Ilissa Miller 2018-03-05 00:11:42
Spending on small cells and revenue from smart network building both are expected to show increases as part of the demand for 5G networks. In particular, the outdoor small cell market will expand to support wireless carrier needs and the adaptation of smart cities. According to analysts at Dell’Oro Group, small cells represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the wireless infrastructure market, with yearly growth of at least 50 percent for the last four years. Carriers have been deploying indoor and outdoor small cells while also selling indoor small cells to their customers, both of which have contributed to the increase. Two major factors in the growth of DAS and small cells have been the new demand for 5G networks as the outdoor small cell market is taking off to support carrier needs and the adaptation of smart cities. A new analysis from iGR shows that the outdoor small cell market will become a necessary part of our mobile networks. As most network carriers transition to 5G and the demand for high-quality data services on LTE networks grows, the use of outdoor small cells is integral for these processes. Small cells will have to do more with the installation of these technologies, because they help with powering, backhaul problems, regulations and cost efficiency. A survey commissioned by Ixia and conducted by Dimensional Research queried more than 300 executives from enterprise and service-provider companies globally regarding the growth of 5G networks. According to its research, reported in RCRWireless News, 96 percent of the organizations surveyed said that they plan to use 5G technologies, and 67 percent of them have evaluated or will evaluate 5G technologies in the next 12 months. Small cells ... help with powering, backhaul problems, regulations and cost efficiency. Smart city applications and the internet of things have been increasing all over the world, especially in metropolitan areas. The platforms of distributed antenna system (DAS) networks, small cells, Wi-Fi and other internet-of-things infrastructures are making these cities smart. “Smart city applications will have a huge economic impact on cities around the world,” said Todd Landry, corporate vice president of product and market strategy at JMA Wireless, as quoted in a news release from Bigbelly, a smart city solutions provider. JMA Wireless previewed Bigbelly’s telecom cabinet at the Mobile World Congress Americas in September 2017. Smart city applications have been making roads, waste management, energy, security, water supply and weather reporting extremely efficient for everyone in those cities. The technology behind small cells is playing a huge part in this adoption of urban areas, increasing the demand for them even more. According to Machine Research, as reported in Telecoms Tech News, 6 billion North Americans will have an internet-ofthings connection by 2025. Figures 1 and 2 show the forecasted growth across different sectors in the upcoming years. To ensure connectivity and communications are enabled everywhere, companies cannot have a wireless network without a wireline one. One of the industry’s biggest trends is the convergence of wireline and wireless technologies. In its most recent fourth-quarter earnings report, Dycom stressed the need for investment in wireline networks, particularly in regard to 4G expansion and 5G planning. The CEO of Dycom, Steven Nielsen, quoted in FierceTelecom, said he believes that the convergence of wireless and wireline networks is fundamental to connectivity. “Emerging wireless technologies are now beginning to drive significant incremental wireline deployments,” he said. “It’s clear that a complementary wireline investment cycle will be required to facilitate what is expected to be a decades-long deployment of converged wireless/ wireline networks.” The company is also seeing a trend with wireline providers growing their fiber networks, especially in metropolitan areas. Fiber Networks According to experts from Comm- Scope, one of the biggest strategies for companies that want to converge networks is the use of fiber networks. In “Where Wireless Meets Wireline: Converging Mobile Fronthaul/Backhaul and FTTH Networks” published by WirelessWeek, Mike Wolfe and Erik Gronvall from CommScope said, “Solutions in convergence lie in making sure the network is built in such a way that any of the fibers can be used for whatever service makes sense. It’s not just a matter of throwing a ton of fiber into the network. Rather, it means taking a broader look at the available fiber maximization technologies and how they might be used.” Experts believe that a lot of careful deliberation will go into the convergence of wireless and wireline networks, not just with large carrier providers, but also with network providers, investors and consultants. If done correctly and diligently, companies can maximize their efforts and investments. If not, they will find themselves spending more than they expected. Ilissa Miller is president of the Northeast DAS & Small Cell Association. She is the founder and CEO of iMiller Public Relations.
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