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Big-Time Growth For Small-Cell

By Mike Collado
November 18th, 2011

When we’re asked to speak about how DAS is evolving, one of the trends in wireless we point to is that cell sites will get a lot smaller and look a lot less like towers as you get closer to where the people are.

That means big-time growth for small-cell and, yes, DAS networks.

Yesterday’s announcement of a report by Research and Markets speaks to this trend, predicting a 3000% rise in small-cell deployment for mobile data networks:

“The good old days of Tower and Power are ending,” said Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts. “Mobile data has moved indoors, and the network is moving indoors as a result. We will see dramatic growth in femtocells, picocells, and DAS networks, as well as ongoing strength in microcells and repeaters. Relays will also be entering the market, adding a new dimension to the HetNet.”

Earlier this year, we blogged that…

Meanwhile, each of the major DAS vendors is hard at work planning next-generation digital and/or IP solutions while trying to figure out how to integrate a variety of network elements. Whether delivered over a fiber, coax or CAT6 cable, the distribution of RF energy using amplifiers close to end-users is the very essence of small-cell network philosophy.

These small-cell networks (sometimes being called “heterogeneous networks” or het-net) are a coming vision of one network extending from the core to the base station to the outdoor DAS to the indoor DAS to the femto cell with seamless hand-offs. RF power levels are stepped-down as the transceiver elements gets closer to the handset and move into areas where towers simply aren’t allowed.

And, in a recent interview with RCR Wireless, we discussed how DAS manufacturers will respond to the trend toward a Het-Net / Small-Cell / Distributed Capacity:

Future DAS solutions will be smarter and flexible. They’ll handle more data. Enable better use of network resources. And scale capacity up or down based upon use and need during peak and off-peak times. At the core will be intelligent backhaul to centralize network management and lower operational expenditures.

DAS is graduating from GED to PHD. Next-generation digital systems will deliver greater functionality to manage and control the networks, and possess the scalability and intelligence to better use capacity resources.

SOLiD Technologies is delighted to help drive these new technologies which ultimately benefit all stakeholders including carriers, integrators, OEMs, building owners and end users. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, tell us what you think.

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