Saturday, 21 January 2017

5G Small Cells for Smart Cities

Accenture Strategy highlights Economic and Societal Impact of Investing in 5G Infrastructure in a new Research. A small section is devoted to the role small cells will play in smart cities. quoting from the report:

The key to this new wireless infrastructure is the small cell. Telecom operators are already using 4G small-cell technology in limited deployments today to support increased capacity for new users and Smart City sensors. But the full promise of Smart Cities and 5G requires a robust deployment of small cells.

That is because tomorrow’s wireless networks will require hundreds, or even thousands, of small cells, densely deployed across a city or town, instead of traditional macro cell towers, which are hundreds of feet tall and transmit wireless signals for miles. Complementing the existing macro cell sites, these small cells can be the size of a shoe box and discretely deployed nearly anywhere – from street lamps and utility poles to the sides of buildings.

The approach is similar to the supply-operations concept of distributing dispatch centers across a geographic area to serve customers more efficiently than one main, central warehouse. The approaches have similar benefits:

1 Speed to deliver: Just as numerous small dispatch centers can be located closer to the ultimate destination, and thus provide faster delivery, widely distributed small cells also deliver higher speed, and enable large amounts of data to be more readily delivered to users.

2 Capacity to serve: When a given dispatch center does not have the capacity to serve a certain client within the required timeframe due to the shortage of available resources/products, other nearby centers are able to provide service. Likewise, if a small cell experiences too much traffic demand due to a major event (e.g., an emergency situation in the area), other small cells can help meet demand, preventing the communication interruption that usually occurs with current technology.

3 Specialization and diversification of fulfillment: Just as small niche centers can provide specialized service to a local area, a “small cell” can also provide specialization of service to a large, diversified number of users. With the availability of sufficient numbers of small cells, wireless networks will support both specialized transportation solutions (e.g., vehicle-to-vehicle communication) and specialized public safety solutions (e.g., gunshot detection sensor communication), all while ensuring the best quality of service to other highly critical applications, such as a nearby hospital which requires highly reliable communications (e.g., for remote surgery).

Small cells are already beginning to supplement the operations of existing 4G macro towers, and will initially be the central strategy by which telecom operators deal with this ongoing growth in demand for mobile capacity and coverage ultimately leading to the full-scale 5G deployment that will be required by Smart Cities.

While the benefits of pervasive small-cell 5G technology are highly significant, the real-world logistics of deploying small cells on a large scale must also address the cost, complexity and time involved in deployment...

You can read the complete report here.

Related posts:

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Look back and forecast of Small Cells

Going through 'End of Year Report' by ThinkSmallCell. A good summary of what happened in 2016 and what we can see in 2017. This picture above from the same report is interesting. As you can see that the average speeds of 3G have decreased while that of 4G has increased significantly. I suspect what has happened is that the newer devices with more advanced 3G capabilities now have access to 4G while the older devices with basic HSDPA support have stayed on 3G, decreasing the average speeds.

You can also read the top 5 posts from this blog here.

Coming back to forecasts, another ThinkSmallCell Analyst Spotlight webinar where Caroline Gabriel from Rethink research and Kyung Mun from Mobile experts provide their insight into where small cells are headed in 2017 and beyond.

Personally, I think with VoWiFi becoming common in our devices, the market for residential and enterprise eventually will decrease. I hear you say what about QoS, well see my 3G4G blog post here.

Here are the slides and video from ThinkSmallCell webinar:

Friday, 6 January 2017

Rogue One: When Small Cells interfere with Macro

Came across this interesting case study from Cellcom Israel where femtocells cause interference with the macro to reduce availability and in one case paralyze the whole area. Case study embedded below