This blog is by Amit Sehgal at Nokia Networks.
Recently my colleague blogged about the importance of macro parity in bridging the gap between small cells and macro cells as we evolve to ultra dense networks. It’s clear that macro cell sites will naturally play the dominant role to meet the massive need for mobile broadband coverage and capacity; but in order to avoid choking the network, small cells will provide the necessary relief. Estimates for 2020 indicate that operators will need to deliver 1000x capacity to meet the required demand. Nokia’s Services for Heterogeneous Networks helps the operator to find the best capacity expansion strategy, which can involve a macro upgrade, spectrum refarming or small cells.
Dense urban areas such as shopping malls, office complexes, and mass transit stations, are areas where there’s a clear lack of space for new macro sites, and regulatory issues also likely prevent the setup of large towers. The best solution for these areas is ‘densification of the network’ using a new layer of small cells to boost capacity and quality of service.
Nokia has therefore developed an innovative cluster delivery model forsmall cells to efficiently manage mass rollouts. With this delivery model, all activities from deployment to acceptance occur over a group of sites (as a cluster), and not individually – making it cost effective and enabling faster time to market for the operators. Combining standardized model site design with lean program management ensures delivery efficiency. Certified, local self performing resources provide the necessary mobility for a speedy deployment across a large area.
Nokia employs automation tools to effectively monitor and manage operations and enable smooth deployment. One of the critical elements is leveraging site infrastructure partnerships. This standardized clustered deployment approach has proven to accurately model an operator’s business environment. It also significantly reduces the cost of installation and brings down deployment cycle time from days to hours. Site acquisition and implementation activities are synchronized and performed in parallel with network planning to ensure that the locations selected to deploy small cells have viable backhaul connections and are best placed to serve subscribers and offload traffic from the macro layer.
Utilizing this approach in a recent European pilot, Nokia was able to deploy the small cells within 1 to 3 hours flat. Site design played a critical role in determining ease of deployment. Supporting factors included power availability and site readiness, as well as all necessary documentation and approvals from local/municipal authorities.
This approach is also expected to help a major operator deploy large volumes of small cells in North America during 2015.
And did you know? Nokia Networks has been positioned by analyst firm Gartner in the “Leaders” quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for Small Cell Equipment.” Check it outhere.”
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