Carriers see small cells as key to LTE-Advanced


With LTE North America just a few days away, many carriers are focused on the standard’s next generation: LTE-Advanced. LTE-Advanced may finally offer “true 4G” data rates, with stationary peaks of 1 Gbps, and carriers say small cells are the key to achieving this. Mobile operators say the use of small cells and HetNets in the current LTE standard may provide a learning curve, and that implementation of these new technologies may be easier and cheaper when deploying LTE-Advanced networks.

In a recent survey of almost 300 mobile operators worldwide, Rethink Research asked carriers for their top objectives in deploying LTE-Advanced over the next four years. Cutting the cost of delivery was the number one goal, followed by reducing power consumption and increasing average data rates. Carriers overwhelmingly reported that small cells and HetNet are the most critical contributor to the LTE-Advanced business model. (Industry analysts will explore small cell deployment in depth at the upcoming RCR Wireless Conference in Orange County.)

Simon Saunders, Chairman of FemtoForum, says femto technology enables a range of small cells, including pico cells, micro cells and metro cells. At 4G World, Saunders spoke with RCR Wireless, saying that in 2012 LTE small cells will truly become commercial.

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About Author

Martha DeGrasse

Wireless Martha DeGrasse has been creating content for RCR Wireless News since 2011. Recent feature reports include Building Tomorrow's Neworks, Outdoor DAS and Small Cell Case Studies, Wireless Infrastructure Service Company Review, and Investing in HetNets. (All of these can be found by clicking on Reports at the top of this page.) At RCR, Martha also developed the 5 Things to Know Today series and the Mobile Minute. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her on Twitter @mdegrasseRCR