Small Cell Siting Challenges

The 5G HetNet should not just be about yet-higher peak rates and new services, but about making the overall customer experience smoother and more predictable, increasing user satisfaction levels while keeping the network scalable and cost effective. Good customer experience must be a starting point, not an afterthought.No matter how 5G technical specs are defined, small cells will be an important part of delivering that experience, but they introduce significant deployment challenges once they are implemented at huge scales, as in a hyperdense network. The three key issues to consider from a deployment perspective, are: site location, backhaul and O&M. New approaches will be needed, but these can build on current deployments. In many cases, the issues are already present today in 3G and LTE networks today, but they will be magnified with the new data demands and use cases of 5G, which will drive far greater density.

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