Innovative use cases driving the take-up of small cells
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Stephane Daeublé, Head of Small Cells Product Marketing, Nokia
After a slow start, the industry is now embracing small cells with significant deployments outside the obvious areas of North America and Asia, such as in Latin America and the Middle East. However, Europe lags behind, most likely due to a difference in mindset, having being used to macro deployments for so long. But the situation is changing, and European operators are picking up the pace, especially with indoor locations within new property developments, which is becoming a necessity as energy efficiency requirements (such as triple glazed windows) make connections to macro networks more difficult.
The next phase of growth is coming from the private sector and industry verticals, using Multefire LTE in unlicensed spectrum, or in the US with CB bands. For example, Nokia is deploying small cells in Australia for open-pit mining applications, and in China for harbour logistics and surveillance. Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), bringing a computing node to a small cell, offers new use cases for operators and customers. Small cells can therefore offer more than just connectivity, bringing value added services and low latency use cases. Add to this the emergence of 5G, and small cells have a very promising future.
Filmed at: SCWS World, London, 2017