Mobile data usage is increasing by a factor of 70%-100% annually and to meet this demand, cellular infrastructure architectures have to fundamentally change as networks must deal with coverage, cell density, and resistance to new macro cell base station deployments (“not in my backyard”).
Increasingly, small cell deployments are being used to enhance coverage. Femtocells will be used in residences and enterprises alike, and picocells will be used to provide coverage indoors and outdoors with microcells employed to cover areas where macrocells would be overkill. New NPD In-Stat (www.instat.com) research predicts the retail value of small cell shipments will reach $14 billion in 2015.
“The potential that true mobile broadband offers in personal communications, commerce, and social networking becomes a curse for mobile operators. Use case determines the form factor.”
Studies indicate that 75% of mobile broadband connections are made indoors. This means that mobile operators have to ensure QoS for subscribers in their homes, at their jobs, and at their leisure. Radio Access Network (RAN) devices have to show versatility. If thought of as small cells, RAN devices can provide access to as few as four users or as many as a thousand," said Chris Kissel, Senior Analyst.
Recent research found the following:
• In 2015, the retail value of femtocells in Eastern Europe is estimated to reach $265 million.
• Roughly 30.7 million WCDMA/HSPA residential femtocells will be shipped in 2015.
• Worldwide outdoor metropolitan picocell unit shipments will have a CAGR of 248% over the five-year forecast period.
• In 2011, the value of voice and data services hosted by small cell devices is $3.2 billion globally.
For more information visit Femtocells and Small Cells: Making the Most of Megahertz