ExelixisNet is attending the global, and principal 2014 Packet Microwave event, Layer123′s Packet Microwave & Mobile Backhaul. The event will take place in heart of the German mobile industry, Düsseldorf, 23-25 September 2014.
We are participating in the biggest microwave industry event as Analyst Partner, sharing expertise and insights on Small Cell evolution and development. We are actively participating to the industry’s top analysts’ forum since Layer123′s Packet Microwave & Mobile Backhaul is firmly established as Europe’s premier knowledge exchange for senior professionals responsible for determining operators’ strategic planning and procurement decisions in important areas.
Elias Aravantinos, Director of Research, ExelixisNet, is serving as the Afternoon Chair during the Conference’s 2nd Day, in the session “SDN & FRONTHAUL – INNOVATIVE NEW ARCHITECTURES FOR NEXT GENERATION MOBILE NETWORKS”. He is planning to set the stage for CCS and MTN Nigeria sharing Small Cell market insights and trends based on his latest Small Cell Research Report but also engage and coordinate the panelists asking the right questions. The Self Organizing (SON) feature is necessary to Scalable Small Cell Systems success and moreover to the Self Optimizing Networks. The potential of Big Data Automation and its role will be also described as an added value feature to a full 4G System SON.
What are the latest Small Cell news based on the participating sponsors/vendors?
- Huawei’s RTN360 60 GHz microwave product is a great fit to small cell backhaul opportunities as it is designed to support street-level environments, quick installation and zero-touch configuration. But also the LampSite system of small cell devices to improve indoor mobile phone coverage.
- Nokia Networks is ready for the expansion of its small cell portfolio with the Flexi Zone G2 Pico, as well as a 3-D geolocation enhanced indoor planning service. Specifically it introduces a 3.5GHz TD-LTE Small Cell device with 4×4 MIMO for advanced LTE markets.
- Alcatel-Lucent accelerates its breakthrough product, a new Enterprise Small Cell device at the beginning of 2015. In collaboration with Qualcomm, Alcatel-Lucent is developing a small cell solution that will allow operators to extend superior 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity and coverage into the office or home for in-building customers.
- NEC offers the all-outdoor radio (AOR), iPASOLINK SX / iPASOLINK EX, all-in-one design PASOLINK Packet Microwave backhaul node(s) interwork with the all-in-one Small Cell eNodeB. In addition many operators are using NEC femtocell technology to help residential customers boost their home mobile reception.
- Finally, Intracom Telecom, the event’s silver sponsor, in addition to Small Cell Solution, Street Node, plans to discuss the Software Defined Radios evolution, and specifically how to overcome hurdles from additional complexity in network topologies (PTP and PTMP) using common hardware platform and optimizing wireless network investment.
Also, Ericsson although is not among the event’s sponsors has recently introduced Small Cell product, RBS 6402, with carrier aggregation at 300Mbps LTE speeds.
- “Area-licensed microwave spectrum for LOS usage”
- “Small Cell Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities”
- Small Cell Regional Forecasting
- Big Data Automation and SON
The small cells market is developing apace with new vendors entering the market and plenty of innovation across the board. But when it comes to major small cell rollouts it always seems to be jam tomorrow for the vendors if industry opinion from the recent Small Cells World Summit in London (10-12 June) is anything to go by.
Elias Aravantinos, lead analyst at ExelixisNet, which has recently published a report: Small Cell Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities, says: ‘The big problem is that two years ago the forecasts were over-estimating the small cell market, and it hasn’t happened. The big mobile operators still want to get the most out of their macro networks and are resisting the use of small radios outdoors.’
Professor Andy Sutton, principal network architect at the UK’s largest mobile operator EE, does not disagree. ‘EE’s focus is on rolling out our 4G macro network at the moment to extend coverage as much as possible. But we are also looking at what comes next; we are really talking about HetNets and how that is managed.’
EE, like many mobile operators is undertaking trials for both access and backhaul of small cells, but it is the indoor small cells sector that is gaining the most traction.
‘The bulk of growth globally in small cells is focusing on coverage and specifically indoor coverage. Typically, they are looking at distributed antenna systems (DAS), RF distributor systems and now enterprise picocells,’ observes Shayan Sanyal, chief marketing officer at small cell access and backhaul provider Bluwan.
Operators are attracted to indoor coverage solutions because there is an obvious business case in targeting the enterprise sector, if they can find the right revenue model and go-to-market approach. Indoor coverage solutions also appeal because they are easier to deploy than outdoor cells (fewer third parties to deal with) and they can sell additional value added services such as cloud and tele-presence services.
The continued surge in mobile data demand, paired with the finite nature of spectrum resources, and the desire to provide customers with the highest quality service has put a lot of pressure on RAN spectrum resources over the past few years.
As operators begin their first deployments of small cells outdoors, a significant challenge they will face will be the provision of backhaul requirements and this has sparked a new wave of innovation in the area, for example in microwave backhaul, which require access to area-licensed spectrum.
The current research report is based on a recent regulators’ survey across Europe and covers the availability and licensing requirements for area-licensed spectrum mainly in the high-capacity Line-of-Sight (LOS) bands commonly located within the range 26-42GHz. As new high-capacity small cell-centric backhaul solutions come to market, several countries that have provided such area-based licenses at 26, 28, 32, 38 and/or 42GHz, are revisiting the use, licensing procedure and availability of these bands to meet future requirements.
This report is based on interviews with the regulators for each of the countries covered and includes the following information:
• Which frequencies within the range 26-42GHz are currently licensed on the basis of geographic areas in regulator’s jurisdiction
Athens, Greece, New York City, NY and Singapore, June 5, 2014 – Market research firm ExelixisNet and advisory services firm Xona Partners have released their 2014 small cell market insight report: “Small Cell Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities.” The report examines mobile operators’ plans and deployment strategies of small cells and backhaul solutions along with vendor and technology preferences. The research is based on experience gathered by operators from market trials of small cells and wireless backhaul solutions conducted to evaluate the ecosystem deployment readiness and impact of small cell roll-out on operator financials and network performance.
Elias Aravantinos, Lead Analyst at ExelixisNet commented “In the past three years market forecasts of small cells have been high. Yet, to date, only a fraction of the forecasted numbers has materialized. One would ask: what is the hold up? Today, operators have a wide variety of small-cell solutions at their disposal. The result is a long evaluation cycle to converge on a best-fit solution. This has not dissuaded operators in the USA from testing multiple solutions in contrast to operators in other regions who are focused on a singular technology. While the end result has been the same, the first mover will establish a new manifesto around how networks will be built in the future. This is disruptive for small cell equipment vendors.”
Small Cell Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities – Highlights
- Over 50% of the surveyed operators say they expressed the need to start deploying outdoor small cells in 2014 while our analysis of readiness points to longer timeline.
- Fiber remains the operator’s first choice for backhaul. However, operators are actively investigating alternative solutions where the cost/performance equation is better optimized for small cell deployments.
- Traditional wireless backhaul vendors are dominating the high-frequency space while new entrants are protagonists in the low-frequencies.
- Operators are overwhelmingly asking for multimode LTE, 3G, and Wi-Fi outdoor small cells. This puts tremendous pressure on the backhaul network capacity requirements that certain technologies would fall short of meeting.