It's a Small World After All ...

11:30 AM -- BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2012 -- Finally!

After a few years of false starts, we might actually be able to say that 2012 is the start of the age of the small cell. The tiny base stations appear to be finding their niche in the network at this year's Mobile World Congress show.

Three examples: Small cells have taken a while to find their spot in the network. The problem with selling them as femtocells -- or home base stations -- in the beginning was that users generally had to pay for them.

Now in their second act -- or is it third? -- as small cells, the little radios get their chance to shine as the edge of the network beacons that help retain LTE speeds in crowded urban areas and facilitate ambitious plans for cloud services that can deliver your business and personal content anywhere and everywhere.

That's the hope anyway. In reality there's an awful lot of spending and development to be done before you get to walk under your own ubiquitous cloud. For now, however, it seems that small cells are one of the only ways for such services to even approach such lofty goals.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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