In many countries mobile networks that were once predominantly about voice are today primarily about data.
Consumer demand for data services is growing unabated, with penetration of smartphones exceeding 40% in many countries and over 300 million being shipped annually.
Commentators predict the volume of wireless data will exceed that of wired data by 2015.
The question is how this enormous data capacity will be realized, while meeting customer quality of service expectations and operators’ requirements for cost-effectiveness.The answer is a significant ramping up of small cell deployment.
Prof Simon Saunders, Small Cell Forum Chairman, discusses the Forum’s expanded scope. Download white paperWhy small cells makea big differenceIn many countries mobile networks that were once Commentators predict the volume of wireless datapredominantly about voice are today primarily will exceed that of wired data by 2015.about data. The question is how this enormous data capacityConsumer demand for data services is growing will be realized, while meeting customer quality ofunabated, with penetration of smartphones service expectations and operators’ requirementsexceeding 40% in many countries and over for cost-effectiveness. The answer is a significant300 million being shipped annually. ramping up of small cell deployment. What is a small cell? Types of small cells include femtocells, HOME ENTERPRISE URBAN RURAL picocells, metrocells and microcells – broadly increasing in size from femtocells Femtocells (the smallest) to microcells (the largest). Any or all of these small cells can be Picocells based on ‘femtocell technology’, i.e. the Metrocells & Microcells collection of standards, software, open interfaces, chips and know-how that have powered the growth of femtocells. What are they for? Applications include coverage, Metrocell / Macrocell capacity and service delivery in Microcell a wide range of environments including residential, enterprise, urban and rural applications. And in principle you could Enterprise deploy any type of small cell for Femtocell / Office internet any application – for example, Picocell connection while femtocells are usually thought of in a residential Mobile context, femtocells or picocells Internet operator can also be deployed as network alternatives for enterprise, while both metrocells and microcells can be deployed in urban areas. Broadband Public telephone Residential network Femtocell The future is small cells There’s widespread consensus that heterogeneous networks (HetNets) – comprising a mix of small and large cells – are essential if operators are to satisfy the capacity, speed and performance requirements of the future. Scalability, automated configuration, self-optimization and rapid deployment have been taken to new limits by the millions of femtocells in commercial use today. These are precisely the qualities defining the diversity of small cell solutions delivering the high quality services and performance required of networks today and into the future.Get involved. Join todayOur members are driving solutions to some of the key challenges faced by our industry – including business case, technical, deployment,backhaul and management issues. 2012 promises to be another year of significant progress for the Forum. Make the most of your membershipby attending plenaries, contributing to working group sessions, proposing new work areas, and introducing relevant members of your team.For more information visit our website: www.smallcellforum.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1453 861393.The Small Cell Forum (www.smallcellforum.org), formerly known as the Femto Forum, supports the wide-scale adoption of small cells. Small cells are low-power wireless accesspoints that operate in licensed spectrum, are operator-managed and feature edge-based intelligence. They provide improved cellular coverage, capacity and applications for homes andenterprises as well as metropolitan and rural public spaces. They include technologies variously described as femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. Small Cell Forum operatormembers represent over 1.71 billion mobile subscribers - 33% of the global total. We also represent all major technology groups – world-leading telecoms hardware and softwarevendors, content providers and innovative start-ups.www.smallcellforum.org