& cplSiteName &

Indoor Market Driving LTE Small Cell Push

Sarah Thomas
6/26/2014
50%
50%

While the public access small cell market is slowing getting off the ground, indoors -- both residential and enterprise -- remains fertile ground for small cells to fix voice and coverage issues, respectively. (See Lessons From Your Friendly Neighborhood Small Cells.)

It's not something you'll hear much about, but millions of residential femtocells are being automated worldwide as carriers lean on it for an indoor voice solution, Heavy Reading analyst Gabriel Brown said while moderating a panel of small cell heavyweights at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) last week in Chicago. The numbers aren't nearly as high as they are for WiFi -- most every home with broadband now has WiFi -- but residential femtocells have seen steady, significant growth over the past few years. (See How Heavy Reading Called Small Cells Right and Know Your Small Cell: Home, Enterprise, or Public Access?)

At the same time, the enterprise small cell market is taking off, but more so as a fix for poor indoor coverage. Ronny Haraldsvik, senior vice president and CMO of SpiderCloud Wireless , said that, after a slow start, the company has seen a "tremendous amount of demand" in the past 12-18 months. This has been helped by the entrance of big players like Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) in the market. (See SpiderCloud Shipping LTE Biz Small Cells and Ericsson Boasts Small Cell Breakthrough.)

The vendors are finally starting to overcome operator hesitancy around protecting the macro network. ("Don't [expletive] with the macro network" was SpiderCloud's founding philosophy, after all.) They are also becoming convinced of the business case for it -- not just in keeping enterprise customers happy, but also in treating small cells as a facilitation point for enterprise services, Haraldsvik said.

"Our biggest hurdle is convincing RF engineers that the system works," he said. "It doesn't matter if anyone has done it. They have to be convinced it doesn't interfere with the macro."

Arun Bhamidimarri, business owner for small cells and WiFi solutions for Ericsson North America, agreed that the indoor environment is the primary driver for small cells, and that the market is moving in that direction. The vendor plans to start testing its Radio Dot indoor system at the end of the second quarter. (See Ericsson Expects Smooth Sailing for Radio Dot .)

The consensus among the panelists, which included Taqua LLC CTO John Hoadley and Boingo Wireless Inc. CTO Derek Peterson, was that WiFi is ubiquitous and often the first place operators look to solve indoor challenges, but fixing poor voice coverage and quality still necessitates small cells indoors. Even as voice over WiFi, which Taqua powers for Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and others, takes off, there is an acute need to fix the cellular voice and indoor coverage issues. (See Taqua Lets Mobile Users Talk Over WiFi and Taqua Extends VoWiFi to UMTS.)

At the same time, the need is shifting from 3G to 4G LTE -- a trend reflected in recent vendor announcements. Though 3G fallback will be around for quite some time, the demand is now for LTE small cells. (See Airvana Is Back With a 'Cloud RAN' 4G Biz Cell, NSN to Take Its Flexi Zone to Work, Vodafone Launches Small Cell Service in UK, Samsung Snags Verizon 4G Small Cell Indoor Deal, and Verizon Deploys AlcaLu's LTE Small Cells .)

"Quite a few vendors pushing on indoor LTE small cells because so many carriers want an LTE-only solution in the next few years," Brown said.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
joes8888
50%
50%
joes8888,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/2/2014 | 8:10:30 PM
Re: Advantage
The networks need to be abstracted one layer: ie SON. Shouldn't matter what the RAN technology is. The move to all-IP systems will support the next 20 years of of iteration.

Subject-matter experts who are tasked to build networks see the various technologies as tools in the toolbox. Different tools needed for different situations. Sometimes it's coverage, sometimes, it's capacity, sometimes it's both. And of course many other metrics, like power, cost, space, etc.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/28/2014 | 5:21:31 AM
RE: The growth of Small cell market
I also agree to the fact that the indoor environment is the primary driver for small cells. As a result, the market is being driven towards that direction. The truth is that WiFi is found almost at every corner of the globe. Almost every home and office today uses WiFi applications. However, there are challenges such as poor voice coverage that requires a little contribution from the small cell indoors. Most vendors today treat small cells as facilitation point for enterprise services and this is great news.
gregwhelan
50%
50%
gregwhelan,
User Rank: Lightning
6/27/2014 | 8:43:30 AM
Re: Advantage
The ideal end game is to integrate indoor small cells with Wi-Fi....  

1. Single MNO branded customer experience,

2. Enhanced traffic management, intelligent off-loading....

3. Default off-load to Wi-Fi is not always the best option.

4. MNOs need to fill their LTE network first, then worry about off loading... LTE traffic keeps the "meter" running.  

5.  The MNO's marketing depart can offer enhanced data plans that include wi-fi and add wi-fi only device (e.g., tablets, laptops) to their "family plans".

6. Eliminates the indoor trade off of "good data" or "good voice"

Thoughts?
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 6:34:26 PM
Re: Advantage
WiFi calling has been around for several years, but has it really caught on ?
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/26/2014 | 4:55:25 PM
Re: Advantage
wanlord - Good point about handoffs. Having traveled from Columbus, Ohio, to San Diego via DFW, I am keenly aware of the inconvenience of reconnecting to multiple WiFi hotspots in succession. 

Wouldn't HotSpot 2.0 fix those problems?
wanlord
50%
50%
wanlord,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 3:23:29 PM
Re: Advantage
@Sara - I tend to agree to a point but you are right, if service sucks on WiFi like everyone has experienced in busy hotels like in Chicago where they still charge you, and you are forced to use cellular and then you start getting those friendly text reminders that you have reached 75% of your bandwidth caps watching Netflix :-)
wanlord
50%
50%
wanlord,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 2:31:34 PM
Re: Advantage
Sure, if you are on cellular, you are likely going to have a seemless handoff from tower to small cell or any combination, no manually re-connecting to a new hotspot SSID, etc. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/26/2014 | 2:20:30 PM
Advantage
Do small cells provide advantages over WiFi to the consumer, business customer, or carrier?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
LRTV Interviews
Colt Sales Exec on Services Trends

7|4|17   |   12:59   |   (0) comments


Colt's sales director for enterprise, James Kershaw, sheds some light on the services currently in demand and how network upgrades are influencing customer demand.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Mobile to Power Online Video Consumption – Zenith
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/19/2017
Can Mushroom Sprout in Crowded SD-WAN Field?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/18/2017
AI Will Be Ubiquitous in 2020 but Overhyped in 2017 – Gartner
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 7/18/2017
Facing the Facebook Video Threat
Gary Miles, Chief Marketing Officer, Amdocs, 7/17/2017
The Finger-Lickin' Fone: A Plucky Effort?
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 7/14/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Fuzzy Quick Fix Click Here
If you can't access it, is it really broken?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.