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Carriers begin switch to small cells for mobile nets

Rick Merritt

December 04, 2013

Rick MerrittDecember 04, 2013

SAN JOSE, Calif. — As many as 11.5 million small-cell base stations could be deployed by 2018, up from just 168,000 today, according to a status report from the Small Cell Forum. http://www.smallcellforum.org/ The trade group gave the update and released guidelines on using the systems in businesses as part of a regular meeting in Dallas.

Small-cell base stations are seen as an inexpensive way to add capacity quickly to cellular networks swamped with mobile data from the rise of smartphones and tablets. The category has been dominated by low-end home versions called femtocells so far, but is slowly shifting toward beefier devices in businesses and public spaces.

To date, 56 cellular operators are using some form of small cells, most of them (44) employing femtocells for residences where cellular coverage is poor. The 168,000 systems deployed are a mix of enterprise-class cells (used by 26 carriers) and public access devices (used by 17) and do not count the much more numerous femtocells.

To read more, go to “Switch on Small Cells Slowly

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