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52% of public access small cells will have localized processing and intelligence by 2018


Indoor to dominate small cell deployments until late 2016






MIAMI, Florida, and BROCKENHURST, England, July 8 2013- 52% of public access small cells will have localized processing and intelligence by 2018 according to 'Adaptive smart cells accelerating; first operator steps to LTE Advanced' -  the latest Quarterly Report from Maravedis-Rethink's MOSA (Mobile Operator Strategy Analysis) research service, which monitors and forecasts the 4G infrastructure deployments of the top 100 mobile operators (


Public access small cells may still be in the early stages, but operators are already concerned about their return on investment. There is rising interest in 'edge networking' as mobile operators look for ways to harness small cells to deliver quality of experience and increased ARPU, not just capacity and coverage.


This report identifies two important shifts in thinking about metrocells:

  • Adding intelligence and processing power to the small cells will enable carriers to provide personalized services close to the user, and relieve backhaul and core network strain by moving some activities like caching to the edge.
  •  Short term metrocell roll-out will be more heavily concentrated on indoor locations like sports venues which have fewer backhaul, power and site acquisition challenges than outdoors.

"Video optimization and personalized services are two key elements of the 4G business model, which are more powerfully implemented at the network edge, close to the user, and can boost the return on investment in small cells." commented Caroline Gabriel, Research Director of Maravedis-Rethink


Key highlights of the report:


  • The macrocell is being radically redesigned, and within two years, two-thirds of shipments will be of distributed RAN equipment such as remote radio/antenna and Cloud-RAN units
  • Fiber is critical for small cell backhaul but wireless will find a significant role and account for one-third of metrocell connections by 2018
  • LTE-Advanced upgrades will be driven by small cells and spectral efficiency, placing a spotlight on carrier aggregation and eICIC.
  • Orange emerges as the leader in the move to software defined networking, and SK Telecom in LTE-Advanced implementation



MOSA (Mobile Operator Strategy Analysis) MOSA tracks the top 100 4G operators round the world and adds a new level of qualitative analysis, included in a series of operator wireless infrastructure strategy profiles with full SWOT evaluation.


MARAVEDIS-RETHINK is a leading analyst firm focusing on wireless infrastructure strategies.  


We would like to invite you to an exclusive MOSA webinar , "Small Cell Networks: Lessons Learned with AT&T" featuring Jim Parker, Senior Manager of the Antenna Solutions Group at AT&T. To REGISTER



For more information, contact:


Adlane Fellah,

Customer Engagement


Tel: +1 (305) 865 1006