Densification in 2017 will be a real and urgent part of many cellular operators’ strategies to turn the inexorable rise of mobile traffic into profits. In most cases this will be achieved with investment in HetNet (heterogeneous network) architectures, which create a single, integrated pool of capacity and coverage, using multiple cell sizes and base station form factors; multiple spectrum bands including unlicensed, licensed and shared; multivendor equipment; multiple air interfaces including 3G, 4G, WiFi and future 5G; and potentially multi-operator networks.
The HetNet deployments and trends forecasts by Caroline Gabriel were based on a combination of data from:
- Detailed surveys, interviews and operator-by-operator modeling of the IMG-40 groups.
- Studies of the deployments and strategies of the top 100 4G operators, as tracked by Rethink Technology Research’s quarterly surveys, interviews and desk research.
- Deeper interviews with senior executives at 25 tier one operators about their detailed plans for RAN deployments to 2021.
- Input from ecosystem vendors on shipments, technology strategies and competitive landscape, also updated quarterly.
Based on the surveys of operators and vendors, it was then calculated how those cell sites would be equipped – by base station type, technology, frequency band etc, leading to a detailed unit and market size measurement.
The HetNet deployments and trends report is 20 pages long, is accompanied by 17 data tables, and can be purchased for $2,000.
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