Small cells are a hot topic today as operators across the world are increasing cellular data capacity to serve the rapidly growing population of smartphone users. Adding small cells is the most cost-effective way to multiply data capacity and make better use of spectrum assets. And because small cells deliver their signal over a shorter range, mobile users get a faster, more consistent data and voice experience.
But “small cell” is a broad term covering outdoor small cells on lamp posts and other street furniture, but also indoor small cells in shopping malls, transport hubs and large enterprises. These environments are fundamentally different, with wildly different challenges and opportunities.
Unsurprisingly it is outdoor small cells that have been grabbing the headlines, as vendors work to overcome the multiple challenges of site acquisition, power and backhaul availability, and interference with neighbouring macrocells. These are the challenges that will ultimately limit the number of outdoor small cells that can be economically deployed.
Ubiquisys has deployed outdoor small cells but our focus is on intelligent cells for indoor public spaces, where the majority of mobile data is consumed. The combination of abundant sites, simple installation and automatic operation means that indoor cells can be economically deployed in much larger numbers for a sustainable ramp in integrated 3G/4G/WiFi capacity.
With this in mind, why not take a look at our simple infographic that summarises the main aspects of indoor and outdoor small cells – click the image to view full size.