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Small Cells - Rural White Paper MWC 2013


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Presentation by the Small Cell Forum on the Rural White Paper, taken from Mobile World Congress 2013

Presentation by the Small Cell Forum on the Rural White Paper, taken from Mobile World Congress 2013

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  • 1. Extending Rural and Remote Coverage Using Small Cells: SCF White Paper 047.01.01 Small Cell Zone at Mobile World Congress 28th February 2013 Richard Deasington Chairman – Rural SIG (iDirect)
  • 2. New White Paper! © Small Cell Forum Ltd 2012
  • 3. Contents… © Small Cell Forum Ltd 2012
  • 4. Customer Need Mobile operators need to cost effectively expand their network coverage for voice and data services to remote and rural areas where wireless or terrestrial technologies can’t reach The combination of Small Cell technology plus a variety of backhaul techniques can make connecting rural customers profitable!
  • 5. Market Drivers All operators have service areas where they can’t cost effectively provide coverage. Based on different business drivers operators are increasingly looking to expand coverage using satellite Drivers • Offer service to gain more subscribers • Meet government mandates • Avoid customer churn • Expand data services to differentiate services • The Internet of things e.g. Ericsson’s view of the connected world 50 Billion devices by 2020
  • 6. Where are the Opportunities? Everywhere – Developing world and Developed world
  • 7. Why Not Use Macro Cells? Not In My Back Yard! Economics of macro cells don’t work well for small communities More profitable to install one public access small cell than many residential small cells Community ‘ownership’ leads to acceptance
  • 8. What is a Rural Small Cell? Residential small cell typically support 4 calls and limited range (e.g. 30m) Mobile operators have built the infrastructure to support small cells (gateway, security, provisioning, authentication…) Leverage that infrastructure to support larger small cells in outdoor housing for rural coverage (16 – 32 calls, HSPA, 1 – 2 km range)
  • 9. What’s Needed to Install a Small Cell? Site Just need a building owner to agree to locate a couple of small boxes on their premises – store, post office… No tower! Power Perhaps100 watts total possibly with battery backup Solar / wind / fuel cells very feasible if off-grid location Backhaul The big issue – typically no DSL, or too slow if available Maybe too far from microwave hub Fiber or leased line too expensive… So what to do…?
  • 10. How to Backhaul Rural Small Cells? Not as easily connected through traditional means, a lot more small sites, a lot lower cost per site For rural cells more difficult to use microwave or line of site technologies as we’re not using large towers Rural Small cells will probably use a variety of technologies for backhaul: DSL – if available and not too slow Point to Multipoint microwave Satellite – Reaches Everywhere
  • 11. What Do Operators Think? 5% 6% 52% 6% 31% Which of the following do you think represents the greatest challenge in providing rural connectivity? Lack of demand/user base Cost of base station/Node B Cost of building backhaul Availability of affordable handsets and devices Challenging business model due to low ARPU We are educating mobile operators: Small cells drastically reduce capex Backhaul opex no longer a barrier, including satellite Source: Informa UK Ltd.
  • 12. Business Case – Assumptions Radius of the cell is 1km, the total number of properties is 266. There are two subscribers per household = 532.
  • 13. Business Case – Traffic Total busy hour 7.98 erlangs. A blocking of 1% will require 15 channels. 15 voice channels at 40 kbit/s per call = 600 kbit/s For data the busy hour load will be within the scope of an HSPA small cell with up to 11 Mbit/s downlink speeds. The uplink requires 1/3rd the capacity and would also fit into the possible capacity of a typical HSPA 5 Mbit/s uplink speed. Total capacity required 11.24 Mbit/s
  • 14. Business Case – How Much Revenue? Typical developed world monthly ARPU at $33 the 532 subscribers would deliver revenues of $17,556 / month. Typical total costs of $6000 for a fully installed outdoor small cell site. Amortized over 3 years the cost per month would be $167. Site rental, power and maintenance add up to $157 / month. Taking the 3-year amortized capital cost plus the operating costs gives a total cost to run a small cell site of $324 / month Over $17,000/ month per site to pay for backhaul b/w and the core network etc…
  • 15. Business Case – The Satellite Case Taking satellite as the most extreme backhaul example: The satellite h/w cost - typically $3k - $6k per site linked in capex, i.e. $100 / month Satellite bandwidth: e.g. HTS satellite capacity selling at around $1000 / MHz / Month a typical rural site needing 11.24 Mbit/s would require less than 7.5 MHz of satellite capacity using A-TDMA technology. Thus the monthly cost in this scenario would be $7,500 – leaving >$9,000 per site gross margin Bottom line – even after paying for the core network, customer acquisition, interconnect costs etc. it is highly profitable!
  • 16. Questions & Discussion
  • 17. Close For Mobile Operators Rural is no longer the realm of minimal coverage with voice only or USO networks Combining Small Cells with flexible backhaul means rural customers make money!
  • 18. •  iDirect has been active in promoting Rural use of Small Cells within the Small Cell Forum •  This work now forms a part of the Forum’s newly announced Release Plan; a “How to” guide to accelerate the deployment of small cells. •  The Release Plan includes consensus views from members and partners dealing with: •  Market drivers, business case, key technology information, standards, operator lessons and regulatory information. •  It encompasses industry best practice plus a Roadmap for future releases. Small Cell Forum Release Programme © Small Cell Forum Ltd 201314/03/2013
  • 19. •  98% of operators think small cells are essential to their future, BUT most deployments to date are by 50 pioneers in developed markets. •  The Small Cell Forum Release Programme will help the next 150 operators roll out their own networks. •  The Release Programme will: •  Accelerate the mass introduction of small cells •  Help the drive to open standards •  Build traction for early enterprise, metro and rural deployments •  Leverage the growing body of best practice •  Remove barriers to small cell adoption •  iDirect believes that the SCF Release programme will make a significant contribution to the adoption of small cells in 2013. Why a Release Programme © Small Cell Forum Ltd 201314/03/2013