The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, announced the availability of small cell deployment guide - Small Cell Release One – at Mobile World Congress 2013.
This is the first deliverable in its Release programme, which helps operators by providing all the information they need to successfully launch the technology in one easily digestible package. The theme of Release One is the Home, providing the complete body of work that operators will need to know in order to deploy residential femtocells.
Release One also contains significant advanced work on future releases, including enterprise, metro, and rural small cells. Release One is aimed at operators who have waited to deploy residential small cells until the market and technology were proven while also assisting operators planning newer enterprise, metro and rural rollouts.
It provides all the business case and technical detail, including recommended equipment specifications for RFPs, together with best practice from the operators which have successfully deployed femtocells in scale.
Release One also contains information aimed at assisting new enterprise, metro and rural deployments, including two major new whitepapers on backhaul and rural rollouts, addressing concerns widely raised by carriers, as well as an operator agreement on key requirements for public access small cells.
Rural small cells
The rural small cell whitepaper finds that the there are no barriers preventing the technology from being used to bridge the digital divide in both developed and developing markets. In fact, a representative business case shows that even in comparatively lower revenue developing markets which require expensive satellite backhaul, operators can achieve $50K profit per site per year - rising to $196K in developed markets. This is hugely important in addressing the digital divide and as part of initiatives for reaching the next billion users.
The backhaul whitepaper concludes that backhaul does not constitute a barrier to public access small cell deployments. It finds that the full-range of use cases ranging from high-traffic urban hotspots to rural blackspots can be efficiently managed using fibre, copper and wireless backhaul techniques. Backhaul has been viewed as a major constraint to small cell deployments: this paper shows how those worries may have been over-stated and that feasible solutions are commercially available today.
Public access vendor equipment
Having already brought together the operator community to agree the key requirements for residential small cells, the Forum is now developing the key requirements for future public access vendor equipment.
This includes enhancements to the Iuh small cell standard for public access, fully open X2 interoperability for LTE products and enhancements to provisioning that support multi-technology (3G, LTE & Wi-Fi) small cells. These requirements will drive the Forum?s work to facilitate future public access deployments which will form a key focus of future Releases.
Over the next 12 months, the Forum will publish Release Two which will contain significant updates on enterprise small cells and Release Three on metrocells. Crucially, these will include lessons from the deployments currently taking place as well as evolving approaches and standards.
Subsequent Releases will contain major updates to rural and multi-technology small cells which intelligently integrate 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi, reflecting the work the Forum is undertaking with the Wireless Broadband Alliance.
Release One is freely available from the Small Cell Forum Release site except the profile which is only available to Small Cell Forum members - www.scf.io
See also: Public access small cell market to hit US$16 billion in 2016