Practel is following the small cell development from the beginning of their commercialization and contributed several technical/marketing reports to this subject.
This report updates previous studies as well as adds the new information. The report presents in detail and in easily understandable terms independent, unbiased analysis, which reflects progress in small cells and their backhauls solutions developments. Through vendors' interviews and the analysis of other multiple data sources, the report provides latest, accurate marketing and technological information.
In particular, the report provides the analysis of dynamically evolving small cells technologies, concentrating on their advantages, varieties and specifics. Major applications are analyzed and standardization developments are emphasized. Based on the in-depth industry analysis, which included the analysis of multiple studies and interviews with vendors, market prognoses (2018-2022) are presented. The survey of more than thirty-five small cell equipment vendors and their portfolios are also provided. It is shown that 4G mobile technologies (and later, 5G) will concentrate on building HetNets in which small cells play an important role.
The report emphasizes that the small cells backhaul solution may prove or brake the small cell business case. Specifics of small cells backhauls, their varieties and differences from macro cells backhauls are analyzed in details. The need for standardization is emphasized. The study of industry trends, interviews with vendors and the analysis of publically available statistical data helped to perform the marketing analysis. The survey of vendors (about 30 manufacturers of small cells backhaul solutions) reflects this industry specifics and trends. There is a range of use cases for open access small cells, from targeted demand hotspots in city centers, through generalized capacity uplift, to serving not-spots in remote rural areas. In each case the emphasis on backhaul requirements shifts, and aspects that are critical to one type of deployment can be relaxed in others. Solutions with different characteristics will address the needs of different types of small cells backhaul in different areas.
Attachments contain the in-depth analysis of promising small cell microwave and Wi-Fi backhaul solutions:
- 1. 60 GHz technologies (V-band). Both Ethernet radio and 802.11ad solutions are addressed. Marketing and technical specifics are described in details. The survey of vendors is also provided. The 802.11ay standard - to be approved - has been also analyzed.
- 2. 802.11ac. The technology supports throughput, range and other characteristics that satisfy small cell backhaul requirements. Authors analyzed specifics of 802.11ac as they relate to the small cell backhaul application; they also analyzed the market and vendors' portfolios. Next generation technology - 802.11ax - to be approved - is also detailed.
- 3. E-band radio. Popularity of this radio for discussed applications is growing; and this trend will be even more pronounced approaching the 5G era.
Wireless backhauls for SCs are prevailing now and it is expected that they will keep this leadership position in future.
The report is written for a wide audience of telecommunications specialists who deal with complicated choices in mobile networking to support business cases.