Multi-operator and neutral host small cells

5G Americas and Small Cells Forum
03 Jan 2017

There are powerful market drivers for small cells to be deployed in a multi-operator or neutral host environment, especially when they are in enterprise locations.

Increasingly, mobile traffic is concentrated indoors, and locations of all kinds – from office buildings to public spaces such as malls or railway stations – need to support mobile usage, regardless of which operator the employees, customers and visitors are subscribed to.

This is only becoming more important as businesses go mobile-first and adopt bring your own device policies. There are already neutral host solutions available and standardized. Distributed antenna systems (DAS) and Wi-Fi are well established in this regard, but have disadvantages for operators and site owners in many environments – the high cost of DAS, for instance, and the QoS challenges of Wi-Fi in public or unmanaged areas.

This white paper, co-produced by 5G Americas and Small Cell Forum, describes alternative approaches to delivering shared infrastructure within a small cell environment, including comparing small cell solutions with classical DAS solutions. Standardized 3GPP network sharing capabilities are reviewed and the applicability of those techniques to small cell deployments are analyzed. We also consider multi-operator deployments using licensed-exempt solutions.

This white paper was first published on 5G Americas website

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