Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of around 128,000 sites, 71,000 of them already in the portfolio and the rest in the process of closing or planned roll-outs up to 2030 and positions the company to develop new generation networks.
Your name and title:
Piercarlo Giannattasio, Global Network Densification Principal
Q1. Today consumers and businesses have an expectation of connectivity everywhere, what does this mean for indoor coverage, what are the challenges and solutions?
On one side, the mobile communication demand is strongly increasing and users expect seamless connectivity wherever they are with very high data throughput. On the other side the materials used in the buildings, with eco-friendly low emissivity glass and soundproof internal walls, attenuate and limit the outdoor mobile signal to have enough quality indoor. Some studies reveal that about 80% of mobile traffic demand is generated indoors, and there are many indoor places where even making a call is problematic. Additionally, broadband 5G will be provided in high frequencies, which increases the problem of the attenuation of the signals coming from the outdoor base stations. There are different options to solve this equation and we at Cellnex are making these options available to the building owners, so that their buildings are more attractive to visitors and tenants. The cheapest and more appropriate solution is to deploy direct indoor coverage with densified and low power indoor Small Cells.
Q2. What deployment options do you identify as being likely to drive small cell deployments indoors?
I would define three scenarios:
(i) First, all users in a specific location are using the same mobile operator, only one, then a Small Cell deployment from this operator is the natural choice.
(ii) If you require service from more than one mobile operator, in multi-tenant offices or to all visitors in a venue, a neutral host multi-operator deployment is suggested.
(iii) Finally, Private Network deployments guarantee dedicated resources for business critical and dedicated needs.
Q3. Is the shape of in-building deployments changing as technology evolves? How this can impact and benefit the business case?
In the past mobile indoor coverage was funded only by Mobile Network Operators with single operator small cells, but nowadays this is sustainable only in some limited situations and a lot of venues are suffering from a lack of mobile communication capacity. A venue owner financing neutral host solutions can improve the business case and unlock growth. On the other hand technology has evolved into more digital and flexible solutions that help to reduce the TCO, with reduced power, less space consumption and an easy installation process – and this will open a new era.