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HetNet Deployment and Operational Strategies for 4G and Beyond


March 2014




Single-user License: $ 2,995 USD
Company-wide License: $ 6,995 USD
Team License (Up to 5 Users): $ 3,995 USD


Carrier WiFi, Small Cells, Femtocells, Picocells, Microcells, Metrocells, HetNet, Carrier WiFi and Small Cells, Small Cells as a Service, SCaaS, Heterogeneous Networks, Hotspot 2.0, WiFi Roaming, Distributed Antenna System, DAS, Femtocells as a Service, FaaS, Self Organizing Networks, SON


Traditional voice centric mobile networks were designed and planned back in the 20th century for a certain type of usage. The subscriber base consisted of users who were mostly making voice calls, both outdoors and indoors, with very consistent usage patterns. The birth of smart wireless devices has created a completely new set of challenges and opportunities for Mobile Network Operators (MNO). Current smart phone usage trends indicate that there will be a huge increase in global mobile user traffic. Modern day mobile networks need to handle a large number of subscribers consuming high volumes of data usage, both indoors and outdoors, and in a very unpredictable pattern. The MNO today is faced with the most import challenge, and probably the most important opportunity of their entire existence.

A Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) that is based on a combination of Cellular Small Cells, Macro Cells and Carrier Wi-Fi is expected to play a pivotal role in addressing the capacity needs for such a traffic surge in the mobile networks. In general the HetNets are perceived as important drivers for the success of 4G LTE and for the development of future 5G standards based mobile networks. Apart from vendor opinions and positioning, there is virtually no independent information available about how a mobile network operator should prepare for HetNet deployments that allow for optimal upgrade to 5G standards and technologies when they become available in future.

This research evaluates the current state of the HetNet market including analysis of vendor solutions and technologies. The report assesses HetNet deployment modes, topologies, and optimal implementation and operation strategies. The report also provides specific information needed for design and strategic planning for HetNet deployments.

See Table of Contents for complete list of areas covered.

Report Benefits

  • Understand HetNet deployment strategies
  • Identify potential technologies for future 5G standards
  • Identify current market status, trends, and vision into the future of HetNets
  • Understand vendor products, solutions and product features to support small cell deployment
  • Strategic planning for technical and business aspects of HetNet implementations and operations

Target Audience

  • Investment Firms
  • Application Developers
  • Mobile Device Vendors
  • Mobile Network Carriers
  • Service Bureau Companies
  • WiFi Infrastructure Vendors
  • Distributed Antenna Vendors
  • Wireless Infrastructure Vendors
  • Small Cell Infrastructure Vendors
  • Telecom Managed Service Providers

Companies in Report

Actix, AirHop, Alcatel-Lucent, Arieso, AT&T, Boingo, Cambridge Broadband Network , Cisco, Ericsson, Green Packet, InfoVista, Intel, Intucell, NSN, NTT Docomo, Openet, Qualcomm, Reverb Networks, Ruckus Wireless, Samsung

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Technology Overview
  • HetNet Architecture and Topologies
  • Market Drivers and Business Case
  • Market Drivers
  • Business Case
  • Global Small Cell Market Trends and Forecasts
  • Global Small Cell Unit Shipments (Overall)
  • Global Small Cell Revenue
  • Global Small Cell Unit Shipments (By Type)
  • Global Small Cell Revenue (By Type)
  • Global Small Cell Unit Shipments (3G vs 4G)
  • Vendor Solutions and Research Initiatives
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Cisco
  • Ericsson
  • Intel
  • Nokia Solutions & Networks
  • Qualcomm
  • Ruckus Wireless
  • Samsung
  • Strategies for Deployment and Operations
  • Network Planning and Dimensioning
  • Small Cell AP Type
  • Auto Configuration and SON
  • Interference Management
  • Carrier Aggregation
  • Seamless Mobility
  • Authentication and Security
  • Backhaul Solution
  • Upgradability
  • Target Site Selection
  • Requirements Specification and Procurement
  • Capex, Opex and TCO
  • Strategies for Driving Business and Revenue Generation
  • Business Opportunities
  • Revenue Generation and ROI Assessment
  • Deployment Modes
  • Uncoordinated HetNet
  • Coordinated HetNet
  • Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Abbreviations
  • Bibliography

List of Figures

  • Figure 1: Simplified HetNet Ecosystem
  • Figure 2: Mobile Market Trends
  • Figure 3: Femtocell Appeal for Households versus Wi-Fi
  • Figure 4: Small Cell Unit Shipments: 2013-2018
  • Figure 5: Small Cell Revenues: 2013-2018
  • Figure 6: Small Cell Unit Shipments by Cell Type: 2013-2018
  • Figure 7: Small Cell Revenues by Cell Type: 2013-2018
  • Figure 8: Small Cell Unit Shipments by Technology: 2013-2018
  • Figure 9: Cisco SP Wi-Fi Small Cell Solution Architecture
  • Figure 10: Cisco Licensed Small Solution Architecture

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Small Cell Categories and Market Segments
  • Table 2: Strategy Focus Areas for Technical Aspects
  • Table 3: List of Fundamental SON Capabilities
  • Table 4: Strategic Requirements and Business Drivers for SON
  • Table 5: Types of SON Architectures
  • Table 6: SON Vendors, Products and Solutions
  • Table 7: Different Types of Small Cell Interference
  • Table 8: Interference Management Capabilities for Small Cells
  • Table 9: Types of Carrier Aggregation
  • Table 10: Small Cell Mobility Feature Requirements
  • Table 11: Solutions to Consider for Seamless Mobility Support in Small Cells
  • Table 12: Vendor Solutions for Seamless Mobility
  • Table 13: Authentication and Security Requirement for Small Cells
  • Table 14: Security Solutions for Small Cell Networks
  • Table 15: Backhaul Feature Requirements
  • Table 16: Backhaul Solution Requirements and Options for Small Cell (53)
  • Table 17: Strategy Focus Areas for Business Aspects
  • Table 18: Strategy Steps for Selection of Target Site Location
  • Table 19: Key Areas of Focus for Requirements Specification and Procurement Plan
  • Table 20: VAS Solution Options for Small Cells
  • Table 21: Strategies for Revenue Generation and Positive ROI for Small Cells