Exploit existing operational processes with small cells
While LTE smartphones drive growth in small cell deployments, the enthusiasm among ecosystem stakeholders is tempered by significant challenges with the new technology. Infonetics Research has pointed out that operators are having many operational and financial challenges with the new business model. Based on operator feedback, it seems that weak operational procedures as well as deficient tools and technologies are the most critical pain points.
In telecommunications, it’s hardly ever the case that operators have an empty canvas to start planning something new, like small cells, into a greenfield network. The most common scenario is that operators have existing mobile backhaul deployments in place, and small cell connections are added into that network.
Smart operational processes and tools bring cost savings while leveraging current mobile backhaul infrastructure. So, why not also benefit from these tools in the upcoming wave of small cell backhaul investments?
Cost savings with easy small cell backhaul operations
Deploying an outdoor small cell device into any location of the network must always be easy and cost efficient. This means that the network management system is smart enough to set up the device automatically and comprehensively after the device is physically connected to the network. With smart mass provisioning tools and processes, the set-up operations for one device can be automated to thousands of devices in order to complete the service turn-up within minutes. This enables new services to be available more quickly and also speeds time-to-revenue remarkably – from days to minutes.
In addition, automated network operations cut operational costs and ensure high quality services. This will result in more satisfied customers and lower churn for operators. Ultimately, it is the bottom line that makes a significant difference for operators in a competitive market place for 4G mobile subscribers
Integrated and feature-rich solution
The current small cell decisions must serve both existing 3G and upcoming 4G networks as the new innovations are built on top of existing ones. Building an integrated small cell solution, whereby mobile backhaul radio links and aggregation is tightly connected either entirely or partially, helps to relieve the operational headache.
Packet synchronization is one must-have feature with small cell architectures. With small cell backhaul deployments, operators must implement extensive packet synchronization throughout the network, including the demanding last mile radio interfaces.
Another valuable feature to minimize operational costs is power efficiency. Low power consumption and passive cooling ensures minimized powering-related costs. Naturally, passive cooling also minimizes maintenance concerns as there are no fans and filters to replace, leading the way for environmentally-friendly small cell solutions.