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Small Cell Deployments: Four Key Operator Challenges

Operators expect costs for new small cell hardware to decline by 60 - 75% within the next two years.

Mobile operators will increasingly turn to small cells to address capacity and coverage issues in 2013, with volume shipments increasing significantly in 2014. Small cells change how operators will design cellular networks and therefore must be factored in to all cellular network strategies. However, mobile operators face four major challenges when planning to use small cells to deploy wireless services.

This Viewpoint provides:

  • analysis of the main factors driving mobile network operator demand for small cells
  • a review of the four key challenges operators implementing small cells face, based on discussions with operators in Asia, Europe and North America
  • recommendations for operators and for network and device vendors.


The following companies are mentioned in this Viewpoint.

  • Airspan
  • ALU
  • AT&T
  • BT
  • Cisco
  • Ericsson
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Everything Everywhere
  • Mosaic Telecom
  • Rogers Communications
  • Ruckus Wireless
  • SK Telecom
  • SpiderCloud
  • Sprint
  • Telefonica
  • Telenor
  • TELUS Communications


Chris Nicoll (Principal Analyst) is the lead analyst for Analysys Mason's Wireless Networks research programme. His primary areas of specialisation include wireless access technologies, wireless traffic forecasting, mobile infrastructure and operator strategy. Chris has more than 20 years of expertise as a leader in defining telecoms strategy. Chris holds a BS in Communications with minors in Computer Science, Psychology and Marketing from Florida State University.

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