Home / Technology/ Small cells go large to help meet data demand

Small cells go large to help meet data demand


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 2 March 2013 00:00


Reuters: Small cell radio equipment that boosts network coverage is providing big opportunities for telecom operators as they face growing demand for smartphone Internet access in busy streets, shopping centres and stadiums.

The devices – small radio nodes which provide network coverage over a range of between 10 and 200 metres – have been used by businesses and consumers to provide a signal in areas of poor coverage for years.

Now operators are using them to bolster public broadband networks and ease pressure on traditional base stations, as they struggle to meet exploding data demand from customers wanting to access the Internet via smartphones and tablets on the go.

Nicola Palmer, chief technology officer of Verizon Wireless, said the US carrier would deploy up to 300 4G small cells this year and “a lot more in 2014.”

“I view small cells as a complement to the rest of the network especially in areas of intense demand such as business districts or shopping malls, but they won’t replace the traditional mobile tower,” she said at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

Small cells, which are around the size of a shoe box, can be clustered in streets between tall buildings – canyons where mobile reception can be poor – and where demand is high.

Telecoms consultancy Informa predicted the deployment of public small cells would generate 2016 revenues of $ 16.2 billion, creating an opportunity for network gear providers like Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks, which make them. “Public access small cells in busy urban areas are set to be one of the defining mobile network trends in the coming years,” said analyst Dimitris Mavrakis in Barcelona. “The vendors who succeed in this space are going to win the lion’s share of small cell revenues.”

The installed base of small cells was set to grow from almost 11 million today to 92 million in 2016, with a total market value of over $ 22 billion, Informa said. Telecoms gear maker Alcatel-Lucent said as demand for data soared, the capacity of the main network would run out of steam, and small cells would be part of the solution.

“It’s no longer an ‘if small cells’, in fact in my mind it’s no longer a ‘when small cells’, it’s here and now,” said Michael J. Schabel, the company’s vice president of small cells.

Companies including AT&T and Vodafone UK as well as Verizon, have announced plans to roll out more small cells in their networks, as consumers increasingly expect a seamless data service. Mike Flanagan, chief technology officer for network software firm Arieso, said the networks were coming under pressure from a small group of users who consume a huge amount of data, often for video or gaming. He said 1% of all subscribers consumed more than half of all the data being transmitted in the network.“So when you employ these small cells, don’t think of a uniform ubiquitous small-cell coverage across a certain area, like Soho in London,” he said. “Instead look at it as a surgical placement of small cells precisely where they are required to satisfy the demand of those extreme one percent of users.”

He said the technology was now able to detect where that demand was located down to the individual building. “If the network operator can just satisfy the demands of one percent they’ve doubled the effective capacity of their whole network.”


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Maximum Residue Level: Dilemma of agricultural product exporters in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Due to increased emphasis on consumer health, majority of developed countries such as EU, Japan and the US insist on MRL testing of food items which has to be done by the exporter. The Codex Alimentarius Commission which is an inter-governmental bod


East Container Terminal blunder: Learn from Chinese

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Minister for Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe informed the press in August that Cabinet has approved the development of East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port by the Ports Authority. According to approval: nPorts Authority would develop


President Sirisena, playing with fire, must take note that smoke will get into his eyes

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Penchant for playing with fire President Gamaralalage Sirisena has always had a penchant for playing with fire. He did fire-play at the local government elections when he made a disastrous U-turn and went round country blasting the party and its lea


Response to claims that Sri Lanka was in a ‘debt trap’ in 2014 due to ‘Chinese loans’

Monday, 17 September 2018

Several Western analysts have carried out a relentless media campaign in keeping with their own geopolitical agenda, to suggest that China was luring Sri Lanka into a carefully engineered debt trap.


Columnists More