State of the Market Workshop: Rome 2015

A key part of the Champions Day was the State of the Market workshop, sponsored by Huawei. Nine companies shared their most recent deployment stories and technological innovation. The result was a picture of an industry that is experiencing real traction as well as significant roll-outs across a full range of use cases. In this blog, we summarise the key themes of the workshop.

You can download all the presentations from the State of the Market workshop here>>

Enterprise deployments accelerating driven by business needs and increased awareness
Enterprise is a clear growth area for small cell deployments, evidenced by nearly all of the case studies referring to this type of deployment. SpiderCloud unveiled results showing a clear ‘pull’ from the enterprise for small cells with a recent IGR survey showed both wide awareness and willing to buy.

Also in the Enterprise space, Cisco shared a case study from a university campus deployment where existing WI-FI APs were ‘upgraded’ to add a small cell capability. Quortus demonstrated the range of architectures possible with virtualized small cell core networks including the on site MEC server supporting small cells across an enterprise and mission critical small cells supporting public safety applications. iBwave showed how deployment within the enterprise had improved, with a case study which reduced indoor small cell planning down to one site visit.

TalkTalk Talked about their inside-out 4G femtocell network
MVNO TalkTalk outlined their plans to add LTE small cells to their home routers enriching customer experience as well increasing traffic offload from the macro network. The residential 4G small cells use a dedicated 3.3MHz carrier frequency already compatible with existing 4G handsets to provide good coverage indoors and in the surrounding streets.

Small cells are being deployed within the HetNets using SON to automate integration Many of the case studies demonstrated small cells being integrated into existing macro networks. Cisco’s university case study involved small cells, Wi-Fi and Macros all working together. Nokia demonstrated the importance of 3D thinking when planning small cell HetNets in dense urban indoor and outdoor environments due to building and user topography. Qualcomm described how their SON technology provides zero touch integration for both the small cells and the macros, optimizing handovers in both directions.

Small cells embody joined up thinking linking Licensed and license Exempt spectrum
Session sponsor Huawei shared their vision for small cell evolution, incorporating emerging technologies which leverage license exempt spectrum. Their demonstration of LAA mobility with Vodafone notching up 600Mbps peak rates clearly showing the potential of a joined-up approach to spectrum.

NFV is virtually here … in small cells
Airspan trials with SoftBank demonstrated an early nFAPI implementation working in a virtualized small cell / macro HetNet. The small cells filled in coverage gaps, and their densification increased capacity. Centralised CoMP and eICIC were demonstrated over a pre-standard nFAPI which works over commonly available packet based transport with significantly less stringent performance requirements than required with CPRI based C-RAN.

If you have a small cell deployment success story you would like to share, our next State of the Market workshop will take place as part of Small Cells Americas on Monday 2 November. Please do get in touch if you’d like to take part.