Tag Archives: small cells

What Capacity Problem?! A View on the Small Cell Market.

Small cells have existed and been talked about for about a decade now. The technology and market went through different phases tracking 3G, LTE and now 5G technologies. Yet, the deployment of small cells has been timid and numbers fall below expectations. The fundamental thesis behind small cells is that demand for capacity exceeds supply. The market speculated that… Read More »

C-RAN and the True 5G

While people may debate what 5G will be, there are a few key facts that cannot be changed. These facts will shape what 5G will be. Based on this we expect that new winners will emerge who can capitalize on new trends through innovating new solutions. Therefore, aside from the hype that dominates 5G talk, the key is… Read More »

Edging Closer Towards Disruption in Radio Access Networks

In past articles [1, 2], I stressed that Cloud RAN is a disruptive technology. There are a few reasons for this, but I think that most critical reason is that Cloud RAN breaks open a pricing structure that’s been in use ever since the wireless industry was created. The current pricing model for base stations is based on a… Read More »

Are MVNOs the Next OTTs?

The wireless market in Canada is on the cusp of changes due to new regulations that open the market for a new breed of MVNO services. Full MVNOs are now possible: they will be able to have their own mobile network codes (MNCs) and provision their own IMSI numbers. Full MVNOs own their core network including all subscriber… Read More »

It’s All Too Good To Keep Talking About The Capacity Problem

The capacity problem is at the heart of everything said about the wireless industry. Everybody loves to talk about this problem. To start, it is easy to give examples of exploding data consumption forecasts or quote numbers on mobile applications such as Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and many others. I suspect that the capacity problem makes for a… Read More »

Small Cells Progress Report – Challenges and Opportunities.

I have just released a new research report on the progress of small cell deployments in collaboration with ExelixistNet:  “Small Cell Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities.” The report examines mobile operators’ plans and deployment strategies of small cells and backhaul solutions along with vendor and technology preferences. The research is based on experience gathered by operators from market trials… Read More »

Further Enhanced ICIC (FeICIC)

Guest post by Faris Alfarhan* In an earlier post, R10-LTE enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC) techniques for heterogeneous networks were discussed, along with the concept of small cell range expansion. The purpose of cell range expansion is to offload more traffic from macro cells to small cells and hence achieve larger cell splitting gains. By adding a cell… Read More »

Trends in Wireless Network Densification

One of the main trends in radio access network (RAN) is the bifurcation of systems that enable network densification. Today, mobile network operators have more options than ever before for the means of providing service to their subscribers. Alongside the evolution of wireless standards to provide higher spectral efficiency, vendors have unleashed a wide variety of radio access… Read More »

Observations on MWC 2014 – My Takeaways

In a nutshell, the wireless industry keeps on getting broader and more bifurcated. This is the main trend that has been around for years and that will not stop. Communication is becoming truly pervasive. Opportunities and confusion are intermingled. To understand it all, one needs to cut across wider breadth and dive into greater depth to separate hype… Read More »

The Long-Term View on Small Cells

The evolution of wireless networks to a HetNet architecture is inevitable, but the question for industry players and investors is what form will it take. This is because there is no single approach to small cells, but rather there are multiple ways to densify the network. Making misplaced bets is common in the technology space, mainly because of… Read More »

The Coming of Cloud RAN

The evolution of wireless communications has spawned many innovations but the cellular concept where base stations are dispersed to meet coverage and capacity requirements remains constant. This is about to change, sort of, if Cloud Radio Access Network (CRAN) architecture lives up to its vision. What makes CRAN such an interesting development is that it leverages advances in… Read More »

Site Seeing in Hong Kong!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this is the longest post I’ve ever written… Let’s check out how Hong Kong operators address outdoor coverage and capacity with a few snapshots of base stations in Mong Kok and Wan Chai. What comes through is a clear approach favoring high power systems to blast energy in an area… Read More »

Between DAS and Small Cells – A Practical Guide

When small cells started appearing on the market, DAS was one of their targets. The thought was small cells would make DAS obsolete. After all, small cells are inexpensive and easy to deploy. This did not happen and not likely to happen for many reasons. DAS will be around as will small cells. While both serve similar functions,… Read More »

What the Future Bodes for Small Cells: An Operator Perspective

The market awaits the arrival of outdoor small cells, but the wait continues. When small cell deployments will happen keeps sliding from one year to the next. I have always thought that some in the industry have been too optimistic on small cells deployment timelines and they have ignored important facts that define the deployment timelines and the… Read More »

LTE-Advanced, 3.5 GHz, Small Cells and Neutral Host Services: A Powerful Mix to Abundantly Increase Network Capacity

At a recent GTI event in Japan, Huawei demonstrated 770 Mbps peak throughput in a market trial of LTE-Advanced in 3.5 GHz spectrum. This was achieved with TD-LTE access mode with carrier aggregation. The trial showed 500 Mbps average throughput over multiple sites. Furthermore, Softbank demonstrated the ability to provide 1.2 Gbps peak throughput using 5-carrier aggregation in… Read More »