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  • jda254 jda254 Apr 26, 2013 4:40 PM Flag

    3G small cell perspective from TNMO Conference

    Small Cell Backhaul: Transport Networks for Mobile Operators conference including Small Cells

    Published on Thursday, 25 April 2013
    Written by David Chambers

    London was again home to the 15th annual Transport Networks for Mobile Operators (TNMO) conference. As with quite a few events these days, there was a strong theme of small cells which were mentioned in the majority of talks. Also in common with other conferences, I found a wide range of quality of content – from the outstanding to the truly banal. New takeaways for me related to small cells included the work being done by the MEF to determine the characteristics of Ethernet required for LTE small cell backhaul, various offers of Small Cell Hosting and the (mostly private) comments from operators about the reality of Metrocell rollouts ...

    Will operators deploy 3G or LTE metrocells first?

    Given that this was a backhaul network conference, delegates are looking at public access metrocells rather than residential or enterprise sectors. Publicly, we heard several operators say they would focus on LTE small cells first, introducing these after their initial LTE macrocell coverage deployment in order to provide capacity. TIM Italy clearly stated this intention, although qualifying it for countries such as Argentina where they don't yet have 4G spectrum.

    Privately, I heard other views, with one operator convinced that the large installed base of 3G users will continue to generate the bulk of their traffic demand – not everyone wants to pay $100/month for 4G service if 3G HSPA+ meets their needs. They could see customers were choosing to downsize, retain existing phones on SIM only contracts rather than upgrade to the latest LTE as before, but use greater amounts of data ...