Cellular service isn’t purely about ubiquitous connectivity. Network operators strive to find additional revenue streams which capitalize on their communication services. They’ve lost the battle to keep the Internet to themselves – almost every service today apart from voice is provided by someone else, over the top. Nick Johnson of ip.access shares his views on how they might fight and win greater value through IoT, presence and location – combined with Small Cells.
EE has set itself the goal to expand geographic coverage throughout the UK. A key plank of that strategy is to install rural small cells to serve isolated communities. I visited three trial sites in Wales to understand how these systems have been installed and what impact they’ve made to the local population. Parallel Wireless who provided the equipment introduced me to local users and explained how the system worked.
It used to be the case that around 80% of smartphone data was delivered over Wi-Fi and 20% by cellular. Fast, high capacity LTE together with competitive pricing is shifting that mix – in some cases quite dramatically. Recent statistics support this trend, both in developed and developing markets.
While the press hype up and distract you about the long term potential of 5G, there is a quiet revolution in progress. Almost everywhere, you will find most mobile operators around the world are quietly reallocating their spectrum, upgrading from 2G to 3G and 4G. Some have switched off 2G entirely. This has implications for smartphones, small cells and infrastructure choices in the coming years ahead.
There are a wide variety of potential locations for outdoor urban small cells, but there can be many issues to arrange and secure the best sites. What actions can be taken to streamline the process and open up wider access to suitable sites? Following on from our previous articles on regulatory approval for the RF power radiation and for local planning/zoning approval for the physical size/format, we now take a look at finding and securing the most suitable sites. Is there an opportunity to create an online marketplace?
One aspect that has been holding back more rapid deployment of Urban small cells relates to local planning authority approval. This is more about the form factor (size, positioning, colour etc.) than the RF emissions, but also includes access arrangements where installation work may require temporary street closures.
Spectrum has traditionally been very highly priced as a precious non-renewable resource. An experiment by the FCC to incentivise existing spectrum holders to sell their assets for cellular use has shown that operators are shifting their capital spending priorities elsewhere. With the auction imminently about to close, we report on the auction process and speculate on the longer term implications.
Widespread variations in national and international regulations for Urban Small Cells are one of the hurdles holding back faster deployment. What can be done to standardise and expedite this? Here we consider aspects of RF transmit power rather than physical planning/zoning..
Today the MulteFire Alliance released its first formal specification Release 1.0. We spoke with Mazen Chmaytelli, President of the MulteFire Alliance, to understand the current scope, progress to date and the next steps towards commercial deployment.