National roaming is a big topic in the UK news this week, with the Government pushing operators to let customers move between networks when they drop out of coverage. It’s a controversial topic and one that both the industry and operators are pushing back on.
But there’s a bigger issue here and that’s the challenge, both technical and financial, of providing coverage to those in remote and rural locations.
It’s something we talked about in a blog earlier this year and since small cells moved out of the residential market we’ve seen some really interesting and unique use cases for delivering coverage to remote communities and villages.
The Small Cell Forum has long recognised the potential for small cells in addressing these challenges, and that’s why the next part of our Release Program will tackle the challenges in rural and remote deployments.
The business case in particular is something that the next part of the Release Program will address, along with challenges around backhaul and handing over subscribers from local pockets of coverage into the wider network.
It’s no surprise that the UK Government are pushing for operators to deliver coverage to everyone and it’s something we’ll almost certainly see in other countries. While national roaming is one option, it’s now up to the industry as a whole to look at the alternatives and small cells are set to be an integral part of that.
You can find out more about Release Five: Rural & Remote here