Small Cells Featured Article
Informa Small-Cell Status Report Indicates Boost in Small Cell Deployments
November 05, 2012
By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributor
The Informa (News - Alert) Telecoms and Media quarterly small-cell market status report reveals that the total number of small cells in the world is far more than the total number of traditional mobile base stations.
“There are now more small cells than macrocells worldwide. The days of small numbers of expensive cell towers have given way to the era of high numbers of low cost mini access points. Without this change, the mobile network simply could not sustain the continued growth in data usage,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media (News - Alert).
In the period between October and November 2012, the number of small cells went beyond six million (6,069,224), with macrocells deployed across the globe reaching 5,925,974 in numbers. Sprint (News - Alert) has deployed one million femtocells, which is a remarkable increase from 250,000 in 2011.
According to the report, new femtocell deployments from TelefónicaO2, Orange (News - Alert) UK and Bouygues Telecom highlights that the U.K. and France are two countries where all major operators have deployed the technology. TelefónicaO2’s dense femtocell deployment in east London was leveraged during the London Olympics, its public Wi-Fi then in central London.
“Such a dramatic network transformation opens up interesting new models and over the past quarter the Small Cell as a Service idea has been gaining traction. At the moment, this is being targeted at major operators that are looking for a simple route to establishing a small-cell network as well as smaller players that have found the barriers to entry too high to date,” added Mavrakis.
The Small Cell-as-a-Service (SCaaS) model lets third parties roll out a small-cell network and then rent it to other operators, in order to reduce the barrier to entry for deployment and expenses involved.
Colt Telecom is trialing its service with a major European operator. Catering to the needs of small operators, Cloudberry Mobile and ClearSky have also launched their own offerings in Europe and the U.S.
Recently, Research and Markets released the “Africa Insights: Time for transformation” report, researched and published in association with Informa Telecoms and Media. The report predicts that Africa will reach 760 million mobile subscribers by the end of 2012, which equates to a 70-percent market penetration.
Edited by Braden Becker
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