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Small Cell End of Year Report 2014

ReportCardIt's that time of year again, when we (and many other analysts) reflect back at the year gone by and look ahead at what developments await us next year.
First, let's put ourselves in the spotlight and revisit our predictions from December 2013, see if we got them right, and look at how the Small Cell industry might evolve next year.

 

Andy Sutton explains EE’s three stage evolution towards Urban Small Cells

Andy Sutton EETelephone briefings and conference presentations are very useful learning opportunities, but nothing quite beats a site visit where the practical issues can be explained and discussed. I walked around several city centre areas of London with Andy Sutton, Principal Network Architect for EE. He showed me their current physical installations, explained how they will evolve and pointed out enormous range of potential sites for future urban small cells. In this first of two articles, we look at the macro, micro and small cell sites that will make up the dense urban HetNet of the future.

 

Selecting an Enterprise Wireless Solution for the middle ground

Selecting-Enterprise-Wireless-SolutionIn a new white paper published today, we look at the factors involved in choosing an Enterprise Wireless solution. Following on from our previous bottom up Enterprise architecture paper, this takes a top down perspective evolving from the viewpoints of different stakeholders. We've summarised some of the key points in this article; you can download the full white paper directly from our website.

Radisys marry DAS with Small Cells

Renuka-Bhalerao-Radisys-150DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) are usually positioned as the very expensive competitor against the up-and-coming, low cost small cell products. Radisys have been at the forefront of small cell development, providing software solutions for many ODMs and OEM players , so it's something of a surprise to see them talking about DAS.

We asked their senior line product manager, Renuka Bhalerao, for more detail.

Rajesh Mishra, co-founder Parallel Wireless, imagines a different future for HetNet RANs

Rajesh Mishra Parallel Wireless 150Rajesh believes that technology disruption from low cost silicon, COTS hardware and smarter software will drive the industry towards a different RAN architecture. He explains why his startup venture Parallel Wireless have adopted this alternative approach, pointing out the advantages of an LTE gateway and mesh interconnected small cells.

Small Cells Americas 2014 event report

SmallCellsAmericasIn the past, it was said that the only people making money out of small cells were the conference organisers. Numbers continue to grow at this major event, the next largest after Avren's World Summit in London: 750 registrants including 230 from operators. Delegates like the clearer focus on Small Cells than at other events, and networking opportunities are good. These events co-incide with the Small Cell Forum plenary sessions, so you tend to find the industry players onsite – even if they don't attend the conference itself. After 10 years, MD Carole Mayhew announced she will be stepping down from Clarion and this would be her last event - she will be missed.

Wi-Fi traffic doubles, but public Wi-Fi still awkward to access

wi-fi-logo-150I've read several recent Wi-Fi prononents proclaim that Wi-Fi can now be your primary connection, with the cellular network used merely as a backup in the last resort. I disagree. Like many, I do use Wi-Fi a lot but struggle to make use of public and visited private Wi-Fi services. While researching real-world evidence, we unearthed some interesting statistics about today's Wi-Fi usage patterns and discuss what needs to be done to improve the experience when away from home.

 

DAS Congress Europe event report

DAS Small Cells Congress EuropeThis popular US event came to Europe for the first time and drew a larger than expected crowd. Although the full event title includes Small Cells, I think it's fair to say the content and exhibits were very heavily DAS focussed. It provided a good perspective of how DAS products are evolving, but I felt was still somewhat US market oriented and lacked a deeper European operator perspective. Frankly, I'd hoped for a bit more lively debate with the small cell community too. I attended only the first day of this two-day event, which seemed oversubscribed and more popular than anticipated.

Alan Law, New Small Cell Forum Chairman, sets out expanded scope of activity

Alan-Law-SCF-Chairman-150The Small Cell Forum has just elected its third Chairman in seven years, with Alan Law moving up from Vice-Chair. He's been a long time Small Cell proponent, active Forum Member and focal point for Small Cells within Vodafone Group. Alan reaffirms the Forum's primary role, reveals how the Forum's Virtualisation workstream is leading towards a much wider scope, and answers some challenging questions about the difficult choices facing the mobile industry.

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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

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    Metrocells

    Metrocells

    Metrocells are compact and discrete mobile phone basestations, unobstrusively located in urban areas. They can be mounted on lampposts, positioned on the sides of buildings or found indoors in

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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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