More than 50% of mobile operators have no clear requirements for small cell network TCO

During 2013, mobile network operators engaged with equipment vendors in defining small-cell deployment scenarios and the critical role of backhaul in enabling large-scale small-cell deployments. A number of outdoor small-cells and backhaul field trials were conducted and publicized. While trend is expected to continue in 2014, a comprehensive snapshot of the market status along with expected future trends is lacking.

ExelixisNet Research and Xona Partners collaborated to develop a worldwide operator survey and market analysis report to identify the current state of the market on outdoor small-cell deployments and backhaul solutions, define trends and project future developments in this area. The survey comprised key questions posed to operators on their small-cell and backhaul deployment plans to identify their readiness for an evolved wireless infrastructure architecture that comprises base stations of different sizes and operating on different technologies.

The report aims to validate existing but also reveal new global trends. Some key findings among others:

1.   30% of mobile operators need more time to decide on the primary small-cell backhaul technology

2.   There is a high preference to unlicensed NLOS as small-cell backhaul technology

3.   More than 30% of mobile operators request outdoor small-cell aggregate capacity above 250 Mbps

4.   More than 50% of mobile operators have no clear requirements for small cell network TCO

The report, which is published early October by ExelixisNet Research in collaboration with Xona Partners, clarifies a complex landscape and provides answers to questions that are shaping the future of the wireless industry. Some of the research questions answered in the report include:

  • What are small-cell deployment timelines?
  • What operators view as the main challenges to small-cell deployments?
  • Which types of backhaul solutions are operators considering for small cell deployments and what is the market traction of backhaul vendors?
  • Will small-cells be deployed in the same or different frequency bands as macrocells?
  • Which type of small-cell access modes are operators interested in deploying?
  • What are the challenges and options for small-cell backhaul?
  • What are the small-cell & backhaul technical requirements (capacity, delay, etc.)?
  • Where are the operators in the small-cell and backhaul business case and financial plan analysis?
  • Where are operators in the cycle of small-cell deployments?


Elias Aravantinos

+30 6949732009

About ExelixisNet Research

ExelixisNet is a global intelligence, information technology research and advisory company. We deliver the technology-related insight necessary for our clients to make the right decisions, every day. We are the valuable partner since 2007 of senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, that trust our opinion. Our team of experts works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 2007 in New York, USA, ExelixisNet is headquartered today in Athens, Greece covering clients in North America, Middle East and Europe.


About Xona Partners

Xona Partners is a boutique advisory services firm specialized in telecom, media and technology. Founded by a team of renowned technologists and startup founders, managing directors in global ventures, and investment advisors, Xona draws on its founders cross-functional expertise to offer a unique multi-disciplinary integrative technology and investment advisory service to private equity, venture funds, and technology companies that includes pre-investment due-diligence, post-investment full-lifecycle management and new-revenue generation. Xona operates from four regional hubs in San Francisco, Singapore, Dubai and Paris.

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