Mobile data traffic will increase nine times between 2016 and 2022, according to Ericsson, and a good signal in every corner is increasingly critical for work and play. The advent of 5G and the Internet of Things will only increase the need for capacity and ubiquitous coverage. To achieve this without a daunting capex bill, mobile operators must adopt a whole new approach to building a cellular network. Small cells lie at the heart of this, reusing valuable frequencies many times over to boost capacity while relieving strain on the macro network. Virtualized small cell networks, cookie cutter deployment processes and automated management, and new spectrum options, will all further enhance the cost:performance ratio and lay the foundations for a new level of density in 5G.