The 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.
Joe Neil, Director of Solution Architecture at Microsemi, travels the world working with mobile operators of all shapes and sizes. His role is primarily focussed on their network architecture and especially the design for timing and synchronisation. With most networks either trialling or actively operating LTE services today, he reveals some of his findings and expectations as the industry migrates towards more sophisticated LTE-Advanced features, HetNets and Small Cell densification.
Unti recently, in-building RF planning tools have typically been desktop PC based. Canadian company iBwave has migrated its desktop solution onto a tablet, making it easy and accessible for use in the field. We spoke with Benoit Fleury, iBwave's VP Product and Innovation, to understand the potential of this approach and explore the realistic limits of the size and type of building design possible.
Cisco has invested heavily in the Small Cell Industry and takes a different approach from others, bringing an extensive distribution channel of Cisco Partners already familiar with Enterprise Wi-Fi and networking. We interviewed Eric Vallone from their Small Cell Technology Group, to understand better how they view the market and how their approach ties in (or potentially competes) with their Wi-Fi solutions. He highlights the comparatively low cost of adding in-building cellular, points to an opportunity for operators to capture in-building wireless outsourcing deals and comments on the longer term potential of LTE.
Cellwize are an independent C-SON (Centralised SON) software company, one of a few emerging from the crowd and positioning themselves to mastermind HetNet optimisation. We asked their CEO, Ofir Zemer, how he saw C-SON fitting in with the evolution of small cells.
He outlined the steps towards a mature HetNet, and shared his views on how this will need partnerships and interoperability with both D-SON and equipment vendors.
What challenges face radio planners when creating HetNets using a variety of new radio technologies, a mix of small and large products and a range of automated software tools? We spoke with Prof. Jie Zhang, Co-Founder of Ranplan and Chair in Wireless Systems at Sheffield University to capture his insights into the future of small cell network planning.
He discusses "outside-in" vs "inside-out" approaches, the subtle differences for planning between 3G and LTE, and how RF planning also applies to wireless backhaul.
It seems almost every year that the forecasts for widespread small cell take-up shift back another 12 months, although we shouldn't forget there are already over 10 million (mostly residential) small cells deployed to date.
We asked Todd Mersch, General Manager for Software and Solutions at Radisys, if he is particularly optimistic about LTE small cells and if he feels they will evolve alongside Carrier Wi-Fi, with SON playing an important part.
It's been a year since we spoke with Arthur Giftakis, VP Engineering and Network Operations at Towerstream. This U.S. business (through its HetNets Tower Corp subsidiary) owns a variety of urban sites and operates a similar business model to the much larger tower companies such as American Tower – with the exception that HetNets is able to provide backhaul through its fixed wireless assets.
We wanted to find out whether the pace of Urban Small Cell rollout is matching industry forecasts, what (if any) is holding back progress and how the Urban Small Cell scene will evolve.
Have Small Cell pioneers ip.access gone completely crazy! They want you to install their small cells without connecting them to the network or carrying any voice/data traffic. We asked CTO Nick Johnson to explain why anyone would want to do this, uncovering a radically different approach that promises to liberate a huge amount of value from the mobile operators' radio networks.
Spidercloud are now shipping their multi-mode dual-band 3G/LTE Enterprise Small Cell radio node, after extensive trials with Tier 1 operators. This new solution has been short listed for an award at next week's Small Cell World Summit in London. We asked Ronny Haraldsvik, their CMO, to provide some of the background, explain how the system works and reveal some of the challenges they had to overcome.
More Articles ...
- Interview with Russ Garcia, EVP Microsemi and GM for its Symmetricom acquisition
- Dean Fresonke, ClearSky, explains a comprehensive approach to Small Cell as a Service
- Interview with Mike Schabel, VP Small Cells, Alcatel-Lucent
- Todd Mersch, Radisys, reports a mix of bleeding edge and practical Small Cell engineering