The need to build out new backhaul is the biggest impediment to public access small-cell deployments, a poll of the Light Reading community suggests.
Out of nearly 700 poll takers, 35% chose backhaul as the biggest challenge for small cells in the city, followed by the 24% that cited obtaining rights from the city to install them as the most difficult. Proving the business case (18%), working out interference issues with the networks supported (14%), and obtaining operator certifications (5%) all also made the list of challenges. (See Small Cells in the City .)
Our well informed community knows what a lot of vendors and operators have realized: Public access small cells are not a walk in the park. Unlike enterprise small cells that serve a clear business need in already wired, privately owned locations, public access small cells add the additional elements of backhaul, rights, and an unproven ROI. (See Know Your Small Cell: Home, Enterprise, or Public Access? and WiFi: Small Cells' Trojan Horse?)
According to Heavy Reading , there will be 700,000 public access small cells in service worldwide requiring new backhaul connections by the end of 2017. And each small cell may have a different capacity requirement, interference issue, and non-line-of-sight network need. (See Small Cells Mean Big Backhaul Challenges.)
Heavy Reading has long been bearish on the public access small cell market, taking a far more conservative position than many other industry analysts on the speed and volume of rollout: The results of this poll provide insight into some of the main reasons why operators are not rushing en masse to add them to their wide area networks. (See Public Access Small Cells: Off to a Slow Start and How Heavy Reading Called Small Cells Right.)
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading