Growth trends in enterprise and operator small cell investments
Small cell densification of LTE and 5G networks is a major priority for operators around the world. And given the vast addressable market opportunity using small cells to address in-building cellular experiences, there’s significant growth in the indoor, enterprise segment as well as small cells for outdoor operator networks. Here we discuss issues around densification with Damiano Colettic, vice president of strategy and marketing, Airspan Networks.
Q: As operators enhance LTE network and add density in support of current and future 5G deployments, what do you see as the biggest challenges to activating small cells, particularly in dense, urban environments?
A: The challenges for deploying small cells in dense urban environments have remained relatively unchanged worldwide, namely these are site acquisition/zoning requirements as well overall TCO related to deploying these solutions. We know from our experience that these problems can be solved with the right weapons in the arsenal.
Q: Given common small cell deployment challenges–power, backhaul and site acquisition–how does your product portfolio offer up solutions to operators?
A: Airspan has pioneered the integration of backhaul and access on a massive scale. Our products are tailored not only to provide the most attractive/elegant solution for outdoor deployments in order ease the speed at which small cells can be deployed, But they also allow operators to improve the return on investment of existing macro network and spectrum assets by decongesting overtaxed cells. This is a benefit, which is being sold as something that will need to wait for 5G however it is something that we can help operators explore today. Our approach is to provide ground breaking innovation aimed at providing revolutionary deployment economics.
Q: As operators work with municipalities on small cell deployment, how important do you regard aesthetics in facilitating as smooth a process as possible; and how does Airspan address those considerations?
A: It is a fundamental part what of what we do, products such as Airstrand, Airpole and MagicBox in all of their shapes variants are key examples of how we have tailored our technology to eliminate the issue altogether.
Q: Aside from operator-led investment, to what extent do you see enterprises or building owners investing in small cells to provide in-building cellular? And how do you expect that level of investment to change in the near-term, if at all, and why?
A: Airspan see’s this as a growth opportunity overall. The availability of more spectrum and lightly licensed spectrum on a global basis is truly starting to enable this for building owners. I think the speed of adoption will depend on specific verticals such as: public safety and healthcare, which will lead the way. [With regard to] building owners, developers and investors, these stakeholders are very aware that their return per square foot is inextricably linked to high quality connectivity. At Airspan we have developed and are developing solutions that cater to applications such as Neutral Host, Local Break out and MEC that have a lot of value to add in this space. We are bullish on the forecasted levels of investment in this space.
Q: Airspan has had a good deal of success with its MagicBox product, including an adaption specifically geared to the hospitality vertical. What’s next for MagicBox?
A: We recently announced a smaller, faster and more powerful box at MWC Los Angeles. These types of solutions are gaining significant traction on a global scale and we are excited to share our experience with operators around the world. Obviously as with all our products, as the technology ecosystems mature and the proliferation of new standards take hold we will strive keep innovating and stay ahead the curve.
Q: Any other observations you’d care to share regarding the global market for small cells?
A: Small cells are experiencing double digit percentage growth in all categories, they are a fundamental building block for all 5G networks, we are excited to help pave the road ahead and assist operators and new entrants alike to realize their vision.
The post Small cell densification: A Q&A with Airspan Networks appeared first on RCR Wireless News.