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Understanding Small Cells: Strategies for Successful Deployment

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Pages: 8

Small cells – metrocells and remote radio heads (RRHs), in particular – are a new frontier in the design and day-to-day function of wireless data networks. Not only is the average subscriber’s mobile data usage skyrocketing, but more and more subscribers are using LTE every day. Small cells are one way for network service providers to address both the need for increased mobile data capacity today, and in the near future, as new technologies are implemented.

Deploying metrocells and RRHs, however, is not an easy process. In fact, it is the opposite. There are many moving parts – e.g., RF planning and network design, permits and zoning, safety and environmental concerns, obtaining backhaul and power, acquiring sites, negotiating leases, and preparing sites for deployment. And the large number of small cells to be deployed and managed adds to the complexity.

This paper discusses the challenges of small cell deployments and several strategies that can be used to ensure the success of those deployments.