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DAS and Small Cell Congress Europe December 2016

DAS Congress Europe LogoDAS and Small Cells Congress remains a popular event in the US. This European offshoot is now in its third year, and remains the only DAS oriented conference in the region. DAS vendors see a shift in funding away from operators where building owners cover all costs, even including the basestations. They see small cells, in various forms, as a low cost way to drive smaller DAS deployments, complementing rather than competing in some market segments. Neutral host organisations should see growing opportunities.

 

Seamless roaming essential for neutral host success

roamingRoaming, where cellular service is provided by partner networks, has been a tremendous benefit for foreign travel – extending coverage to all corners of the globe. National roaming is used in relatively few countries to fill in isolated pockets that may be otherwise uncommercial. The success of neutral host enabled small cells will rely on successful national roaming agreements. What’s involved and how could it come to pass?

Telecom Infrastructure Project takes a different route from 5G

Telecom Infrastructure Project LogoThe TIP held its first major summit event a few weeks ago. The initial thrust is about using innovation including opensource cellular technology to bring Internet connectivity to rural and remote places throughout the world. The longer term scope could be bigger. Major multi-national businesses are fully engaged. Many of the principles of Small Cell technology and operation have been adopted. This paints a very different picture of the next steps for cellular investment than purely super high speed 5G.

 

Planning for Connected Cities of the future

New York SidewalkWhile we hear a lot of marketing hype about Smart Cities, with various interpretations of what that might mean, several are taking serious steps towards becoming Connected Cities – building out infrastructure to support the data super-highways of the future. This won’t be exclusively wireless or wired but a combination of both.

Resilient backhaul options for enterprise small cells

ResilienceEnterprise small cells require some form of IP broadband connection back into the mobile operator core. But what if it fails? The consequences to ongoing business activity could be significant. Several options are available, depending on the level of protection against outage required.

First Net competes to become a Small Cell Neutral Host

Fire FighterFirst Net is a brand new nationwide US LTE network dedicated for use by First Responders. With a budget of $7 billion and exclusive 20MHz spectrum, this will provide high speed LTE services to around a million professionals. With extensive coverage and lots of spare capacity, First Net have also indicated that others could share their spectrum on a commercial basis. Is this the ideal third party neutral host we’ve been waiting for?

LTE Multi-Vendor SON proven ready for large scale deployment

Self Organising NetworkThe Small Cell Forum identified SON vendor interoperability to be a common concern with operators and holding back wider LTE Small Cell take-up. Network densification will result in large numbers of Small Cells being deployed ad-hoc and unplanned, making this an critical feature. Substantial progress has been made this year culminating in public operator validation and approval after extensive testing.

What is CBRS Shared Spectrum for in-building small cell wireless?

LTE HandsetA new shared spectrum scheme is being introduced in the US at 3.5GHz called CBRS, ideally suited for in-building small cells. It promises to unblock the logjam by opening up new spectrum for almost anyone to use with standard LTE on future mainstream smartphones. What exactly is being proposed, how will it work and where else could this approach be used?

 

What is 5G and when will standards be available?

Fotolia 103486890 XSAdrian Scrase, CTO of ETSI, presented a clear and coherent status report of 5G standards progress at Broadband World Forum. It cut through a lot of the hype and uncertainty, providing a useful status update on what it is and isn’t. Based on this and related research, I’ve summarised the status of 5G and considered the implications for Small Cells.

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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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