moving to a very plush new venue on the south bank of London. I’m told the mix of vendors vs customers (operators and venue owners) has switched to have more of the latter. Certainly there were lots of meetings and networking between many of the regular attendees. Overall there was something lacking in terms of spark. The program was somewhat better than last year but still needs improvement with more structured, more lively and better content.

 

Small Cell Forum drive towards Multi-X environment

SCF ReleaseThe first few documents of the Small Cell Forum’s Release 7 were issued this week at SCWS World, with the full set of 20 documents due out next month. Their scope is expanding to cover all aspects of HetNets, with a view that this will form the foundation of 5G. The Forum has come a long way from their residential femtocells roots, and are looking to establish themselves as the body which shapes the future of cellular industry.

 

Six ways to achieve multi-operator Small Cells

SharingOne of the biggest barriers preventing widespread adoption of Enterprise small cells is that they are tied to a single network operator. Venues and many enterprises really want connectivity to multiple mobile networks. We explore half a dozen contrasting ways to achieve this, and discuss the pros and cons.

 

SON takes a growing role in Small Cell ecosystem

SON mapSelf-Organising Networks (SON) has been an integral feature of successful small cell deployments, providing rapid self-configuration, on-going optimisation and self-healing in case of outages. It’s maturing, with significant funds raised by independent SON vendors and interworking plugfests being organised by ETSI. We spoke to two independent SON vendors with contrasting approaches to learn about their assessment of the market and how it affects small cell take-up.

 

Node-H explains how an interoperable multi-vendor SON is underway

Paul Bruce 150Paul Bruce, Director of Business Development at Node-H, argues that small cell developers need to reduce barriers to adoption in order for the industry to fulfil its potential. He points to a Small Cell Forum initiative around SON (Self Organising Networks) as an example that demonstrates how the industry can cooperate to create a real multi-vendor marketplace.

Two steps forward, one step back for public Wi-Fi

ForwardsSeveral recent announcements and developments for public Wi-Fi service highlight both success and setbacks. We recap and assess the situation. Why are some succeeding while others fail and how will the forthcoming LAA and MulteFire technologies displace or complement Wi-Fi in the longer term?

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    Residential

    Residential

    A significant number of users continue to report poor mobile coverage in their homes. There will always be areas which are uneconomic for mobile operator to reach. They range from rural areas

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    Enterprise

    Enterprise

    The term Enterprise addresses any non-residential in-building including hotels, convention centres, transport hubs, offices, hospitals and retail outlets. It's not just intended for businesses to

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    Urban

    Urban

    Urban small cells (sometimes also named metrocells) are compact and discrete mobile phone basestations, unobstrusively located in urban areas. They can be mounted on lampposts, positioned on the

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    Rural

    Rural

    A rural small cell is a low power mobile phone base station designed to bring mobile phone service to small pockets of population in remote rural areas. These could be hamlets, small villages or

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