‘Small cells’ is an umbrella term for operator-controlled, low-powered radio access nodes, including those that operate in licensed spectrum and unlicensed carrier-grade Wi-Fi. Small cells typically have a range from 10 meters to several hundred meters.
Types of small cells include femtocells, picocells and microcells – broadly increasing in size from femtocells (the smallest) to microcells (the largest). Any or all of these small cells can be based on ‘femtocell technology’ – i.e. the collection of standards, software, open interfaces, chips and know-how that have powered the growth of femtocells.