Bringing broadband inside
Smartphones, tablets and connected devices have created an unprecedented demand for mobile broadband. Technologies such as LTE have been widely deployed to meet this demand, but they must continue to co-exist with legacy technologies like 3G for some time. Innovations such as Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets), which use base stations of varying form factors including small cells, pico cells, micro cells and macro cells, are being extensively leveraged to optimize capacity and coverage.
Small cells can optimize coverage and capacity, enhance the user experience and also provide an alternate path for offloading data from congested operator networks. With their proximity to the user, small footprint and ability to use the subscriber’s Internet (cable/DSL to backhaul traffic) for data offloading, small cells are proving to be a very cost-effective means of providing mobile broadband coverage in homes, malls and offices. The emergence of multi-mode small cells supporting multiple standards, such as 3G and LTE, will ensure that they continue to play a critical role across heterogeneous networks.