SellTower Signals

A Bold Small Cell Prediction

For the third year in a row, it looks like next year will be “the year” for small cells.  That is not to say that small cells are not being deployed now.  There has been a proliferation of small cell applications like DAS, oDAS, and femto cells for years now.  What we have not seen is a deliberate use by wireless carriers of small cells as a substitute for macro cell sites.

What is holding the carriers back?  Below, SellTower gives its Top 10 list of things that have delayed outdoor small cell deployments and a bold prediction for the future of small cells.

SellTower’s  10 Reasons Why Outdoor Small Cells Are Small in Number

  1. Carriers’ top priority is getting LTE deployed – except Verizon who is done
  2. Most of the biggest coverage holes in wireless networks are indoors and are being filled by indoor femto cell solutions
  3. Small cells with LTE technology will not be available until this Summer
  4. Wireless backhaul options for small cells are limited
  5. Carriers resist WiFi offload thus stunting the market for combined cellular/WiFi access point units
  6. RF planning tools only recently included the ability to model the insertion of small cells into macro site networks
  7. Self-Optimizing Network (SON) tools that will include small cells are just now completing development
  8. Wireless carrier’s are reluctant to introduce new OEMs into their network
  9. There are still plenty of network coverage/capacity needs in most of the carriers’ networks that are big enough to require a macro site
  10. Upcoming spectrum auctions will require macro site deployments for license protection purposes

Even with all of these factors slowing down the proliferation of outdoor small cells, the economics are still too favorable to be ignored.  So here is the SellTower bold prediction.  By 2020 there will be more outdoor small cells than macro sites in the United States.  Contact us to find out about all the reasons why this will occur.

Comments are closed.