It's safe to say that small cells have become an integral part of most wireless operators' network strategies, but right now, a lot of those operators are still in the planning stages.
While it's early days for small cells, Heavy Reading says the market will grow to include 700,000 public access small cells requiring dedicated new backhaul in live service by the end of 2017. In addition, there will be thousands of more private-domain consumer and enterprise femto or closed user group deployments, as well as some public access small cell deployments that leverage pre-existing transport infrastructure. (See: The Tall Order for Small Cell Backhaul.)
Operators are using the low-power base stations to bolster their network density, increase data speeds, plug coverage holes in their voice networks -- both indoors and outdoors -- and to manage spectrum more efficiently. While most have 3G femtocells deployed already, attention is now turned to developing and deploying LTE small cells that also pack in WiFi.
That's what makes now the perfect time to highlight a few of the more instrumental small cell proponents -- those helping to move the industry along, diffusing the hype, and pushing small cells out of the labs and into deployment.
Check out our list of six people to keep an eye on as the market continues to shape up in the next 12 to 18 months. Some are the heads of small cell practices at their respective companies and are "faces" in the industry, while others are less well known (and don't get out of the labs much).
This is the way we see the market currently, but we also know there is a lot of brainpower, and many influencers, making this important segment of the wireless industry possible. So please, suggest any additions (or make a case for deletions) on the message boards below.
- Page 2: Alex Jinsung Choi, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Division, SK Telecom
- Page 3: Gordon Mansfield, AVP of technology at AT&T
- Page 4: Behrooz Parsay, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Operations at SpiderCloud
- Page 5: Dr. Alan Law, Vodafone Group’s New Technology Manager
- Page 6: Iyad Tarazi, Sprint's VP of network development and engineering
- Page 7: Ericsson's Head of Networks Johan Wibergh
- Page 8: Others to keep an eye on
- AT&T: 3G Small Cells in 18 US States
- AT&T Sings Song of Small Cells With HARP
- Intel Favorite to Buy Mindspeed's Small Cell Assets
- TW Cable Eyes Small Cells Too
- SpiderCloud's New Web: Dual-Mode 4G LTE
- Sprint Has Samsung 4G LTE Small Cells: Analyst
- Comcast Testing Small Cells – Sources
- NSN, Ericsson Butt Small Cells
- NLoS Backhaul Needed for Small Cells
- NSN Unveils New 4G Small Cell
- Holy HetNets! It’s Super Macros & Massive MIMO
- Ericsson's Radio Dot Receives Mixed Reception
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading