AMSTERDAM -- At Cable Congress 2014 today, Amdocs, the leading provider of customer experience systems and services, released new research that explores the challenges involved in deploying and managing small cell networks, and identifies an opportunity for cable and satellite providers (also known as multiple system operators, or MSOs) to create new revenue streams through partnering with mobile network operators (MNOs) in the rollout of small cells and Wi-Fi networks.
The survey was conducted in January 2014 by Real Wireless – the leading independent advisory firm on wireless strategy and small cells – and includes 40 national and large regional MNOs, MSOs and converged wireless/wireline operators from North America, Europe and APAC. The report is available for download here.
Key findings include:
Small cell rollouts are being delayed: while 70 percent of MNOs surveyed plan to have significant small cell deployments by 2018, the majority predict slow rollout
MSOs have the necessary skills and experience for small cell deployment: challenges identified by MNOs in small cell rollouts include project management (65 percent), negotiation with partners (45 percent) and technical aspects (40 percent) – challenges that MSOs are well placed to overcome through their expertise in the installation and maintenance of dense networks in the field
MNOs willing to partner: to succeed, 70 percent of MNOs are prepared to use small cell networks rolled out by or owned by a third-party, such as an MSO
MSOs need to recognize and capitalize on their small cell expertise: 85 percent of MSOs believe that technical aspects of small cell rollout are different from their normal deployments and as a result only 40 percent of MSOs have plans to support small cell deployments this year. This is surprising given that 70 percent have either already launched or plan to launch public Wi-Fi, which has very similar requirements to small cells in terms of backhaul, power and installation
Automation tools will be critical: 85 percent of respondents believe that automation is critical or important for small cell deployment; however 80 percent believe their existing processes and tools are inadequate
“With mobile data traffic predicted to increase 11-fold from 2013-20181 small cells represent a critical element of an MNO’s strategy to expand mobile network capacity and improve the overall user experience, yet rollout challenges are causing small cell deployment delay,” said Charles Chambers, managing consultant with Real Wireless. “The research has identified that there is a clear business case for MSOs to partner with MNOs. MSOs have valuable skills and experience that can be applied to small cell deployments and MNOs are looking for these skills. However, for small cell rollout to be successful it’s widely recognized that appropriate workflow and planning tools are required.”
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